Many parents feel they must wait until their child is mobile or able to speak before any real relationship can begin. We know for example that the foetus is prepared for the extra-uterine environment form the beginning of the 3rd trimester. Parents need the opportunity to be aware that their baby is yearning for their love, attention and interest. The first developmental task for the infant for example, is not holding their head up, sitting or crawling but the development of a relationship.
The aim of this book is to highlight in a very accessible and sometimes humorous way the newborn infant’s innate capacities for social interaction. The infant’s communications may be subtle at first but with a little patience and a parental willingness to observe and think about their baby, these quickly become apparent. Science and psychology has demonstrated that the infant has remarkable capacities for perceiving and responding to the emotions and actions of others and that these early experiences literally structure the development of the brain.
The book introduces some of the signs an infant might give of their physical and emotional states and needs, e.g. when they are tired, hungry and when they are wanting and available for interactions. It counters the age-old myth that parents must not respond to their child too soon or they will “spoil” their new baby. The book acknowledges that parenting a new infant is a challenging task and also encourages parents to find supports of their own when they need to.
Another aim of this book is to bring a number of excellent references and resources to the attention of those who work with parents and infants. At the end of the book are some excellent resources designed to enhance the knowledge of parents and professionals alike.They range from high quality and easily accessible DVDs to the challenging reading inherent in the work of researchers.
Brisbane based, Neil Alcorn is a Social Worker with a longstanding interest in working with infants and their parents and carers. He has worked in this field for 20 years, and holds a Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Mental Health (Infant). Neil feels very fortunate to have had some wise mentors, teachers and colleagues over the years. He hopes that if parents understand their baby’s intentions then they will enjoy their very little person more and develop an even closer relationship.
1. What is unique about this book is that it presents information that science has demonstrated us from the baby’s perspective. It is like a ‘storybook’ for parents and a handbook for how to understand and communicate with the new baby.
2. The information in the book is based on extensive research into the period of infancy.
3. The book can be useful to both parents and carers and professionals working in the field of perinatal and infant mental health.
4. The book is based on the authors many years of experience working in this field, and his thorough knowledge of the information parents are seeking.
5. The book provides a reference list of excellent quality books, DVDs/videos and websites for those parents and/or professionals who would like to examine the literature further.