Author(s)
Kirsi Heikkinen
Tiina Huttu
Illustrator(s)
Publication date
2017
Publisher
WSOY
Format info
196 pages

Head First. A guide to supporting development of your child’s brain

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-   Kirsi Heikkinen
-   Tiina Huttu

How can I help my baby grow into a happy adult?

 

Does a child need to hear Mozart and play with expensive toys to be intelligent? What about computer games: will they destroy my toddler’s brain? What can parents do to teach a sandbox tyrant fair play? Is all lost because I was too tired to play with my child, or I lost my temper at the supermarket?

Life’s greatest joy and biggest source of concern often appear in the same little package. The responsibility can catch parents off guard: it’s like being assigned the most important job in the world without any training, let alone experience. Advice is readily available from the internet, friends, and family, but it’s often conflicting – and besides, the best place to look for guidance is the child, in all of his or her individual uniqueness.

Understanding how the brain develops can do a lot to curb parental uncertainty. As it turns out, development is a combination of genes and environment, temperament and parenting, play and affection.

Tiina Huttu and Kirsi Heikkinen’s Head First describes what’s going on in a tiny head at any particular stage. Relying on brain research, this guide describes how to best ensure favourable development while putting parents’ minds at ease: there are plenty of things not worth worrying about. It also explains how becoming a parent changes the parent’s brain – usually for the better. Child rearing is a growth process for both child and adult.

Written in an uncompromisingly understandable style, Head First is not only for parents and parents-to-be, but for other important people in a child’s life, including child-rearing professionals.

 

Science reporter, licentiate in neurosciences, and mother of two boys Tiina Huttu has extensively studied brain development. Kirsi Heikkinen MSocSci is the mother of two girls and a science journalist and editor whose area of expertise is brain research

 

Reading materials

List of Contents in English
Finnish edition

 

Praise for the Work

“Now here is a book that could be put in a maternity package – or given to parents at their first ultrasound. Written by Tiina Huttu and Kirsi Heikkinen, two science journalists familiar with neurological research, Head First is an apt, warm booklet on everything expecting or new parents should know about the development of their little one’s brain.” – Helsingin Sanomat newspaper

 

List of Contents

Foreword……………………………………………………………………………………………………………9

1 + 1 = 1, OR HOW THE BRAIN DEVELOPS IN THE WOMB………………………………..13
The first environment…………………………………………………………………………………………14
Girl or boy?……………………………………………………………………………………………………….25
A prenatal calendar……………………………………………………………………………………………28

WHO IS YOUR CHILD: EMOTIONS, STRESS AND TEMPERAMENT…………………..35
Emotions are exclamation points………………………………………………………………………..36
Just the right amount of stress……………………………………………………………………………44
Unique from the very start………………………………………………………………………………….48

WHAT YOUR CHILD ALREADY KNOWS: SENSES AND MOTOR SKILLS…………….67
Senses stimulate exploration……………………………………………………………………………….69
Bouncing and bobbing bring balance……………………………………………………………………71
Motor skills refine movement………………………………………………………………………………73
Sight develops slowly………………………………………………………………………………………….78
Hearing is tuned before birth………………………………………………………………………………83
Safe smells, testing tastes……………………………………………………………………………………86

WHAT YOUR CHILD NEEDS: AFFECTION, FOOD AND SLEEP…………………………..91
Closeness is crucial……………………………………………………………………………………………..91
The baby at the milk bar……………………………………………………………………………………..96
Sleep recharges the brain…………………………………………………………………………………..107

HOW YOUR CHILD LEARNS: MEMORY, INTELLIGENCE AND LANGUAGE……..115
Memories affect neurons…………………………………………………………………………………..116
Intelligence is competence………………………………………………………………………………..123
Air traffic control directs the action……………………………………………………………………128
Practice makes perfect………………………………………………………………………………………133
Language begins in the womb……………………………………………………………………………143
The digital home………………………………………………………………………………………………154

PARENTHOOD CHANGES YOUR MIND…………………………………………………………..159
Welcome to motherhood…………………………………………………………………………………..159
Caregiving forms the father……………………………………………………………………………….165

Maps of the brain……………………………………………………………………………………………..175
Glossary………………………………………………………………………………………………………….178
Literatures………………………………………………………………………………………………………184