You've just created a new film called 'The Connected Baby', funded by the British Psychological Society. What is it about?
The film demonstrates how babies are connected to other people at birth. Research shows that from a young age, babies are already tuned in to other people's body rhythms, vocal tones and movements, which makes them much more communicative and sophisticated than we often realise.
'The Connected Baby' features scenes of children aged five weeks to two years interacting with their parents, grandparents, siblings and nursery staff in different scenarios. It highlights what is easy for parents or early years staff to miss.
The first film, which is available later this month, captures the tiny facial expressions and facial movements of babies interconnected with mothers, grandmothers and siblings. Additional versions of the film with dads and nursery staff will be available within the next year.
How is the film structured?
The first film is split into six chapters, which we refer to as 'dances' because communication is rhythmic, and as with dancing you have to be able to read each other and be in tune with the other person to communicate. Each dance lasts ten to 20 minutes, which is ideal for training purposes.
The six chapters are: The Dance of Connection, The Dance of the Nappy, The Dance of the Air, The Dance of the Big Sister and The Dance of the Mirror. The Dance of the Mirror shows a two-year-old who has seen a reflection of herself in the camera lens, and looks at how she emotionally processes seeing herself. I provide the narration throughout the film, drawing viewers' attention to the babies' eyes and their change in facial expressions.
The film also includes interviews with key infant psychologists, who provide explanations of the footage.
What messages did you want to get across with the film?
I hope the film will empower and excite, and teach people that babies are people from birth and are communicative and engaged. The aim of the film is to help people to understand and read children by tuning in to their differences. Babies are our best teachers. If we listen to them, they tell us what they need and what we need to do.
A limited number of free copies of the film, normally priced £14.99, are available courtesy of the British Psychological Society. To request a free copy visit www.theconnectedbaby.org