Preschoolers

How to wean a toddler – Gentle weaning tips

happy toddler

If you’ve breastfed your baby to toddlerhood or beyond, congratulations! That’s a huge accomplishment. But eventually, you’re probably going to have questions about toddler weaning.

Will my child ever wean?

How will our relationship change if my toddler weans?

Trust me, I’m a huge breastfeeding advocate. I have breastfed for a solid six years of my life, and I’ve loved it (well, most of it).

But I think the problem is, we’re so focused on encouraging breastfeeding and supporting women in the beginning of their nursing journey that we somewhat abandon them at the end. There is much less support for weaning, a process that is often full of physical and emotional complexities.

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Nursing aversion (Or when breastfeeding isn’t magical)

You may not even be able to tell in this picture, but General Leia is nursing here. In fact, it’s a picture of the last time my oldest ever breastfed. We quit because of a phenomenon called nursing aversion.

This was a hard time for me (and for her).  I became pregnant with her sister when she was about thirteen months old.

At first, I had no problem with continuing to breastfeed her while pregnant. In fact, breastfeeding was easier because it kept her still, and I didn’t have the energy to chase her! So we would come home from work, we’d cuddle up, and I’d nurse her for as long as I could in the evening. I’d get a break, and she was happy.

And then came nursing aversion. (more…)

The effects of screen time on your kid’s brain (and how to avoid them!)

Screen time for kids is a big issue right now! Everywhere you go, children are exposed to phones and TVs. There are even tablets marketed exclusively to children!

If you’re a parent who tries to avoid screen time for your kids, you know how exhausting it can get. TVs are everywhere you go: restaurants (why?!), Target, even some children’s clothing stores. And if you visit friends or family who keep their tv on all the time out of habit, it can be even more difficult to control exposure to screens.

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Toys that encourage free play for kids

magnatiles

Early childhood is such a critical period. And it seems everybody who sells toys wants to tell you how their product will help your child learn. So what should you choose?

Toys billed as educational, like those that say letters and numbers, initially seem to be a great choice. After all, they’re teaching your kids to read!

Or is there something potentially dangerous going on with these talking toys? Learn more about the roll of toys in a child’s life, and how interactive toys affect early childhood development! (more…)

Easy Valentine’s Day crafts for kids

little boy dressed for Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is in just a few weeks! My kids love making “art-crafts,” so I thought I’d discuss some ways to allow kids to be creative while celebrating.

Let me be up-front: These ideas aren’t meant to be Pinterest-worthy, beautiful masterpieces. The goal of these ideas isn’t necessarily a perfect looking keepsake for Grandma. This is more about allowing kids to have fun and to learn through doing (and maybe to keep them occupied for a few minutes so you can get something done or simply have a break!). I’m a big believer that it’s better for kids to do crafts on their own terms than for me to hover and make sure that everything is perfectly in place, so if that means that a googly eye is glued kinda wonky, so be it. I want my children to take pride in their own work!

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Positive parenting vs. spanking: The research

If you’re a a late Gen X or Millennial parent, you’ve probably noticed that parenting advice and styles seem a lot different from when we were kids.

Or perhaps it’s just that parenting advice is a lot more available now than it was when our parents had us (thank you, interwebs!).

Either way, times have changed, and there’s a lot of emphasis on positive parenting, gentle parenting, responsive parenting, or whatever you want to call it.

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