Your Baby and Child

Your Baby and Child

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by Penelope Leach

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This newest edition of Penelope Leach’s much-loved, trusted, and comprehensive classic—an international best seller for twenty-five years, with nearly two million copies sold in America alone—encompasses the latest research and thinking on child development and learning, and reflects the realities of today’s changing lifestyles.

In her


This newest edition of Penelope Leach’s much-loved, trusted, and comprehensive classic—an international best seller for twenty-five years, with nearly two million copies sold in America alone—encompasses the latest research and thinking on child development and learning, and reflects the realities of today’s changing lifestyles.

In her authoritative and practical style, Leach responds fully to parents’ every concern about the psychological, emotional, and physical well-being of their children. She describes, in easy-to-follow stages from birth through starting school, how children develop: what they are doing, experiencing, and feeling. And she tackles both the questions parents often ask—What does a new baby’s wakefulness or a toddler’s tantrum mean?—and those that are more difficult: How should new parents time their return to work, choose day care, tell a child about a new baby or an impending divorce?

Whatever the concern or question, Your Baby and Child supplies the information, encouragement, and reassurance every parent-to-be or new parent needs.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This updated version of the child-rearing standard by renowned British psychologist Leach is touted by the publisher as the "essential guide fully revised for today's family." Although the five chapter subdivisions based on the child's age remain the same, and some of the opening essays on each age are lifted almost verbatim from the 1989 edition (Knopf), critical updates in some areas of concern, such as SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), make this an essential purchase. In addition to physical growth and progress, Leach addresses the psychosocial needs of children. She also includes parent concerns and responses similar to those found in Workman's "What To Expect" series. Public and academic libraries would do well to stock the new version of this primer on children and their development for circulation as well as for the reference shelf.Lisa Williams, Moline Southeast Lib., Ill.
New York Times Book Review
"The thinking parent's guide."

Product Details

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
17 Years

Read an Excerpt

The Importance of Reading to Children
A web-exclusive guide for parents written by Penelope Leach, Ph.D.

When parents read aloud to their children, everyone wins. It's fun for the adult and great for the kids. Easy for you and good for them. You don't even have to ration it because, unlike TV or ice cream, there's no such thing as too much.

There's no such thing as too early, either. If you wait until pre-school to start reading to your children, you'll have missed out on years. If you even wait until they can talk, you'll have missed out on months. Start showing your baby pictures and telling her about them as soon as she focuses her eyes on the pattern on your sweater or the change-mat.

"Reading" to tiny babies is a way of talking to them; and talking not only speeds brain development, but cements relationships as well. Make sure that anyone who ever cares for your baby takes reading to her for granted."Reading" to older babies is a way of expanding their experience. You can't always find a real cat or truck or fried egg to tell him about, but you can always find their pictures in books. And linking the sight of things with the sounds of their names boosts language learning.

Reading to toddlers is education and loving and talking and fun. It's about language itself and discovering the joys of jokes and rhymes and huge long words that roll round the tongue and trip it up. It's about learning to "read" pictures to find the meanings of words or the answers to questions hiding behind those thrilling pull-tabs: where's the kitten gone? There he is...And eventually it's about the sheer, entrancing magic of stories unfolding between the pictures and the voice; playing to a dawning imagination, a fledgling ability to put herself in someone else's place.

And reading to pre-schoolers is all that, plus a welcome to our culture where everything—even on the information highway—revolves around the written word. Pictures on the page are his introduction to print; being read to helps him toward written language, now, just as it helped him toward spoken language two years ago.

Once your kids are hooked on being read to, they will never be bored if somebody will read, and since there are bound to be times when nobody will read and they are bored, they'll have the best possible reason to learn to read themselves.

Reading to themselves isn't a signal to stop reading to them, though. Whether your child is five or seven or nine years old when he starts to read stories to himself for pleasure, the mechanics of the words will still get between him and their enthralling sounds and meanings. Read just one more chapter; one more poem. You have nothing to lose and your kids have everything to gain.

What People are saying about this

T Berry Brazelton
"A wonderful book. Well researched, well written and sensitive to both parents' and children's needs in the task of growing up together."

Meet the Author

Penelope Leach, educated at Cambridge University and at the London School of Economics, is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and a founding member of the U.K. branch of the World Association for Infant Mental Health. She works on both sides of the Atlantic for organizations concerned with prenatal care and birth, family-friendly working practices, child care, and early-years education. She lives in Lewes, England.

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Your Baby and Child 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am so gald I found this book! This book was so readable and easy to reference in 1990. I lent it out to a neighbor who moved 6 years ago. I want this book, always, on my shelf! This book is a calm, gentle, practical, and reasonable discussion about our child's developement and health. It has simple, intuitive suggestions for care and enrichment. It is not sensational, judgemental, and extravagant like so much of AMERICAN society and baby care literature.
bookaddictaz More than 1 year ago
I bought this book when I was pregnant with my daughter. Now, 28 years later, she is pregnant. My first 'pregnancy gift' to her will be this book. My confidence in Penelope Leach couldn't be greater. This book carried me calmly through pregnancy, my daughter's infancy, and her early childhood knowing that I had an expert at my side. Time only reminds me what a gift it was.
kaye444 More than 1 year ago
Book is such a help, even with little things like play, sometimes we forget how to play with all the new toys. Goes through all the ages and reactions to others, play, nail biting I have given this book to every baby shower I have been to since receiving a copy with my first child. The Encyclopedia/Index alone is worth the purchase. Truly brings you through your baby to child age 5. I'm here yet again to purchase this for a new Mother.
RaeLM More than 1 year ago
I would recommend this book for all mothers - whether it's your first, second or third time around. Very informative and answers almost all questions you can think of. Would buy this book again.