The social baby

Topics: Early years

Understanding babies' communication from birth

An innovative DVD providing a window into the rich and complex social world of babies.

Understanding and preparing for the arrival of a baby is not innate: new parents require knowledge and experience to understand the needs of their baby.

Every baby is a unique individual from the moment of birth, with its own likes and dislikes. Only by being finely tuned to a baby's unique communication can an adult fully understand the baby and its needs.

Providing support and reassurance to new parents is an essential element to promote a safe and secure environment for infants. Babies can often place demands on their carers, which at times can feel unbearable. Parenting is the most difficult task that most people undertake and yet it is also the one for which most receive little to no training.

The social baby DVD:

  • is based on established research about the development of infant communication
  • looks at individual responses to voice, smell, and sensitivity to the environment
  • explains how crying can be managed by helping babies to calm themselves
  • suggests strategies for feeding
  • suggests how carers can develop a consistent sleeping pattern.

It is targeted at parents, parenting groups, parenting classes, midwives, health visitors, Sure Start projects and early years workers.

Produced by the NSPCC in partnership with Lynne Murray and The Children's Project.

Author: NSPCC, Lynne Murray and Liz Andrews
Published: 2004

Watch a sample clip from The social baby