Question- Observe a newborn less than three month of age either via a video or real-life observation? Write a paper based on the questions below: A. What behavioral stated did you observe? B. Describe what normal development for the newborn? C. What was the dominant behavior state? D. What motor characteristics did you observe? E. What reflexes and patterns did you observe ? F. What seemed to calm the infant? G. Describe the infant's interactive patterns?
Peter is a month old. He has brown eyes and short, fine black hair. The shape of his eyes is like almonds and he has a very fair complexion. He is lying in the cradle which stands on the rockers. The room setting is very comfortable and seems to be furnished keeping in mind the comfort and safety of Peter. The behavior of any infant is governed by the state, temperament and the ability of the infant to self regulate. Peter’s behavior is often in form of cues or the activities that signal towards his needs (Lake, K., 2015). When Peter is given a toy, he widens his eyes and his face brightens up. He focuses his attention on the object of attention. When his father walks past him, Peter’s eyes follow him and he even turns his head. Peter is able to identify and distinguish any sound, especially if his mother calls him. He pays attention to the sounds of interest like the ones that are high pitched and rhythmic (Government of Western Australia, 2002). Sometimes, he also widens his eyes and becomes still, focusing all his attention on the coming sound.
The newborn babies do not have the understanding of their being a separate individual. During the first three months, the child cries because of something happening inside his body. He cannot understand feelings and likes to be cuddled or hearing the soothing voice of their mother. They do not like feeling hungry or frightened. Physically, they have immature eye muscles and can see things that are close by (March of Dimes, 2003). They can move their body but do not know how to move each part of their body. New born babies can express themselves only by crying or making faces. They cannot speak and so they cry in different tones to convey what they want (Government of Western Australia, 2002).
The dominant behavior state of Peter is his brightened and widened eyes. Whenever he sees any familiar face, he smiles and his eyes become big and bright. When he hears his mother or father call his name, he starts making noises and laughs (Government of Western Australia, 2002). He seems very happy.
The gross motor development is still immature as Peter does not know how to control the movement of his head. He generally requires someone to hold his head for support. Being just a month old, he does not know how to sit or crawl or start to walk. The fine motor skills are also absent. However, Peter likes to touch the toys that hang on the bar that is fixed on his cradle. He lifts head when prone on tummy and kicks his legs (Government of Western Australia, 2002). His eyes are lined up most of the time.
Just like the newborns vary in their behaviour, they also vary in their reflexes. When Peter’s cheek is struck, he tilts his head towards the same side and opens his mouth. Similarly, when his mouth is touched, he opens his mouth and makes sucking movements. He also shows grasp reflex as well (Lake, K., 2015). When his palm is touched with a finger, he grabs hold of the finger. Other patterns that are observed in Peter range from the cues of engagement like smiling, hand to mouth activity, wide open eyes, grasping hold of the mother or father’s hand or other smooth motor movements. However, some of the disengagement cues that are also observed are hiccoughing, becoming apple red in color, falling asleep, crying loudly along with agitated movements or jerky movements (Government of Western Australia, 2002).
Peter is more of a smiling baby than a cry baby. He is easily calmed down by his parents simple by their talking or making faces. But in extreme situations, when Peter is uncontrollable, it takes lot of efforts for his parents to soothe him. Some of the options that seem to work for consoling Peter are picking him up, rocking him, feeding him, swaddling him, changing the wet or dirty diaper or simply talking to him in slow and modulated voice/ tone. Peter’s parents believe that if they cater to these habits of him every time, it would spoil him. So they try to control themselves instead of immediately responding to the cues that are sent by Peter (Government of Western Australia, 2002). Eventually, Peter starts moving his hands to his mouth or starts sucking his fingers, as a maneuver to self control himself (Nover, A., 1985).
The interactive pattern of every newborn baby is different from other babies. Peter tries to understand what is being said to him and if he finds it intimidating or frightening, then he starts crying. The latter happens majorly when the people with whom Peter is not familiar, try to talk to him or cuddle him or lift him up. If any known face tries to initiate a conversation with him, he responds by making sounds and understanding what is being said to him (Nover, A., 1985). He also starts kicking his feet and moving his hands in air in order to show the expression of happiness or comfort. Peter can now recognize the face of his mother and father. Still he is unfamiliar with the other family members. Even though his big sister plays with him often, he starts crying if he does not see his mother around. Also if anyone else tries to pick him up or cuddle him, his makes faces and eventually starts crying (Nover, A., 1985).
All the babies are born different and have different rates of development. The research has shown that mostly the trend of growth and development of all types of skills follows same pattern but if a child does not show effective signs then the parents can consider talking with the doctor and finding out a more efficient way of encouraging development of the child. At first the child does not know what is happy or sad or being comfortable. But gradually they learn to recognize the smell or the voice of the person who feeds them or spends most of the time with them, like their mother (Roland, D., 2010). They are learning all the time and the responsibility of the parents is to help them know that they are welcomed in this world where their needs will be met and they will learn to feel safe and loved.
Government of Western Australia. (2002). Child development 0-3 months. Department of health.
Lake, K. (2015). Sample child observation paper. Retrieved on 26th January 2015.
March of Dimes. (2003). Understanding the behavior of term infants. Perinatal nursing education.
Nover, A. (1985). Mother-infant interactive play: theory and practical application. Child and Adolescent Social work Journal, 2(1): 22-35.
Roland, D. (2010). The Newborn Early Warning (NEW) system: development of an at-risk infant intervention system. Early warning scores, 6(4).