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

Issue No. 47, April 2015

Expert Panel Recommends New Sleep Durations

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF), along with a multi-disciplinary expert panel, issued its new recommendations for appropriate sleep durations. The NSF convened experts from sleep, anatomy and physiology, as well as pediatrics, neurology, gerontology and gynecology to reach a consensus from the broadest range of scientific disciplines. The report recommends wider appropriate sleep ranges for most age groups.


Play Can Build Cognitive Skills

Play may seem like fun and games, but new research shows that specific kinds of play are actually associated with development of particular cognitive skills. Data from an American nationally representative study show that children who play frequently with puzzles, blocks, and board games tend to have better spatial reasoning ability. Being able to reason about space, and how to manipulate objects in space, is a critical part of everyday life, helping us to navigate a busy street, put together a piece of furniture, even load the dishwasher. And these skills are especially important for success in particular academic and professional domains, including science, technology, engineering, and math.


Learning Words Early Pays Off

Science shows that how quickly and efficiently young children learn to understand, talk, and build their first vocabularies in those very early Years – long before kindergarten – matters. Early word learning affects young children’s language and brain development and has important life-time implications. This article highlights three basic, yet highly effective, strategies for building the vocabularies of very young children.


Five Ways to Build Math Into A Child’s Day

Studies show that a child’s math skills at kindergarten entry are a better predictor of future academic success than reading skills, social skills, or the ability to focus. We can give children a head start by helping them get comfortable with math concepts like measuring and counting. This article shares ideas for adding math throughout the day.


Supporting Outdoor Play and Exploration for Infants and Toddlers

As the weather warms up, opportunities to move outside increase. Here’s a great resource on the many benefits of outdoor play and exploration, coupled with opportunities and options, including how to take advantage of “loose parts.”

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.