My Newborn Essential List

what you really need for your newborn - the practical list of essentialsBecause I was a teacher and my baby wasn’t due until August, I had the whoooooole summer off to contemplate all of the many baby things to buy. And guys, there’s so much. So so much. I pretty much oscillated between being a mommy minimalist and a baby item hoarder. Some days I would wake up determined to buy something that for the past few months I had decided I wouldn’t need. It was a weird mix of consumerism and nesting.

Sometimes I would get stressed wanting to have everything we would need the second we came home from the hospital. But I’ll let you in on a little secret: Continue reading “My Newborn Essential List”

The One Question About My Baby I Can’t Stand…

The one question I really don't like to be asked as a parent...Once you have a baby, all sorts of people talk to you about the experience. Stories, advice, and questions come from friends, family, and perfect strangers. In general, I love this aspect of parenthood. I love that children bring people together. I love being a part of the camaraderie of parenthood. Sure, I’ve been given my fair share of advice I don’t agree with and occasionally been met with disapproval of my parenting approach; but even those interactions I normally still enjoy. I see them as interesting learning opportunities. There is one question, however, that still gets under my skin. Continue reading “The One Question About My Baby I Can’t Stand…”

30 Encouragements for Any Baby (or Big Kid!)

30 encouragements for any baby or big kidResearch has shown time and time again what a powerful impact words have on outcome. Both positive and negative language have the transformative power to make situations better or worse. This is true for people of all ages and the effects can be found both from self talk and the language used around you. Positive language helps children to succeed and thrive.

Knowing this, I’ve sought to be intentional with the language I use around my daughter. I want to empower, encourage, and validate her. But I’ll be honest, sometimes it can be a stretch for me to find affirming statements when I don’t know much about her personality yet. She’s only 8 months old–her personality and ability to express who she is is still developing.  Continue reading “30 Encouragements for Any Baby (or Big Kid!)”

20 Developmentally-Appropriate Activities for 6-9 Month Olds

20 developmentally appropriate activities for your 6-9 month oldAs we’ve discussed before, play is a powerful part of childhood development. But it can sometimes be difficult to come up with ways to play with babies. We’ve looked at play ideas for 0-3 month olds and 3-6 month olds; today we’ll go through some play ideas for 6-9 month olds. But first, let’s take a look at what milestones your baby is working on during this time. Continue reading “20 Developmentally-Appropriate Activities for 6-9 Month Olds”

20 Ways to Play with a 0-3 Month Old

20 ways to play with your 0-3 month old

Play is a critical element to healthy childhood development. Through play, children are able to discover and understand the world. Play looks very different for children as they grow and change. Because infants develop so rapidly, their play experience changes rapidly as well. With their short wake time and limited abilities (vision, motor control, communication, etc.), it can be challenging to create engaging play experiences for 0-3 month olds. Luckily, we’ve got you covered with 20 different ways to play  with your 0-3 month old! Continue reading “20 Ways to Play with a 0-3 Month Old”

Ready to read?

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In our previous post, we explored different pre-reading skills your baby, toddler, and preschooler can learn before they know how to read. These pre-reading skills are essential to learning to read. Luckily teaching these skills to your child is simple: all you have to do is read! Reading books together is the perfect platform for exposing your child to the many nuances of reading, including concepts of print. Continue reading “Ready to read?”

Why should I read to my baby or toddler?

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Most people know that it is important to read books with your kids. Your child benefits in so many ways when you read with them; these benefits are not limited to children who are old enough to “understand” a story, though. Children benefit from being read to from infancy. But what exactly do these pre-readers learn when we read to them? I believe knowing what and how our children are learning helps us to be better teachers. I couldn’t possibly list them all, but below are a few of the key skills that our babies, toddlers, and preschoolers learn by being read to. Continue reading “Why should I read to my baby or toddler?”

Top 5 Baby Toys You Already Own

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Take a stroll through any baby aisle in any store and you will immediately feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of baby products. This includes baby toys. Every baby toy has some special claim to magically make your child more engaged, developed, or stimulated. It can be easy to buy into the claims and feel the need to purchase every toy. One of the many joys of babies is that they are very curious and can be intrigued by many things, regardless of if it was designed to intrigue them. Though it may be tempting, there is no need to buy out the toy aisle. With a little creativity, you’ll soon realize your house is already full of “toys” for your little one. Here are my 5 favorite baby toys that you already own. Continue reading “Top 5 Baby Toys You Already Own”