How does the baby perceive itself?

How does the baby perceive itself?

A baby may not be aware of many things at the beginning of his life, but his brain is much more capable of what we imagined (and what was previously thought) and very soon has knowledge of himself. But, How does the baby perceive itself?

According to Dr. Daniel Stern, in the evolution of the “self-feelings” of the baby there are four phases that overlap, ranging from two months to beyond the 18 months, when the child develops his linguistic ability.

  • In the first two months There is the feeling of “an emerging self,” a phase in which the baby lives every moment with all his senses, thanks to which he translates and transforms all around him into sensations and bodily reactions. It still does not distinguish between the external and the internal, between events and feelings.

  • Between the two or three and the six months approximately what Daniel Stern calls "the nuclear self" develops, in which the baby perceives that he has his own feelings and his own will. The appearance of social smile (not the primary reflection of the angelic smile of the newborn) coincides with this phase.

  • Between seven and nine months the baby thanks to its rapid evolution develops the feeling of "a subjective self", which brings a different perspective. To the simple observation of actions is added the discovery of feelings, of cause-effect relationship … Now more conscious interactions between him and others are possible, especially with the mother or her main reference figure.

  • Until a year and a half approximately the child does not develop the feeling of “a verbal self,” which helps him establish the faculty of self-observation and at the same time of objectivity.

It is this last period when it occurs "The mirror stadium" (according to the theory of the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan), a phase of the psychological development of the child between approximately six and eighteen months of age and indicating an overcoming in the phase of non-recognition. At this time, the child recognizes his complete body image in the mirror.

Daniel Stern, author of four phases of baby's self-perceptionHe is an honorary professor of Psychology at the University of Geneva, an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Cornell University School of Medicine and an Honorary Doctorate from the Universities of Copenhagen and Alborg (Denmark); Palermo and Padua (Italy); and Mons Hinault (Belgium).

Author of works such as "The Birth of a Mother", "Diary of a Baby" or · "The Birth of a Mother", is interested in the psychosocial world of babies and motherhood. In some of his works he talks about how the baby perceives itself, an interesting theory that we wanted to share to get to know our babies better.

Photos | Nora Mah Flickr-CC
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