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Celebrate Babies Week - Day 4 - IMH Professionals use reflective practice to "hold the baby in mind"
21 Oct 2021 by Christine Hughes Pontier

Today's post offers us a reflection on how to "keep the baby in mind" from Past President Dr. Anne Hogan

Keeping the Baby in Mind – Learn by Watching Their Interest!

Do you remember falling in love? How you wanted to know all the things they liked?  Whether it was a song, a snack, a movie, or a game! If they paid attention to it, you wanted to pay attention too. 

Little babies can have a hard time following your interests, but you can show your love and help them learn by following theirs

Their emotions are great indicators. What do they like? How can you tell? The more you know what your baby likes, the easier it will be to keep them in mind. 

Watch for babies’ signs of interest. Interest is an important emotion that organizes their learning from the first days of life. You know your baby best when you are tuned in to what they like to look at, like to listen to, like to touch and explore. They don’t need words -You can sure see and hear it.

Babies show their interest by leaning in, looking longer, smiling or vocalizing with “happy baby sounds.”

Of course, you are of special interest, but many things catch their interests, too. Watch for and share in their interests. Those moments of sharing will help you both enjoy the now, and remember the fun.

Reflective practice is a cornerstone of infant mental health practice. It allows the professional an opportunity to step back from the immediate, intense experience of work with (or on behalf of) infants, young children and families. It give us the time and space to consider what the experience means to the professional (themselves), the child and the family. When we use reflective practice, we notice & examine our emotions, experiences, actions, and responses, and can use that insight to guide our next steps in the work. Growing our reflective capacity is critical for us as professionals who work with infants, young children, and families, because it can provide a more grounded understanding of our work as well strengthen our own resilience.