Baby Talk Newsletter October 2020

Baby Talk: Resources to Support the People Who Work with Infants and Toddlers
Issue No. 113 October 2020
Baby Talk October 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

Playtime with Dad May Improve Children’s Self-Control
Although there are many similarities between how fathers and mothers play with their children a study has found that fathers engage in more physical play even with the youngest children, opting for activities such as tickling, chasing, and piggy-back rides. This seems to help children learn to control their feelings. It may also make them better at regulating their own behavior later on, as they enter settings where those skills are important — especially school. Learn more at

Babies Who Cry It Out Adjust
Throughout the years, researchers have told parents to attend to their babies promptly if they cry. But a new study suggests babies who cry it out are not any more likely to have behavioral issues later on. In a new study, researchers in the United Kingdom examined 170 infants and their moms. They followed the babies in the first week, at three, six, and 18 months and assessed whether the frequency parents intervened immediately when their little ones cried was associated with later attachment and behavior. Results showed allowing babies to “cry it out” a few times when they were first born and more often at three months, was linked to shorter crying times at 18 months. And the number of times a mom reported leaving babies to cry it out was not associated with infant behavior, development, or attachment issues. See for yourself at

The Still-Face Experiment Shows the Damage Done When Parents Stare At Their Phones
In the still-face experiment, a parent and baby play together, dad smiling and cooing, baby clapping and laughing. Then, prompted by the researcher, the dad turns his face away and when he turns back his face is completely expressionless. The baby tries to get dad to smile again, but he keeps up the flat affect, remaining neutral and unresponsive. Quickly, the child dissolves, desperately trying to make a connection. On a second prompt, dad looks away, then turns back and when he looks at baby again he’s his normal self, soothing the baby who quickly recovers. The baby seems fine; the viewer is left shaken. See for yourself:

This article shares findings of similar results that occur when caregivers shift attention from a baby to a phone. Read more at

Fun, Free Brain Building Activities
Vroom is a global program dedicated to providing families with free, science-based tips and tools. Check out the Vroom Tips™ to add learning to mealtime, bath time, bedtime, or anytime.

The Power of Learning Through Imitation
This 20-minute online module from the Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS) shares why imitation is so important for early learning. Each module delivers content through narrated PowerPoint slides with embedded videos. A discussion guide and handout are also available for this module.

GUMDROP: Children Learn By Imitating You
Watch. Enjoy. Learn.

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