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Infant Observation Essay

Physical Development

SG spent most of the time the observation was done asleep. When SG was awake though, a few experiments were conducted to test her reflexes. SG showed consistent signs of every reflex except the Stepping, and Tonic neck reflex. SG was not able to hold her head up independently yet, and didn’t show any signs of other motor development milestones (Berk 2010, 107.) SG’s eating habits seemed to be on a schedule with her sleeping habits as well. SG was being bottle fed. She ate shortly after the observation began and awoke again shortly before the observation ended.

Cognitive Development

“Piaget believed that infants and toddlers think with their eyes, ears, hands, and other sensorimotor equipment” (Berk 2010, 152.) On Piaget’s Sensorimotor Stage, SG would be classified in sub stage two. This classification was based on the way SG would open her mouth for a bottle and a pacifier. Also when SG awoke and needed bottle she would cry until she saw her mother enter the room. SG’s language development only consisted of crying and cooing. The infant seemed to only cry when she needed a diaper change or to be fed.

Social and Personality Development

SG seemed to overall be a happy baby. During the observation the infant showed no signs of colic. The mother and father of SG were very caring and provided a good stable home for her. SG was not neglected by neither the mother nor father. Both parents seemed to be patient and loving towards the infant. SG would cry when she needed to be fed or have her diaper changed and her mother would change it and soothe her crying. SG was fed twice during the observation. Once at the beginning by her mother, and later on during the observation by SG’s uncle.

The infant took the bottle well when it was given by the mother. Opposed to when SG’s uncle tried to feed her, she didn’t take the bottle so well at first. SG’s uncle had only seen her twice before. The fact that SG struggled to take the bottle from her uncle shows signs of Erickson’s theory of Trust vs mistrust. “Basic trust versus mistrust results in trust when the child receives sympathetic and loving care. The mistrustful baby cannot count on the kindness and compassion of others, so she protects herself by withdrawing from people.” (Berk 2010, 184)

Important Information learned

By observing Infant SG, I realized that although the parents were showing a lot of love and compassion by holding SG they also may have deferred some of her motor skills. A child must be given the opportunity to build strength and explore their environment. It seemed that they were “suffocating” her in a way. Not allowing her to develop as quickly. Which is not necessarily a bad thing because she’s a baby, but according to the textbook SG seems to be a little slow in the developmental process.


Berk, L.E. (2010). Development through the Lifespan, 5th ed. Allyn & Bacon.

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