Why are emotional well baby checkups performed primarily under the direction of a Psychologist?

     Psychologists have a professional responsibility to keep abreast of the research that informs the direction of most all clinical practice in behavioral health. They have completed doctoral graduate coursework in statistics, research and fundamentals of psychological test construction (properties such as reliability, validity, normative data…) and test interpretation. Psychologists also have experience conducting research and understand how, via experimental design or flawed methodology, erroneous and misleading results can and do occur.

     Child Psychologists have training and knowledge of developmental processes such as infant “attachment”, a phenomenon that can result in failure to thrive or death when problems arise. A caregiver’s attachment to a baby or toddler may begin when learning of a positive pregnancy test. However, a typically developing infant does not enter the attachment phase of development until he or she reaches 9 to 10 months of age. Neurological pre-requisites must occur before an infant can attain a temporary and permanent attachment to a specific caregiver. The pioneering research of Psychologist Dr Mary Ainsworth demonstrated the timing and qualitative aspects of a child’s developmental phase of attachment to a specific caregiver.  For the majority of children, this dynamic process occurs from 9 to 18 months of age.  Dr. Ainsworths' research conclusions stem from her work focusing on infant attachment in Uganda and Baltimore, Maryland.

     Developmental research continues to inform us about the critical importance of infant interaction with caregivers and its intimate relationship with many vital aspects of a child’s development. These include the quality and appropriate timing of social, emotional, cognitive and language developmental milestones and their interplay. Emotional well baby checkups can (1) serve to "screen" for on-target behavior or developmental delays while also (2) providing caregivers with coaching guidelines to promote healthy and happier caregiver interaction and address specific areas of strength or weakness. Ultimately, these checkups aim to (3) promote more competent and joyful relationships between the child and his or her caregivers.  Interdisciplinary collaboration is sometimes helpful or essential.

     Autism prevalence rates have recently soared from 1 in 130 to 1 in 68, thus establishing this epidemic as a public health priority. Emotional well baby checkups may help identify infants who may be atypical in their developmental trajectory and in need of intensive intervention and timely referrals for additional services. Such checkups also seek to allay the anxiety of caregivers who constitute the growing population of worried well. Pregnant women must now navigate the threat of infection by the zika virus and how they will attempt to keep themselves and their babies safe.   Given that many caregivers have less time to interact with their very young children, recommended interventions can assist caregivers with how to best interact with their infant or toddler while managing the time demands and stress of employment outside the home.

Library to Provide the Public with Rationale for these Services

Prenatal Development, Breastfeeding, &MATERNAL Health

1. The Sentient Prenate: WHAT EVERY PARENT SHOULD KNOW, by David B. Chamberlain, Ph.D. , Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health, 2011.

2. A systematic review and meta-analysis of the nutrient content of preterm and term BREAST-MILK, Dominica A. Gidrewicz & Tanis R. Fenton in BMC Pediatrics, 2014, 14:216, p. 1-19.  This outstanding article on the complexity and perfection of breast milk can be viewed on-line for free.  Try to google it!

PRENATAL Maternal STRESS, laboratory of Suzanne King, article updated Jan 21, 2013, written by Christine Zeinder.

4. The impact of ANXIETY and DEPRESSION during pregnancy on fetal growth and the birth outcome, by Y. Sabri and H. Nabel, Egyptian Journal of Psychiatry, 2015, 36: p 95-100

5. Head strong, for many people with DEPRESSION, EXERCISE may be the most effective, least expensive and safest treatment, by Ferrris Jabr, Scientific American Mind, Jan/Feb 2017.

6. Pregnancy alters Woman's Brain "for at least two years", BBC health news, Feb, 2017. http://wwwbbc.com/news/health-38341901  (Original online published abstract can be found at nature.com/news/journal/v20/n2/full/nn.4458.html , and original journal article reference is: "Pregnancy leads to long-lasting changes in human brain structure, by E Hoekzema, E Barba-Muller, C Pozzobon, M Picardo, F Lucco, D Garcia-Garcia, J Carlos, A Tobena, M Desco, Eveline A Crone, A Ballesteros, S Carmona, & O  Villarroya, Nature Neuroscience 20, 287-296, 2017. )

7. Early origins of MENTAL DISORDER -RISK FACTORS in the perinatal and INFANT period, by L Newman, F Judd, CA Olsson, D Castle, C Bousman, P Sheehan, C Pantelis, JM Craig, A Komiti, & I Everall, BMC Psychiatry, 2016, 16:270, p 1-15.7

8. Fetal Behavioral Responses to Maternal Voice and Touch, by V Marx and E Nagy, PLoS One, 2015; 10 (6): e0129118. www.ncbi.nim.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4460088/

9. Language experienced in-utero affeBTs vowel perception after birth: A two-country study,
by CM Moon, PK Kuhl and H Lagercrantz, in Acta Paediatricia 102 (2) November 2012.
doi: 10.1111/apa.12098 Source: PubMed

10. A Womb Without a View, major birth defects come as a surprise for most parents, but they don't have to, by Darshak Saaghavi www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2011/10/prenatal_testing_birth_defects_ofter

11. www.beginbeforebirth.org/in-the-womb/fetal-development


1. Fetal and Neonatal Hand Movement, Joyce W Sparling, Julia Van Trol and Nancy C Chescheir, Physical Therapy (Journal), Jan 1999, Vol 79 no. 1, p 24-39ptjournal.apta.org/content/79/1/24

2. Spontaneous motor behavior in fetuses and preterm neonates compared at the same postmentrual age, G Sineri, MT Gervasi, G Bogana, MR Tran, P Veronese, D Menin, A Vadente, A Costabile, H Oster, and M Dondi.  Conference paper, July 2014.

3. Reduced Fetal Movements, Royal College of Obstetrics & Gynaecologists, Green-top Guideline No. 57, Feb 2011        https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/guidelines/gtg_57.pdf

4. Attention, Balance and Coordination, The A.B. C. of Learning Success, by Sally Goddard Blythe.

5. How do you learn to walk? Thousands of steps and dozens of falls per day.  Psychological Science, 2012, 23, 1387-1394, by KE Adolph, WG Cole, M Komati, JS Garciaguirre, D Badaly, JM Lingeman, GLY Chan & RB Sotsky.

6.  Developmental continuity?  Crawling, cruising and walking, Developmental Science, 2011, 14, p 306-318, by KE Adolph, Berger, & Lee.

7. Fear of heights in infants? Current Directions in Psychological Science, 2014, 23, 60-66, by KE Adolph, KS Kretch, & V LoBue.

Cognitive Development, Attention & Activity Level

1. Learning to Count begins in Infancy: Evidence from 18-month-olds visual preferences, by Virginia Slaughter, Shoji Itakura, Aya Kutsuki and Michael Siegal, August 25, 2011.  DOI: 10.1098/repb.2010.2602

2. Addition and subtraction by human infants, by Karen Wynn (1992), Nature, 358, p 749-750.

3. Ratio abstraction by 6-mo-old infants, by K McCrink and K Wynn (2007), Psychological Science, 18, p 740-745.

4. Infants look determines how they see: eye movements and object permanence in 3-mo-olds by SP Johnson, JA Slemmer and D Amso, 2004, Infancy, 6, p 185-201

5. Developmental changes in Infant Spatial Categorization: When more is better and less is enough, by M. Casasola and Y Park , (2013), Child Development, 84, p 1004-1019
doi 10.111 /cdev.12010

6. Bilingualism and the Development of Executive Function: The Role of Attention, by Ellen Bialystok, Child Development Perspectives, Vol 9, No. 2, p 117-121, 2015.

7. The relationship between measures of cognitive attention and
behavioral ratings of attention in typically developing children ,
Shohreh M. Rezazadeh, John Wilding, and Kim Cornish, Child
Neuropsychology, 2011, 17 (2), p 1 97-208.1. The relationship between measures of cognitive attention and behavioral ratings of attention in typically developing children , Shohreh M. Rezazadeh, John Wilding, and Kim Cornish, Child Neuropsychology, 2011, 17 (2), p 1 97-208.

Typical and Atypical Brain Development Among Infants

1. The Power of the Infant Brain by Takao K. Hensch, Feb 20th, 2016, Scientific American, p. 65 -69.

2. Infant's speech production activates Broca's area: a developmental magnetoencephalography
study by T Imada, Y Zhang, M Cheour, S Taulu, A Ahonen, and PK Kuhl. Neuroreport, 2006, Jul 17; 17 (10): 957-62. doi: 10.1097/01.wnr.0000223387.51704.89 Source: PubMed

3. A Review of Adversity, the Amygdala and the Hippocampas: A consideration of developmental timing, by Nim Tottenham and Margaret A. Sheridan, published online Sep 21, 2010.
DOI: 10.3389/neuro.09.068.2009

4. Early Neglect is Associated with Alterations in White Matter Integrity and Cognitive Functioning, by James L. Hanson, Nagesh Adluru, Moo K. Chung, Andrew L. Alexander, Richard J. Davidson & Seth D. Pollak, Child Development, 2013, Vol 00 (0), p. 1-13.
DOI: 10:1111/cdev.12069

5. Infants' brains attuned to baby talk and nursery rhymes, P Ghosh, BBC Science & Environment, Nov 16, 2016, https://wwwbbc.com/news/science-environment-38002105 .


1. Distinguishing the early-onset/persistent and adolescence-onset antisocial behavior types: from birth to 16 years, by Benjamin Aguilar, L. Alan Sroufe, Byron Egeland, and Elizabeth Carlson, Development and Psychopathology, 12 (2000), p. 109-132.

2. The Australian Temperament Project, The first 30 years, ATP Report, May 2013


1. Mary Ainsworth, mother of Attachment Research, studied Infant Parent Interaction in UGANDA and BALTIMORE, MD.

2. The role of attachment in the early development of disruptive behavior problems, Mark T. Greenberg, Matthew L. Speltz, and Michelle DeKlyen, Development and Psychopathology, 5, 1993, p. 191-213.

3. At the Intersection of Social and Cognitive Development: Internal Models of Attachment in Infancy, by SC Johnson, C Dweck, FS Chen, HL Stern, SJ Ok and M Barth, (2010), Psychological Cognitive Science, 34, p 807-825.

4. Child and Adolescent Anxiety Disorders and Early Attachment, by SL Warren, L Huston, B Egeland, and A Sroufe, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 36:5,  May, 1997.

Social, Emotional & Moral Development

1. What Babies are Trying to Tell us when they Smile, by Melinda Beck, Nov 24, 2015, Pgs D1 & D4, Wall Street Journal.

2. Infants time their smiles to make their mom's smile, Ruvolo, P., Messinger, D., Movella, J,  Sep 23, 2015. PLOS ONE  DOI: 10.1371/journal.poue.0136492

3. Some Innate Foundations of Social and Moral Cognition, by Wynn, K. (2008), In P Carruthers, S Laurence and S Stich (Eds), The Innate Mind: Foundations and the Future, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

4. Attribution of dispositional states by 12-mo-old Infants, by V Cuhlmeier, K Wynn, and P Bloom (2003), Psychological Science, 14, p 402-408

5. Social Evaluation by Preverbal Infants, by J Hamlin, K Wynn, and P Bloom (2007), Nature, 450, p 557-559.

6. Three-mo-olds reactions to simulated maternal depression, by Cohn and Tronick, (1983), Child Development, 54, p 185-193

7. Is speech learning gated by the social brain? PK Kuhl, Developmental Science 10:1 (2007) p 110-120.
doi: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2007.00572.x

Language Development & Communication

1. Bilingual Baby’s Advantage, by Janet Werker

2. Language Acquisition in Premature and Full-term Infants, by M Pena, E Pittaluga, and J Mehler, (2010), Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, Feb 23: 107(8): p 3823-3828.
doi: 10.1073/pnas.0914326107. Epub 2010 Feb 2.

3. Is two too early? Assessing toddlers' phonology, by M Claessen, T Beattie, R Roberts, S Leitao, A Whitworth, & B Dodd, Speech Language and Hearing, Aug, 2016 http://dx.dol.org/10.1080/2050571X.2016.1222723

4. A Fresh Look at Vocabulary Spurts, by Frederic Dandurand and Thomas R. Schultz of Montreal, Canada, professional presentation (CogSci 2011), Boston, MA, July 20-30, 2011.  https://Mindmodeling.org/cogsci2011/papers/0268/paper0268.pdf

5. Vocabulary Spurt: Are Infants full of Zipf?  by J Mayor and K Plunkett, Spain and the UK.  https://mindmodeling.org/cogsci2010/papers/0285/paper0285.pdf

6. Parent and Nonparent Perception of the Multimodal Infant Cry, by Julia Irwin, Oct (2003), Infancy, Vol 4 (4), p 503-516.

7. Vocalizing in unison and in alternation: two modes of communication within the mother-infant dyad, (1975), by DN Stern, J Jaffe, B Beebe, SL Bennett, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 263: p 89-100

8. Mother-Infant Exchanges: The Epigenesis of Conversational Interaction (1975) by Mary Catherine Bateson, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 263: p 101-113 & Develo9p
Doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1975.tb41575.x   & Sept (1975), Developmental Psycholinguistics and Communication Disorders, 263, p 89-100

9. Positive and Negative: Infant Facial Expressions and Emotions, by Daniel S. Messinger, Current Directions in Psychological Science, Feb of 2002, Vol 11, No. 1, p 1-6.

10. A New Look at the Very Early Origins of Smiling, by M Dondi, S Agnoli, & L Franchin, ?in Origins as a Paradigm in the Sciences and in the Humanities, Edition: ACUME 2/ Vol 6, Ch II, part II, Gottingen, V&R unipress, p 131-145.

11. Jusczyk’s Head Turn Experiment,

A FeW intriguing Results for very Early Intervention with Infants Having Developmental Delay and Pre & Full-Term Infants

1. “Sticky mittens” research, Amy Needham, Amy S Joh, Klaus Libertus.

2. Previous sticky mittens research http://new.vanderbilt.edu/2011/09/sticky-mittens/)(https://my.vanderbilt.edu/infantlearninglab/)

3. Early Interaction: Consequences for Social and Mental Development at Three Years, R Bakeman and JV Brown, Child Development, 1980, 51, p 437-477

4. Tools of the Mind: The Vygotscian Approach to Early Childhood Education (2nd Edition), by Elend Bodrova and Deborah J Leong.

5. Greater Pupil Size in Response to Emotional Faces as an Early Marker of Social-Communicative Difficulties in Infants at High Risk for Autism, 2016, Infancy, p 1-22, by JB Wagner, RJ Luyster, H Tager-Flusberg, & CA Nelson.

6. Drug addicted babies are being cuddled by specially recruited hospital volunteers, Jan 25, 2017,  bbc.com/news/health-38732789

7. Enhancing reciprocal partner support to prevent perinatal depression and anxiety: A Delphi consensus study, BMC Psychiatry (Impact Factor 2.21) 02/2016, 16(1)2

8. Brain imaging shows enhanced executive brain function in people with musical training, ScienceDaily, June 17, 2014, Boston Children's Hospital.  

9. A little music training goes a long way: Practicing music for only a few years in childhood helps improve adult brain, Northwestern University

10. Music exposure benefits babies brains, Yvette Brazier, Medical News, Today

We are conveniently located just off interstate 5 near the Del Mar racetrack and fairgrounds.

The parking deck ceiling is unfortunately very low. If you drive a taller than standard SUV or tall vehicle, you may wish to park on the street and simply walk into the building at the parking garage entrance.

There is a slope to walk up if you park on the street, but street parking is ample and free. Parking at the very top of the parking deck is free. There is an elevator or stairs to descend one level to the ground floor from the top of the parking deck.

The practice space, suite 110 Y is handicap accessible, and opens to a courtyard with a table and benches on the ground floor. If you are early, it’s best to wait there or in your vehicle.