The astonishing story of a baby's first two years.
Renowned zoologist and scholar of human behavior Desmond Morris (The Naked Ape) reveals a baby's incredible powers of development and extraordinary growth patterns. Through informed text and stunning photographs and artworks, this insightful reference surveys the biology, physics, chemistry and other forces which drive the rapid changes that occur in a baby's body every day.
Amazing Baby is a discovery tour through a baby's first two years. The story progresses from the moment of conception through each phase of development in the womb and beyond as the baby is born and matures into a talking, walking individual with a unique personality. Chapters are organized by both stage and type of growth.
The book features 250 large and beautiful color photographs and illustrations in an innovative layout that invites both browsing and study. Full-color tracing paper overlays illustrate the many intricacies of infant anatomy. Throughout the book, retrospective glimpses of life in the womb remind the reader of the profound influence of those first nine months.
This beautiful visual reference is designed to appeal to anyone -- especially parents -- interested in how the human body evolves and works. It is also an ideal book to use with siblings of a new baby.
The contents include:
Some of the fascinating facts in Amazing Baby:
Desmond Morris' landmark book, The Naked Ape: A Zoologist's Study of the Human Animal, was published in 1967. A worldwide best-seller, it examined how humans feed, sleep, fight, mate and raise young and compared human behavior with that of apes. Controversial at the time, the book shed new light on the subject and helped change popular perceptions.
As in all his books, Desmond Morris reaches a popular audience and demystifies science.
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Desmond Morris has a PhD in zoology from Oxford University and is a writer and broadcaster whose interests include animal behavior. He was the London Zoo's Curator of Mammals. Morris' many books and scientific articles have been published internationally. As a broadcaster, he has made more than 700 films and television programs. His first best-seller, The Naked Ape, was translated into 23 languages. His other books include The Naked Woman, The Nature of Happiness, The Human Zoo and Babywatching.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
The human baby is truly amazing and this book is a celebration of that fact. Many baby books have been written from the point of view of the parent, offering advice on how to look after an infant, but this one is different. Instead of giving advice, it sets out to paint an accurate portrait of the first two years of human life, as seen from the child's point of view. Armed with this information it is then up to the parent to decide how best to care for a little one -- from the day of his birth, when he arrives small, vulnerable and wordless, to the day he celebrates his second birthday, already walking, talking and challenging the world.
Perhaps the most astonishing fact about a baby is that, during the nine months between conception and birth, his weight increases by a staggering 3,000 million times. As soon as he is born, this meteoric growth rate slows down dramatically, so that between birth and the end of his second year an infant will have only quadrupled in size. This may seem like an impressive growth to parents, but it is nothing compared to the astonishing development that takes place inside the womb.
An evolutionary journey
The unfolding of a baby's qualities and abilities is a complex story. His tiny body has the backing of a million years of human evolution, helping different features to develop in a special sequence. All the new baby needs now is a friendly environment in which this can happen.
Evolution has armed the infant with an irresistible appeal that ensures his parents care for him, tend him, feed him and keep him clean and warm. Even the most sophisticated adults are transformed into doting protectors when faced with the helpless bundle in their arms, staring up at them with big, questioning eyes. Bearing in mind the amount of time and effort that goes into looking after a newborn, this is just as well.
A parent's role
For human beings the parental burden is huge, lasting nearly two decades for each child, but it can also be a source of intense joy. And babies are more than just babies. They also happen to be our only certain form of immortality, in the sense that they carry on our genetic line, ensuring that our genes do not die out when we ourselves come to the end of our own lives.
The importance of a baby's first two years of life cannot be overestimated. Many of the qualities he acquires during this sensitive period mark him for life. A toddler who is provided with a rich, varied, exciting environment in which he is encouraged, to start exploring, and who is treated lovingly by dependable parents, stands the very best chance of acquiring a sense of confident curiosity, creative wonder and active intelligence in later life. Nestling inside his fragile head, a newborn baby has the genetically inherited equipment that is needed for this development. All his parents have to do is to offer him the setting in which this equipment can whirr into action, allowing him to fulfill his human potential. The secret is simply to let natural loving feelings express themselves -- a child needs a lot of love and complete trust in the reliability of his protectors if he is to flourish.
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