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Great Places to Be a Baby: Infants' and Toddlers' Learning Environments

by Jim Greenman
May/June 2004
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/great-places-to-be-a-baby-infants-and-toddlers-learning-environments/5015746/

The baby's first place is a person. When young infants enter child care, they have come from a place of flesh and fluid; first inside that place, and subsequently, almost always attached or adjacent to that place — mother. Physical and emotional contact between the baby and the mother/place is the territory of the infant's development. Babies enter the world with four big jobs:

• To make sense of the world. Through exploring the sensoryscape of the places they enter, infants progress from seeing to looking, smelling to sniffing, hearing to listening, feeling to touching, and from being moved about to moving.

• Discover and develop all their bodily powers. The landscapes they inhabit help or inhibit their efforts to move from laying around to roll over to pull up, from creeping to crawling to stepping to toddling, from grasping to holding to dropping to tossing, from finding to searching, from poking to digging, from doing to thinking and planning.

• To fully connect with others. Through coming to deeply know others and be known and prized, babies move from the womb to the world, from mothers to others, to "I" to "we" to "us," from instinct to basic trust, from ...

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