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What Babies Say Before They Can Talk: The Nine Signals Infants Use to Express Their Feelings Paperback – August 4, 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Pamela C. Cantor, Ph.D. Harvard Medical School author of Understanding Children and Youth If I could own only one book on parenting and children, What Babies Say Before They Can Talk would be it!

About the Author

Paul C. Holinger, M.D., M.P.H., is a psychiatrist and child/adult psychoanalyst. He is Professor of Psychiatry at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center, Chicago. He is also Faculty, Training/Supervising Analyst at the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; Original ed. edition (August 4, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743406672
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743406673
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,704 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
On the last day of my developmental psychology class, just before I completed my degree, my professor ended the class with one sentence: "I know all of you have wondered at some point during the semester what you will some day do as parents. My advice is simple. Read What Babies Say Before They Can Talk." I frantically jotted this down in my planner and went on with life. A while later when we were expecting our son, I gladly ordered this book and was blown away at how far above and beyond it exceeded my expectations.

I must admit after completing the book I am very jealous. I worked extremely hard on my school's pre-medical psychology degree track to obtain pieces of the knowledge presented in this book. While I had to also learn names, theory and cite endless laboratory proof just to come away with the "good stuff", like how to be a thoughtful and effective parent, it seems a teensy bit unfair that this one small book could give parents the same arsenal of knowledge I am coming into parenthood with after years of extensive study. Nevertheless, I whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone who is wanting to break the bonds of over-protective, bossy, traditional parenthood roles and allow their children to truly grow with wise and empowering guidance. If I had to pick only one parenting book to read, this would be it. I think you'll find your fears of turining into your parents (or having out-of-control toddlers) melt away with each page that you turn.

(For anyone, psychology-degreed or not, who is interested in reading further on the subject of non-judgemental parenting, may I also recommend "Redirecting Children's Behavior" by Kathryn J. Kvols. This gives you the skills to parent beyond the baby years into the toddler and teenage years with wisdom that could not be learned by yourself in a thousand lifetimes of raising children.)
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Format: Paperback
The saying "a picture is worth a thousand words," is very true...especially when it comes to facial expressions. How many times have you looked at a baby's face and wondered what they were thinking? How frustrating it must be for them to want to verbally communicate with others, but being too young to know how. What if you could "read" a baby's cues, and know exactly what they were feeling?

In the book, "What Babies Say Before They Can Talk: The Nine Signals Infants Use to Express Their Feelings," Paul C. Holinger, M.D., M.P.H., discusses nine simple "signals" that babies use to express their feelings: These signals are: interest, enjoyment, surprise, distress, anger, fear, shame, disgust, and dissmell. The author explains how children are born knowing how to communicate their feelings with these symbols, and that adults need to take the time to understand and learn how their child communicates using these symbols.

This book also includes much information about parenting, helping your children develop high self-esteem, and explains the nine signals in detail.

MyParenTime.com highly recommends this book -- learning how a baby communicates creates better understanding, better interaction, and a better relationship between parent and child. In addition, responding to a child's needs early on, makes happier and healthier parents and children.
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Format: Paperback
I liked this book, it has some valuable perspectives on helping your kids learn to express themselves and handle their emotions. It provided me useful insights into how some typical parent behaviors can have unexpected undesirable side effects on the child's development.

I found the cover and title misleading, I think I was expecting something about the secret language of babies that might be helpful in the first year or two. This is more of a methodology of child rearing in the attachment parenting vein. On the plus side I think the techniques would continue to be useful long after your child learns to talk.
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Format: Paperback
One of the best baby books out there from a psychological perspective. If I could only buy one baby book, this book would be it! Dr. Holinger is a psychoanalyst and he applies theory in a way that is very accessible. As a therapist I am surprised to see how few baby books are written by psychologists and psychoanalysts. I was happy to find this book and recommend it highly. It helps parents understand what being attuned truly means and it makes parenting more enjoyable. The first two years are so important and this book helps make them easier. It can also be applied to parenting in general because it promotes being responsive, empathic, and validating.
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Format: Paperback
The title of this book is rather misleading. It is not just about nonverbal communication, but rather an extremely insightful guide to forming strong relationships with your children. It is also a way to articulate the ways in which our own baggage as parents impact those relationships. I found the straightforward and intelligent presentation of the information refreshing after looking through so many "Babies for Dummies"-type books that merely scratch the surface. Highly recommended!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First of all, I purchased this book with specific questions in mind. I wanted to know why my two month old was arching her back, or shaking her head during feeding. This book is not set up to answer those kinds of questions. It's more of a philosophical discussion of how babies' emotions work and develope. It is definitely not the type of book you can pick up and skip to a page to find answers, which is what most people with infants probably have in mind since reading time can be limited.
Not a bad book overall, but definitely not what I, and probably many others like me, are looking for in a book with this title.
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