New book! For Our Babies

"For Our Babies: Ending the Invisible Neglect of America’s Infants" by J. Ronald Lally

 “You can witness a magical dance taking place between babies as young as 6 weeks of age and their caregivers – exchanges that resemble conversations in the back-and-forth of timing and sequencing of the sounds, gestures, and facial expressions. It almost looks as if the baby is wooing the adult. These “conversations” are a significant part of the attachment process. What babies and adults are doing in these playful exchanges are getting to know each other. By the time babies are 12 weeks old, patterns of caregiver/baby interactions are being filed in their brains, allowing them to develop expectations as they come to learn whether than can or cannot depend on adults and to adjust their behaviors accordingly.” — J. Ronald Lally (excerpt from his new book For Our Babies: Ending the Invisible Neglect of America’s Infants, pp 45-46.)

What can we be doing differently to promote healthier development of America’s infants?  For Our Babies: Ending the Invisible Neglect of America’s Infants includes 20 recommended supports and services for babies and their families.


For Our Babies paints a bleak picture of how societal changes in the United States over the past 60 years have affected babies. Today’s infants and young children have less access to their parents, spend longer time in child care, and receive substandard child care and services.

Written by J. Ronald Lally, Co-Director of the Center for Child & Family Studies at WestEd, the book shares the hopes, worries, and frustrations of American parents, who receive little support for their children or themselves as parents. It also reveals their lack of awareness about how little assistance they receive compared to parents in other countries.

In addition, the book provides crucial testimony from developmental psychologists, child care providers, health and mental health professionals, economists, specialists in brain development, and early learning educators. These specialists address how U.S. policy and practices must change if all parents are to raise children to be physically and emotionally healthy and productive members of society.

To learn about WestEd’s For Our Babies initiative, visit

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