The Connected Baby


We’re streaming the connected baby exclusively on Mothering.com from Tuesday, February 28 through Thursday, March 1. This fascinating film illustrates the fact that babies come into the world already able to communicate. Contrary to the outdated notion that a baby’s movements are just random firings of reflexes, in fact, 76% of his or her movements are perceptually controlled. Infants direct their own bodies.

the connected baby shows how outrageously expressive are an infant’s hands, how each hand works in rhythm with the other and how the infant’s movements are coordinated with the sound and energy of the mother’s voice. In fact, the conversation of mother and baby makes music, quite literally; it’s pitch, key and intervals can be plotted on a musical scale.

the connected baby: A Film Conversation by Dr. Suzanne Zeedyk and Jonathan Robertson is divided into five chapters: The Dance of the Connection, The Dance of the Nappy, The Dance of the Air, The Dance of the Big Sister, and The Dance of the Mirror. Suzanne Zeedyk, PhD, commentates the film.

Zeedyk is a developmental psychologist and prominent researcher into the communication between parent and infant; she is based at the University of Dundee. Jonathan Robertson is a film maker based in Fife, Scotland as well as an Associate Researcher at the University of Dundee. You can watch the connected baby trailer on You Tube.

This is a film put together by people vitally interested in the study of knowledge, and Zeedyk does an excellent job of demonstrating and explaining the consciousness of the baby. the connected baby was shown at the Scottish Parliament earlier this month; educating the public about the consciousness of babies is a goal of the filmmakers. The contributors to the connected baby are impressive and the film is enhanced by haunting Scottish lullabies sung by Sheena Wellington.

Colwyn Trevarthen is Professor Emeritus of Child Psychology and Psychobiology at the University of Edinburgh. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and a Vice President of the British Association for Early Childhood Education.

He is currently researching how rhythm and expressions of musicality in movement help communication with children and may help parents, teachers and therapists care for young children.

 

 

Jonathan Delafield-Butt is a neurobiologist and psychologist at the Babylap of the University of Copenhagen. He is currently a research fellow with the Perception, Motion, Action (PMA) Research Consortium at the University of Edinburgh.

In writing about his fellowship, Delafield-Butt says, “…I will build on a metaphysic that places feeling at the heart of mind…”

 

 


Vasudevi Reddy is Professor of Devlopmental and Cultural Psychology at the University of Portsmouth, UK. She is a chartered member of the British Psychological Society and Director of the Centre for Situated Action and Communication.

Reddy is the author of How Infants Know Minds. This book demonstrates compelling evidence that babies can tease, pretend, feel self-conscious, and joke with people in the first year of life.

 

 

In viewng the connected baby I feel that I have stumbled upon perhaps the most original research on babies being done on the planet today. The interactions depicted in the film are familiar but Suzanne Zeedyk’s narrative puts them in a new context of music and rhythm and shows us how much earlier our babies are communicating with us than we think.  Enjoy the film. You can stream it live here. Please add  your questions and remarks to the Comments section for the live streaming. We want to know what you think and feel!

 

Peggy O’Mara  (101 Posts)

Peggy O’Mara founded Mothering.com in 1995 and is currently its editor-in chief. She was the editor and publisher of Mothering Magazine from 1980 to 2011. The author of Having a Baby Naturally; Natural Family Living; The Way Back Home; and A Quiet Place, Peggy has lectured and conducted workshops at Omega Institute, Esalen, La Leche League International, and Bioneers. She is the mother of four.

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