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Infant and Toddler Observation

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Submitted By essayssuck1245
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Child Development
June 16, 2014
Child Observation Narrative
I observed my two children; infant and toddler at the same time. The infant was 16 months, and the toddler was three. In my notes, child #1 is the infant and child #2 is the toddler. Both children are males. The setting for this observation is a scheduled playdate by the children’s parents. Both children’s mother and father are present. Child one screamed “AAHHHRRRAAA” a lot and had a toy truck in front of him. Child didn’t immediately start to play with the truck; he slammed down on the toy with his hands open and pushed it around. Child one tried to get up and ramble without a definite purpose around the room which he had difficulty doing because his gross motor skills seem to not yet be fully developed. Child ones mother grabbed him and said to him “no baby I need to keep an eye on you’ and sat him back down where he began. The child began to scream inaudibly “AHH!” Child two came out of his room, not knowing that anyone was there and slowly came near or nearer to the small group in his house and immediately moved with haste to where the other child was. Child two said “Ty, play trucks with me! This is your truck. Okay? Now let’s race!” Child one continued to sit in front of the truck, non-responsive to child two. Instead of playing with child two, child one stared blankly into the next room, and had drool forming at his bottom lip. Child one placed both of his hands firmly on the ground beneath him and with all of his upper body strength, pushed himself up, his butt was sticking straight up in the air as he waited a minute to continue moving himself up off of the floor and used the couch to hold himself up while he tried to balance before he began to waddle towards the kitchen, seemingly unnoticed by his parents. The child found a shelf of condiments that he could reach and with what fine motor skills he has, he started pushing though the shelf. He found a mustard bottle and picked it up and placed it in his mouth, without actually opening the bottle. The parents of child one ran after him into the kitchen saying “No Ty, we’re going to put this back and come back over to where mommy and daddy are okay?” The father carried the child back to the area and as soon as the dad sat him down, the child attempted to go back to the kitchen and grab the same bottle. Assuming that he wanted his bottle, the mother of child one brings out his bottle from the diaper bag. Child two saw the bottle and turned to his mom and said “Momma can I give Ty his bottle?” his mom looked to child ones mom and she said yes so child twos mom said “Yes son, you can.” Child two starts to slowly walk up to child one, with the bottle in his hand saying “Here Ty, here is your bottle Ty.” As he looked back at his mom while approaching child one. Child one doesn’t have the same gross motor skills as child two, so he couldn’t fully extend his arms to the bottle. Child two put the bottle in his mouth and child one immediately wrapped his tiny hands around the bottle and began eating. After child one has been fed the children begin playing with their trucks again and child two tries to teach child one what not to do with his toy by demonstrating to him the correct way to push the truck around the room without hitting anyone or any furniture. When child one hits an adult with his truck child two apologizing for him saying “Sorry Momma, I’ll make sure TY doesn’t do that anymore” He then looks to child one and said “Don’t do that anymore Ty, Ok? That’s not nice” Child one begins to cry and screams; starts slamming his hands on the truck again. Child two attempts to help calm down child one with his words. He spoke as calmly as he could “It’s okay Ty, you don’t have to cry. Stop crying and be a big boy Ty okay?” While child two did this, he looked around the room and kept looking at his mom, who was nodding while she watched what her son was doing. The mother of child one picked her son up, and he began to cry a little harder so she picked up his bottle and attempted to give it to him, when he didn’t respond to the bottle, both set of parents agreed that child one is tired and child ones parents decided to take him back home to take a nap.

Interpretation of Infant:
Child one seemed to be going through his oral stage of development, based on Freud’s psychosexual theory. The oral stage has an approximate age of birth- 1 year and states that the lips, tongue, and gums are the focus of pleasurable sensations in the baby’s body, and sucking and feeding are the most stimulating activities. He seemingly enjoyed putting things in his mouth, such as his pacifier, his bottle and the mustard bottle that he continued to try and retrieve from the kitchen area. According to Piaget, the toddler is in his fourth sub-stage of sensorimotor; Coordination of vision and touch—hand-eye coordination; coordination of schemas and intentionality”. This stage is associated primarily with the development of logic and the coordination between means and ends. This is an extremely important stage of development, holding what Piaget calls the "first proper intelligence". Also, this stage marks the beginning of goal orientation, the deliberate planning of steps to meet an objective. The infant is going through his first stage of development according to Erickson, which is Trust vs. Mistrust. During this stage the infant is uncertain about the world in which they live. To resolve these feelings of uncertainty the infant looks towards their primary caregiver for stability and consistency of care.

If the care the infant receives is consistent, predictable and reliable they will develop a sense of trust which will carry with them to other relationships, and they will be able to feel secure even when threatened.

Interpretation of Toddler:
According to Erickson’s psychosocial stages of development I see that the toddler is in his initiative vs guilt stage. In this stage children undertake many adult like activities or internalize the limits and prohibitions set by their parents. They either feel adventurous or guilty. I see this very prominently in the toddler I observed because of how he attempts to teach the younger child what to do and how to do it; just as his mother and father taught him. I also see this when he tried to feed the infant his bottle like the other adults were doing and try to take on those seemingly adult like responsibilities. This could also be analyzed as operant conditioning. The toddler knows the repercussions if he hits an adult with the toy so he tries his best to correct the other child’s errors to save himself and the infant from the punishment that he knows will follow when his parents get to him.

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