Book review: The Psychology of Babies (Lynne Murray)

Give me a baby and I can’t help experimenting on her. Sticking out my tongue to see if she will copy, striking up a ‘making-faces’ conversation, looking at an object to see if she will follow my gaze, playing peekaboo. Now that my children are older, I don’t get much baby time but The Psychology of Babies by Lynne Murray makes a great substitute.

This fabulous book recreates classic developmental psychology experiments in an easy-to-follow photo format specifically designed to support parents and practitioners in decoding babies’ behaviour and understanding why babies do the things they do.

The focus is firmly on the social environment and how babies’ brains develop through relationships and interactions. The Psychology of Babies: How relationships support development from birth to two spans the whole of the first two years and includes attachment theory, how babies learn to regulate their emotions and overall cognitive development (including language learning).

This is a very practical book that gives a clear steer on what sensitive parenting looks like in practice and how to handle tricky issues like feeding, helping babies settle to sleep, coping with crying, snatching and aggression and transitioning children into childcare.

Lynne Murray certainly doesn’t skimp on the psychology theory – this is really a first level textbook for anyone interested in child development. (It would be useful for expectant parents, parents with a young baby, students and anyone working in childcare.) But the clear explanations and photo sequences make it easy to follow. This visual emphasis is the perfect way to model how parents can teach new skills through everyday interactions and support their baby’s development at a pre-verbal stage when words won’t work.

Lynne Murray won’t teach you how to sterilise a bottle or when to wean but she will fill you with admiration for the wonders of human development and demonstrate (if you were in any doubt) that babies really aren’t boring at all.

This is not a sponsored post. The opinions expressed in this review are my own – I welcome comments and discussion! It does however contain affiliate links. See Disclosure Notice for more info.

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14 thoughts on “Book review: The Psychology of Babies (Lynne Murray)

  1. Catherine @ Story Snug

    I like the idea that there are lots of pictures to help with the activities. I’ve just sent this link to a friend with six month old twins, I’m sure that she doesn’t have a lot of time to read huge chunks of text!


  2. Sarah Ella (Mumx3x)

    This sounds like an interesting read! I wish I had read this book when my children were little. It sounds great for tips on dealing with certain situations. 🙂 I’d really like to read this book now actually! #ReadWithMe

    1. AnitaCleare Post author

      I found it fascinating and my children are teenagers now! (But then again, there’s just something about pictures of babies, isn’t there!)

  3. Acorn Books

    This book sounds so interesting, there are so many baby books but a lot seem to follow an agenda. One that discusses current psychological theories is definitely more likely to get me to reading!

  4. Carol Cameleon

    I remember reading a weekly progress book when i was pregnant. It sounds like this has a similar idea but covering a topic that i find fascinating. Very helpful for all sorts of people with an interest in this field. #readwithme


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