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For this analysis, I chose the Babies documentary and have decided to focus on Hattie, the baby born in San Francisco. Hattie is in the infancy stage of life and therefore has had little past experience to shape any form of development. However, prenatal conditions are important indirect experiences that could shape early development. If Hattie’s mother followed prenatal regimens and continued to live a healthy lifestyle, Hattie’s conditions following birth would be very different than if her mother was, say, drinking heavily or eating foods that did not constitute a healthy prenatal environment. Cognitively, Hattie’s brain could have been underdeveloped if her mother was drinking excessively, which can lead to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome which can lead to large cognitive disabilities. However, Hattie appears healthy in the documentary.
Physical environment can impact development dramatically. In the documentary, Hattie is born in San Francisco, California in what appears to be a very well equipped hospital. She has multiple devices monitoring her vitals, and even this environment could affect her development. In the one clip shown of Hattie at home, she is with her mother in a bed looking quite comfortable with her surroundings. The interaction with her mother, lying together with lots of close contact, could impact her social development especially, as this is the first real human interaction she will have. In the home is also a pet cat, seen on the bed, and interactions with the animal could lead not only to social development, but also emotional development as Hattie may create a bond with her pet. Cognitively speaking, the home looks bright and filled with various items which could help with language acquisition considering there are multiple outlets for Hattie to learn words and phrases.
The primary relationship shown for Hattie was the one with her mother. They are seen interacting closely in their home. There is no indication of a father figure in the first segment of the documentary.
As an infant, there are few outside forces that directly shape Hattie’s development. Indirectly, however, they can impact her relationship with her mother and the environment they must stay in. Job stability is the largest one that could impact Hattie and her mother. Currently, there seems to be stability in the home, but a change in that could impact development. The loss of a job can change what type of education Hattie is able to receive which would impact her cognitive development by the type of education she is able to have, emotionally she may develop coping mechanisms to avoid the negative emotions her mother may have which could impact her social development with her peers. With her mother, this could put a strain on their relationship because her mother would have negative emotions and stress due to work which could be brought into the household. However, Hattie would have to be older to grasp these emotions and so it is hard to say what a force like that would do during the infancy stage of life.
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