Developmental Psychology literature
June 28, 2011 11:20 AM   Subscribe

Developmental psychology books for new parents?

I am looking for developmental psychology books (starting in infancy) that can be given to friends who are expecting a newborn. Majority of dev. psych books I've looked at are geared toward students/academia. And on the other side of the spectrum there are books that dumb down the psychology behind development of infants and are more concerned with how to parent than with how to understand the development of their child.

Any suggestions are welcome!
posted by mooselini to Education (10 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Nurture Shock
posted by k8t at 11:24 AM on June 28, 2011

What's Going on in There? is a book on neurological development in the first 5 years and how it manifests in the developmental "milestones" many parents are familiar with.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:29 AM on June 28, 2011

Best answer: I think what you're looking for is The Scientist in the Crib. It doesn't really have many practical suggestions, and I don't think it helped me be a better parent. However, I read it as an expectant father and really enjoyed it. One of the main themes - that babies naturally induce adults to give the child needed care and stimulation - has been frequently reassuring. (Make sure you give it well before the birth, because new parents won't have the time or energy to read it afterwards.)
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 11:59 AM on June 28, 2011

2nding Nurture Shock.
posted by dpx.mfx at 1:28 PM on June 28, 2011

Best answer: Seconding "What's Going on in There?" which is an excellent book on neurological development aimed at a non-scientist audience.

For a book focusing on the baby stage, Wonder Weeks breaks down each of the developmental milestones babies go through and explain how it can impact their behavior. It covers a shorter time span than "What's Going on in There?" does, however.

Nuture Shock is a lot more about how to parent, and while it is an interesting and thought-provoking read, I'm not sure it's quite what you are looking for.
posted by ambrosia at 1:58 PM on June 28, 2011

I also loved the wonder weeks.
posted by dpx.mfx at 2:58 PM on June 28, 2011

This isn't a gift, but your friends might find it interesting: A cognitive development university unit by Dr Lori Markson at Berkeley. I found it really fascinating as an expectant parent. I have uploaded the series here, but you can always find it on Berkeley's webcasts page.

Your friends may also enjoy the book One Thousand Days of Wonder: A scientist's chronicle of his daughter's developing mind..
posted by smoke at 4:33 PM on June 28, 2011

Alison Gopnik is an excellent developmental psychologist who writes accessible books about neonate psychology. Mr.Know-it-some mentions one of her coauthored books, The Scientist in the Crib. She has another titled The Philosophical Baby. I bought these books for a friend of mine who newly became a mother.
posted by painquale at 5:10 PM on June 28, 2011

My husband also enjoyed The Scientist in the Crib.
posted by tracicle at 10:09 PM on June 28, 2011

The Social Baby by Murray and Andrews.
posted by KLF at 1:07 AM on June 29, 2011

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