babytalk2Baby Talk: Resources to Support the People Who Work With Infants and Toddlers

Issue No. 37, June 2014

Tips for Keeping Children Safe: A Developmental Guide

This 2014 resource describes daily routines for children within four age groups (infants, mobile infants, toddlers, and preschoolers) and provides safety tips that specifically address the developmental needs of children in a specific age group, as well as tips that apply to all children. It was developed by the Office of Head Start’s National Center on Health for early childhood staff working with young children in classroom environments.


Essentials for Parenting Toddlers and Preschoolers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently launched a free, online resource designed for parents of 2 to 4 year olds. Essentials for Parenting Toddlers and Preschoolers addresses common parenting challenges and provides strategies to help parents reduce parenting stress and build safe, stable, and nurturing relationships with their children. Skills focus on encouraging good behavior using proven strategies, such as positive communication, structure and rules, clear directions, and consistent discipline and consequences.


Using Brain Activity Patterns to Identify Autism in Children as Young as 2

In one of the largest studies to date, researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital used electroencephalography (EEG) to measure brain activity in children and determined 33 specific patterns that could differentiate a child with autism from a neurologically typical peer. The researchers measured EEG patterns in 430 children with autism and 554 control subjects ages 2 to 12. Those with autism had activity patterns that consistently showed reduced connectivity between brain regions, especially in areas associated with language on the left side of the brain.


Research Supports Importance of Praising Effort, Not Talent

Findings from a recent study has reinforced that praising effort increases motivation and encourages strategies for handling failure. Researchers analyzed videos of mothers interacting with their children at 1, 2 and 3 years of age. The scholars tallied the kind of praise each mother gave to her child and the amount, paying particular attention to the proportion of the praise that was directed at the child’s effort, such as “good throw,” versus praise for the child personally, such as “you’re so good at baseball.” Five years later, when the children were 7 and 8 years old, the researchers interviewed the children, asking questions about their mindset. For example, “How much would you like to do math problems that are very easy so you can get a lot right?” Toddlers who had heard praise commending their efforts were more likely as older children to prefer challenges than those who heard praise directed at them person-ally, the study found. Toddlers who heard praise directed at actions also were more likely to believe later on that abilities and behavior could change and develop. Researchers also noted that parents praised the efforts of boys more than girls. Later, boys were more likely to try more challenging pursuits, the study found. (news article) (research article)

Baby Talk is a free, one-way listserv that is distributed each month. Each issue features one or more resources, the majority of which are available to download at no cost.  To join the listserv, send an email with no message to subscribe-babytalk@listserv.unc.eduTo suggest resources, please contact Camille Catlett at or (919) 966-6635.