What Babies and Children Really Need

What Babies and Children Really Need

by Sally Goddard Blythe


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This book represents a milestone in our understanding of what we - parents, professionals and politicians - must do to ensure our children get the best start in life. What Babies and Children Really Need examines the crucial early years from a child's perspective. It draws on the latest scientific research to show how the first few years determine the way children develop, body and mind, for the rest of their lives.

The keys to this development are parents, and in particular mothers. A society which really cares for its children, says Sally Goddard Blythe, makes it possible for parents and children to be together for at least the first two or three years of life.

What Babies and Children Really Need sets out the cornerstones which underpin the making of healthy, happy children, including: how good pre-conceptual and pre-natal care prepares the ground for healthy child development, how events during birth can affect later educational achievement, why mother, movement and music are the 3 M's of pre-school education, the importance of 'rough and tumble' play for emotional and social development, the special and essential roles of mothers and fathers.

About the Author:
Sally Goddard Blythe is Director of the Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology in Chester which researches the effects of neurological dysfunction in specific learning difficulties and devises remedial programmes

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781903458761
Publisher: Hawthorn Press
Publication date: 04/28/2008
Pages: 353
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements     x
Foreword   Sue Palmer     xi
Introduction     1
First Love     2
Conception and Society - the Politics of Fertility     9
Evolution in Reverse/Retreat     9
In a Nutshell     15
Does Early Development Matter?     17
Prenatal Factors     17
Prenatal Influences     18
Family History     20
Pregnancy - factors affecting mother and baby     21
Prolonged and Excessive Vomiting (Hyperemesis)     22
High Blood Pressure     24
Pre-eclampsia and Eclampsia     24
Gestational Diabetes     25
Incompetent Cervix     25
Maternal Stress     26
Threatened Miscarriage     29
Teratogens Known to Cause Human Birth Defects     30
X-Rays and Exposure to Radiation     34
Multiple Ultra-sounds     37
Nutrition     38
Risk Factors in Perspective     44
In a Nutshell     44
Events Surrounding Birth     49
Onset of Labour     50
Benefits of a Natural Birth     51
Time to be Born     53
Pre-term Birth     55
Factors Leading up to Birth     55
The Process of Delivery     57
Midwives, Helpers, and Hospital Birth     63
Induced Labour     66
Separation at Birth     67
Low Birth Weight     70
Long-term Effects of Premature Birth     71
Birth in Perspective     71
In a Nutshell     72
Events Following Birth - Risk Factors     79
The INPP Screening Questionnaire     79
Events after Birth - Looking behind the Questions: What might the questions reveal?     82
Later Childhood - Developmental Indicators     101
Schooling     103
Scoring the INPP Questionnaire     112
In a Nutshell     113
Breast-feeding     115
Advantages of Breast-feeding for the Baby     116
Breast-feeding and Fatty Acids     118
Fatty Acids and Brain Development     120
Mechanisms of Breast-feeding     122
The Technological Revolution     123
Benefits of Breast-feeding for the Baby     126
Infant Feeding and Obesity     127
Benefits to the Mother     132
Contra-indications to Breast-feeding      134
Obstacles to Breast-feeding     135
In a Nutshell     137
Movement Instinct     139
Why Does Movement Matter to your Child?     140
Reflexes: Reflections on the Inner World of the Developing Child     141
Reflexes - Training for Life     142
Rooting and Sucking Reflexes     143
Babkin and Palmomental Reflexes     146
Palmar and Plantar Reflexes     147
Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex     149
Innate Processes and Modern Mothering Practices?     154
Tummy Time     158
Playtime on the Back     161
Symmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex     164
Vestibular Stimulation     169
Tonic Labyrinthine and Moro Reflexes     171
Why is the Development of Balance so Important?     173
Infants - Explorers of Space     174
In a Nutshell     176
Language Instinct     179
Mimetic Aspects of Language     185
The Importance of Interaction     186
The Nature of Sound     189
The Significance of Background Noise     189
First Sounds     192
Matching Sounds to Gestures      192
Communication of Affect     194
Factors which Can Affect Mother and Child Interaction Stages of Language Development     197
What Are the Implications of These Pre-language Milestones for Parent-Child Interaction?     201
Music, Reading, and Writing     202
Visualization and Emotional Aspects of Language     205
Reading Aloud     206
Putting the Pieces Together     207
Look Who Is Talking     208
Music Is More than a Pretty Tune     208
In a Nutshell     212
Building on the First Year: The Neuroscience behind Regulation of Emotions     217
Emotional Development     220
Social Factors Affecting Motherhood     220
Choices about Child Care     222
The Nursery and Child-care Debate     225
Neurological Effects of Early Separation, Neglect, or Abuse     227
The Limbic System     228
Cerebral Cortex     233
Hierarchy of Mechanisms Involved in the Stress Response     237
Tips for Daily Living     239
In a Nutshell     240
Factors Parents Can Control     243
The Role of Discipline in Establishing Self-regulation     243
Parenting Styles      244
Being a Consistent Parent     245
Mealtimes Matter     245
Modelling     247
Reciprocal Emotion     248
The Changing Face of Child's Play     250
Impact of the Electronic Media     252
In a Nutshell     261
From Toddlers to Teens: Why Parenting Matters     263
Rough-and-Tumble Play     263
Why Children Need Fathers     265
Teenagers - the Chrysalis Period     272
What has Changed in the Environment in which Teenagers Grow up?     274
In a Nutshell     281
What Needs to be Done?     283
A Litany of Needs for the Parents of Tomorrow and the Children of Today     285
Charter for Childhood     294
The A,B,C, of Children's Needs - Only a Beginning     296
'The Hand that Rocks the Cradle'     298
Towards a Holistic Refoundation for Early Childhood: The Hawthorn Press 'Early Years' Series     299
Resources     313
Bibliography     315
Index     333

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