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(p. 115) What Do We Know About Babies as Cloth Suckers? 

(p. 115) What Do We Know About Babies as Cloth Suckers?
Chapter:
(p. 115) What Do We Know About Babies as Cloth Suckers?
Author(s):

Donald W. Winnicott

DOI:
10.1093/med:psych/9780190271374.003.0024
Page of

date: 18 July 2018

Winnicott discusses the psychology of infancy with particular reference to babies that start to attach to and are comforted by pieces of cloth or teddies. He proposes that a baby’s objects are halfway between being part of the infant and part of the world and that this represents a crude form of what later we call the imagination. The imaginative feeding experience is much wider than the purely physical experience and can quickly involve a rich relationship to the mother’s breast, and feeling, finger-sucking, the sucking of cloths or the clutching of the rag doll are the infant’s first show of affectionate behaviour. For the immature self of a very young child it is self-expression perhaps in habits like cloth-sucking that feels real, and gives the mother and infant an opportunity for a human relatedness that is not at the mercy of the instincts.

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