INFANTS by Robert B. McCall


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Like other books in this commendable series, Infants accomplishes its specified goal--to outline normal infant development--succinctly and effectively. McCall discusses the major milestones of the first two years, indicating when they appear and what they signify. He does not provide a detailed timetable, like Frank Caplan's The First Twelve Months of Life, or offer age-appropriate activities like Burton White's The First Three Years of Life. Although McCall is clearly aware of over-the-back-fence concerns--the impact of a newborn's sleep patterns on parent morale, the toddler's attraction to pots--he concentrates on more critical areas: sensory perception, intelligence, love and attachment, motor development, language acquisition. Often this information duplicates the contents of various other books, including several in this series (Stern's The First Relationship, Schaffer's Mothering), but the focus and organization are quite useful. Most sections are short and thorough, and McCall takes time to appreciate the fact that much of what comes naturally and easily (talking softly to an infant held close) also turns out to be lab-tested ideal stimulation. Also, he valuably sorts out the more important signals from the less important and peripheral ones, repeatedly assuring parents that ""early"" and ""bigger"" are not necessarily better. In addressing such chronic worries and putting to rest many common misunderstandings (especially on I.Q.), he provides a genuinely helpful perspective.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1979
Publisher: Harvard Univ. Press