chapter  1.2
10 Pages

From moving to meaning

Wordless narratives
BySandra Smidt

This chapter describes how the newborn baby sets out to engage with others in her world usually the mother using all the things she has been practising in utero: looking, listening, touching and moving. The human infant recognises her mother as someone essential to her life before birth. She has, after all, heard this voice over the nine months growing inside the womb. The powerful evidence that has been gathered through the analysis of newborn babies communicating with the mother or other caregiver tells us that the baby is born with the expectancy of human company. After birth the baby begins to engage in interactions with the primary caregiver, usually the mother, and at about two months she is taking turns in vocalisations and gestures. By three to four months the baby has become more playful and cheeky and the mother has to try harder to engage her interest.