Infants and Toddlers

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9780130145833: Infants and Toddlers

Using an interdisciplinary, topical approach, this book covers infant and toddler development from conception to age 3-- with a special focus on the family and cultural contexts of development. It also includes historical overviews and practical applications of knowledge to varied career settings such as parent education and infant/toddler childcare. Includes special boxed highlights and a developmental checklist. Historical Perspectives. Theories of Development. Research Methods. Conception and Prenatal Development. Birth. Newborn. Physical Growth and Development. Cognitive Development. Language Acquisition. Psychosocial Development. Health and Nutrition. Guidance and Early Education. For parent educators, professional childcare providers, early childhood educators, and health-care professionals.

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PREFACE

This book covers an exciting period in the human lifespan from conception to 13 the end of age 3. It is a remarkable story of physical, cognitive, and psychosocial transformations. Infants enter a distinctly social world at birth. Families provide the first contact with the outside world. At the same time, infants live in a uniquely cultural context. The expectations and traditions of cultures across the world shape child-rearing attitudes and practices with direct consequences on development. RECURRENT THEMES IN BOOK

Four important themes recur throughout this book: uniqueness of each infant and toddler, importance of families, interdependent relationship between young children and caregivers, and sociocultural context of development. Each contributes to a richly varied picture of infants and toddlers:

Uniqueness of each infant and toddler. Each child is a unique being. While this book primarily focuses on typical development, parents and professional caregivers must adapt their styles to meet the individual needs of each child. Importance of family. The family is the cornerstone of every society. In a time of instant communication and global interconnection, it still remains the primary source of sustenance and nurturance in the early years of life. Interdependent relationship between young children and caregivers. The interaction between children and their caregivers is a two-way street. Adults exert a profound influence, but infants also play an active role in engaging with their physical and social world. Sociocultural context of development. Culture is an important aspect of development. It not only shapes parents' expectations about children's abilities but also influences their caregiving patterns. COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE

This book follows a topical approach. It is organized into four major parts: Part 1 examines past views of infants and toddlers, different theories of development, and research methods. Part 2 discusses conception, prenatal development, childbirth, and the first month after birth. Part 3 covers physical, cognitive, language, and psychosocial development during the first 3 years. Part 4 addresses issues of health and nutrition and guidance and early education.

The topics in Part 4 can be linked with specific chapters in Part 3. For example, Chapter 11 on health and nutrition can be covered after a discussion of physical growth and development in Chapter 7. As children start to crawl and walk, safety must be addressed to minimize injuries while maximizing opportunities to explore. Likewise, proper nutrition is tied to optimal physical growth. Chapter 12 examines caregivers' role in encouraging socially appropriate behavior as children begin to exhibit increasing independence and engage in extended social contacts, topics discussed in Chapter 10. Lastly, the second half of Chapter 12 weaves the different strands of development in Part 3 into a composite picture of appropriate practices that meet the needs of infants and toddlers in out-of-home programs. SPECIFIC FEATURES

This book incorporates a number of unique features. Each is designed to stimulate and broaden students' interest in the reading material:

Parenting issues and sociocultural influences. To bride theory and research, in each chapter, special boxes highlight issues of concern to parents and underscore the impact of culture on all aspects of development. Historical voices. Interspersed throughout each chapter are historical voices, providing interesting insights into the prevailing views and beliefs of infants and toddlers at the time. Special boxes. Other topics of interest are covered in special boxes to expand on information presented in the text. Infants with special needs. At the end of each chapter in Part 3, special needs are discussed with a particular focus on early identification and intervention. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Every book is a collaborative effort. It requires the involvement of countless individuals. I especially want to thank my dedicated students enrolling in my courses at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. They have provided a living laboratory to explore together the wondrous journey of development during the first few years. I have noticed an increasing number of men who have been taking my courses and entering fields traditionally associated with women. Men can make enormous contributions to the development of infants and toddlers, whether as parents or professional caregivers.

I also wish to acknowledge colleagues and reviewers who provided constructive criticisms and helpful suggestions on drafts of this book. Special thanks go to the superb editorial staff at Prentice Hall, particularly Senior Acquisitions Editor Jennifer Gilliland and Senior Production Editor Lisa M. Guidone, for their support in making this book a reality. Finally, my immediate family deserves the greatest thanks. The unconditional love of my wife, Diane, and our two wonderful children, Erin and Kevin, shaped not only my own personal growth and development but also the scope and content of this book.

Rick A. Caulfield

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