The first segment of this film is titled "A Baby's Day at Twelve Weeks." Over footage of a 12-week-old baby and his mother, Arnold Gesell of the Yale Clinic of Child Development explains the developmental importance of each aspect of the baby's day, which begins as he wakes, stretches, and yawns. His yawn sends extra oxygen to his brain. Stretching makes his heart beat more strongly. He recognizes his mother and nurses at her breast. He naps in his crib. Gesell says babies show their individuality even in the way they sleep and wake up. The baby is given an "air" bath in a warm, sunny place, then placed in water and allowed to sit and get used to it. Objects are placed in the water so that he can exercise his depth perception. Sleep, food, and play make up the baby's day. The second part of the film, titled "Learning and Growth," shows babies at 24 to 36 weeks with still-dominant arm-waving patterns, unable to play patty-cake. At 40 weeks this ability can be seen, and at 44 weeks the baby is quite good at it. In the third film segment, titled "Social Behavior," babies from 8 to 44 weeks show increasingly social behavior with their parents, siblings, and strangers. Gesell speaks into the camera at the end of the film about infant growth and individuality.
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Black and white
Received: June 23, 1989 as a donation from the Gesell Institute of Human Development.