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

Issue No. 46, March 2015

Babies Learn Best Just Before a Nap

Babies devote the majority of their time to sleeping, but until now, little has been known about the links between sleep and the unprecedented levels of growth and development that take place during their first year of life. For a new study, researchers tested the ability of 216 healthy six to 12 month-old infants to recall newly learned skills after a daytime nap. The youngsters were shown how to remove and manipulate a mitten from a hand puppet and were given the opportunity to reproduce these actions after delays of four and 24 hours. Infants who didn’t nap after learning were compared with age-matched infants who napped for at least 30 minutes within four hours of learning the target actions. Only infants who napped after the learning activity remembered the target actions.


The Surprising Influence of Human Speech on Young Infants

According to new research, speech promotes much more than language-learning alone. Listening to human speech has consequences for infants that go beyond learning words. The vocabulary of a child — raised in poverty or in plenty — is really an index of the larger context in which language participates. So, speaking to infants is important, not only because it will teach them more words, but because listening to speech promotes the babies’ acquisition of the fundamental cognitive and social psychological capacities that form the foundation for subsequent learning.


Beyond Twinkle Twinkle: Using Music With Infants and Toddlers

This article explores the many ways that music promotes growth in the various developmental domains and how infant/toddler professionals can use music experiences to support children’s early learning.


Autonomous Tots Have Higher Cognitive Skills

Higher cognitive skills are found in the children of mothers who are consistently able to support the development of their baby’s sense of autonomy, according to a study. The researchers specifically looked at executive functioning, which refers to a range of cognitive processes that are essential for cognitive, social and psychological functioning.


The Power of Touch

Every newborn baby undergoes painful procedures in the first hours and days of life as part of routine hospital care, but the good news is parents can make a difference. Watch this short video to learn how researchers have found breastfeeding and skin-to-skin connections can help comfort newborns during painful procedures.

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.