A Step by Step Conversation about Your Child’s Development

A Step by Step Conversation about Your Child’s Development

Finally. Spring has ALMOST sprung. If you’ve been reading, you know that I’m a midwest girl. This means it’s been gray skies and cold winds for the last five months. Brrr…I’m done.

Other than rambling – I mean writing – one of my favorite past times is traveling.

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As a new parent, have you taken a trip with your munchkin in tow?

Was it to visit family or a vacation destination?

Did you fly or drive?

Other than your significant other, did you take a “back-up grown-up” (i.e. your mom/mother-in-law) to give you a hand?

Decisions, decisions.

If you haven’t ventured yet with baby in tow, do not be afraid! It CAN be done!

Once you’ve figured out what to pack, it’s time to figure out where to go!

Deciding WHERE to go is as an important a decision as WHAT to bring. Choosing the right destination can make memories that will last for a lifetime. Choosing the wrong destination can make memories that will last for a lifetime (for all the wrong reasons – LOL!).

Here’s some food for thought:

*Choose family-friendly. Whether a state or national park, look for amenities that will make a trip with a little one a bit easier. Request a room that won’t require a hike to get there. Look for family-friendly transportation systems. Request a refrigerator (even the small, college-dorm type) in your room.

*Keep it simple. We traveled to Disney when the kiddo was a toddler. We stayed onsite and visited one park, The Magic Kingdom. We took the mid-day nap break (we all needed it!) and were able to enjoy some of the nighttime activities successfully. One day was enough. The rest of that vacation was spent on the coast with a little more quiet and less excitement than a trip to see “the mouse” often brings.

*Speaking of the coast, consider the reality of the beach with an infant and/or young toddler. For us, when our little one was a wee infant, more time was spent keeping sand out of her mouth than it was just enjoying playing with it. The sun was hot, and therefore the long, leisurely afternoons on the beach were non-exisitent. In reality, the kiddo would have enjoyed splashing in a small plastic pool as much as any afternoon spent by the sea. Be realistic; you won’t be disappointed.

*Maintain balance. Too much of a good thing, well, may turn into a really bad time. Wherever you venture, work to keep your kiddo’s schedule balanced between eating, sleeping, and – of course – playing.

Have you found the perfect place to venture this spring?

Let me know! I’m always ready to plan our next break

Let’s Eat!

I love to eat, but this blog is not about me (well, at least not today – lol). Soon after you become a parent you realize that little is about you anymore.

This can be a good thing – or a bad thing – depending on the moment or day. Whatever the case, food and eating is essential to development, especially that of your baby’s.

Think of a day you have gorged out on chocolate, or drank too much coffee, or perhaps skipped a meal or two. Ugh. Chances are, you don’t feel your best. The good news is, as an adult, you can make things right. Our babies, however, depend on us.

What can you do? What should you be doing in that first year to optimize baby’s development through proper nutrition?

First, know what is appropriate for your baby:

*From birth to approximately four months of age, breast milk and/or an iron-fortified formula is all baby needs. Why? Babies can suck and swallow, but other skills which enable them to ingest solid foods are still developing.

*Between the ages of 4-6 months – just around the same time baby can sit unsupported – babies can begin to explore solids such as rice cereal, applesauce, and other pureed fruits such as bananas. Of course, continue with breastmilk and/or formula.

*Around 6-8 months, baby may begin to use their tiny fingers to pick up their own foods. Most babies can be introduced to new foods (be sure to introduce slowly and one at a time – re: food allergies) such as mashed potatoes, pureed carrots, peaches, and other fruits and vegetables. Continue with breastmilk and/or forumla.

*Feeding is a whole new adventure as baby is 8-12 months old and beginning to eat a variety of foods such as bite-sized pieces of cheese, egg, noodles, peas, etc. And..of course, continue with breastmilk and/or formula.

Remember that during this first year you are setting the stage for life-long nutrition. Avoid sharing sweetened drinks, soda, or other sugary treats with babies.

While mealtime may be all business to you as you are concerned about how much and when baby is eating, remember that this can also be real fun and a time of learning for your kiddo.

Make up silly songs, work on your best airplane sounds (the spoon coming into your baby’s mouth is the landing!), and be sure to keep a camera close by (especially as baby starts to self-feed).

Like all aspects of parenthood, some days are easier than others, but the effort in ensuring that your baby is eating right is worth it.

Bon Appetit!

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