The permanence of objects

So expanding on this horror 8 month sleep regression thing I’ve been reading about, we also have the new development of ‘object permanence’ in a babies’ minds.

The concept of object permanence was developed by Jean Piaget. Piaget studied the concept of object permanence by conducting simple tests. He would show a baby a toy and then cover it with a blanket. A child who had a clear concept of object permanence might reach for the toy or try to grab the blanket off the toy. A child who had not yet developed object permanence might appear distressed that the toy had disappeared.

Before around 8 or 9 months, a baby is not able to appreciate that something out of sight still exists. However, around this 8-9 month period, baby starts to realise that things are still there even when she can’t see them. So in effect, when you leave the room, she may miss you. This can lead to the separation anxiety that a lot of babies experience around this time. Is it any wonder now when they wake at night and remember their fabulous mother and father, they decide to summon their presence?

The non-co-sleeping Imp has suddenly decided he prefers to co-sleep. He’s keeping his permanent objects nice and close.


5 Responses to The permanence of objects

  1. I think this is my bestest blog ever just now, i love knowing im not alone (as our 10 month old woke at least every 30 mins all night long

  2. amberjee says:

    And we think you’re the bestest mummy ever Laura, for going through that for your gorgeous little person. It’s so hard, but what better reason to sacrifice sleep. Hell, I hope it gets better soon though.

  3. tamdin says:

    Excellent piece amber. I used to love testing ds’s object permanence to see when he’d figured it out.
    Another good one is the ‘lipstick’ test which tests when a baby realises that the person looking back at them in the mirror is him/herself.
    You place a dot of lipstick in the centrre of his/her forehead and place them infront of a mirror. If they try to touch it or wipe it off they obvioulsy undertsand the image is them. If they don’t they still see another baby!

  4. amberjee says:

    ooh, sounds like fun, i might try it.

  5. swizzler says:

    It is fun – Loudboy favourite game at the moment is posting his books over the edge of the bed and then fishing for them :). Makes it harder to hide stuff, though!

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