Baby Talk: Resources to Support the People Who Work with Infants and Toddlers

Baby Talk: Resources to Support the People Who Work with Infants and Toddlers
Issue No. 117  February 2021
Baby Talk Feb 2021 PDF

Baby Talk is a free, one-way listserv that is distributed monthly. Each issue features high quality, readily available, and free resources. Resources in Spanish are highlighted. All or part of Baby Talk may be freely shared or copied. To subscribe to BabyTalk, or for more information, please contact Camille Catlett at

Why Do We Focus on the Prenatal-to-3 Age Period? Understanding the Importance of the Earliest Years 

The human brain grows most rapidly in the first three years of life, and an individual’s health and wellbeing during that period has lifelong consequences. This document provides a comprehensive, easy-to-read overview of the science of the developing child, and what it means for parents, caregivers, and society to ensure children get a strong and equitable start.

The Power of Fathers: A Concept Paper on Fatherhood, Father Engagement, and Early Childhood

This paper is designed to provide a brief overview of the research supporting fathers’ wide-ranging contributions to healthy child development. It also shines a spotlight on innovative father engagement programs that address systemic and personal barriers. Finally, the paper closes with program, policy, and research recommendations to advance fathers as key stakeholders in family strengthening programming and to support the full participation of fathers in their families and communities.

1-2, Buckle My Shoe: Here are the Good Things That Nursery Rhymes Do

What is the importance of nursery rhymes? The biggest benefit of nursery rhymes is that it develops language and the skills needed to learn to read. But more specifically, nursery rhymes develop language: Children need to be exposed to spoken language early on and singing nursery rhymes is a great way of doing this. As a child listens to nursery rhymes and they hear the sounds in the words that are sung to them, they will start to figure out how to put sounds and then words together. Don’t know many nursery rhymes? Check out the list in the article, then search online for the words and tune.

Taking A Break: Using a Calm Down Area at Home 

A calm down area provides a child a place to calm down and take a break. It is a strategy that might be used when children are feeling anxious, stressed, or overwhelmed. Families can help children learn how to take a break from activities or interactions that are challenging to them. Just like adults, young children may react to stress, frustration, and disappointment by becoming angry, shouting, refusing help, or engaging in other challenging behaviors. For more information about how to use a calm down area in your home, go to

Language Development: Learning the Sounds of Language

This 20-minute online module from the Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS) shares how children’s communication develops in the first year of life. Each module delivers content through narrated PowerPoint slides with embedded videos. A discussion guide and handout are also available for this module.

GUMDROP: Many Ways to Communicate with Babies

The I-LABS module above shares some ideas about how children develop communication in the first year. This video of an interaction between a deaf grandmother and her very young grandchild, who is also deaf, tenderly illustrates the many forms that communication can take. See how many forms of communication you can identify: sign, gesture, touch, and ??? When you go to this URL ( to watch the gumdrop, be sure to click the button at the bottom of the screen to engage closed captioning.