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#99 Is Risky Play Worth the Risk? With Audrey Rowland

#99 Is Risky Play Worth the Risk? With Audrey Rowland

How can parents effectively balance the inherent challenge of safeguarding their children while nurturing their autonomy, particularly in the context of risky play?   In this episode, we have the pleasure of hosting Audrey Roland, the visionary founder of Green...

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#98 What You Say Matters: To Yourself, To Your Child

#98 What You Say Matters: To Yourself, To Your Child

Have you ever paused to consider the conversations you have with yourself, and how those internal dialogues shape your mindset? In this episode we talk about how important it is to speak to yourself with positive words and how you can affirm your child in easy,...

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#96 Looking Ahead to 2024 with Ann McKitrick

#96 Looking Ahead to 2024 with Ann McKitrick

What's the one dream or goal that, if achieved, would bring you the greatest joy and fulfillment in the new year?   As you think about the goals you'd like to set for the new year, remember that each step is a building block toward a more fulfilling life. Stay...

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#95 Navigating Holiday Gatherings with Kids

#95 Navigating Holiday Gatherings with Kids

    Parenting in the First 3 Years Podcast #95 Navigating Holiday Gatherings with Kids with Ann McKitrick Ever wondered how to transform holiday gatherings into a seamless experience when kids are in the mix? Let's unveil a treasure trove of tips and tricks...

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#94 Year End Family Finances with Ann Garcia

#94 Year End Family Finances with Ann Garcia

 Curious about the smart moves that can boost your family's finances as the year wraps up? As the year approaches its end, it's more than a season of festivities; it marks a pivotal moment to assess and plan family finances. Engaging in year-end financial planning is...

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#73 – Setting Up Your Home For Learning

#73 – Setting Up Your Home For Learning

Have you ever wondered what to do or how to set up your home when you have other children over to play?  In this episode, Jeanne-Marie Paynel, M.Ed, shares practical insights and tips to support your child's development. Our conversation reveals the beauty of...

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#68 – What to Do When Your Toddler Hits Someone

#68 – What to Do When Your Toddler Hits Someone

 Parenting in the First 3 Years Podcast   #68: What to Do When Your Toddler Hits Someone   In this episode of "Parenting in the First Three Years," host Ann McKitrick discusses whether parents should insist that their child says sorry when their toddler hits...

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#66 – How to Find the Best Childcare Center

#66 – How to Find the Best Childcare Center

Parenting in the First 3 Years Podcast   #66: How to Find the Best Childcare Center   In this episode, we explore the world of childcare and share practical tips for parents who are on the hunt for the best care for their children. We explore some important...

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#43: Attachment Parenting Explained

#43: Attachment Parenting Explained

Parenting in the First 3 Years Podcast   #43: Attachment Parenting Explained with Diane Goyette and Gabrielle Holt    There's a lively conversation on social media about attachment parenting and sometimes it feels like just one more thing to get right, or...

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#38: What to Expect in the Fourth Trimester

#38: What to Expect in the Fourth Trimester

Parenting in the First 3 Years Podcast   #38: What to Expect in the Fourth Trimester with Meg & Carly of Fourth Trimester Foundations The "fourth trimester" is the term coined for the first 3 months after birth. Those first weeks are beautiful, memorable and...

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Why your toddler needs to play with puzzles

Why your toddler needs to play with puzzles

  Why should you get some puzzles for your toddler? Play is essential for toddlers - it's how they figure things out. They need opportunities to play with good toys and materials and use their imagination. Puzzles fit the bill! They provide lots of learning - from...

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Can toddlers write?

Can toddlers write?

Can toddlers write? As soon as your little one becomes interested, you can give them some big paper and a marker to get them started. Learning to make a mark on the page is actually an important part of early literacy, which begins in the first three years of life....

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How to make playdough with your child

How to make playdough with your child

Making playdough with toddlers. We had a tray on the shelf with all the playdough ingredients and made a fresh batch about every 2 weeks. When I was a teacher, our class loved making playdough. We pull out the tray of ingredients and the kids would take turns dumping...

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Why you should have a tea party

Why you should have a tea party

Tea parties. We started them early on at our house. I think it started that time I spotted Good Mood Tea at Whole Foods. I bought a box for the next time the crankies set in. Because um, that happened often with three kids under age four. I bought it for myself, then...

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What new parents need to know about loveys

What new parents need to know about loveys

What's a lovey? It's a blanket, a teddy bear or some other object that children attached to. They use loveys to comfort themselves at bedtime and in other situations where they feel the need for something cozy and familiar.  The psychological term for this is...

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Pregnancy Cookies

Pregnancy Cookies

What’s the difference between a pregnancy cookie and a regular cookie? Do labor cookies really make your labor begin?

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Reading supports emotional development

Reading supports emotional development

Make reading a part of your daily routine. You’ve heard about the importance of social-emotional development in the first years. But what does that actually look like in the day to day? Social-emotional development includes your child’s experience, expression, and...

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How to read books to your baby

How to read books to your baby

There's not much better than snuggling up with a good book. It's one of my favorite things, especially when I'm snuggling with a child. 🥰 If your brand new to parenting, you may feel unsure how to go about reading a book to a baby that's so young they can't talk yet....

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How to Choose Books for Your Baby

How to Choose Books for Your Baby

When do you really need to start reading to your baby? Now's a good time! Early literacy begins early. Research shows that newborns are born equipped to respond to the language they've heard in the womb. They've been listening to you all this time and they love your...

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Tips for great sleep patterns for your newborn

Tips for great sleep patterns for your newborn

It's one of the first things people ask, "Is he keeping you awake at night?" (Um, yes he's awake at night, he's a newborn) This week I sat down with Joanna Clark of Blissful Baby Sleep Coaching to talk about sleep patterns for newborns. I asked her what you should...

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How to Choose a Day Care Center for your Baby

How to Choose a Day Care Center for your Baby

  Talk about adulting. This is it. Likely one of the first big decisions you'll make when you become a parent. It's a decision that will deeply impact your family, especially your baby. The folks who care for your baby while you work will become your partners in...

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4 Questions about babies and pandemics

4 Questions about babies and pandemics

Oh my goodness... I don’t know about you but it feels to me like unknowns of COVID are lasting a lot longer than I expected. As this all unfolds, new parents are faced with questions that weren’t even in our grid 8 months ago! Pregnancy can be filled with a lot of...

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3 Reasons newborns are irresistible

3 Reasons newborns are irresistible

We really can't help ourselves. Something inside us kind of melts. Have you ever noticed the feeling you get when you see little tiny puppies or kittens, or even a baby elephant at the zoo? Or had complete strangers stop to talk to you as you walk your puppy? We...

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3 Ways you can actually see brain development happening

3 Ways you can actually see brain development happening

Recently I had the privilege of presenting a training to over 150 Head Start teachers in Houston. The topic was understanding autism and we covered lots of information about neurological development that happens in the first several years of life. One of the word...

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5 Amazing ways your newborn communicates

5 Amazing ways your newborn communicates

That little person is very tuned in to you. From the moment they're born, babies are ready to listen, respond and try to figure out how to be in relationship with you. Research gives us really interesting insight into how equipped newborns are to do this. Let's take a...

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What to do with a newborn

What to do with a newborn

I was surprised at the amount of downtime I had with a new baby. I remember the first few months of staying home with my first baby. I assumed I’d be swamped with my new tasks of parenthood: nursing around the clock, diaper changes, rocking baby to sleep, etc....

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5 important things that happen in the first two years

5 important things that happen in the first two years

The all-important first two years Your child's early learning and development has far-reaching implications for the future of the economy, the political climate and international relations. Crazy to think that what you do each day as a parent has that kind of...

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How to help your child adjust to childcare

How to help your child adjust to childcare

This year while my daughter goes to morning preschool, I’ve been looking forward to exercising for a bit at the gym. The only problem? My two year old. My darling, highly-attached, cries-if-I’m-gone-for-two-minutes two year old. I knew dropping off my kiddo at the gym...

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When Parenting Fears Overwhelm

When Parenting Fears Overwhelm

I’ll never forget the stress I felt about miscarriage when I was pregnant. Every day I worried the pregnancy might end. I remember counting down the days to when I’d be past the first trimester, longing for it to come. I was sure once I made it past that date, my...

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Becoming a parent

Becoming a parent

The moment a pregnancy test is positive or the foster/adoption approval comes through, you begin to wonder... What am I going to do? What does it feel like to be a parent? How will I be the same and how will I be different? Will I still be able to be spontaneous, do...

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How to raise kind kids

How to raise kind kids

We all want to teach kids to be kind and compassionate with others.  When does this begin? When they start playing with others? When they have the cognitive capacity to share? Does it happen naturally or do you have to 'teach' it? Recent research tells us that infants...

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6 Things to know BEFORE your baby begins child care

6 Things to know BEFORE your baby begins child care

Odds are, someone else will care for your baby at some time in the first year. The average length of maternity/paternity leave in US is 12 weeks (often unpaid) with many moms returning to work when the baby is 6 weeks of age. In fact, of the 12 million infants and...

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Parenting 101: Expectations vs reality

Parenting 101: Expectations vs reality

All I ever really wanted to be when I grew up was a mom.   Like many little girls, I played 'house' all the time as a kid, treating my baby dolls with love and care, teaching them and handing out discipline when they needed it.  As a teenager, I did lots of...

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Lining up blocks… what does this tell us?

Lining up blocks… what does this tell us?

Block Play! Last week we got to hang out with Megan, Josh, and the grandkids! We live far apart so when we spend time together, it’s really special. And of course, since I love all things child development, it’s fun to see how the kids have grown, what they like to...

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7 reasons newborns cry (and ways to make it stop!)

7 reasons newborns cry (and ways to make it stop!)

Babies don’t cry to manipulate. They cry to communicate a physical condition or emotion. You won’t spoil your baby when you respond to crying. Rather, your response gives your baby a sense of security, that she knows she’s heard and understood and that you will keep her safe. It doesn’t teach her to cry more.

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About ann


I’m a child development specialist, parent coach and teacher trainer. I’ve cared for countless babies in child development programs, plus 3 kids, 3 grand babies and 5 foster babies! I LOVE babies and would come hold yours if I could. ❤️

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