elevating child care

Toddlers Invent The Silliest Games (And 33 More Reasons To Let Babies Play Their Way)

There’s a reason I never tire of writing about inner-directed play. Infant and toddler playtime is parenting gold. Creating a safe play environment allows us a well-deserved, occasional break, and if we sit nearby, observe and respond, playtime can provide a wealth of inspiration. Parents are typically in short supply of both those things. Can we ever get enough rest or inspiration?  Thrilled and relieved to be...

Show Biz Babies…Oy!

The other night I had a rare treat – dinner and a movie with my two teenage daughters. Since they are more than four years apart, and the 17-year-old’s non-stop social engagements materialize as spontaneously as text messages, we don’t all get together much. I’ve recently instated a policy for myself — if she ever wants to do anything with me I drop everything and say, “Yes!”  Dinner on the patio...

Mindful Mouthfuls – Helping Our Babies Learn Healthy Eating

If we are what we eat, aren’t we also a product of the way we eat?  As busy new parents we’re usually focused on the mechanics of breast or bottle-feeding, then introducing solids: when to start, which foods, in what order, how much and how to provide the best nutrition. But most of us also hope to foster healthy eating behaviors for our children. We want to do all in our power to prevent eating disorders,...

Shy By Nature (Guest Post by Michael Lansbury)

Growing up, I was labeled a shy child. Silent and withdrawn in unfamiliar social situations, I was not the confident, gregarious kid who initiated games with other children, never mind conversations. I would hang back and watch as the others interacted, bringing as little attention to myself as possible. It always seemed that the other kids knew each other, that they were already comfortable friends, that I was the...

When Family Disagrees With Limiting TV

A mom shared about some family challenges she’s facing and asked for my advice. “I enjoyed reading this post about fostering solo play even though my LO is 14 months. I have tried to foster her interest in independent play by creating a safe space in our home that she can roam around and she has responded quite well. It’s not unheard of for her to play by herself for 45-1hr. My issue lies with not...

Thank You For Sharing

I appreciate those of you who shared your favorite parenting and child-related sites with me on Facebook. I’ve been scoping out the ones I wasn’t aware of and revisiting the ones I know. If you’re looking to lose yourself for several hours — ignore your children, husband, pets, laundry, and get so stiff you can’t stand up again without groaning — this is a really good way.   And now, I’m...

Tummy Time, Toys, Frustration And Trust

I recently received an email from Lily, who is encouraging her 6 month old baby to play independently and had questions about his frustration with toys. She kindly allowed me to share it with you (not the frustration or the toys…just the email): “I loved your post about giving babies independent play time. I have a 6 month old little boy who is super easy and wonderful. When I read about giving him time to...

Solo Engagement – Fostering Your Toddler’s Independent Play

A mom asked this terrific question in response to Independent Infant Play – Make It Happen: Hello Janet, I was reading this and wondering if you have any suggestions for older children who may not have had “independent play” as infants? Unfortunately I was in college for my son’s first 18 months (he’s 3 1/2 now). Happily my mother wanted to and was able to watch him while I finished my degree, however,...

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