While having breakfast at a local coffee show, I was presented with the opportunity to casually observe a child somewhere between 5 and 6 months. Bailey is a very happy, active, babbling little girl. She was sitting at a table with her mother, and another woman similar in age to mom. I am not sure if this was a relative or a family friend. Bailey was “propped up” on the bench next to mom using a pillow (I think they are called “boppy” pillows) and had two or three brightly colored fabric animal toys. I was sitting three tables away from them, but there were four other people at the tables around the baby and her family.
Bailey was actively engaging the attention of those around her with laughs and smiles. Bailey did not seem to be afraid to be vocal to get a response from mom, mom’s friends, or those around her. It seems she was discovering her voice and what noises would get the most attention. Bailey enjoyed what seemed like a very funny conversation with the man at the ...view middle of the document...
During my time spent observing Bailey, which went a little longer than the 20 minute mark, it appeared Bailey was expressing her normal behavior. Her mother, and the other woman at the table, where quite content with Bailey and her behavior. This signaled to me, the observer, that Bailey is on average a happy, active, and social baby. One of the other things I found most fascinating about my observation was that her mother came across as a happy and social person. She was also very calm (even when Bailey tried to grasp for things on the table) and easily balanced her social interaction with the other woman at the table with her interaction with Bailey.
Bailey was clearly exhibiting many of the skills that our book discusses as part of development. One example was her motor skills. Bailey was discovering the world by reaching for and touching items around her. When given a toy she grasped it, looked at it, and used her mouth to taste and chew. The vocal cues she was giving to her mother as well as to the other adults around her that she was seeking attention where another way she was discovering her place in the world. Bailey was observing adults making noises to each other, as well as towards her. While she does not have the skills to understand what these noises mean, she seemed to understand that there was an interaction between them of which she wanted to be a part.
In addition to observing Bailey, by seeing her interaction with her mother even in such a brief time there was some understanding as to how Bailey was becoming a pleasant, happy, social child. Her mother was calm, and even toned. She engaged with her child in a pleasant manner, even when correcting her for reaching for things she could not have on the table. While Bailey was allowed to explore her world, her mother kept her safely situated on the bench with her pillow. I am sure there are moments when both mom and Bailey were not as calm and collected, but just a 30 minute sit down in a coffee shop indicated those times may be few and far between.
Overall it was pleasant experience to observe Bailey, and take a brief peek into her development. I am grateful that I bumped into such a delightful baby, and had the opportunity to observe her in a socially stimulating environment.