Baby Talk Newsletter December 2020

Baby Talk: Resources to Support the People Who Work with Infants and Toddlers
Issue No. 115  December 2020
Baby Talk Newsletter December 2020 PDF

Baby Talk is a free, one-way listserv that is distributed monthly. Each issue features high quality, readily available, and free resources. To join the listserv, send an email with no message or signature block to

Development of Attachment

This 25-minute online module from the Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS) explains how children form lasting bonds with their caregivers. Each module delivers content through narrated PowerPoint slides with embedded videos. A discussion guide and handout are also available for this module.

Parents’ Teaching Style Can Be Instrumental in Helping Children Learn How to Safely Cross Busy Roads

Learning to cross a busy street is anything but easy for a child, especially in places where the traffic doesn’t stop. Children must first identify a safe gap in traffic, use refined motor skills to precisely step off a curb the moment a car passes, and safely reach the other side of the street before the next vehicle arrives. A new study reports that parents who use road crossings as teachable moments help their youngsters learn road-crossing skills faster and become better at crossing streets.

Young Children in Deep Poverty

The National Center for Children in Poverty released a report comparing early health, development, and risk indicators for young children in poverty to indicators for young children in other income groups. Not surprisingly, results show that young children in deep poverty are particularly at risk for poor long-term outcomes. The report also highlights disparities in the prevalence of deep poverty across five racial/ethnic groups.

Supporting Children to Understand and Use Face Masks

The way children feel about face masks during coronavirus restrictions can depend on age. Babies and younger children pay a lot of attention to faces. So they might feel anxious or upset when they can’t see the faces of family members, caregivers, and other familiar people. This article offers ideas for how to talk with children about face masks and provide age-appropriate information.

More Conversations = More Brain Growth

Don’t you wonder sometimes what’s going on inside your little one’s head? Developmental cognitive neuroscientist Rachel Romeo, PhD, can show you. Romeo and her colleagues at MIT study the way young children’s brains respond to language. Romeo had children lie in an MRI scanner and listen to stories while the machine recorded images of their brains. The researchers also had kids wear recording devices to measure words and conversations at home. They found it wasn’t the number of words that resulted in positive brain development and higher verbal knowledge, but the amount of back-and-forth conversation. “You can be a low-income family and hear lots and lots of conversations, and your brain development will be right on par with the higher income family,” said Romeo. Learn more from a video or article, in English or Spanish, at

 GUMDROP: Babies Need to Test Everything

How do very young children come to know what they know? By testing things over and over again.  Watch how that happens at

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