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Your Baby Is Speaking to You: A Visual Guide to the Amazing Behaviors of Your Newborn and Growing Baby



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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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From an international expert on infant-parent communication,Your Baby Is Speaking To Youis destined to become a parenting classic. Through intimate access to babies and their families, Dr. Kevin Nugent and acclaimed photographer Abelardo Morell capture the amazingly precocious communications strategies babies demonstrate from the moment they are born. Your Baby Is Speaking to Youillustrates the full range of behaviorsearly smiling to startling, feeding to sleeping, listening to your voice and recognizing your face. The newest researchincluding information on subtle and fleeting behaviors not seen or explained in any other bookilluminates the meaning of the things babies do that concern and delight new parents: the language of yawning the rich range of cries, and how to understand their meanings baby's earliest "sleep smiles" and sleep states, and what they signify Your Baby Is Speaking To Youdelivers the information parents crave in gentle, accessible style while giving parents the confidence they need to respond to their own baby's way of communicating during the very first astonishing days and the months beyond.

Author Biography

Kevin Nugent, Ph.D., is director of the Brazelton Institute at Children’s Hospital, Boston, where he has led studies of newborn infants and early parent-child relations for over three decades. He teaches at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and at Harvard Medical School. With T. Berry Brazelton, he co-authored the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale, used in hospitals around the world. Recently Nugent and colleagues created the Newborn Behavioral Observations system, designed to help parents understand their baby’s behavior.


What causes babies to yawn, and why is this baby yawning? Like all of us, she may be yawning to stay alert and stave off sleep. But in this case, the yawn has ano-ther, more subtle meaning. This yawn took place in the middle of a "conversation" between baby and mother. she is not bored or sleepy, instead, the yawn is her nonverbal way of saying that, as much as she is enjoying her interaction with her mother, it has become too demading. Her yawn is a "time-out" cue.

You may find that when you and your baby are looking into each other's eyes, "talking" to each other, he may yawn. It is his body's way of saying that he needs to pause so that he can renew his energy and continue playing with you. After all, by opeining his mouth wide and closing his eyes, it is no longer possible for you to continue to look into each other's eyes. By simply turning away, your baby is taking the lead in regulating the interaction by dictating the place and the rhythm of your time together.

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