Babies are fascinating! At first it seems as if the baby "does nothing", but careful observation will show a unique child who is very responsive to their environment.

A trained observer may notice the baby's:

  • moving eyes,
  • clenched and unclenched fists and feet,
  • wriggling,
  • sucking movements with tongue and cheeks,
  • stillness when concentrating on watching mother or a moving object or light,
  • moving head responding to sounds.

Even a young baby cries in different ways to express their needs for:
S S food S S
S S company S S
S S comfort S S
S S sleep S S

What stops the baby crying? J

Observations can record the baby's language development:

  • cooing,
  • babbling,
  • listening and responding to verbal instructions e.g. clap hands
  • gestures and pointing
  • speaking single words.

Observations can record physical development:
Try to observe how the baby moves.
Even young babies move their head, arms and legs.

  • How long can the baby sit? With or without support? Is the back arched or rounded?
  • How does the baby crawl? With one foot pushing? Which foot? With both feet pushing?
    On both knees, or on their bottom?
  • Perhaps baby does not crawl. Some babies go from sitting to walking without crawling.
  • How does an older baby pull up to stand? What is used for support?
  • Is baby pleased with this new skill? How can you tell?

Observe the sequence of development in hand and eye co-ordination.
From finger play, to reaching for objects, to grasping objects before learning to let go, to pointing and then picking up tiny objects using a delicate finger and thumb pincer movement.

Babies show great concentration when exploring objects with their eyes, mouths and hands.

Observing everyday routines shows the baby's learning and interaction at feeding times.
Bathtime is full of sensory experiences, splashing in warm water, trying to catch bubbles, moving limbs freely and being soothed by gentle massage.

Babies develop rapidly, learning new skills every day.
It is rewarding to complete a Longitudinal Study on a baby to observe the changes in one area of development over a period of weeks or months.
It is surprising how much progress the baby will make in so short a time.

come and see
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