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

Donald W. Winnicott

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date: 19 October 2020

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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