Stories about: Kevin Nugent

Are babies natural lip readers?

When I think of lip readers, I imagine adults who have worked for years to master the skill. There’s no denying that to become an efficient lip reader takes a lot of practice, but as it turns out the root of the talent is innate in all people.

New research suggests we all learn to “read” lips as babies, and studying mouths plays a very big role in how and when babies learn to talk. Scientists have discovered that starting around 6 months, babies start studying the mouths of the adults talking to them, instead of focusing solely on the eyes. In doing so they begin to learn how to position their own mouths to form certain sounds, including the much anticipated first utterance of “mama” and “dada.”

Kevin Nugent, PhD, founder and Director of the Brazelton Institute at Children’s, a research and training organization dedicated to studying the development of newborns and young children, was recently interviewed by Fox News to get his take on how babies learn to speak by watching our lips.

In addition to language development, Dr. Nugent is an expert in how environment affects other developmental milestone of childhood. Here’s a recent Thriving blog where the doctor discusses how the style of daycare a child attends can affect her development. He’s also the author of “Your Baby is Speaking to You: A Visual Guide to the Amazing Behaviors of your Newborn and Growing Baby.”

Read Full Story

Do you need help picking the right childcare?

Being a parent in a sluggish economy is tough. Raising kids is a demanding job on it’s own and adding money stress to the mix often makes things worse. It’s hard, but like it or not, these are the financial realities many parents are facing today.

To help make ends meet, more and more families are becoming dual-income households. Studies show that 80 percent of children have parents who both work full-time in the first year of life.

But that extra paycheck may come at a price. For every minute mom and dad spends at work, they need someone else to watch the children. For millions of American this involves placing their infant child in childcare, which often stirs up feelings of anxiety and guilt in parents. It’s a hard choice, but what effects does being in childcare really have on the child’s development? For decades, these questions have disturbed and even panicked parents. Fortunately there are experts who can help make that decision less stressful.

“Parents looking for clear information on how childcare affects children are given a bewilderingly diverse set of conclusions,” says Kevin Nugent, PhD, founder and Director of the Brazelton Institute at Children’s, a research and training organization dedicated to studying the development of newborns and young children. “But it’s not all bad news.”

Read Full Story