What do babies and young children really need? This impassioned dialogue cuts through all the theories, platitudes, and controversies that surround parenting advice to define what every child must have in the first years of life. The authors, both famed advocates for children, lay out the seven irreducible needs of any child, in any society, and confront such thorny questions as: How much time do children need one-on-one with a parent? What is the effect of shifting caregivers, of custody arrangements? Why are we knowingly letting children fail in school? Nothing is off limits, even such an issue as whether every child needs or deserves to be a wanted child. This short, hard-hitting book, the fruit of decades of experience and caring, sounds a wake-up call for parents, teachers, judges, social workers, policy makers-anyone who cares about the welfare of children.