How do children respond to a mother’s voice?

fascinated baby watches mother talking on phone

© 2021 Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved A mother’s voice has special power. It can provide comfort — and improve outcomes — for babies hospitalized in the NICU. It can shape the way infants process language in the brain. And it can help children cope with pain and stress. What happens when a baby … Continue reading

The social world of newborns: Why babies are born to learn from our sensitive, loving care

newborn baby with loving toddler sister

Yes, newborns spend most of their time sleeping and eating. But babies are more than mere survival machines. At birth, they are primed and ready for social input, and our loving care has profound effects on their development. Generations ago, learning theorists tended to underestimate newborns. They assumed that young infants were empty-headed, passive lumps. … Continue reading

The effects of television on speech development: Is it helpful or harmful?

toddler watching television

Studies report a link between TV and language development in young children. The more time kids spend watching television, the more slowly they learn to talk. What’s going on? Some people conclude that the effects of television on children are direct and negative. According to this view, television is noxious, like cigarette smoke. Cigarettes damage … Continue reading

When do babies sleep through the night?

yawning mother holds baby in her arms

© 2021 Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved Studies suggest that most babies begin to “sleep through the night” (at least 5-6 hours without parental intervention) by 3-6 months of age. But some infants take longer, and the road to progress can be bumpy. Even after babies experience their first, long episodes of nighttime sleep, … Continue reading