ABSTRACT

When encountering new findings, it is expected that one would experience a capacity within oneself to imagine and wonder: opening the mind to elements of experience that are preverbal and deeply important to understanding the developing mind of the infant. This chapter illustrates this potential, by presenting 32research findings from infant observation records made two decades ago. I aim to demonstrate how, by looking closely at the infant’s lived experience, we can learn something about loss and recovery in very young babies. These findings arose from a research project in which observational transcripts were reviewed and coded, starting from when the baby was 4 days old until after his second birthday. The whole experience sensitized me to the earliest relationship between parent(s) and infant, and, in so doing, it brought meaning to the struggles associated with life-long fluctuations in states of mind. Just how the baby begins this journey of knowing their own and others’ minds was at the heart of this study.