My Baby Book
A Record of Development, by Taylor King
Prenatal Development: Progress before Birth
Germinal Stage = First 2 weeks, Zygote
The sperm and egg join to create a zygote, and the tiny baby makes its way towards the uterus.
Embryonic Stage = 2 weeks to 2 months, Embryo
This stage happens after the zygote reaches the uterus. During the embryonic stage, the baby changes from a single cell organism to an embryo.
Fetal Stage = 2 months to birth, Fetus
The fetal stage is the most dramatic stage. Organ systems, already formed during the embryonic stage, continue to develop, and the baby can grow to nearly 20 times its previous size at a fetus.
Germinal Stage = First 2 weeks, Zygote
Embryonic Stage = 2 weeks to 2 months, Embryo
Infancy and Childhood
Reflexes of the Neonate:
- Grasping/Palmar Reflex: the baby will close its hand and use a Palmar grasp, which can be quite strong but released suddenly, whenever an object is placed in their hand.
- Rooting Reflex: baby will turn its head towards anything that brushes its cheek or mouth.
- Sucking Reflex: baby instinctively sucks at anything that touches the roof of their mouth.
- Swallowing Reflex: stimulation of the baby's palate causes the baby to automatically swallow.
- Babinski Reflex: when the bottom of the baby's foot is stroked, its toes will fan out widely in response.
- Moro Reflex: happens when an infants head suddenly shifts position, there is a drop in temperature, or the baby is startled by a loud noise; the baby's head and legs extend, while the arms fly up with the fingers extended. Shortly after, the baby will clench its fists, bring its arms together, and cry loudly.
As a baby, I wasn't breastfed, but I did have the swallowing, sucking, and rooting reflex for when I was being fed. I also demonstrated the Babinski and grasping/palmar reflex.
Temperament: a person's nature that permanently affects their behavior
I was a very easy baby, especially in the mornings. Within a month of getting home, I was sleeping through the night and waking up around 8 in the morning. Once I woke up, I would be content to sit in my crib for up to an hour, just playing with the toys I had around me. Eventually, I would pull the tail of a musical elephant that was hanging on my crib, and as soon as my parents heard that sound, they would know they had five minutes to be in my room before I started crying.
Attachment: a strong bond between the primary caregivers and the baby
I think this is a good basic definition, but I also believe there is a level of emotional attachment. You grow to love the person, not just to trust them.
I had a very strong attachment to a small stuffed dog; it was blue with purple hearts all over it. When I was about 5, I ended up losing the dog at a hotel. I replaced it by stealing a much larger, brown dog with black spots from my sister.
1) Sensorimotor Stage (0-2 years old)
When I was in this stage, I learned that when my mom was late to put me down for a nap, she would often times forget if I didn't scream and cry to remind her. I quickly learned to throw a tantrum every time she was even the slightest bit late for my nap time.
Also during this time, I had a pacifier that I had grown to love. Every night and nap time, I would cry and whine until one of my parents would give me my pacifier.
My Language Development
I said my first word, "mama", when I was about 6 months old. I would also babble sometimes, especially to our dog when we were playing.
Telegraphic Speech: speaking using simple sentences comprised of about 3 words, usually one noun and one verb, such as "give cupcake," or "daddy here".
I used telegraphic speech for a very short amount of time. My older sister, only two years older, was already speaking in sentences, so there was a strong need for me to be able to communicate in a similar way.
2) Preoperational Stage (2-7 years old)
When in this stage, I had a doll house with a number of dolls in it. I used to use certain dolls to represent other kinds of dolls, like saying that the toddler doll was actually a full grown woman, or that a paper boat was actually a car.
3) Concrete Operational Stage (7-11 years old)
During this age, I had an American Girl Doll. Knowing that the doll wasn't living, I was able to predict that if I gave her a hair cut, her hair wouldn't be able to grow back.
Lev Vygotsky's Theory of the Zone of Proximal Development:
When I was young, and even into the present day, the actions of my older sister, Sam, influenced my behavior. I wanted to be like her, to get as much attention as her, and as such, I would always try to talk like her, even going so far as to copy her word for word, often inducing a long bickering match between us.
4) Formal Operational Stage (12 and up)
During this stage, children become able to process abstract concepts. They also develop skills like deductive reasoning, logical thought, and forms of systematic planning.
Adolescent Egocentrism: the belief that others are highly attentive to their behavior and appearance.
During this stage, I never had a very overwhelming sense of egocentrism, other than the normal fear that "literally everyone in school is going to see this huge zit I have and laugh at me." Aside from the odd cosmetic emergency, I was never hugely self absorbed like many of my peers.
Adolescent "Personal Fable": the belief that oneself is incredibly unique and more fascinating than anyone else who has ever walked the earth before.
I can honestly say that I have never before felt this feeling.
Adolescent "Imaginary Audience": the belief that there is always a group of people emphatically and enthusiastically listening to what you're saying.
The closest I think I've ever gotten to this feeling is when giving a presentation that I was particularly proud of, and was certain that at least someone had to be listening to me.
- Authoritarian: children follow strict rules, with little to no leeway for failure. The parents fail to respond to their emotional needs.
- Permissive (Laissez Faire): more responsive than demanding, these parents normally have very few demands and low expectations, and are more likely to indulge their children.
- Authoritative (Democratic): focuses on setting limits, reasoning with the kids, and being responsive to their emotional needs.
Authoritative parenting is the best style of parenting. Parents are there to provide order and structure to a child's otherwise changing life, so constant rules are important, but they also need to know that when they're feeling low, they have a shoulder to cry on, and room for mistakes.
My parents have a mix of Authoritarian and Authoritative parenting styles. They sometimes ask for our input on rules, but are not likely to change their policies. Rules are subject to change on a whim, and arguing with them only brings about punishment. This has made me a very closed off person, and I'm not likely to share any personal feelings or thoughts with my parents for fear of rejection and punishment.
My Personality Development
- Identity vs. Role Confusion (ages 13-18): During this stage, adolescents will try to conform to a variety of roles, activities, and behaviors in order to better understand themselves and find a stronger sense of self.
- Intimacy vs Isolation (ages 18-30): During this stage, adults are concerned with forming deep, meaningful, intimate relationships with other human beings, and are faced with the fear of ending up alone.
These two stages of life are the hardest hurdles to jump because they concern the two most pressing needs in life: being comfortable with yourself, and being comfortable with others. I'm still trying to find myself, to stop conforming to what everyone else wants me to be, and just do what comes natural. Currently struggling with depression and anxiety, these can be incredibly daunting tasks most days, but I'm slowly making it through with the help of my friends and family. I often struggle with feeling secure in myself. I don't know where I'm headed in life, and I don't even know exactly where I am right now. I question why people like me, if they do at all, and how it would even be possible for someone to love me later on in life. Right now, though, I'm just trying to take it one day at a time.
My Future Life
- Generativity vs. Stagnation (Middle adulthood: 40's-50's): During this stage, adults often try to create things that will outlive them, either through having children or through trying to contribute to the world in a positive way.
- Integrity vs. Despair (Old Age: 60's and up): During this stage, adults often look back and reflect on their lives, trying to figure out if they lived to the fullest, or if they misspent their lives on something of little value.
During these two stages, I hope to be with someone I love, living in a financially secure environment with my needs met. I do hope to have children, and to leave a lasting mark on society. I always strive to do the most I can with one day, and I plan to continue that philosophy into my later years. I don't think I can tell right now if I will be able to look back and say that I lived life to the fullest, or that I produced something of worth. I'm struggling to make the most of my teenage years, torn between trying to please my parents or please myself. I can only hope that things will become clearer later in life.