Books on child development?
March 22, 2011 3:58 PM   Subscribe

Can anyone recommend some good introductory-level books on child development?

I'm expecting my first child in June, and while baby books promoting various child-rearing philosophies (attachment parenting, etc.) are interesting, I'd like to read something a little more in-depth and intellectual.
posted by eliina to Education (7 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Congratulations! These are both on the layman end of the spectrum, but:

I'm currently enjoying "The Baby in the Mirror" by Charles Ferneyhough, which I believe has been retitled A Thousand Days of Wonder for the US (it probably contains fewer references to The Archers and BBC Radio 4).

You might also enjoy Nutureshock by Po Bronson & Ashley Merryman.
posted by dogsbody at 4:15 PM on March 22, 2011

Best answer: For a good perspective on how your little one’s brain is developing and all you can do to nurture and support that, I would highly recommend anything by Dan Segal. Parenting from the Inside Out and The Developing Mind are two you might want to check out. Touchpoints by Dr. Brazelton is another good one. I would also highly recommend the website they have a wonderful assortment of PDFs on different aspects of child development that are easy to download and free.

Congrats and my best to you and your little one!
posted by Palmcorder Yajna at 4:26 PM on March 22, 2011

What's Going on in There? : How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life is a good read.

Not quite what you are asking for but a mother-to-be wanting an engaging but unfluffy read would probably enjoy Rima Apple, particularly "Mothers and Medicine: A Social History of Infant Feeding" and "Perfect Motherhood: Science and Childrearing in America."
posted by kmennie at 4:55 PM on March 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

Seconding "What's Going on in There." It's a gem. Plenty of neurology, but in an accessible format. Well-researched.

Also read Penelope Leach.
posted by Knowyournuts at 6:41 PM on March 22, 2011

It's been around for a while, but in that while has become a sort of de facto standard, and deservedly so: Montessori's The Absorbent Mind -- a classic.
posted by trip and a half at 7:39 PM on March 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

Another endorsement of What's Going on in There. Well written, well supported, interesting, and lacking in woo.
posted by redfoxtail at 10:23 PM on March 22, 2011

Nurture Shock. Recently read it, and was impressed to find an easy to read book about child development that was backed up with scientific rigour and data. From the book's own website:
The central premise of this book is that many of modern society’s strategies for nurturing children are in fact backfiring – because key twists in the science have been overlooked.
posted by Megami at 1:50 AM on March 23, 2011

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