What new mother hasn’t wished to get inside her baby’s head for just one moment?
To know what those beautiful eyes are seeing, what makes those lips quiver and what prompts that first smile – we’d all love to understand what our babies are thinking, won’t we?
In Diary of a Baby: What Your Child Sees, Feels, and Experiences, Daniel N. Stern takes us one step close to understanding the mind of the infant.
For more than 20 years, Stern has practiced psychiatry and conducted extensive research into infant-parent relationships.
It was through observing his own five children that Stern began imagining the world as babies experience it. Beginning with actual events from his own children’s lives and branching out into imagined experiences, Stern created Joey’s diary.
Joey’s diary begins at age 6 weeks.
Stern begins by presenting a first-person account of the infant experiencing a patch of sunlight on the wall in his nursery, then steps back to place the events in perspective in our own “adult” world.
When you read Joey’s description of his hunger and experience with him the relief when he is nursed, your own infant’s cries begin to make sense.
This is emotion in its rawest form; a fascinating journey into a world we once believed would remain unexplored forever.
Next we see Joey at 4 1/2 months. By this age, Joey is able to respond to his parents, and Stern provides us with a fascinating exploration into the social world.
We experience Joey’s fear when his mother takes their game of making faces too far. We are relieved with him when the game ends and his mother draws him back into her world. We begin to understand his world – and the world in which our own babies live.
By 1 year old, Joey’s understanding of the world around him is closer to our own. The language of his diary changes to reflect this newfound understanding – but it is an awareness that is still being realized.
Together with Joey, we discover that he must find ways to communicate his experiences and emotions to the people around him.
The final section of the diary is titled “Parallel Worlds.” In this segment, Stern show us a series of actual events as they happened, as Joey records them in his diary and as Joey relates them verbally to Stern. Joey’s experience in the world and his ability to share that experience are both much stronger by 4 years old, and it is here that Stern ends the diary because Joey “no longer has need of me as a sort of interpreter.”
Diary of a Baby will change the way you view and relate to your child. It opens up an entirely novel method of communication and comprehension between parents and children.