Mother-infant dialogue in the first days of life: an observational study during breast-feeding

Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, and Allied Disciplines
E AlbertsB Hopkins


The temporal organization of the behaviour of children at risk can exhibit inconsistencies which may impair their adaptation. Seven mother-newborn pairs, selected for neurological and obstetric optimality of the babies, were observed during 2 breast-feedings (2nd after birth and 6th to 9th after birth). During pauses between sucking bouts the behaviours of the two partners were strongly coupled, even in the earlier feedings, which was not the case during sucking bouts themselves. Pauses which contained tactile behaviour were shorter in later feedings than in earlier ones, in contrast to both pauses without tactile behaviour and to bouts. The possible functional relevance of emerging temporal relations between partners' behaviours during breast-feeding is discussed.


Jan 1, 1983·Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, and Allied Disciplines·B Hopkins

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