Babies in Mind: Understanding Your Baby's Psychological Needs

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Juta and Company Ltd, 2008 - Family & Relationships - 208 pages
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Being a new parent is immensely challenging. Not only do you have to handle your baby's physical needs, but her psychological needs too. Babies in Mind is the only book that explains how to give babies in their first year of life what they really need from a purely psychological perspective. Written for both mothers and fathers, the book is informed by psychological and medical research that shows that emotional difficulties in later life can sometimes have their roots in infancy. The way in which babies are handled and related to by their caregivers has a direct and powerful link to the kind of people they will grow into.

PART 1: "Thinking about parenthood before it begins".
The section is about the physical and mental preparation for a baby from a realistic versus an idealized perspective. It also looks at the danger of an overload of misguided and unhelpful parenting advice that is dished out so readily to new and expectant parents.

PART 2: "The everyday life of being a new parent".
Here, the three most crucial areas of babyhood are covered: feeding, sleeping and crying. In addition, development and growth, the role of the father, time together with the baby and time apart from him/her are discussed in detail in separate chapters.

PART 3: "Troubling aspects of being a parent".
This section looks at the negative, complicated and confusing feelings that most parents have towards their babies. High need or struggling babies who are difficult to soothe and sometimes difficult to be around are discussed. The commonly experienced struggles of motherhood are also dealt with here, leading onto the vitally important topic of post-natal depression.

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About the author (2008)

JENNY PERKEL is a Cape Town based clinical psychologist with years of experience in play therapy with children, and psychodynamic psychotherapy with adolescents and adults. She is the managing editor of the academic journal, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy in South Africa and she has written more than 25 articles for parenting magazines. She is author of the children's book Streets of Jewels: Journeys into the Child's Inner World. She has a background in nursing and midwifery, and is married with a daughter.

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