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Baby Talk: Resources to Support the People Who Work With Infants and Toddlers: Issue No. 67 December 2016

Baby FaceTime: Can Toddlers Learn From Online Video Chat?

This recent study highlights that there is a great difference between putting a baby in front of a television and having an interactive exchange via video chat. In a recent study, researchers found that children paid attention and responded to their on-screen partners, but only children who experienced interactive video chat responded in sync with the partner, such as clapping to imitate after the partner had clapped.

American Academy of Pediatrics Announces New Safe Sleep Recommendations

Approximately 3,500 infants die annually in the United States from sleep-related infant deaths, including sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). New guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics is designed to help reduce those numbers. They recommend supine positioning, the use of a firm sleep surface, room-sharing without bed-sharing, and the avoidance of soft bedding and overheating. Additional recommendations for SIDS reduction include breastfeeding, avoidance of exposure to smoke, alcohol, and illicit drugs, routine immunization, and the use of a pacifier. The recommendations and strength of evidence for each recommendation are included in this policy statement.  

Infants and Toddlers: A Video Collection

Featuring a collection of 200 short video clips, this site will provide users with a perfect window into the world of infants and toddlers and their daily experiences in child care. As well, users will see the wide range of tasks and roles that early childhood professionals take on each day. Finally, many of the clips highlight the importance of the partnerships that form between parents and the educators who care for their young children. Clips may be searched by criteria (e.g., developmental domain, activity language development, or educator strategies, like following the child’s lead), age of the children, or setting. It is also possible to find videos by doing a key word search.  

Tuning In: Parents of Young Children Tell Us What They Think, Know and Need

ZERO TO THREE, in partnership with the Bezos Family Foundation, released the results of a survey, drawn from a nationally-representative sample of 2,200 parents of children birth to 5 years, this year. The results include findings on issues such as parenting challenges, the dilemma of how to discipline young children, and what parents understand about early development. Here are a few of the interesting findings:

  • Almost all parents feel judged all the time
  • Parents overall consistently underestimate just how early children can be affected by some critical experiences (e.g., nearly half of parents think that reading to children starts to benefit long-term language development about a year and a half later than it actually does); and
  • About half of parents believe that children are capable of self-control and other developmental milestones much earlier than they actually are.

An overview/key insights document is available, in addition to the full report, at this website.


Baby Talk is a free, one-way listserv that is distributed monthly. Each issue features resources that are high quality, readily available and free. To join the listserv, send an email with no message to subscribe-babytalk@listserv.unc.edu.   To suggest resources, please contact Camille Catlett at camille.catlett@unc.edu.

Baby Talk: Resources to Support the People Who Work With Infants and Toddlers: Issue No.66 November 2016

What is Happening to Fine Motor Development?

In recent years a growing number of children are “arriving at school lacking in basic fine motor skills.” This is a huge problem because if the young student does not have the finger strength and coordination to hold a pencil, for example, they will struggle to master current kindergarten requirements. Like large motor development, fine motor skills develop progressively, beginning in the earliest years of childhood. Young children who spend too much time “swiping and tapping” electronic devices, instead of playing with manipulative toys or coloring with crayons, struggle with poor hand control and weak pencil grip in school. This article will help educators and family members to consider a return to the time-tested play materials of childhood—blocks, play dough, beads, and crayons—to best prepare children for school


Let’s Talk About It: 5 Ways to Build Babies’ Language and Communication Skills from Birth 

Talking with babies doesn’t just build vocabularies; it also nurtures the development of cognitive and social-emotional skills, now and into your baby’s future. Tuning In, a national survey of Gen X and Millennial families conducted by ZERO TO THREE, showed that many younger family members aren’t aware of the huge benefits of talking with babies in the first year of life. This article from ZERO TO THREE shares five ways to build strong language skills from birth.

 

Responding to Your Child’s Bite

Many toddlers and young children bite. Developmentally, most toddlers don’t have enough words to express how they are feeling. They primarily rely on sounds and actions to communicate what they are thinking and feeling.  Biting is one of the ways toddlers express their needs, desires, or feelings.

This resource provides an evidence-based overview of why young children bite, what to do, what not to do, and when to seek professional help.

 

Brain Activity Map Reveals How Infant Vision Develops

Visual functions start to develop soon after birth and continue maturing over time as infants gain experience with the world. However, direct evidence of how this maturation process unfolds in the brain has been lacking. This article notes a new study that provides a direct window into the maturation of vision-related areas of the cortex in the first weeks of life, showing that the visual brain of 7-week-old babies is surprisingly mature.

 

Free Recorded Webinars from the Early Head Start National Resource Center

Looking for great free instructional resources? Check out this collection of archived webinars. You’ll find recordings on topics such as 1) Building a Dynamic Brain: The Influences of Music, Movement, and Nutrition, 2) Reflective Curriculum Planning for Infants and Toddlers, 3) The Impact of Trauma and Toxic Stress on Infant and Toddler Development, or 4) Supporting Babies with Disabilities. Go to the website below to find a recorded sequence of professional development on these and other topics.


Baby Talk is a free, one-way listserv that is distributed monthly. Each issue features resources that are high quality, readily available and free.  To join the listserv, send an email with no message to subscribe-babytalk@listserv.unc.edu   To suggest resources, please contact Camille Catlett at camille.catlett@unc.edu

Baby Talk: Resources to Support the People Who Work With Infants and Toddlers: Issue No. 65 October 2016

Tips for Tots

Looking for evidence-based strategies for supporting very young children to learn and grow? You may want to check out the Tips for Tots series. Each one-page document features a theme (e.g., Support with Transitions), information about what to expect and why, and strategies for supporting the emotional health and success of infants and toddlers.

 

The First 1,000 Days: Nourishing America’s Future

The first 1,000 days of a child’s life — from pregnancy to age 2 — offer a unique window of opportunity to build healthier and more prosperous futures. This report represents an attempt to contribute to that understanding and to galvanize a movement to ensure that every child in America has a healthy first 1,000 days. In Part 1 of the report, we examine the foundational role that nutrition plays in giving young children a strong start to life. In Part 2, we look at how young children and their families in the U.S. are faring when it comes to nutrition. Finally, in Part 3, we highlight areas where greater action is needed to improve the nutritional health of America’s youngest children and their families.

 

Songs for Young Children

The website of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) features a collection of children’s music – great for listening, singing, dancing, and learning at home, at school, or anywhere. Songs are in English and other languages. The full collection is available at http://families.naeyc.org/songs/archive.

A smaller collection, with ideas for using the songs to support learning and development, is available at http://families.naeyc.org/songs. 

 

Early Learning Activities & Visual Supports to Teach Toddlers with Autism New Skills and Routines

Family Implemented TEACCH for Toddlers (FITT) is a collaborative family education and support model designed to help families better understand and engage with their toddler with autism spectrum disorder. Based on and adapted from the TEACCH model, FITT uses Structured TEACCHing strategies to facilitate toddler’s receptive and expressive communication, social communication, and play skills. In FITT, the interventionist and parent work together to create or adapt a set of early learning activities to teach toddlers new skills and routines. These are highly visual activities that teach the toddler how to engage with toys (e.g., blocks, farm animals) and how to participate in play routines. You’ll find more about the FITT project at http://fitt.fpg.unc.edu/family-implemented-teacch-toddlers-study-fitt You can access the early learning activities and visual materials at http://fitt.fpg.unc.edu/early-learning-activities-visual-supports

The TEACCH approach is a family-centered, evidence-based practice for autism, based on a theoretical conceptualization of autism, supported by empirical research, enriched by extensive clinical expertise, and notable for its flexible and person-centered support of individuals of all ages and skill levels. 

 

Make the Most of Playtime

This colorful article highlights the importance of play as a vehicle for supporting learning and development across developmental domains. It summarizes the development of play from birth through 36 months and offers useful insights for making play enjoyable for both large and small participants.


Baby Talk is a free, one-way listserv that is distributed monthly. Each issue features resources that are high quality, readily available and free.  To join the listserv, send an email with no message to subscribe-babytalk@listserv.unc.edu   To suggest resources, please contact Camille Catlett at camille.catlett@unc.edu



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