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

Issue No. 42, November 2014

Reading Aloud to Infants and Toddlers Promotes Early Literacy

Recent media attention has focused on how reading aloud to infants promotes positive early literacy outcomes and has a strong, lasting developmental impact. Reading Aloud to Infants and Toddlers At Home and In the Classroom Promotes Early Language and Literacy Skills, from the Early Care and Education Consortium, explains the research behind why reading aloud to infants, and incorporating ongoing “serve and return” interaction, is so important for promoting early language and literacy.


Healthy Birth Weight Linked to Better Preparedness for Kindergarten

The New York Times highlighted a study to be published in the American Economic Review that found healthy birth weight was correlated with better preparedness at kindergarten entry and higher test scores throughout elementary school. Researchers from Northwestern University concluded that poor neonatal health can negatively affect a child’s cognitive development.


Staying Objective in Observation

Do everyday observations give us a true picture of the baby? This podcast explains how to observe babies and record what is seen in an objective way that can help staff understand the meaning of a child’s behavior.


Variations in Vocabulary Development

The rate at which children learn language varies substantially from child to child. Some children show rapid vocabulary growth before they go to school, while others learn so slowly that they can end up six months to a year behind their peers. Oral skills are a precursor to literacy, so it’s not exactly shocking that children at a linguistic disadvantage will have immediate problems with reading and writing in the classroom. What is probably less well known is that these problems can be long lasting – so much so that they negatively and profoundly affect future academic success.


The Difference Enough Sleep Can Make for Toddlers

Toddlers who get too little sleep tend to eat more and are at increased risk for obesity, a new study indicates. It included children in over 1,300 British families who had their sleep measured when they were 16 months old and their diet checked when they were 21 months old. Those who slept less than 10 hours a day consumed about 10 percent more calories than those who slept more than 13 hours.

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.