Browsing Category: Child Development

How this mommy and baby class saved me and Harley

Toptots

With Harley now seven months old, I have enough distance from those early weeks and months to look back with some perspective. I’ve written about how traumatic her birth experience was, but even then I didn’t realize how traumatic it was and how hard it was going to make things with her. I was sick, she was so very premature, and we had quite a road ahead of us. I struggled to bond with her, I felt like everything was just so hard, and I was even resenting her. It was NOT good.

Luckily, while still pregnant, I had already decided that I wanted to try and find a nice mommy and baby class to attend once she was born. There are so many out there, so I wasn’t quite sure which one I’d go for. But I chatted to Geoff, my editor at Lazygamer, and his wife used to own a TOPTOTS franchise, so I decided to give them a whirl. It turns out, that was one of the best decisions I’ve made in the first six months of Harley’s life. Continue Reading

DID YOU LIKE THIS POST?

If you like these words, please check out more of what I say on twitter and Facebook, and pics I take on Instagram and subscribe to my YouTube channel and follow me on Pinterest.
Also, please be sure to sign up to my carefully curated, crafted and infrequent newsletter.

Activities for baby development – 6-9 months old

Harley at 6 months

I’ve written before about my desire to help Harley develop. It’s not just about making her a genius, which would obviously be great, but also about making her a well-rounded person with all the motor, cognitive, emotional and social skills she’ll need to thrive as she grows up. But it’s really weird with a baby. I mean, on the one hand, they are sort of like blobs who can’t really do that much, but on the other hand, their brains are developing faster than they ever will. They are learning so much all the time, even if it doesn’t feel like it, and there are all sort of things that we can do to help them.

I’m enjoying Harley a lot more now. She is so much more engaging – she smiles when we do things, she loves to see me and interact with me, and she is so much easier to read now. Plus, the activities that we can do together are much more fun now, too. Sure, the 3-6 month activities were pretty cool, and the stuff we did when she was 0-3 months helped so much with bonding, but now it feels like we do things together instead of me doing all the work. Continue Reading

DID YOU LIKE THIS POST?

If you like these words, please check out more of what I say on twitter and Facebook, and pics I take on Instagram and subscribe to my YouTube channel and follow me on Pinterest.
Also, please be sure to sign up to my carefully curated, crafted and infrequent newsletter.

Why I think singing to my baby will help her

singing or headset

I’ve been exposing Harley to music since she was in the womb. No, I didn’t play Mozart at her in utero, but simply made a point to listen to some of my favorite songs every day so that they’d be familiar to her. I’ve continued to play them, albeit less regularly, since she was born. I knew music calmed her from an early age, and really that’s a reason enough to continue with music in her life. However, there’s more to it.

I noticed it when my mom was visiting, singing songs and playing games with Harley. It reminded me of the songs we used to sing growing up, and how music has the unique ability to stick with us. I still know all 50 states in alphabetical order because of a song I learned in what, fourth grade? Songs from my childhood can come on the radio and I still know every single word, even if I haven’t heard it in over a decade. There’s a power to music, and it makes more sense the more you look at it, making me know it’s the best thing I can do for my baby. Continue Reading

DID YOU LIKE THIS POST?

If you like these words, please check out more of what I say on twitter and Facebook, and pics I take on Instagram and subscribe to my YouTube channel and follow me on Pinterest.
Also, please be sure to sign up to my carefully curated, crafted and infrequent newsletter.

Why Tummy Time matters and how I keep it interesting

Tummy Time

When I was still pregnant, I started reading about tummy time. I knew it was good for babies, but I wasn’t quite sure why. Especially in the early months, it seemed a bit useless and impossible, but I did it anyway. Now I’m seeing the results, and I can’t recommend it enough. But what is tummy time and why does it matter. And even more importantly, how can you make sure that you and your little one enjoy it?

The first thing to always remember is that babies are advised not to sleep on their tummies. By putting your little one down to sleep only on her back, you vastly reduce her risk of SIDS (aka Cot Death). Tummy time isn’t about sleep, it’s about active, attended time for playing and developing. In fact, tummy time is incredibly important for development – by holding up their heads babies develop their neck, shoulder, back and trunk muscles, all of which are important for turning over, sitting up and crawling. Harley loves tummy time, but that’s probably because of how I introduced her to it and how we keep it fun. Continue Reading

DID YOU LIKE THIS POST?

If you like these words, please check out more of what I say on twitter and Facebook, and pics I take on Instagram and subscribe to my YouTube channel and follow me on Pinterest.
Also, please be sure to sign up to my carefully curated, crafted and infrequent newsletter.

Activities for baby development – 3-6 months old

Development for 3-6 month olds

Baby development is such a strange thing. On the one hand, babies seem like blobs – they can’t do much and it can be so daunting to do activities and have no idea if anything is sinking in. On the other hand, the period from 0-24 months is when babies develop at the fastest rate. Their brains are growing so much every day, and this is when they’re the most like sponges, absorbing all the information. They won’t remember it when they’re older, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t help or apply. I already shared some ideas for 0-3 months, but of course, it’s a continual process.

I love watching Harley develop. Dean and I have had a few instances where we’re sure she wakes up smarter. Her eyes will focus more, her attention span will lengthen or she’ll have some new skill. Now that she’s smiling, I am even more confident about which activities she enjoys and how to engage with her. But with her expanded skills, there’s also room for a bunch for development. Thankfully, I have a ton of activities in my arsenal. Continue Reading

DID YOU LIKE THIS POST?

If you like these words, please check out more of what I say on twitter and Facebook, and pics I take on Instagram and subscribe to my YouTube channel and follow me on Pinterest.
Also, please be sure to sign up to my carefully curated, crafted and infrequent newsletter.