Cooing, Crying, Cuddling: Infant Brain Development [Video and Guide]

Christi Szakaly-Meredith, Resa Matlock, Ball State University

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This videotape recording, intended for caregivers of infants and toddlers, focuses on the rapid growth and changes in the brain during infancy and the implications for caregivers. The role of the caregiver is critical in providing an appropriate and responsive caregiving environment that fosters brain growth. The first part of the videotape describes basic development and brain research, emphasizing the importance of nurture and early stimulation of all the senses for healthy brain growth. Next health and safety issues are reviewed. Problems of substance abuse by pregnant mothers, nutrition and sleep needs, safety concerns in the caregiving environment, and the effects of Shaken-Infant Syndrome are addressed. Steps that caregivers can take to create a safe environment are outlined. The next section of the videotape emphasizes that caregiver responsiveness to the child and to the families is extremely important. This section addresses ways that caregivers can provide a basis for secure attachments that will help in the emotional, social, and cognitive development of the child, and describes the special qualities of good caregivers. Partnership with parents and good communication are also essential in a good childcare program. The components of an ideal caregiving facility are listed. The videotape ends by pointing out how a responsive environment aids in literacy development, problem-solving skills, and social skills. 

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Bibliographic Information:

Christi Szakaly-Meredith, Resa Matlock, Ball State University. Cooing, Crying, Cuddling: Infant Brain Development [Video and Guide] (1998). Ball State University: Muncie, IN.

Sponsoring Agency: Ball State University

Language: English

Reading Level: Average

Formats Available: Printed Material, Videotape

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(The accompanying print guide is titled "Reflections on Practice: A Companion Guide to
Indiana's Child Care Collection" - contact producer regarding price )

Ball State University
The Child Care Collection
c/o Christi Szakaly-Meredith
BSU TC 1008
Muncie, IN

Phone: (877) 550-4455
Fax: (765) 285-4045


Languages Available: English, Spanish

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Related Items:

Laughing, Learning, Loving: Toddler Brain Development [Video and Guide]

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Producer Information:

Intended User Audience:

Users can be early childhood care and education professionals, including child care providers, preschool personnel, K-3rd grade teachers, preservice students in ECE, ECSE, and those working toward CDA (Child Development Associate) certification. 

Product Development:

Two co-directors oversee development of the videos in this collection. Both have backgrounds in early childhood education, and one of the co-directors is bilingual in Spanish and English.

Each video is developed using a multi-step process. First, state level personnel decide on the content areas for new videos (once each year). Second, a team of experts is gathered representing higher education faculty (mostly in-state), state personnel, child care providers from home and center-based settings, and other disciplines as needed for specific topics (e.g., physical therapist). Based on input from the team, a script is developed. Then in-state sites are chosen for filming. A production crew and members of the expert team as well as state level personnel often accompany staff to the sites. Edits to the scripts and video segments are done as a group. The process takes approximately six months to complete.

While the cultural and linguistic diversity of each video is primarily European American and English-speaking, an effort is made to film at sites representing diversity in both children and staff (e.g., home child care, preschool center in the inner city, university lab schools). 

Product Evaluation:

As noted above, informal evaluation is done during the development of each video. The team reviews the script and footage in an ongoing manner.

There are plans for focus groups and surveys to collect data concerning the effectiveness of the videos (presentation and content). The complete set of videos (N =23) are also used as part of CDA certification in Indiana. 

Product Dissemination:

As of December 1999, 50 copies of Bienvenidos a todos los ninos: Cuidado inclusivo, 300 copies of Welcoming all children: Creating inclusive child care, 1436 copies of Cooing, crying, cuddling: Infant brain development, 1473 copies of Toddler brain development, and 534 copies of The B.U.S.I.N.E.S.S. of family child care have been disseminated throughout the United States. Additional dissemination figures:

Developmental Infant Care - 416 = 1129 copies
Dilemas Diarios Manejando Difficultades - 894S = 200
Pintando un Cuardo...881S = 200
Daily Dilemmas - coping with challenges - 894? = 1166
Planeando dias apropiados - 882S = 200
El Desarrollo del cuidado... #416 = 200
Quality Fmaily Child Care - #885 = 1357
Designing developmentally appropriate days - 882 = 1980
Painting a postive picture...881 = 2720
Cuidado de calidad para los ninos..885S = 200


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