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Babies are amazing! From the moment they open their eyes, they are learning and developing at an astonishing rate.
Parents naturally want to engage with infants as they learn and grow, but what if we could optimize the way we play with babies? Backed by the latest research and years of observation, Playing with Baby distills the experts’ findings for new parents, giving them a guide to the first year of a baby’s life and the growth of his or her individual mind. Through specific month-by-month play options and the research behind them, psychoanalyst Laurie Hollman helps us understand how to create secure attachments between baby and mother even before they can communicate with language. While aiding natural development is a big plus, the real payoff for parents comes from the baby’s reaction: when we play on the baby’s level, we engage and connect more deeply—and we have more fun!
About the Author
Laurie Hollman, PhD, is an award-winning author and psychoanalyst with specialized clinical training in infant-parent, child, adolescent, and adult psychotherapy. She has been on the faculties of New York University and the Society for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, among others, and has written extensively on parenting for various publications, including her popular column, “Parental Intelligence,” at Moms Magazine.
"Playing with Baby: Research-Based Play to Bond with Your Baby Birth to One Yearis a fabulous read for parents and caregivers! Dr. Hollman offers guidance on using attuned interactions with your baby to create a strong parent-child bond. The research and insights provided are truly powerful! Thank you for this much-needed book!" -Carla Marie Manly, PhD, author of Date Smart, Joy From Fear, and Aging Joyfully
"An excellent resource for new parents to create a loving relationship with their baby while examining her charming personality during the first year of life. Dr. Laurie Hollman effectively presents how to intensify your baby’s social and cognitive development through knowledge-based play techniques. Common questions such as bonding, emotional response, and communication are addressed, providing peace of mind that what you are doing for your baby bestows long-term benefits. Playing with Baby provides a clear message: engaging with your baby may just be your most fulfilling job." —Lisa Lewis, MD, pediatrician, author of Feed the Baby Hummus, Pediatrician-Backed Secrets from Cultures Around the World
"Laurie Hollman, PhD, knows very well the needs of parents and babies and the intensity of their relationships. She captures the essence of the complex and stimulating playfulness that is essential for a good connection with a very young child. She restores play to a central position and offers rich examples and guidance on pleasurable communication with an infant—so vital now that neuroscience research in infants has demonstrated that emotional attunement is essential for good development. This is a brilliant book, exciting and very accessible—a good combination of education, emotional support, and psychoanalytic thinking." —Christine Anzieu-Premmereur, MD, director of Parent-Infant Psychotherapy Training at the Columbia Psychoanalytic Center
"Laurie Hollman captures the magic of play for both parents and babies during the first year of life. In this original book, specific month-by-month play suggestions are linked to validating state-of-the-art research. Understanding the science behind parent-baby play enriches parents’ experience of the baby’s developing brain and the deepening parent-baby relationship. A baby’s contagious joy while playing peek-a-boo, sense of wonder shaking a rattle and making it jingle, and power to knock down a tower of blocks and rebuild it together delight parents and babies and evoke parents’ embodied memories. All this and more to be discovered in Playing with Baby!" —Ilene S. Lefcourt, author of Parenting and Childhood Memories: A Psychoanalytic Approach to Reverberating Ghosts and Magic and faculty at Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research Parent-Infant Program
"Dr. Laurie Hollman’s high regard for her audience, parents of babies, is demonstrated by how clearly she communicates useful information previously only accessible to developmental psychologists and infancy researchers. She illustrates in her book how helpful it is to parents and caregivers of babies to be informed of all the wonderful information revealed by years of research. It is implied over and over that the emotional and physical wellbeing of infants is enhanced when parents know in a thorough way what is going on developmentally in a growing infant’s life, step by step, month by month. Furthermore, she provides all sorts of practical ways to implement and further strengthen baby’s development through play and care. I would recommend this book to any young parent embarking on the great adventure of being with baby. With Laurie Hollman’s book as a guide, the journey will be that much more fulfilling and secure." —Andrea Remez, PhD, clinical psychologist and parent-infant therapist
"Dr. Hollman has done it again—written an invaluable book for parents and caregivers, this time of babies. How does one have a “play date” with a one-month-old or five-month-old? Here you have it. Dr. Hollman distils decades of research and hands-on experience into month-by-month insights, knowledge, and play time, designed to strengthen your bonds with baby in the first year." —Marcelle Soviero, director of Marcelle Ink, author of An Iridescent Life: Essays on Motherhood, and former editor-in-chief and publisher of Brain Child Magazine and Teen Magazine