Baby's first year

Baby's first year

Jun 11, 2021XieYifang

Daniel Stern (1985), a psychoanalyst who is proficient in developmental psychology, put forward different views on the development of babies in the first year. He combined these two disciplines wonderfully in his book "The Interpersonal World of Infants". He proposed four types of "self-awareness" developed at different stages: from birth to two months, the sprouted self first appears; when two to six months old, the core self is formed; when seven to fifteen months old, the main self Gradually take shape; followed by the development of language. After each "self" is formed, it lasts for a lifetime.

Stern advocated that babies have a "germinating self" as soon as they are born, and there is a clear distinction between people and me. When transitioning from the previous stage to the next stage, there are major changes. What appeared after the conversion was "a completely different person." For example, when a few weeks old baby begins to stare into the eyes of his parents and smile, the interactive atmosphere and the emotions that the baby creates at this time are very different. The subjective experience contained in these changes in the behavior of the baby makes the parents have different reactions and thoughts to the baby. Stern further emphasized that these changes in babies are partly due to parents' different interpretations of babies and respond to babies based on the new interpretations.

When the "core self" is formed at two to six months old, we can observe that babies perceive that they are an integrated individual. They feel the completeness and uniqueness of the body, and can control their actions, possessing various feelings and senses of continuity. . They realize that they and their mother are two separate people, two separate subjects, with their own unique emotional experiences and different historical backgrounds. At the age of seven to nine months, the baby "discovers that there is another mental world outside of his own mental world."

Stern also distinguished the difference between "I and him are two different individuals" and "I am with him." He emphasized that when a baby is with "another person", something will never happen when alone. For example, in a peekaboo game, "the interaction between the two sides creates a very exciting self-experience in the baby. , Full of joy and suspense, perhaps with a hint of fear.” This emotional state cannot be achieved alone, and this state is created by the two. “The other person regulates the baby’s self-experience. In this case, this person is, to the baby, ‘the other who regulates the self."

Stern also explained that the sense of security and attachment is a two-way experience, and believes that this development is related to sleep. "The Other regulates the baby's experience of its own physiological state... For example, from hunger to fullness, from a tired and awake state to sleep. All such adjustments contain a drastic transformation of neurophysiological state." Therefore, according to Si According to Turnn, even if the baby's own state is changed (such as from a doze state to falling asleep), another person is involved in the "physiological regulation" of this self-state. Therefore, feeding, changing diapers, holding the baby in his arms, shaking him, and putting him in the crib (for a baby, these processes are all part of falling asleep) are also the experience contained in the actions of this other. The fact of falling asleep is It is a social event.

We have talked from the viewpoint of Klein and other scholars that experience can build a sense of security, trust, and that the baby’s self-experience will be changed through interaction with others, or even new experiences will be gained as a result. Stern explains how repeated two-way interactions gradually form a kind of memory. For example, the game of peekaboo is different every time you play. The general memory of this game is that it is different every time you play, but the common elements that you have every time you play this game form the core of this memory.

Take the memory of going to bed again as an example. It seems that sleeping has a formula that repeats every day, but in fact, the conversations, games, activities and feelings are different every night. These are the core of the memory. Stern went on to explain that the person who assists the baby in adjusting its state becomes a companion who "evokes" a certain type of experience, stored in the baby's memory regardless of the presence or absence of others. This is the same concept as Klein's internalized "good" mother. Stern advocated that "aware that he can continue to be with his real companion who can evoke some kind of experience of him" makes the baby have enough trust, so that the baby can explore the world around him with confidence.

In the same opinion as Klein, Stern believes that the memory of the past creates such a sense of trust. He emphasized that for babies, this kind of company is different from the experience of "we are one", the feeling is that "I" is with another person. The integrity of the core self will not be interrupted by the presence of the companion. This is the core of a question that hangs in the minds of parents: how do babies gain the ability to be alone? Stern explains how the presence of parents helps babies learn to deal with their own state. The ability of babies to process their mental states in the presence of their parents is different from the feelings that parents bring to babies when they adjust their state. We asked ourselves from Petunia’s mother, “Why don’t you just ‘let’ her sleep instead of trying to find a way to ‘sleep’ her?” to illustrate these two different situations. The stability of the parents helps the baby to recall the support they gave and to feel that the support is always there when the parents are not around.

When a baby is seven to nine months old and the subject self is formed, he begins to realize that not only he has a will, but other people also have their own wills; in addition, another important concept of Stern-"emotion and ming" It also appeared during this period. Readers can discover from many cases in this book that whether parents and children can successfully achieve this state affects the baby's ability to fall asleep.

Stern described the importance of emotional state sharing: "Let others know that you can feel what you feel. What is the connotation of this process?" He believes that imitation is only a small part of it. If the mother imitates the baby's face, he can only learn from her face that she is receiving what he is doing; in this case, she does not necessarily have the same feelings as him. Imitation cannot truly achieve "mutually subjective emotional exchanges."

First of all, parents must be able to read the baby's emotional state from his external behavior. Secondly, parents must be able to show some behavior, not just an exact copy, but a reaction that resonates with the baby's external behavior. Third, the baby must be able to read the parent's resonant response to their original emotional experience, not just imitate the baby's behavior. Only when these three conditions exist at the same time, can the individual's inner emotional state be known to another person, and they can feel that such a communication has occurred without language.

Stern vividly explained how parents start with imitation and add different behaviors to achieve a state of emotional harmony with the baby. For example, if the baby pats his toy rhythmically, the parents may begin to sing to the beat, or swing the body to the baby's humming song. "At this time, emotional resonance is presented as a behavior that expresses the state of mutual feeling. It is not necessarily an accurate imitation of the behavior of expressing the inner state." Its purpose is to let the baby know that the parents understand his feelings. According to Stern, this new development is about to be achieved when the baby is nine months old, with the help of the mother; and it is part of the "parents' instinct"-knowing when the baby has completed this state.

Emotional resonance can be used to illustrate the process of humans' deep understanding of each other. If we focus on the topic we are interested in-sleep, it contains the meaning of the baby's entire sleep process. In addition to breastfeeding, taking a bath, telling a story, and playing a small game, all help parents and babies reach an emotional resonance. This state will last longer than the excitement caused by the actual interaction. This feeling of being connected with the existence of another person is the main reason for helping the baby to fall asleep at ease. The various games played before going to bed have their own subtle functions, such as negotiating with the baby to switch to another state, or pacifying his fears. Klein believes that the baby's mother's understanding helps him to withstand the changes that occur at night.

Stern mentioned that the "language me" began to develop in the second year. He talked about having language, enabling the child to share his experience with others, and "enabling the child to start telling the story of his life" (1985). However, Stern also emphasized that language can be a double-edged sword. It may make it difficult to share certain experiences. When the experience is unspeakable, it may cause internal division of the self. Parents and babies will find that when babies start to use language, it almost creates barriers to communication between both parties. They have to go through this difficult period before they can begin to enjoy the beauty of language communication. The setbacks experienced during this period may put the baby in a certain state of tension and make it more difficult to fall asleep.

As the baby’s emotions develop, the emotion of aggression becomes more complex and clear. This will cause the baby to worry about his aggressive impulse and do not know what to do to his parents, and begin to fear retaliation. This also shows that the baby is afraid The anxiety behind the black, and the subsequent restless sleep.

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