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baby betterment

Growing Up

Encouraging Independent Sitting

encouraging independent sitting - help baby learn to sit independent of you without using a Bumbo seat
This entry is part 27 of 33 in the series Baby Days

We have an independent sitter!  He doesn’t always remember that he is an independent sitter, but we are to the stage where he can sit on his own for over a minute!  I love this stage for kids!  It is so much fun to see them wobble and catch their balance.  And watching them get a new perspective on the world is neat.

I think we tend to forget just how much WORK it is for a baby to start sitting independently.  The muscles and balance involved is nothing short of herculean for these little five and six month old babies!  And I think there are a LOT of “helpers” on the market that don’t necessarily help baby to work out the core and find balance any faster than they would on their own.

We had a Bumbo seat with our first two babies.  And then I did the purge of 2015, weeks before I got pregnant with our third.  In that purge I got rid of almost everything baby related, including the Bumbo seat.  And when we found out we were pregnant, I had the opportunity to select the things that we would really use to purchase or put on our registry.

The Bumbo seat didn’t make the cut.  And it is not for the reason you would think.  I didn’t add it to our registry and I didn’t purchase one myself this time around; not because I don’t think they “help.”  But because I couldn’t believe how expensive they were!  I did not remember spending as much on our first one and I just couldn’t bring myself to part with the money.

So, we tried the independent sitting “training” a different way this time around.  Unaided by any baby sitting devices, our little one still reached the milestone of independently sitting at the exact same time as his older sisters (who had the benefit of the Bumbo).  And what was wonderful about this process is that I discovered some tips and tricks for encouraging independent sitting with our baby that I wanted to share with you. Continue Reading

Growing Up

5 Tips for Making Baby Signs Work for YOU!

This entry is part 13 of 33 in the series Baby Days

Communication with babies can often be difficult.  They can’t tell you with specificity what is bothering them.  So as parents, we come up with a working knowledge of each cry and scream, decoding the various tones and volumes and hypothesizing about what their needs are.  The earlier we can communicate with them and have them communicate back, the better.  That is why I am so thankful for baby sign language.

I am not an expert with sign language.  But I have used it successfully with our FOUR babies at early stages.   I wrote Simple Effective Baby Sign Language where I shared the most basic and most necessary baby signs.  If you are just starting out with baby sign language, I would start there with the most basic baby signs.

But I wanted to go a step further to help moms (and dads) by giving you Five Tips for Making Baby Signs Work for YOU!  Continue Reading

Growing Up

Baby Betterment: Mirror Time Matters

mirror time matters - simple ideas for baby play in the mirror
This entry is part 15 of 33 in the series Baby Days

I have never met a baby who didn’t love to gaze at herself in the mirror.  And I have never met a baby who didn’t smile at least once at herself.  Starting around 6 months, baby begins to recognize herself in the mirror and can begin to learn more about what she can do.  Baby is also beginning to put language and vocabulary together.  And a mirror is crucial to this process.  Simply put: mirror time matters.

Just like tummy time for your little one, mirror time can be done everyday for at least 15 minutes (not necessarily continuously).  We brought a full length mirror downstairs for our oldest (22 months)  when she was around one year old for a preschool unit on the body.  But she had a mirror in her bedroom that we used (and still use) everyday long before she was a year old to help her build awareness of her body.  Our second little girl just turned 6 months old and has really started to enjoy her time in front of the mirror. Continue Reading

Growing Up

Baby Betterment: Tummy Time Tips

simple tummy time baby play tips
This entry is part 16 of 33 in the series Baby Days

We all know that our little babies grow and develop so fast, it seems like a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it-stage of life, but really there are a LOT of hours in the day.  I know as a new mom, I felt like I wasn’t doing enough for my tiny baby’s development.  I wasn’t playing and talking enough.  I wasn’t singing enough.  Basically, I felt like if there was silence in the house while she was awake, I was wasting precious development opportunities.  I struggled to fill the time with lots and lots of activities to stimulate her.

So I came up with all sorts of things to do with her even when she couldn’t really get much out of it.  But the development came fast and furious.  And to be honest, it would have anyway.

Well, along comes baby number two and all the same old feelings are back.  I feel like she is not getting enough stimulation because I am constantly running after her older sister.  I worry she isn’t getting enough time on her tummy, enough goos and gahs, etc. Continue Reading

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