Home Sociology Infant Observation: Creating Transformative Relationships
Chloe at six days
I was surprised that no one worried that this would awaken Chloe. I carefully observed Chloe and noticed that for the first few bangs, Chloe jumped slightly, seeming startled, and blinked her eyes a little. The children continued their racket and interestingly enough after a few bangs Chloe, didn't seem to react at all, but went on sleeping peacefully. In this first observation it was dear that Chloe was joining an existing family; they would continue as before. It would be Chloe who would have to learn how to accommodate to the system.
When Chloe moaned or even cried, there usually was not a spontaneous response, and she had to learn how to manage and soothe herself. Soon after this, at only thirteen days old, her dummy fell out and no one noticed; she crunched her brow and began crying, kicking her legs, and moving her hands. Her hands rubbed against her face, ears and eyes. She put both hands together over her mouth and sucked furiously for a few moments.
At seven weeks old, Chloe moaned whilst mother was serving dinner to her three siblings, and Mother ignored Chloe. After a few minutes Mother said, "Once I've fed and changed baby's nappy, if she cries, it's too bad. I must give the others attention too." We might speculate how Chloe may have felt. She could see and wanted her mother, but was unable to evoke a response from her by showing distress by moaning. She continued moaning for a number of minutes and eventually just fell asleep.
Through the observations and subsequent discussions in the seminar, the observer gained a better understanding and awareness of how Chloe's experiences differed from the other babies in the group. Hers was not necessarily a more positive or negative experience, but she had a different set of experiences from that of other infants.
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