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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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#70 – Overcoming Common Fears of Parenting

#70 – Overcoming Common Fears of Parenting

Parenting in the First 3 Years Podcast   #70: Overcoming Common Fears of Parenting   In this episode of "Parenting in the First Three Years," Ann discusses the common fears and worries parents may experience. She shares a recent personal story of feeling fear and...

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#51: The Benefits of Play with Dr. Stephanie Goloway

#51: The Benefits of Play with Dr. Stephanie Goloway

   Parenting in the First 3 Years Podcast   #51: The Benefits of Play with Dr. Stephanie Goloway   What are the benefits of play, besides entertaining your child? Our guest today says there's lots more going on when you simply play and interact with your...

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#47: New Year Intentions for Every New Parent

#47: New Year Intentions for Every New Parent

   Parenting in the First 3 Years Podcast   #47: New Year Intentions for Every New Parent What will happen in 2023 for you? What will happen for your child? You’ve likely got some new year intentions for yourself... or maybe not. Some people love setting...

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#45: Wisdom from a Montessori Mom with Maranda Deason

#45: Wisdom from a Montessori Mom with Maranda Deason

 Parenting in the First 3 Years Podcast   #45: Wisdom from a Montessori Mom with Maranda Deason In this mom story, you'll meet Maranda Deason, Montessori teacher and mother of 7 children including 3 under age two! She shares her thoughts on the cultural changes...

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#42: How Your Enneagram Type Affects Parenting

#42: How Your Enneagram Type Affects Parenting

Parenting in the First 3 Years Podcast   #42: How Your Enneagram Type Affects Parenting with Rochelle Bridges   What's your Enneagram type? I'm a 9 all the way, straight up. I have all the quirks and characteristics of this Enneagram personality type. I'm...

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#40: How to Organize Toys with Amanda Liford

#40: How to Organize Toys with Amanda Liford

 Parenting in the First 3 Years Podcast   #40: How to Organize Toys with Amanda Liford   You love ‘em, your kid loves ‘em, people give you lots of them and after a while, they take over your house! How do you organize toys? Amanda Liford, has the answers. ...

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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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#37:  Making Holiday Plans that Work for Your Child

#37: Making Holiday Plans that Work for Your Child

Parenting in the First 3 Years Podcast   #37: Making Holiday Plans that Work for Your Child with Prerna Richards It's time to make holiday plans, which will likely include get-togethers and parties with lots of people. What do you do when your child screams,...

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#34: What Grandparents Need to Know

#34: What Grandparents Need to Know

Parenting in the First 3 Years Podcast   #34: What Grandparents Need to Know Grandparents, aunties, uncles, extended family all play an important role in your baby's life. Babies have a way of bringing a new dimension to families and learning what works for your...

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#30: 5 Things to know about starting preschool

#30: 5 Things to know about starting preschool

Parenting in the First 3 Years Podcast   #30: 5 Things to know about starting preschool Starting preschool is an exciting milestone for your child and will build a strong foundation for kindergarten. In this episode, you'll learn what types of programs are...

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#29: How Motherly Helps New Mothers with Liz Tenety

#29: How Motherly Helps New Mothers with Liz Tenety

Parenting in the First 3 Years Podcast   #29: How Motherly Helps New Mothers with Liz Tenety, Co-Founder of Motherly   Liz Tenety, co-founder of Motherly, gives behind-the-scenes insight on trends, what she sees as a big source of struggles for new mothers,...

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#27: The 6 Stages of Parenting

#27: The 6 Stages of Parenting

Parenting in the First 3 Years Podcast   #27: The 6 Stages of Parenting   with Ann McKitrick       Just as our children are going through phases of development throughout their lives, we too are going through stages of parenting as our kid get...

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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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How to Sanitize Your Baby’s Toys

How to Sanitize Your Baby’s Toys

Do you need to sanitize your baby's toys? Um, yeah. Today I was scrolling through facebook and saw a picture of my friend's baby wearing a cute little outfit she'd made by hand. In the background their dog was licking a baby toy lying on the floor. This is why we need...

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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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How to choose toys for babies

How to choose toys for babies

We've got a closet full of toys upstairs in the kids room. When the grandkids are here, they spend LOTS of time playing up there! In fact, sometimes when we're FaceTiming now, I'll walk up there and we'll "visit" the toys and they get so excited! 😂  If you were here,...

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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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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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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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Toddler Fun With Boxes

Toddler Fun With Boxes

Are you looking for fun activities you can do at home with your toddler? Learn about how you can use shipping boxes to create fun activities for your toddler.

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Bond With Your Baby and Help Them Grow

Bond With Your Baby and Help Them Grow

For many new parents, the first time they hold their tiny bundle of joy triggers an instant bonding. In the early years, a baby’s brain grows rapidly making millions of neural connections, so a variety of experiences and exposure aids physical, cognitive, social and language development. Read about a few ways in which bonding and baby development in the early years can go hand-in-hand.

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Why Do Toddlers Bite?

Why Do Toddlers Bite?

Do you have a toddler that bites others and don’t understand why? Learn why biting is a part of a toddler’s development and suggestions that you can do for when it happens

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Giving Toddlers Choices

Giving Toddlers Choices

Are you tired of your toddler constantly demanding that they get their way ? Learn about how offering choices can help reduce the amount of arguing.

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4 Ways to help your little extrovert thrive at home

4 Ways to help your little extrovert thrive at home

Social distancing is easier for some of us than others. Especially our children. For those on the more introverted side, they're delighted to stay home and hang with the family. They are content! For your children who are extroverted, it’s a little like torture not...

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Ways to nurture your child while you work

Ways to nurture your child while you work

You have new coworkers. As we navigate the challenges of coronavirus and its implications to daily life, it’s important to keep something, or rather someone in mind. And that’s your kid. It’s a big adjustment for you, moving from everyday go-to-work life to figuring...

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Stages of parenting

Stages of parenting

I was recently in Minneapolis, hanging out with the grandkids. I get up there a couple of times of year - usually once in the dead of winter and once to enjoy their beautiful summertime.    One way I cement a long distance relationship with them is to have consistent...

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The secret to a happy baby (it’s you!)

The secret to a happy baby (it’s you!)

You are really, really important to your child.  You see it in the way your baby gazes at you, prefers you over others and cries when you leave. We know we’re important in our child’s life but do we truly understand this?  Attachment researchers tell us that we become...

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Love on that baby

Love on that baby

Love on your baby. Then they'll be really smart.   Love is in the air. Even though Valentine's day focuses on romantic love, it’s a great time to hone in on the love connection between you and your child.    It’s amazing to realize that your child’s brain...

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How to make mom friends

How to make mom friends

When I became pregnant with my first I quickly realized how few friends I had in the same boat. The handful of friends I had with kids lived in different states and I found myself scrambling to find friends undergoing the same life transition. Having a community full...

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Tips for new parents

Tips for new parents

5 tips for new parents Anytime you begin a new job there’s a period of orientation. And depending on the complexity of the work you’ll be doing, you might have months of training before you’re on your own with full responsibility. When you become a parent, while...

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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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Cheers to parenting!

Cheers to parenting!

I love new beginnings. Today we not only ring in a new year, but a new decade. Your baby will be doing all kinds of things in 10 years!  As we begin the new year there are so many things to think about. Goals, intentions, dreams and visions.  I don't know about you,...

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Gift ideas for new parents that won’t break the bank

Gift ideas for new parents that won’t break the bank

Holiday shopping can be one of the most stressful parts of the year as we look for ways to stretch budgets a little further to buy the gifts we really want to give. If you need to save money but have a long list of people to buy for, it’s a good idea to check online...

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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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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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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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The slow-fast experience of parenting

The slow-fast experience of parenting

How does time go slow and fast at the same time?   I love the Slow Food Fast recipe column in the Wall Street Journal. It features recipes from notable chefs across the country representing traditional and regional cuisines - recipes simple enough to cook at home...

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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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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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