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The Social Baby: Understanding Babies' Communication from Birth [Paperback]

Lynne Murray , Liz Andrews
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
RRP: £13.99
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The Social Baby: Understanding Babies' Communication from Birth + What Every Parent Needs to Know: The incredible effects of love, nurture and play on your child's development + Why Love Matters: How Affection Shapes a Baby's Brain
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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: CP Publishing (8 Jun 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903275423
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903275429
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 24.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,622 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


'A fascinating new book which, through unique photography provides a detailed insight into how babies develop from birth'. -- You and Your Baby Aug/Sept 2000

'A remarkable new book.' -- Anthony Brown, The Observer July 9 2000

'A startling new book'. -- Natalie Clarke, Daily Mail July 13 2000

'An astonishing sequence of video stills show Ethan gazing at his dad intently. Within moments he clearly imitates his dad. The video clock shows that the baby is just 17 minutes old'. -- Barbara Lantin, The Daily Telegraph July 6 2000

'Easy steps to ending the crying game. The first message is: Don't blame yourself if your child cries a lot'. -- Emma Burns, The Mirror June 29 2000

'I welcome the launch of The Social Baby as it is the first book to illustrate through pictures how to interpret the subtle language of a new born baby. It will prove to be an invaluable guide to parents on how to understand a baby's communication from the moment their child is born. It is a thoroughly informative book'. -- Tessa Jowell, Minister for Women, 6th July 2000.

'I wished I'd had it around when I was having my own babies. It's a lovely, lovely book.' -- Harriet Harman, MP

'These wonderful pictures record the very first minutes of baby Ethan's life, showing quite clearly how an apparently helpless newborn is actively getting to know his parents right from the start'. -- Practical Parenting Aug 2000

'This attractive book provides a rich source of insights into the development of babies. The photographs focus on the baby's remarkable emerging capacities. As well as being of interest to parents and those who care for babies, this book will also be useful for those who are training to work with families and young children.' -- Alan Stein, Leopold Muller Professor of Child & Family Mental Health, The Royal Free Hospital, and The Tavistock Centre, London, UK --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Every baby is a unique individual from the moment of birth, with their own likes and dislikes, strengths and sensitivities. One baby might find bright light disturbing, another may not be troubled by light at all but might find being undressed distressing. Similarly, babies differ in what they find soothing and comforting. Only by being finely tuned to a baby's unique communications can an adult fully understand that baby and provide appropriate care. "The Social Baby" is based on evidence about the development of communication in infants collected in research institutes around the world. By using picture sequences from video footage, this book provides captivating illustrations of key aspects of infant experience. Together with an accessible text, these illustrations provide a window into the rich and complex social world of babies. The knowledge and understanding gained from "The Social Baby" will help all those concerned with the care of young infants to relate more sensitively and responsively to the babies who depend on them. It will also enrich their own experience and enhance their enjoyment.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Lin Murray has written an amazing book which should be read by all those who come into contact with babies. The photographs of the ways every baby is able to communicate are wonderfully descriptive and give the reader a great insite into the world of the infant. I am sure this easy to read book will be welcomed by the Internation Assosiation of Infant massage as we teach massage through infant communication. Cherry Bond - Baby Massage Specialist
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, eye-opening book for any parent. 14 July 2000
By A Customer
This is a fascinating and eye-opening book which every mother and father should read. It makes you aware exactly how sensitive and intelligent babies are, and shows how inportant and rewarding communication with babies is. It is also very helpful in teaching parents how to respond to the cues of the baby. It made me realise that there is no such thing as 'difficult' babies, but only sensitive ones.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Social Baby 18 Dec 2004
By A Customer
I feel that this is a lovely book for anyone coming into contact with babies and small children. I hadn't realised before reading this book that babies are immediately communicating and interacting with their environment from birth. This book enables people to understand what a baby is communicating, and how to manipulate a babies environment to give it the best comfort. This book is a real gem.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Social baby 13 Jun 2004
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
What a fantastic insite into a baby's way of thinking.
As a new mum this book has enlightened me. I have tried suggestions in the book on things to do with my baby and they work. She now imitates me. I also can read her body language.
The pictures are excellent. I have tried the suggestions in how to settle my baby and it works. TRUST me it does. Baby is sleeping as I type.
I also ordered the suggested acompanyment baby books and baby loves them and the mobile that comes with them.
Even my Health visitor was engrossed. Top Marks.....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! 11 Jun 2008
This book was facinating and was so helpful in understanding our newborn baby. It was so reassuring to observe normal behaviour in the beautiful photos and was not a how to guide like other books but enabled us to come up with our own solutions. It was recommended by my health visitor and since i have recommended it to all my friends with or having babies.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book 6 Dec 2012
By Mr AS
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Really useful book Even if you are not a first time parent. Really interesting comments on nonverbal communication. Easy read with lots of pictures of babies' faces.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Social baby 25 April 2008
This book is delightful and such a refreshing change from the "how to cope with your baby" genre of books for new parents!

The style is sympathetic and informative; the pictures and commentary enable you to understand how your baby communicates with you from the start. It's so wonderful to understand how strongly the newborn baby is motivated to join in with its new social world, and learn about the non-verbal messages that he's giving us. This book approaches babies as the little people that they are and delights in their abilities.

As a new parent, although not a childcare professional, I'd heartily recommend this book to parents and anyone sharing the care of babies.
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4.0 out of 5 stars its worth a read 4 Sep 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Thought this book was good as pictures mainly illustrated the text and when your a new parent you don't even have time to stop to breath!
It was not as informative as I would have hoped I wanted to know what actions baby was doing meant. . I.e raising of legs to tummy/ biting of fingers/ dribbling - when to suspect the baby is not well..
Never the less id still recommend this book as any information to support you to better understanding your child is a bonus!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Mrs D Walker
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant - loved this book - a very interesting read for first time parents
Published 2 months ago by Jenny
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
This is a great book- especially for first time parents. It truly shows that babies are very responsive to engagement from an early age.
Published 5 months ago by LTomkins
3.0 out of 5 stars vnh
Good book but a lot of it is common sence.. because of the pictures perfect for fathers to be be that dont like reading but want to get some basic ideas about the babies behaviour.
Published 5 months ago by Vered
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource
As a student health visitor it has been hard to find a book that explains this delicate stage of a baby's beginning than this one. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Ms. E. Clarke
5.0 out of 5 stars Difficult to find, but very good book
Good book for those interested in baby interaction. Good for health visitors and students of baby brain development. It is an old book, but still relevant for today.
Published 6 months ago by Raphah
5.0 out of 5 stars so inspiring
beautiful pictures, easy to follow text, useful for all new parents as it really helps you understand where your baby is 'coming from'
Published 10 months ago by als
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant picture case studies
Bought when baby was a couple of weeks old. Ideal for helping with all sorts of baby related challenges eg swaddling, soothing, bathing. Covers range of emotional states. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Mrs CA Ashley
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
The book is very visual and it is fascinating to look at the responses from the babies in the photos. I would recommend this book to any new mum or grandma!
Published 13 months ago by Nanny jan
5.0 out of 5 stars social baby
I knew the book and wanted it for my daughter who is soon having our first grandchild - I was delighted to find this used copy for 1p plus shipping - it is ex library as described... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Lynne B
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