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Babies and Toddlers

Years age when families were larger and lived closer together, girls had usually helped look after babies and small children before they became mothers themselves. But today, most of us find motherhood a completely new experience and welcome the help of a book in showing us what to expect and what to do. If you've found one particuarly helpful, please let us know.

Let's Sign - Early Years
by Cath Smith and Sandra Teasdale
(Co-Sign Communications)
Extensive research in America has shown that using signs with babies helps them communicate before they are able to talk. This can help avoid the frustration very young children often feel at not being able to make their needs known. This straightforward guide introduces a range of suitable British Sign Language vocabulary, illustrated by easy-to-follow pictures. It's also ideal for parents, relatives and friends of hearing-impaired children and for teachers and class assistantes who work in nurseries and schools.
(For more information on signing with babies, visit
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The Social Baby
by Lynne Murray and Liz Andrews
(The Children's Project)
Research has shown that babies react to their mums and the environment from the moment of birth. This fascinating book uses sequences of colour photos to show how to interpret the slight movements and changes in expression which indicate how they are feeling. It concentrates on the first weeks of life so this is a good book to have by your side before birth. Older children may also enjoy using it to try to understand their new brother and sister's behaviour.
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New Toddler Taming
by Christopher Green
Toddlers are like mini-teenagers, discovering independence and testing out their parents to see just how much they are allowed to do. This makes them very hard work to live with and, if you're not careful, they can completely take over the home - refusing to cooperate with anything that isn't done exactly as they wish. So a book to help you through the toddler years is very welcome and this one is an excellent choice. The ideas it contains are down-to-earth and practical - they only took a week to change our granddaughter from a child who raced round the house until midnight to one who happily accepted a regular bedtime. You may also find them useful for older children with special needs who are still functioning at toddler level. Written with a delightful touch of humour, the book is easy to read in those short gaps of time when you have a little piece and quiet.
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