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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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3 Things That Every Parent Does Naturally

3 Things That Every Parent Does Naturally

Even people who say they have "no clue what to do with babies" will instinctively do exactly what's necessary to enhance development as they singsong talk, make faces and gaze at their face as they hold them. We act differently with infants than we do with adults or...

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Helping children feel safe

Helping children feel safe

The adults in a child’s world must protect them from too much information and from too much emotion that they can’t understand or process. 

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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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24 One-minute parenting lessons it took a lifetime to learn

24 One-minute parenting lessons it took a lifetime to learn

We had 3 babies in four years. Then when those 3 were teens, we started fostering babies. And while I may have thought I was ready to be a parent with that first pregnancy, I was not. No matter what you think you already know going in, the experience of being a parent...

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July 4th Fun!

July 4th Fun!

Last minute thoughts as you celebrate July 4th...   In our small town there's quite a to-do about July 4th! The barricades have been set aside for about a week now in preparation for the annual parade that draws tons of folks from the surrounding areas. My...

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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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International travel with a baby

International travel with a baby

Travel. What a fun thing to do with your baby! But sometimes it can be a little tricky. We just got back from a vacation to Italy. Wow, what a wonderful experience! Not sure I’ve ever seen so much beauty and history (and so many people from all over the world) in one...

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4 Easy ways to encourage pretend play

4 Easy ways to encourage pretend play

Cadence loves to pretend to be “Grump Cera”, a baby dinosaur from the movie Land Before Time and she’s got it down! For over a year she's focused on this one character, honing her dinosaur skills as she plays. Note how she holds her body, kicks her foot slightly about...

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10 Reasons to go on a walk with your baby right now

10 Reasons to go on a walk with your baby right now

Today’s a good day for a walk with your baby. Lots of good reasons to do so – most importantly for you, it’s good for the soul to get outside! And for your kids, whether they’re walking on their own two feet or riding in a stroller, there’s so much to learn from a...

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Making the most of all those diaper changes

Making the most of all those diaper changes

How to Support Your Baby’s Developmental Growth During Routine Diaper Changes! 5000.  That’s the average number of times a baby will have their diaper changed in the early years. Good grief, that’s a lot of diapers! Let’s not even go there about the money spent – just...

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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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Supporting Emotional Development

Supporting Emotional Development

Children pick up on our emotions at an amazingly young age. Researchers have found that babies as young as 4 months can detect positive and negative emotions in our facial expressions and tone of voice.

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Baby Gazes

Baby Gazes

When we gaze into the eyes of our newborn we fall in love. And this begins from the moment the baby comes into your life, whether by biological birth, through adoption or whatever circumstance a baby comes into your world. This is how we attach to one another.

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10 things to look for when choosing child care for your baby

10 things to look for when choosing child care for your baby

How to Choose a Childcare Center for My New Baby? It’s time to make one of the more important decisions that you’ll make as a parent – finding child care for your little one. You’ve done your due diligence. You’ve asked for recommendations from friends, checked state...

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Make Playdough Together

Make Playdough Together

Best Playdough Recipe Ever Everybody loves playdough, especially me. It’s a universal soother for toddlers through grownups! It lends itself to great conversation and imaginative play (everybody makes playdough snakes and slithers them around the table…) Make a fresh...

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My Newborn Essential List

My Newborn Essential List

There are thousands of things you can buy for your baby. But what do you really NEED? Check out this list that talks about actual newborn necessities and nice-to have- items. Plus, a bonus list of helpful newborn items you won’t find on most registries.

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Children’s Books About Death

Children’s Books About Death

Reading can be a gentle way to face and process new ideas. By reading books about certain topics, like death, you give your child the opportunity to explore the concept, ask questions, and facilitate conversation. Here are my favorite children’s books that address death.

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30 Encouragements for Any Baby (or Big Kid!)

30 Encouragements for Any Baby (or Big Kid!)

Positive language helps children to succeed and thrive. But sometimes it can be hard to think of positive things to say to your baby… you’re still getting to know them after all. Here are 30 encouragements to use with you baby (or big kid!) today.

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Six Key Elements of Meaningful Play

Six Key Elements of Meaningful Play

You know it’s important for your child to play, but what exactly should the play consist of? Learn six key elements of meaningful play and how you can help enrich your child’s playtime.

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Ready to read?

Ready to read?

Reading readiness begins with babies. Learn key concepts your baby and toddler are ready to learn today.

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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. ❤️

how to give a newborn baby a bath

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