I recommend that you read from the following list before class. Concentrate on an area or two about which you know the least. The more you know about Craniosacral Therapy, infants, breastfeeding, the birth process (including cesarean birth), fetal development and infant anatomy the more you will get out of this class and the better you will be able to serve your infant clients and their parents. We earn sales commissions from Amazon.
Tears and Tantrums: What to Do When Babies and Children Cry by Aletha Solter is a wonderful resource. It can help us as practitioners model appropriate behavior for parents. It’s also a great book to recommend to parents.
Respecting Babies: A New Look at Magda Gerber’s RIE Approach by Ruth Anne Hammond is a great introduction to Magda’s approach with infants. Everyone should read this book and recommend it to parents. I knew Magda when I lived in LA in the ’70s when my own children were small. She was an amazing mentor and has majorly influenced my work with infants and their families.
The Highly Sensitive Child by Elaine N. Aron, PhD is an in depth review of high-sensitivity traits. The book includes many case studies exploring the different aspects of high-sensitivity. It offers helpful ways of understanding what’s happening as well as coping advice. Dr. Aron explains the different ways of processing environmental information and gives guidelines for parents to assist their child in regulating their internal/external reactions.
Developing Difference by Wendy Johnson is a great book about the nature/nurture question. What do we inherit? What do we acquire along the way. This book is readable and very interesting.
Why Love Matters: How Affection Shapes a Baby’s Brain by Sue Gerhardt explains attachment theory and the importance of loving care in infancy is for future emotional and physical health. This is a good book for expectant and new parents.
Sweet Sleep: Nighttime and Naptime Strategies for the Breastfeeding Family by La Leche League International is great. The publisher’s description says it all: “It’s 4 A.M. You’ve nursed your baby five times throughout the night. You’re beyond exhausted. But where can you breastfeed safely when you might fall asleep? You’ve heard that your bed is dangerous for babies. Or is it? Is there a way to reduce the risk? Does life really have to be this hard? No, it doesn’t. Sweet Sleep is within reach. This invaluable resource will help you.”
Healthy Posture for Babies and Children by Kathleen Porter is a wonderful book. It’s a sobering look at what infant “furniture” and other modern practices do to our children. It also gives us easy advice about how to help.
Reflexes, Learning and Behavior: A Window Into The Child’s Mind: A Non-Invasive Approach to Solving Learning & Behavior Problems by Sally Goddard is a concise guide to primitave reflexes, the development of postural control, brain development and the senses. It’s readable and well organized – a must for every infant practitioner’s library.
Amazing Babies by Beverly Stokes is a great book for understanding infant developmental movement (AKA Floor Time). It’s so important for us to recognize norms in the babies we serve. This month-by-month book is also appropriate for parents.
Understanding Your Baby’s Sensory Signals by Angie Voss, OTR is a wonderful resource for practitioners and parents. I love the way the information is organized. It lists a problem, the sensory explanation and helpful solutions. I recommend this book and draw heavily from it when helping parents sort out ways to help their little ones. This book is practical and succinct.
Welcoming Consciousness by Wendy Anne McCarty, PhD. One of the long standing leaders of the pre and perinatal psychology movement writes about infant consciousness form pre-conception through the first year.
Parenting for a Peaceful World by Robin Grille is easy to read and packs an important message. This is a great book for parents who want to raise a child who can change the world. It’s also a great source of answers when parents ask us for advice.
Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne is the most wonderful parenting book I have found. This is the book you will read yourself and the book you will recommend to the parents of the children you treat. It is short, practical and essential. I find myself giving advice parroted from this book on an almost daily basis.
The Aware Baby by Aletha J Solter A great book about infant consciousness
Your Amazing Newborn by Marshall H. Klaus and Phyllis H. Klaus. This is an easy read – mostly pictures.
The Mind of Your Newborn Baby by David Chamberlain This is a rewrite of a book that used to be called Babies Remember Birth.
Voices From The Womb by Michael Gabriel, M.A. A hypnotherapist describes his adult clients’ re-experiences of gestation and birth.
Scared Sick: The Role of Childhood Trauma in Adult Disease by Robin Karr-Morse and Meredith Wiley is a must-read. This very readable and sobering book is a round-up of cutting edge research that explores the relationship between perinatal, infant and childhood stress and disease later in life.
Our Babies Ourselves by Meredith Small. This scholarly, yet very readable book examines how the ways in which we care for our babies meet their biological needs and/or our cultural needs.
Birth Without Violence by Frederick Leboyer – sadly, more relevant now than when it was first published in the 1970‘s…
Motor Skills Acquisition in the First Year by Lois Bly, M.A., PT. It helps to know what the range of normal development looks like. This book has good illustrations and is organized by month.
Components of Typical and Atypical Motor Development by Lois Bly is a shorthand version of the book listed above. It’s short, has great photos and just the right amount of text to get the message across.
Torticollis: Differential Diagnosis, Assessment and Treatment, Surgical Management and Bracing by Karem Karmel-Ross is a great reference about this condition. It even mentions CST as a helpful modality. Torticollis is by far the most common undiagnosed condition we see in the infants who come to our free clinics. It is very important for us to understand how the medical community sees it. There is so much we can do to help these children – especially when we treat them while still in utero and/or shorty after birth.
Unfolding of Infant’s Natural Gross Motor Development by Dr. Emmi Pikler. Charming illustrations and clear descriptions describe what infants naturally do when they are allowed to make their own discoveries rather than being urged by adults to develop their motor skills.
Sleeping With Your Baby: A Parent’s Guide to Cosleeping by James J. McKenna. Ph.D. This is a wonderful book backed by research that explains why cosleeping makes sense and how to do it safely. We all need to read this book and recommend it to parents. This book is written mostly with parents in mind.
Safe Infant Sleep: Expert Answers to Your Cosleeping Questions by James J. McKenna. Ph.D. Dr McKenna hit another home run with this one. It’s geared toward a general audience – including health professionals working with families.
Retro Baby by Anne H. Zachry, PhD, OTR/L is a great book for us to read and recommend to parents. It is full of tips to help parents minimize equipment and gear while enhancing their babies’ development with fun activities.
The Triumph of the Embryo by Lewis Wolpert
Life Before Birth by Marjorie A. England (This book could also be listed under anatomy atlases)
From Conception to Birth by Alexander Tsiaras
Netter’s Atlas of Human Embryology by Larry Cochard – I like this one a lot. I’s mostly illustrations and gives a nice, easy to understand overview of the process. It even has some of the most common pathologies thrown in for extra credit.
A Brain is Born by John Upledger, DO, OMM – this book traces the embryologic development of the central nervous system. The cartoony illustrations by Alice Quaid help some people grasp the mechanics of the process.
Anatomy of the Newborn by Edmund Crellin. The only newborn anatomy atlas in the world. This book is collectible, out of print and expensive. It’s also awesome.
Functional Anatomy of the Newborn by Crelin is a sweet little book that explains the differences between infant anatomy and adult anatomy. It is available, inexpensive and worth having in your library. Of course, it is a great companion to Crelin’s Atlas.
Color Atlas of Anatomy: A Photographic Study of the Human Body by Johannes Rohen (author) et. al. This book consists of photographic images or cadaver dissections. There are some excellent infant cranium images. I found an excellent used copy used on Amazon.com.
Atlas of Human Anatomy by Frank Netter has a picture of the newborn skull and good illustrations of cranial nerves. Sadly, most general anatomy books have little about infants.
Anatomy: a Regional Atlas of the Human Body by Carmine Clemente is also a nice general anatomy resource.
Gray’s Anatomy (latest edition) is totally amazing. Anyone who is serious about learning anatomy should own one.
Many infants in my practice present with breastfeeding problems. It helps to know something about it.
Latch Baby by Tracey Jedrzejek, MA, IBCLC is a wonderful place to start your journey of learning about breastfeeding. It is short, simple, well-illustrated and concise. I especially like the concise part. The intended audience is expectant and new parents. It’s a great foundation for your breastfeeding knowledge and a great book to recommend to parents. It informs without overwhelming.
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by Diane Wiessinger, et. al. This is the book I now recommend most often to people who want to learn about breastfeeding. Be sure to get the most recent edition. Information about breastfeeding is evolving quickly.
Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers by Nancy Mohrbacher IBCLC FILCA and Kathleen Kendall-Tackett PhD IBCLC This one is a fabulous simple guide written for mothers. It’s consistent with all the up to date information about laid back nursing, biological nurturing and asymmetrical latch.
Impact of Birthing Practices on Breastfeeding by Linda J. Smith is a must-have, evidence and research based book written for lactation consultants, other professionals and parents. It is an excellent reference for bodyworkers who help infants. Chapter four, “Cascade of Interventions: Physics, Forces and Mechanics” really puts together the the anatomy and physiology of suck-swallow-breathe. She makes it easy to understand how the work we do really helps babies who have breastfeeding difficulties.
Supporting Sucking Skills in Breastfeeding Infants by Catherine Watson Genna. This is a pathology book for lactation consultants. It is by far the most technical of the four books listed here about breastfeeding.
The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin – This book will acquaint you with typical American birth procedures and describe the experience of labor and birth. Don’t skip the part about cesarean birth. It’s a reality for a third of American moms and babies.
Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin – great hippie birth stories – also read the part about pregnancy and birth written for midwives in the back of the book.
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin – More birth stories plus sobering facts about the effects of medical interventions and strategies for avoiding them.
Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering by Dr. Sarah J Buckley – A readable, well researched exploration of gentle birth written by an MD who gave birth at home.
An Introduction to Craniosacral Therapy by Don Cohen is the best book for absolute beginners who want to learn about the basics of the work. This book is geared toward a general audience. It is also a helpful guide for more experienced practitioners who have a hard time finding the words to describe the work to clients and potential clients.
Rhythm and Touch by Anthony P. Arnold is the best actual textbook I have found on Craniosacral Therapy It has great illustrations plus clear definitions and instructions. I highly recommend this widely-used textbook.
Craniosacral Therapy by John Upledger
Craniosacral Therapy II: Beyond the Dura by John Upledger
SomatoEmotional Release by John Upledger
Your Inner Physician and You by John Upledger is Dr. John’s most readable book. I strongly recommend reading this if you have little or no CST exposure.
The Heart of Listening by Hugh Milne is a two-volume set and a great read for people who have little or no exposure to the practice of therapeutic bodywork and CST. He presents both the historical/theoretical foundation and also some how-to.
Craniosacral Therapy and the Energetic Body by Roger Gilchrist – This is another great book for the uninitiated and the experienced alike. Gilchrist presents a clearly written explanation of the deeper concepts at the core of the work.
Atlas of Manipulative Techniques for the Cranium & Face by Alain Gehin. If you already have some CST experience, this is the next book. The illustrations are good and demonstrate ways to release more than one area at a time. Because babies’ heads are small we will naturally do things like this. The book is a good guide.
Craniosacral Therapy for Babies and Small Children by Etienne and Neeto Peirsman is not a comprehensive guide or textbook, but a good addition to what you will learn in this class and beyond. There is next to nothing written about CST for little ones. This is one I have found helpful in a practical sense.
Cranial Osteopathy for Infants, Children and Adolescents: A Practical Handbook by Nicette Sergueef, DO is a helpful reference for anyone who uses osteopathic manual therapy to treat infants and children. It should probably be in all of our libraries.
Osteopathy for Children by Elizabeth C. Hayden, D.O. written by a British osteopath is an easy read and may be a great book to recommend to clients who want to learn more about what we do and how we can help mothers during the childbearing year and also their infants. I don’t agree with every little thing in this book, but it is really a nice overview.
Manual Therapy in Children by Heiner Biedermann is written by a German Orthopedic Physician. It looks at the neuro-musculoskeletal systems during our developmental stages. It examines sensorimotor and neuromotor development in infants and early childhood and the implications in pathology ( ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, postural and locomotion concerns, sleep issues birth interventions and more). The manual therapy is from the Orthopedic viewpoint and gives great insight into structure and function.
CranioSacral Therapy for Children Treatments for Expecting Mothers, Babies and Children by Daniel Agustoni encompasses the whole-family dynamics of physical, psychological, emotional, and energetics when treating children. It covers anatomy/physiology and milestone development from birth to age 5 and looks at how Craniosacral Therapy counteracts the effects of trauma in these stages.
Baby Beautiful: A Handbook of Baby Head Shaping by Justine Dobson, DC – There are things I really don’t like about this book, but there are things I really do like, too. The thing I like best is the information about visual assessment. The descriptions about baby cranial anatomy are good, too. I’m a little disturbed by the idea that parents can try these techniques at home with the goal of a pleasing cosmetic effect.
Wired for Love: How Understanding Your Partner’s Brain and Attachment Style Can Help You Defuse Conflict and Build a Secure Relationship by Stan Katkin is a great book to read for our own intimate partner relationship health. It’s also a good book to recommend to parents of the babies we treat. The simple tools in this book can help strengthen partner relationships at a time when they can be strained with a new baby at home. This is good for the babies, too, obviously.