The best books for a deep understanding of infant and toddler development

Alice Sterling Honig Author Of Secure Relationships: Nurturing Infant/Toddler Attachment in Early Care Settings
By Alice Sterling Honig

The Books I Picked & Why

Oneness and Separateness: From Infant to Individual

By Louise Kaplan

Oneness and Separateness: From Infant to Individual

Why this book?

Vividly and poetically, Dr. Kaplan describes the emotional development of infants, including the choreography of each stage, through ‘holding on and letting go,’ and ’no-saying’ in the Separation / Individuation stage, to a psychological rebirth by the end of the toddler period. The writer carefully delineates the struggles of each baby toward this rebirth as a person who can handle the contradictions of his or her own feelings and those of the parents.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

First Feelings: Milestones in the Emotional Development of Your Baby and Child

By Stanley I. Greenspan, Nancy Thorndike Greenspan

First Feelings: Milestones in the Emotional Development of Your Baby and Child

Why this book?

Psychiatrist Dr., Greenspan illuminates in careful detail for parents six emotional milestones on an infant’s journey toward becoming a more self-regulated person with an organized sense of self. He provides positive and wise supports for parents to help each child along this pathway.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Rethinking the Brain: New Insights into Early Development

By Rima Shore

Rethinking the Brain: New Insights into Early Development

Why this book?

By three years of age, toddler brains are two and half times as active as those of adults and they stay that way for a decade. New brain imaging techniques reveal how powerful adult-child positive interactions are for enhancing brain development from birth. With large print, charming infant and toddler photos, and easy-to-read charts, this book should galvanize parents and program personnel to support care providers’ frequent, sensitive, and enriching social interactions from birth onward to enhance and optimize early brain development.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Childhood and Society

By Erik H. Erikson

Childhood and Society

Why this book?

Erikson’s classic theoretical rubric clearly describes the positive and negative poles of social development across the life span. For the earliest years, these poles are: Trust vs. Mistrust; Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt, and Initiative vs. Guilt. Freudian psychosexual theories of development and cross-cultural practices are also discussed.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Ghosts from the Nursery: Tracing the Roots of Violence

By Robin Karr-Morse, Meredith S Wiley

Ghosts from the Nursery: Tracing the Roots of Violence

Why this book?

Building on the brilliant work of Dr, Selma Fraiberg, who published Ghosts in the Nursery, detailing the consequences for impaired mother-infant relationships when the mother has had traumas in her past and then is “unable” to hear her own baby’s cries and need for nurturance, these authors go further. They provide specific details of how, during the first three years of life, insecure attachments, violence, abuse, terror, neglect, and prenatal ingestion of drugs, lead to impaired brain development, emotional disturbances, and later violent behaviors.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Random Book Lists