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The First Two Months Fogel Chapter 5

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1 The First Two Months Fogel Chapter 5
Created by Ilse DeKoeyer-Laros, Ph.D.

2 Overview Chapter 5 Experiential Exercises Co-regulating with Baby
Physical and Motor Development Perceptual Development Cognitive Development Emotional Development Family and Society Experiential Exercises Co-regulating with Baby

3 Physical and Motor Development Newborn States
The fetal states of rest & activity develop into sleeping & waking states at 32 weeks gestation: REM & non-REM by 38 weeks: several other sleep states newborns sleep about 17 hours per day, throughout the day and night by 3 or 4 months, infants sleep more at night than during the day, but night wakings are common in infancy and early childhood

4 Physical and Motor Development Newborn States
Description Quiet sleep (NREM) Respiration is regular; eyes are closed and not moving; the baby is relatively motionless Active sleep (REM) Muscles more tense; eyes may be still or display REMs; breathing is irregular; spontaneous rhythmic startles, sucks, and body movements Drowsiness Opening and closing of the eyes; increased activity; more rapid and regular breathing; occasional smiling Quiet alert Eyes open, scanning the environment; body is still; respiration is more rapid than in sleep Active alert Awake, body and limb movements, less focused than in the quiet alert state Crying Elevated activity and respiration rate; cry vocalization; facial expression of distress

5 Physical and Motor Development Waking States
Newborns have two basic modes of response to stimulation: orienting & defense orienting – a heightened alertness that includes behavioral localization toward the source of the stimulation (a head turn to the source of a sound) defense – a behavioral action that involves withdrawal from the source of stimulation

6 Physical and Motor Development Waking States
Newborns will orient to stimuli of moderate intensity and complexity soft talking, moderate light levels, and holding & rocking can enhance alertness

7 Physical and Motor Development Crying State
Crying is an organized rhythmic activity there are different cries with different body responses and cry sounds The frequency increases between birth and 2 months – then, it decreases similar in many cultures with different patterns of infant care & response to crying infants cry more when parents are slower to respond

8 Physical and Motor Development Crying State
Colic is crying in which the infant cries at least 3 hours a day, on at least 3 days per week, for at least 3 successive weeks the parents find the crying very intense the infant is otherwise normal; and the infant is relatively unresponsive to soothing & feeding

9 Physical and Motor Development Crying State
What causes colic? unknown not caused by digestive problems, sympathetic nervous system arousal, or cortisol levels Factors related to colic mothers who were highly stressed during pregnancy had higher chances of having a colicky baby colicky infants are more likely to have sleep problems & to be inattentive, emotionally reactive, and sensitive to touch, food, and other stimulation at 3 & 8 years

10 Physical and Motor Development The Effects of Crying on Adults
Adults perceive crying as an index of distress & they try to figure out the source nonparents are as responsive as parents levels of arousal & responsiveness are equal for men & women Child abusers show greater arousal & more annoyance at cries than nonabusers

11 Physical and Motor Development Soothing Infants
nonnutritive sucking (NNS) immediately soothes swaddling reduces motor movement & startles; keeps the infant calm for long periods daily massage enhances alertness, sleep, growth & reduces stress and crying rocking can calm or put infants to sleep continuous sound can be calming, esp. when moderately loud & of low frequency (e.g., singing lullabies, humming)

12 Newborn States Newborn state is important
the body needs periods of tranquility and rest to consolidate resources for growth attention to the environment depends on a stress-free state of quiet alertness state regulates the types of interactions newborns have with their adult caregivers Picture from:

13 Reflexes Reflexes semiautomatic behaviors, triggered only by specific elicitors look about the same every time they occur have to run their course once triggered See examples of reflexes on YouTube, such as the sucking reflex at

14 Reflexes Purposes Primitive forms of orienting behavior
e.g., rooting, sucking, and grasping Primitive defensive reactions e.g., the Moro reflex, reaction to a cloth on the face Elementary coordinations for later adaptive & voluntary movements e.g., stepping, crawling, and swimmer’s reflexes No clear function e.g., the Babinski reflex – although the lack of a Babinski response may indicate neurological disorder Picture from:

15 Physical and Motor Development Reflexes
Reflexes are highly variable within & between infants depends on individual differences, age, time since last feeding & number of attempts to evoke the reflex Many disappear by about 6 months brain developments and other factors play a role (e.g., weight & muscle strength in the stepping reflex)

16 Physical and Motor Development Reflexes
In sum, newborn reflexes are extremely important for orienting the infant to the environment & for protecting the infant from harm movements related to reflexes are not simply discharges in the brain, but depend on muscle movement, weight, state, illness & many other factors reflexes play a role in the active development of the muscles, leading to increased strength & coordination

17 Physical and Motor Development Growth
Asynchronous growth: different parts of the body grow at different rates & at different times

18 Physical and Motor Development Sucking
Sucking is a reflex that is crucial for survival – it changes over time & becomes more voluntary

19 Physical and Motor Development Growth
The newborn’s arms & hands are among the least controlled parts of the body arm & hand movements seem uncoordinated but detailed video analyses show that they occur in meaningful patterns

20 Physical and Motor Development The Brain
Neuroscience – the study of the brain & nervous system as it relates to psychological & behavioral functions such as moving, thinking, and feeling

21 Brain structures and functions
Major areas of the brain brain stem limbic system cortex

22 Brain structures and functions
The prefrontal cortex is least developed in infancy connects limbic & cortical areas responsible for social & emotional regulation involves thinking, reasoning, and judging Picture from:

23 Brain structures and functions
Most developed in infancy brain stem – controls autonomic functions such as breathing and heart rate limbic system – processes emotions and memories & some body functions the important structures are the hippocampus, amygdala, hypothalamus, and pituitary gland

24 Brain structures and functions The Limbic System
Hippocampus – important in the formation of memories for events & sequences (autobiographical memory) during the first 3 years, the hippocampus develops links with the language & cognition areas of the cortex Amygdala – plays a role in the formation of emotional memories, especially those around fear & safety Picture from:

25 Brain structures and functions The Limbic System
Hypothalamus – links the brain to the endocrine systems of the body via the pituitary gland regulates stress, body temperature, hunger, thirst, and day-night rhythms The pituitary gland produces hormones for stress regulation, maintenance of body state, sexual activity, milk production in nursing mothers, & cell growth Picture from:

26 Physical and Motor Development Two Hemispheres
Right hemisphere – processes the majority of social & emotional activity major development during the first 2 years of life (emotion regulation, attachments) Left hemisphere – more specialized for thinking & language develops more rapidly after the first 2 years

27 Fetal and infant brain development A critical period
The period from the 5th gestational month through the age of 3-4 years is a critical period for the development of the human brain To understand why, we need to look at the structure of neurons – information storage & transfer cells

28 Fetal and infant brain development A critical period
The brain develops by four basic processes: New cells are created via mitosis during the prenatal period most development after this occurs by making cell connections & by pruning of unused neurons The brain becomes more efficient glial cells guide growth & migration of neurons (prenatally) myelination increases the speed of conduction along the axon (mostly right before & after birth)

29 Fetal and infant brain development A critical period
Synaptogenesis – cells grow more dendrites & axon terminals & make more synaptic connections & neurotransmitters

30 Fetal and infant brain development A critical period
The role of experience experience expectant pathways await specific environmental input e.g., pain elicits crying experience dependent pathways are based on unique experiences those that are used most become strengthened; those that are used the least eventually die

31 Optimal & non-optimal brain development
Neural plasticity – the ability of the brain & nervous system to seek novelty, learn, and remember by continuing to alter the patterns of connections between neurons intact brains retain plasticity throughout life impairments in social & linguistic skills, along with brain abnormalities, develop in infants reared in orphanages or infants not exposed to appropriate language

32 Optimal & non-optimal brain development
Each baby in the first two years of life comes to assess the social world as either a safe or a threatening place

33 Optimal & non-optimal brain development
Neuroception – nonconscious evaluation of safety or threat, by the nervous system and not the conscious mind (Porges, 2004)

34 Optimal & non-optimal brain development
Neuroception is regulated by Sympathetic & parasympathetic nervous systems Sympathetic nervous system – prepares the body for action Parasympathetic nervous system – allows the body to relax, slow down, process information, engage socially, learn & grow; the vagus nerve is most responsible for neuroception The HPA-axis

35 Adrenal glands: Cortisol
The HPA-axis When stress occurs: Hypothalamus: CRH Pituitary gland: ACTH Adrenal glands: Cortisol

36 Optimal & non-optimal brain development
Cortisol prepares the body for action in response to stress increases blood sugar needed for action feeds back into the limbic system where it heightens the formation of memories related to the stressful event If stress is persistent, cortisol is overproduced prolonged activation of cortisol suppresses the immune system & physical growth too much stress leads to a tendency to feel fear and threat in the future & can lead to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

37 Optimal & non-optimal brain development

38 Optimal & non-optimal brain development
In sum, the first 3 years of life are critical for brain development for the development of the limbic & prefrontal parts of the right brain, which is dependent on the quality of love, emotional sharing, & social engagement received & perceived not for cortical & left-brain processes like reading, math, thinking, or musical ability

39 Optimal & non-optimal brain development
It is more important for infant brain development to spend quality one-on-one and family time than letting the baby play for long periods with expensive toys, or listen to Mozart, or watch baby TV programs

40 Perceptual Development
Ecological perception – experience that relies on direct perception through the senses the senses form the basic ways in which we are connected to the environment Newborns have the ability to see, hear, taste, smell, and feel – although not as focused or discriminating as adults can

41 Perceptual Development
Newborn visual acuity & visual processing are poor but improve rapidly visual acuity is only 20/500 on average, due to an immature nervous system the newborn’s visual world is rather blurry, but the infant can see colors as a result of experience-dependent brain development, visual acuity improves to nearly 20/20 by 6 months

42 Perceptual Development
Oculomotor skills – movements that the eye makes to bring objects into focus follow moving objects adjust for objects at different distances Newborns’ tracking of moving objects is jerky, and they only follow slowly moving objects at 6-8 weeks, following becomes more adultlike

43 Perceptual Development
Scanning – the eye traces a path across a visual stimulus in small, rapid movements

44 Perceptual Development
Oculomotor control adjusts the eyes to see objects at different distances Depth perception – the ability to judge the relative distances between two objects & determine whether objects are close or far The ability to compare the two retinal images (and therefore to see distance) emerges slowly between 3 & 6 months

45 Perceptual Development
Can newborns see patterns? Studies show that newborns can detect differences between visual images & seem to prefer some images more than others Newborns prefer objects with clearly marked edges & outlines circular patterns over straight lines the external contours of a figure, especially if the edges are sharp

46 Perceptual Development
Newborns have perceptual preferences that are likely to bring them into contact with things that enhance their survival infants prefer faces over other objects 1-day-old infants change their sucking response to see a picture of their mother’s face rather than the face of an unfamiliar female – but not when the mother is shown wearing a scarf newborns prefer to look at faces judged by adults to be more attractive they also prefer faces in which the other person’s gaze is directed toward the infant rather than averted

47 Auditory Perception The auditory system is more mature at birth than the visual system Auditory sensitivity (sensitivity to sounds) involves loudness & pitch newborns can hear sounds of dB but only sounds from dB can awaken them they prefer sounds in the middle range; higher pitch over lower pitch; sounds made up of more than one note; and melodic sequences over a jumble of unrelated notes

48 Auditory Perception The most common source of such sounds is an adult female voice, talking or singing newborns prefer to listen to a song or story that their mothers had sung or read aloud 2 weeks prior to birth over an unfamiliar song or story newborns seem to prefer heartbeat sounds similar to those they must have heard prenatally infants can distinguish the voice of their own mother from the voices of other women.

49 Auditory Perception How do newborns distinguish speech sounds from different people? They may detect overall patterns of rhythm & pitch that differentiate one person from another They may be able to hear differences among syllables that give them cues about a speaker’s uniqueness By 1 month, they distinguish two very closely related speech sounds (e.g., “p” and “b”) and by 2 months, they recognize vowel differences

50 Taste Newborns seem to distinguish the four basic tastes: sweet, salty, sour, and bitter They show different responses to these four tastes Sweet fluids seem to relax (see pictures) Sour, bitter & salty tastes elicit negative responses

51 Smell Newborns can differentiate between odors (incl. vinegar, licorice, & alcohol) In response to unpleasant odors, they make faces of disgust and turn away They may recognize their mothers by odor Newborns turn their heads more to a pad containing their mother’s breast milk than to one containing another woman’s milk Breast-fed infants can also recognize their mother’s underarm odor & perfume & they prefer the smell of any breast milk over other types of smells

52 Touch Many reflexes are stimulated by touch & newborns show changes in behavior & heart rate in response to tactile stimulation They adjust hand & mouth movements when feeling soft vs. hard objects, or smooth vs. textured objects They visually recognize an object they had previously touched, but not the other way around In response to medical procedures (e.g., injections, circumcision), infants show increased distress and may exhibit sleep disturbances

53 Perceptual Development
In sum, newborns perceive with all their senses and their sensitivity improves rapidly over the first few weeks and months, due to brain development & experience many forms of stimulation have no particular meaning for the infant but others are meaningful (e.g., recognizing mom, crying in response to pain)

54 Cognitive Development
Newborns possess a number of ways to process information that are referred to as cognition – including learning & memory, orienting & habituation, and imitation

55 Cognitive Development
Classical conditioning possible when the unconditioned stimulus (UCS) evokes a rewarding natural response, such as a sweet taste Operant conditioning once infants learn the connection between their behavior & a reinforcement, they can signal their preferences, using sucking rate or head turn newborns can remember (e.g., a word repeated by mom) for appr. 24 hours & they prefer familiarity

56 Cognitive Development
Habituation is the decline in strength of responding after repeating the same stimulus; dishabituation is renewed interest Newborns’ motor and heart rate responses have been found to habituate to auditory stimuli, visual stimuli, and tactile stimuli Habituation can also be shown in premature newborns and even in infants born without a brain cortex (anencephalic)

57 Newborn Imitation Meltzoff & Moore (1977) showed that 12- to 21-day-old infants could match tongue protrusion, lip protrusion, mouth opening, hand opening, and hand closing

58 Newborn Imitation These findings have been replicated
One study showed that newborns also matched moving objects One study found imitation of surprise, happy, and sad facial expressions Other studies failed to replicate these findings babies show a wide variety of gestures following the model there are wide individual differences

59 Newborn Imitation Newborn imitation may be a way of relating to people
Infants who imitated more at birth gazed away from their mothers less at 3 months Newborns’ imitation of tongue protrusion showed a different pattern of heart rate change compared to when they initiated the same movement (as if to get a response) 6-week-old infants spontaneously reproduced the imitative response they had learned 24 hours earlier when seeing the adult model

60 Newborn Self-Awareness: The Emergent Self
Evidence for early self-awareness comes from studies that show Newborn imitation (distinguishing own movements from the movements of others) Differential rooting (more when touched by someone else than by touching self) Differential crying (more when they hear tape recordings of other infants’ cries)

61 Newborn Self-Awareness: The Emergent Self
The emergent self is the sense of self-sameness over time in behavior, feelings, and states of arousal

62 Cognitive Development
In sum, newborn cognition is limited to some simple forms of learning, memory, habituation, imitation, and self-awareness early learning and memory are fundamental to survival recognition of maternal sounds and smells learning to orient to sweet fluids & milk learning to avoid noxious smells & tastes newborns prefer familiar sights, sounds, tastes, & feelings, and do not like to be stressed or challenged

63 Emotional Development
Newborns can feel distress, contentment, disgust, interest, & surprise newborns ‘savor’ sweet liquids they cry, thrash about, stiffen their bodies when distressed when attending to faces, social interaction, & moving objects, they may show expressions of interest & surprise Pictures of my son

64 Emotional Development
Some expressions (e.g., smiling) do not occur with any clear link to the situation Emotional development depends in part on how newborn forms of expression are interpreted by adults Pictures of my son

65 Family and Society Adults and infants have mutually complementary communications that get their interaction started and set the stage for later emotional ties Attachment – the maintenance of mutual proximity over time Bonding – skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth, between mother and infant Picture from:

66 Family and Society Mothers & fathers explore the newborn’s body in a patterned way when given the opportunity – apparently important for survival However, there is no conclusive evidence linking these first few minutes of contact with later attachment security When there is no immediate post-birth contact, lasting attachments can still be formed Picture from:

67 Family and Society There is also a social-psychological component that may form the basis of later interpersonal communication and attachment early feeding patterns (suck-pause, jiggle-stop, suck-pause, jiggle-stop, etc.) precede later social discourse animated adult faces & brightly colored objects prolong periods of alertness the duration of parent-infant face-to-face play & infant attention gradually increases over the first 2 months

68 Family and Society Studies of large-scale national samples show that fathers spend 20-35% as much time as mothers in direct infant care Men’s ability to participate in parenting tasks depends on the amount of social support they receive, particularly from their partners The more involved fathers are, the more involved they become

69 Family and Society Father-infant and mother-infant interaction can be enhanced by specific interventions to orient parents to their newborns E.g., 12-week-old infants whose fathers had been trained in massage & bathing were more likely to interact with their fathers & fathers were more likely to be involved with their infants than non-trained fathers Parenting occurs within a family system Picture from:

70 Family and Society First-time parents appear more hesitant with their babies, but this difference disappears after several months Firstborn newborns receive more caregiving interaction Me and my newborn son

71 Experiential Exercises: Sucking
Sucking is the first mouth movement that we master –later we build on our infant sucking ability as we learn to control thousands of other mouth & face movements Lie on your right side in a fetal position, and place your hands close to your mouth Gently protrude your lips & tongue and experiment… Now try sucking movements… Many people experience a deep relaxation of the face after doing this lesson. What was your experience?

72 Experiential Exercises: Somatic Awareness of the Hands
Sit in a chair & close your eyes – become aware of your body in the chair Now, notice your hands – what position are they in? How do they feel? Slowly move your hands… Now, slowly curl & uncurl your right hand – then the left Let your hands explore your body, clothes, the chair, & each other Open your eyes and look at your hands as if you’ve never seen them before

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