Everything Parents Need to Know- Development from 6-12 Months

Everything Parents Need to Know- Development from 6 to 12 Months Old

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This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

Keep an eye out for upcoming Development Posts covering all developmental stages from 0-18!

Welcome to When Fit Hits the Shan’s Development Series!!

We’ll cover each major developmental phase of life from age 0-18, diving deep into what affects children during that particular phase, what you as a parent need to be aware of, and how you can help your child develop properly.

Each post (including this one!) covers helpful topics for each developmental stage of life- including:

  • Milestones, New Skills, and Developmental Goals
  • Activities to Boost Development
  • Warning Signs or Potential Dangers
  • Typical Struggles for Mom and What to Do
  • GREAT Things About This Developmental Phase
  • What’s Coming Up Next for Your Child??

Let’s dive into what it takes to care for a baby from 6 months to their first birthday!!! 

And congratulations mama, you survived the infant stage! Your little one is a baby now- through and through. That brings new perks and a few new challenges!

baby seating on white textile

Milestones, New Skills, and Developmental Goals

Here are some great new milestones and skills to watch for!

Don’t compare to your neighbor’s 6 month old. After all, each child will reach milestones at their own pace.

During the baby phase from 6 months to 1 year, your child will:

  • Begin to experiment with sitting up on his own (around 6 months), crawling (around 9 months), standing (around 9 months), and walking (around 12 months). Some children also learn to climb! Caution- although your baby will be practicing these new motor skills, it will take a lot of practice to master them. Expect your baby to fall often and beware of unsafe situations!
  • Improve her ability to use her hands and fingers. By the time your child is 12 months, she will be able to pick up, hold, examine, and throw objects! She will learn to put objects into containers and to pick up small items using her thumb and pointer finger (this is called the pincer grasp).
  • Improve his vision, including seeing in color, following moving objects or people with his eyes, and seeing over longer distances.
  • Improve her language skills, including all of the following:
    • Say consonant sounds,
    • notice emotion in other people’s voices,
    • express her own emotions through her jabbers,
    • have “conversations” by talking when others are talking,
    • imitate sounds and words,
    • recognize her name and the names of others,
    • understand simple directions,
    • use body language to express herself- such as waving bye or pointing to something she wants, and
    • say her first words!!!!
  • Enjoy stimulating activities like:
    • Hiding and finding objects,
    • peekaboo,
    • making animal sounds,
    • banging toys together,
    • dancing to music, or
    • interacting with his own reflection in a mirror.
  • Try new foods and learn new feeding skills, including: 
    • Chewing (although the child will need food cut small for a few years),
    • eating baby food or soft foods and slowly integrating solids,
    • using her hands to feed herself,
    • holding her own bottle or sippy cup,
    • and experimenting with utensils (although she will probably make a big mess until she masters them).
  • Experience separation anxiety, which is normal and shows a healthy attachment to the child’s parents.

boy sitting on white cloth surrounded by toys

Activities to Boost Development

Every parent wants to do everything they can to give their baby the best jump start to life possible. Here’s how you can do this for your little one between 6 months old and 1 year old!

  • Provide toys that teach new skills- like:
    • sorting,
    • putting objects into containers,
    • identifying colors/shapes,
    • identifying animal sounds,
    • any new vocabulary words,
    • sharing or interacting with others,
    • finding hidden objects, etc.


Fisher-Price Rock-a-Stack & Baby’s First Blocks Bundle (Amazon Exclusive)


Playskool Play Favorites Busy Poppin’ Pals, Pop Up Activity, Ages 9 months and up (Amazon Exclusive)


The First Years Stack Up Cups

  • Allow your child to get to know other adults and children by arranging play dates or hanging out with friends.
  • Play with movement.
    • Hold your child in a standing position with less and less support,
    • let your child hold onto your legs or hands while you walk around the house together,
    • dance to music,
    • use a walker or a jump-a-roo to encourage standing and walking,
    • play in a swimming pool,
    • use a Bumbo to encourage sitting without the risk of falling, etc!


VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker (Frustration Free Packaging)


HOMOFY Baby Toys Musical Learning Table 6 Months Up- Early Education Activity Center Multiple Modes Game Kids Toddler Boys & Girls Toys for 1 2 3 Years Old Best Gifts


KLEEGER Baby Pool Splash Mat: Infant Water Play Mat Toy With Stackable Rings. For Boys & Girls | Great for Beach, Deck & Backyard


TOMY Toomies Pic and Pop – Walker Toy with ball launcher and collector – Suitable From 18 Months


Bumbo Floor Seat, Cool Grey

  • Allow your child to try new foods and offer him the opportunity to feed himself, despite the mess.
  • Always talk!
    • Have conversations,
    • describe your daily activities to the child,
    • explain what you’re doing and why,
    • ask questions,
    • sing songs and rhymes,
    • read books,
    • enjoy finger plays,
    • review the animal sounds,
    • label colors and shapes and prepositions (over, under, around, near, behind, next to, etc.),
    • and laugh together!


teytoy My First Soft Book, Nontoxic Fabric Baby Cloth Books Early Education Toys Activity Crinkle Cloth Book for Toddler, Infants and Kids Perfect for Baby Shower -Pack of 6


VTech Rhyme and Discover Book (Frustration Free Packaging)

sitting toddler on seashore at daytime

Warning Signs or Potential Dangers

Of course, every stage has its own dangers. Here are a few to look out for.

It’s always safer to call the doctor or nurse if you have questions! They’ve heard it all before, there are no stupid questions, and your baby will be safer because you checked!

  • Falling. Now that your child is mobile, he will be experimenting with his new skills. However, he’s no master! Your child will probably get a few bumps and bruises, but watch out for sharp edges, large drops, or other dangerous situations that could cause major injury.


HROUEN 2 Pack Baby Proofing Edge & Corner Guards 6.5ft Multifunctional Child Safety Furniture Wide Bumper Table Sharp Edges Protector, Beige

  • Choking. Introducing solid foods and allowing babies with the opportunity to feed themselves means one more risk- choking. You can stay safe by:
    • Stay close by when your child is eating so that you can keep an eye on things. Never leave the child alone during meal and snack times.
    • Pay attention to warning labels on baby food items- they often suggest what age range is safe to give certain foods to.
    • Always cut baby’s food into small pieces.
    • Keep small items or toys off the ground.
    • Prepare yourself by learning infant CPR as choking situations can require quick response.


First Aid Fast for Babies and Children: Emergency Procedures for all Parents and Caregivers


Infant & Child CPR and Choking First Aid – Laminated Card with Magnets – 8.5 x 11 in. – Dry-Erase Marker Included

  • Dangerous items. Now that your child can get around without you, she has access to objects around the house without you providing it. That means your child will get into things you didn’t intend.
    • New dangers include hot objects, sharp objects, anything heavy that can fall, anything breakable, chemicals, and anything small enough to choke on.
    • Baby-proof your home by using child-proof locks on cabinets, cupboards, drawers, and doors.


Skyla Homes – Child Safety Cabinet Locks | No Tools | Baby & Child Proof Drawers, Cabinets, Oven, Toilet Seat, and More | Multi-Purpose Use | No Drilling Needed | Super Strong 3M Adhesive (12-Pack)


Mommy’s Helper Outlet Plugs, 36 Count


Eco-Baby Child Safety Magnetic Cabinet and Drawer Locks for Proofing Kitchen 12 Pack Child Latches

  • Losing any skills they used to have. Occasionally, a child will begin to speak or progress in other developmental milestones and then lose those skills suddenly. This can be a sign of Autism, so report it to your doctor immediately.
  • Failure to reach milestones by 12 months. Be patient and give your child plenty of time to reach the developmental milestones. However, there may be a need for intervention if your child has not reached the following basic milestones by 12 months old:
    • Searching for hidden or partially hidden objects,
    • crawling,
    • attempt simple words like “mama” or “baba”, or
    • using gestures like pointing, waving bye, or shaking head “no”.

baby trying to get out of his crib

Typical Struggles for Mom and What to Do

The baby phase comes with its own unique challenges for parents.

Here are some challenges to be aware of, and some solutions to help a mama out!

  • Separation anxiety. It can be really tough on moms when babies cry during separation. If you work, you might have to deal with this every day for a while. If you don’t work, you still need breaks! It can be tough to get a night away or have a date with your man or just get some “me-time” when your baby only wants you and nobody else! This kind of constant clingy-ness can be exhausting for mom. What’s the solution?
    • Practice makes perfect. The more you leave and come back, the more your baby will learn the pattern. You have to go sometimes, but you always come back!
    • Comfort items. Having something familiar can comfort your baby when you’re gone. For example, a teddy bear, a blanket, a snuggly soft toy, a picture of you.
    • Put Dad to work! If there is another person that your child loves and trusts, such as his father, grandparents, or a good friend, ask them for help. Being left with a familiar adult isn’t nearly as scary as being left with a stranger. Win win for mom and baby!
    • Take much-needed breaks when baby is sleeping! She’ll never even know that she was left with a babysitter if you leave for a fun evening after her bedtime!
  • Mobility. It’s exciting and all, but all that moving around means a lot more work for mom. You’ll be running to and fro trying to get everything done on your checklist AND constantly watching to make sure baby is safe and not getting into things he shouldn’t get into. What can a mom do about it?
    • Provide lots of stimulating toys and switch them out frequently. This prevents your child from getting bored. The more entertained she is, the less exploring she’ll do!
    • Baby proof everything dangerous, and everything that’s just too messy to clean up every day. Better to prevent than to deal with the problem day in and day out!
    • Have a good sense of humor when baby gets into things she shouldn’t. Expect messes, and try to laugh about them! I have a friend who made it a habit to get her camera right away when something frustrating happened. Instead of freaking out, it helped her laugh at cute memories of her silly kids.
    • Baby gates are our friends. Keep kids away from the stairs…. or just keep the baby in one safe room.


Regalo 192-Inch Super Wide Adjustable Baby Gate and Play Yard, 4-In-1, Bonus Kit, Includes 4 Pack of Wall Mounts


Regalo Easy Step 38.5-Inch Extra Wide Walk Thru Baby Gate, Bonus Kit, Includes 6-Inch Extension Kit, 4 Pack Pressure Mount Kit and 4 Pack Wall Mount Kit


North States MyPet Paws 42″ Portable Pet Gate: Expands and Locks in Place with no Tools. Pressure Mount. Fits 26″-42″ Wide (23″ Tall, Light Gray)

  • Feeding. It’s great that babies are starting to eat solids, but there are a few downsides. It’s messy, it’s time consuming, babies can be picky, and it’s expensive! 
    • Once your baby can eat solids, offer the child whatever the family is having for dinner (cut into small pieces of course). This is cost-effective (rather than buying separate food for baby), time-efficient (rather than preparing two meals), and helps the child adapt to the family’s diet.
    • Don’t be offended or frustrated if your child doesn’t like some of the foods that he tries, but always encourage him to try it again. The mom’s job is to offer healthy choices. The baby’s job is to decide which of the choices he will eat and how much he will eat. Never try to take over the baby’s jobs by force feeding!
    • Eliminate distractions. A distracted baby can’t eat very well. Turn off the TV, involve the entire family in the meal instead of eating separately, and keep toys away from the table.
    • Be a role model of healthy eating. Help your child learn to eat healthy foods by eating them yourself. Be a good example of trying new foods. Show your children how to have good table manners.
    • Put a piece of plastic (like a shower curtain) or an old bed sheet under the baby’s place at the table. This makes clean up much easier! Just shake it off and throw it in the washer!
    • Or… Try these helpful items!!!

toddler looking up while holding candycane in party

GREAT Things About This Developmental Phase

No developmental phase is all bad… in fact, they’re all a lot of fun!

The baby phase is no exception. Here are some things you’ll LOVE!!!!

  • Mobility! Ok, I know, mobility is one of the hardest things about this phase and yet one of the best things too. A little more independence for baby means a little more flexibility for mom. You don’t have to carry him everywhere anymore! He’s learning to feed himself. He’s learning to get things he wants on his own. All these skills help you out eventually!
  • FUN!!! This stage is fun, above all! For your child’s entire life, the most reciprocation you get is a little gurgling and a few laughs, when you’re lucky. Now, your child is starting to play games! She’ll learn to interact with you, including
    • responding to your requests,
    • saying your name (Awwwww!!!!),
    • remembering things you’ve taught (such as animal sounds),
    • and showing you affection! What better “thank you” can a parent ask for?
  • You get to sleep through the night! Ok, so you might not get to sleep through the night at first. Some babies have night feedings up until 9 months old. But it’s on the horizon, mama! Your sleep is almost back!!!! WOOOO HOOOOOOOOO!
  • baby sitting on white chair while smiling at the camera

What’s Coming Up Next for Your Child??

Ok mom, hold your breath, cause this is difficult to take in…. Ready???

Your baby is almost a TODDLER!!!! 

What???? Yeah I know. It’s insane and ridiculous and unbelievable. It just can’t be so, and yet it is.

Your baby is morphing into a toddler and you’re about to leave this stage behind! What are you going to do??? 

Watch out for my next development article: Everything Parents Need to Know- Development from 12 Months to 24 Months Old.


Little Tikes Junior Play Slide

Need more information about babies from age 6 months to 12 months? Check out this great article by The Tot: INFANT DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONES: 6-12 MONTHS.

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

 

Who is Mrs. S… and why do people call you that? 

It’s my favorite nickname! That’s what all my students call me!

I’ve been around the block a time or two. I’ve worked with children from ages 0-18, some with mental illness, some with disabilities, some with Autism, and many with behavioral problems.

I also worked as a parent educator!

All that doesn’t hold a candle to my best experience with children- being a mom. Want to learn more about me? Click here! 

FREE Pregnancy Weight Gain Tracker

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How Will I Know If My Baby Is Prepared for their First Day Of School? Kindergarten Readiness

Kindergarten Readiness: What Every Parent Needs to Know

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Photo by Kimberly Farmer on Unsplash

This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

Image result for first day of school humor

Is your kid getting ready for their first day of kindergarten???

Time flies by! Remember when they were a tiny baby in your arms, and when they first started to walk, and when they said their first word??

Now here you are making sure your baby has all the skills and knowledge that he needs to succeed in the fast-paced learning craze that your little one will be thrown into on his first day of school.

It’s a challenge, to be sure!

Within the first weeks of Kindergarten, your child will be:

  • writing her name, numbers, AND all the letters,
  • reading and memorizing sight words,
  • sounding out simple words (hope she knows all her letter sounds!!),
  • performing simple math,
  • counting all the way to 100,
  • coping with being away from mom and dad for long periods of time,
  • sitting still and focusing for hours at a time,
  • and functioning for at least half a day in a structured classroom with new rules and restrictions…. just to mention a few!

That’s SOOOOO much for a 5 year old to handle!!!!

How is a parent supposed to make sure their little ones are ready for Kindergarten??

Here are the 10 things that every parent needs to know about Kindergarten preparation.


School Zone – Big Kindergarten Workbook – Ages 5-6, Early Reading and Writing, Numbers 0-20, Matching, Story Order, and More (School Zone Big Workbook Series)


Learning Resources All Ready for Kindergarten Readiness Kit, Reading, Vocab, Handwriting Helper, Ages 4+

 

toddler sitting on desk

1. No Pressure!!!

First thing all moms need to know about Kindergarten Readiness- no child is ever perfectly ready for Kindergarten. 

It’s a whole new world for kids. How could they ever be 100% ready for something they’ve never experienced before?

The focus here isn’t perfection- it’s preparation. 

Your child won’t meet everything on this list- and that’s OK! He’s only 5, after all. Just do your best, make it fun, and enjoy every second of your little one before they’re off to school!

Kids learn best when they’re playing, so turn learning into games! 

Brain Quest Kindergarten, revised 4th edition: 300 Questions and Answers to Get a Smart Start (Brain Quest Decks)


Melissa & Doug Smarty Pants Kindergarten Card Set (Trivia Games, Educational Card Set for Kids, Developed with Educators, 120 Cards)


Learning Resources Mental Blox Critical Thinking Game, 20 Blocks, 20 Activity Cards, Ages 5+

 

 

child playing with two assorted-color car plastic toys on brown wooden table

2. Social and Emotional Skills

Let’s talk about the vital pieces of kindergarten readiness that nobody ever talks about.

Each child needs to be socially and emotionally prepared for a major change in their life. School takes self-control and focus- which aren’t easy for a young child.

Here are some important skills to help your child master before Kindergarten. Ask yourself:

Can my child….

  • Sit quietly and focus for 15-20 minutes?
  • Cope when away from parents through basic self-calming skills?
  • Develop and maintain friendships with other children?
  • Play and share with other children appropriately (with some disagreements every once and a while)?
  • Follow basic 2-step directions?
  • Communicate their needs to adults?
  • Speak with clear words and complete sentences?

Here are some great books to help your child cope with any anxiety about the first day of school!

Kindergarten, Here I Come!


The Night Before Kindergarten

3. Self-Help Skills

Another often forgotten (but SOOO vital) part of thriving through Kindergarten! Self-Help Skills are the skills your child will use to take care of themselves in a classroom setting- you know, all the things the child should be able to do for himself so that the teacher can concentrate on teaching.

These skills also keep the child safe.

Ask yourself:

Can my child…

  • Wash hands independently?
  • Use restroom independently?
  • State her own full name and age?
  • Remember her parents’ names?
  • Memorize and recite basic contact information- such as his address and at least one parent’s phone number?


Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wood Lacing Sneaker (Learn to Tie a Shoe Educational Toy, Encourages Independence)

 

four boy playing ball on green grass

4. Physical Skills

Children need to master basic physical development to succeed in school. This means both fine motor skills (small movements using the hands and fingers) and gross motor skills (large movements using the whole body).

Ask yourself:

Can my child…

  • Cut along a line using scissors?
  • Copy marks on a paper- such as an x, a line, a zigzag, or a circle?
  • Complete typical gross motor skills- such as hopping, jumping, running, catching a ball, going up and down stairs?
  • Endure the length of the Kindergarten class without snacks or naps (unless your school provides these)?
  • Control her own bowels- in other words, can she “hold it” until it’s time to go to the bathroom?


Spring Kids Scissors / School Scissors, Preschool and Kindergarten Use – Plastic Blunt Tipped Kid and Toddler Safety Craft Scissors for Right and Left Handed Cutting – Pink and Blue Kid Scissors Pack

 

shallow focus photography of books

5. Reading Skills

Ok, we’re finally getting around to the stuff that everyone talks about! This is the cognitive area- the main focus of school and therefore the main focus of school prep. This is great stuff, but it can easily cause a lot of extra stress for children and parents. 

Don’t let it!!!! 

School needs to be fun and exciting, not a forced task for children. Don’t go overboard in teaching letters and numbers, although these are great things to learn. It’s not worth stressing out the child and creating resentment towards learning and school. 

Find fun ways to practice letters and reading skills without frustrating anyone. Fostering a love of reading and all other areas of school will create a healthy joy for learning that will last a lifetime! 

Here are a few of the skills to work on. Ask yourself:

Does my child….

  • Know the ABC’s? This means:
    • Singing the alphabet,
    • If possible, identifying all letters by sight (“Where is the ‘S’?”),
    • If possible, naming all the letters independently and out of order (“What is this letter?”),
    • If possible, identifying all the letter sounds (“What does the ‘M’ say?”), and
    • If possible, identifying uppercase and lowercase letters.
  • Understand books and literacy? This means:
    • When looking through a book,
      • the child holds the book upright,
      • recognizes that the words move from left to right and from top to bottom, and
      • knows where the front and back of the book are.
  • Retell a simple story after hearing it?
  • Hear and identify rhyming words?


The Learning Journey: Match It! – 3 Letter Words – 20 Self-Correcting Reading & Spelling Puzzles with Matching Images


Little Treasures Matching Letter Game, Teaches Word Recognition, Spelling & Increases Memory, 3 Years & Up


Kindergarten Sight Words Free: High Frequency Words to Increase Reading Fluency


The Original Montessori Phonetic Reading Blocks – Made in The USA – Educational Materials for The Beginning Reader – Eco Friendly Wooden Manipulative Toy for Kindergarten, Toddlers 3 4 5 6 Year Olds


Fun-to-Know® Puzzles: Uppercase & Lowercase Alphabet

 

6. Writing Skills

Writing is tough for young children! It requires specific fine motor skills, memory of each letter, and focus.

Again, practice makes perfect. Especially fun practice! That’s what will hold the child’s attention and result in lasting retention! 

Ask yourself:

Can my child…

  • Hold a pencil correctly?
  • Recognize their own name when written (“Which name tag is yours?”)?
  • Write his full first name (no nicknames!) using a capital letter for the first letter and lowercase letters for the rest of his name?
    • That means that if your child goes by “Sam” but his full first name is “Samuel,” his Kindergarten teacher will expect him to write “Samuel”.
  • If possible, write all the letters and numbers (1-10) on demand (“Please write a lowercase ‘P’.”)?


Pencil Grip Holder Writing Aid Grip Posture Correction Training Learning Tool Colored Pen Handwriting Claw for Adult or Children or Kindergarten or Toddler or Kids 6Pcs/Set (A)

 

numbering start line on concrete floor

7. Math Skills

Just like reading, math skills begin long before division and multiplication, or even adding and subtracting.

Here are a few basic math skills that your child can master right now, even before he enters his first Kindergarten classroom! 

Ask yourself:

Can my child….

  • Recognize and identify basic shapes (Circle, square, diamond, star, triangle, oval, rectangle)?
  • Recognize and identify colors (White, black, brown, yellow, green, orange, pink, purple, red, blue)?
  • Count to 20?
  • If possible, recognize all numbers from 1-10 out of order (“Can you find the 7?”)?
  • Count backwards from 10?
  • Count up to 5 objects by pointing to each item to track counting?
  • Understand concepts of more or less (Greater than or less than)?
  • Organize objects into groups based on similarities?
  • Recognize and complete simple patterns (X O X O _?_, X X O X X O _?_)?


Creative Animal Geo Blocks Wooden Pattern Blocks Puzzles with 20 Designs for Preschool or Kindergarten Kids


Learning Resources Mathlink Cubes, Educational Counting Toy, Early Math Skills, Set of 100 Cubes

 

8. Reasoning Skills

As your child’s brain develops, she is more and more capable of logical thought. This development, combined with your coaching, teach the child how to make sense of the world around her through reasoning and problem solving. 

Check to see if your child needs any extra practice in this area. Ask yourself: ]

Can my child…

  • Understand basic concepts of time?
    • It is helpful to know:
      • that we all have to wait for things we want,
      • that we follow a schedule of events during the day,
      • the names of the four seasons,
      • the names of the months of the year,
      • and the names of the days of the week.
  • Understand comparisons like big/small, same/different, first/last, up/down/around/next to?
  • Make a reasonable guess of what will happen next in a simple story? This skill shows basic understanding of cause/effect relationships as well as comprehension.
  • Sequence three story pictures?
  • Repeat or participates in a familiar rhyme or song? This shows memory and retention skills.
  • Complete a 4 piece puzzle (or larger) using clues like shape, color, and images to identify where each puzzle piece belongs?


Melissa & Doug My Magnetic Daily Calendar, Seasonal & Religious (Daily Magnetic Calendar, Fabric-Hinged Dry-Erase Boards, 12″ H x 15.75″ W x 1″ L)


Kindergarten Songs

 

assorted pen and colored papers in organizer case

9. Exciting Things to Look Forward To… And Start Practicing!

Did your child meet everything on the list? Chances are, he’s got a few things to practice before he’s ready for Kindergarten! 

That’s perfectly normal and perfectly fine! 

Do your best to support your child in his kindergarten preparation by teaching and practicing these skills at home.

The more your child masters, the easier the transition to Kindergarten will be!

As your child begins his first days and weeks in Kindergarten, you can look forward to your child building new skills, such as:

  • Reading!
  • Buttoning, zipping, tying shoes,
  • Sitting still and focusing for longer periods of time,
  • Adding and subtracting, and
  • Building lasting friendships through increasingly cooperative and structured play!

If your child is doing well in other areas of Kindergarten readiness, start practicing these great skills!

As always, teach through play. Having fun is the best way for children to love learning and retain new information. 

 

school bus near green trees under cloudy sky during daytime

10. A Quick Second for Mom

Ok, Mom, we need to take a second to talk about you.

Your baby is headed to Kindergarten!!! That’s a tough thing for a parent.

This is a major milestone in growing up… but we never want our babies to get big. We miss their tiny little selves!

Plan on being an emotional wreck for a little while. 

But with a little time and coping, you can get through this too, mama. You’ll need some extra time to yourself to handle the changes happening in your life and in your child’s life.

Check out this FREE Parent’s Guide to Self-Care to help you decompress and feel right with the world again!

Free Self Care Guide 2

 

Want to learn more? Check out Busy Toddler’s article on Kindergarten Readiness here! 

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

Please share with other moms who need to know what to expect before the first day of Kindergarten!

Who is Mrs. S… and why do people call you that? 

It’s my favorite nickname! That’s what all my students call me!

I’ve been around the block a time or two. I’ve worked with children from ages 0-18, some with mental illness, some with disabilities, some with Autism, and many with behavioral problems.

I also worked as a parent educator!

All that doesn’t hold a candle to my best experience with children- being a mom. Want to learn more about me? Click here! 

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When and What are the Typical Pregnancy Doctor Visits and Checkups?

When are Typical Pregnancy Doctor Visits… and What are They Going to Do To Me???

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Photo by Cason Asher on Unsplash

This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

Did you just pee on a stick and it turned out positive????

Well, let me be the first to say CONGRATS MAMA!!!! Pregnancy and mom life are the best! I’m so happy for you! 

But, truth be told, you’re entering a whirlwind of new information and questions and experiences. 

Let me help you through one major part of all this.

You know you’re pregnant. Now when do you see the doctor? And how often do you have to see the doctor after that? And what are they going to do to me during those checkups???

man kissing woman's forehead white holding ultrasound photo

Appointment 1: 8-10 weeks

The first time you’ll visit the doctor is around 8-10 weeks pregnant.

How do you find out how long you’ve been pregnant?

It can be tricky, but the best way is to guess based on the first day of your last menstrual period. Just add 8 weeks to that day (or your best guess of when that day was) and viola! Your appointment should be sometime around then.

You might have some paperwork to do during this appointment- you know, stuff like your medical history, the medical history of your family, and insurance stuff.

You’ll probably pee in a cup. Get used to this- you pee in cups a lot during pregnancy. The doctor will get your urine tested to look for common problems like infections, diabetes (although gestational diabetes doesn’t develop until later in pregnancy), dehydration, preeclampsia, etc. Oh yeah, and your pee also confirms pregnancy. That too.

Many doctors take a blood sample to screen for HIV. I always freak out before they poke me, but it really doesn’t hurt that bad.

You’ll get to ask you doctor any questions or bring up any concerns you might have. Come prepared with your thoughts written down because it’s easy to forget what you wanted to say, and it’s tough to get a hold of doctors other than during your scheduled visits! Take advantage of that time!

But the best, most amazing and exciting  and wonderful part of the first visit is by far your first ultrasound!!!!! Yep, you get to see you baby!!!

Because your little one is so tiny at this stage, it’s a vaginal ultrasound. You’ll have to undress from the waist down and put a sheet over your lower half.

You’ll get to watch the baby on a screen as the nurse takes measurements to make sure the baby is healthy and growing as he should. These measurements also give you a more accurate due date, just in case you guessed a little off on your last menstrual period.

Watch closely- sometimes you can see the baby moving!  

Appointment 2: 14 weeks

You get a nice, long break before you have to come back in. At 14 weeks, it’s time to see the doctor for a routine checkup.

It’s all routine stuff- checking your vitals, taking measurements of your growing belly, Q&A with the doctor (come prepared!), and listening for baby’s heartbeat!

Yep- you get to hear the heartbeat today!!!! AAAAHHHHH! So exciting! I can’t keep it in! A baby’s heartbeat doesn’t sound like an adult’s heartbeat. It’s more of a swishing sound. There’s nothing so precious in all the world!

2 tier cake

Appointment 3: 20-22 weeks

This is the magical appointment that we wait and wait for!

It’s the anatomy ultrasound!!! WOOOOO HOOOOO! That means you get to find out if your baby is a boy or a girl today (unless you’d rather keep it a surprise)!!!

This time, the baby has grown enough that the ultrasound can be performed without mom having to take off her pants. I know, SCORE!

Mom lays back, you get a lot of jelly on your tummy, and the nurse shows you your cute baby!! It’s so exciting because you can see the baby’s face, hands, legs, feet, and of course… genitals. 

If you don’t want to find out the baby’s sex, make sure you speak up soon because the nurse might accidentally let it slip!

But the nurse checks a lot more than just the sex of the baby. She’ll also measure the heart, measure how tall baby is, and check out the baby’s organs like kidneys, bladder, stomach, etc. Then the nurse will check your placenta for complications such as placenta previa.

Appointment 4: 26-28 weeks

This check up is all routine.

See the doctor, pee in a cup, take your vitals, check up on baby. 

But pay attention because you’ll receive very specific instructions for that glucose drink you’ll take right before your next appointment!

If you ask, you might get to choose the flavor of the drink too!

drinking glass filled with liquid

Appointment 5: 32 weeks

Besides your regular checkup stuff, you get to take your glucose test today! 

Yippee! Ok, that was a sarcastic yippee.

You’ll hear a lot of negativity about how icky the drink tastes. It’s not very good, but it wasn’t too terrible for me. It is sugary and thick, kind of like drinking a melted otter pop. But it’s not so bad. You’ll be just fine!

Follow the doctor’s instructions carefully when you take this test to ensure accurate results. You might be asked to change your diet or not eat at all for a certain amount of time before you drink the liquid. Make sure you drink it right on time (your doctor will tell you when), because the glucose needs to work its magic for just the right amount of time before the doctor tests your blood.

Yes, that means you’ll get poked this time. Sorry mama!

But it’s worth it- this test checks for gestational diabetes, a common problem in pregnancy.

It is also common to do a Hemoglobin Test at this time, which checks to see if you are anemic (if there is enough iron in your blood). Hey, if they’re already poking you, they might as well check it out!

AND- you’ll start having appointments roughly every two weeks! That means you’re getting close to the end mama! 

Appointment 6: 34 weeks

This week is a normal checkup, with no pokes! That’s awesome!

You’ll get to chat with the doctor, take vitals, check on baby. All that good stuff.

It’s kind of nice to have a boring doctor’s visit after that glucose test!

doctor holding red stethoscope

Appointment 7: 36 weeks

It’s time to pre-register at the hospital, if you haven’t already! Your baby could come any time, although we hope she’ll stay put for a little longer.

There is one exciting test for this appointment. It’s the Group B Strep Screening. For this test, you will swab the skin “down there” to check for the Group B Step bacteria.  About 25% of women carry the bacteria, although most women show no signs or symptoms of having it. 

No need to worry if you are a carrier- you’ll just need antibiotics during labor and delivery to keep your baby from getting sick if the bacteria is passed to him during labor.

Buckle up- starting next week, you’ll be seeing your doctor on a weekly basis! You’re almost ready to have this baby!!!

Appointment 8: 37 weeks

This check up is very routine. Your doctor is keeping a closer eye on you and your baby as you get closer to delivery.

She might check to make sure your baby is in the right position for delivery. She can feel your pelvis to see if the baby has “dropped” (moved away from your abdomen and toward your pelvis) and if the baby’s head is down.

pregnant woman standing near green plants

Appointment 9: 38 weeks

During the weeks before labor, your body may show signs that this baby is on its way. Your doctor checks to see if your cervix is dilated and effaced as your due date approaches.

What in the heck does that mean??

Well, normally your cervix is closed tightly, but that needs to change for this baby to get out. Dilation means your cervix is opening. It will eventually dilate to 10 centimeters right before the baby is born… but that’s in the thick of labor. You might dilate a few centimeters during the weeks before labor.

Effacement measures how thin your cervix is becoming in preparation for labor. Right before the baby is ready to be born, you will be 100% effaced. Effacement can also begin during the weeks before labor.

Appointment 10: 39 weeks

That baby could be here any day! Everyone’s on pins and needles!

Your doctor will keep checking all for all the same signs that labor is near! You’re probably uncomfortable by now, so hang in there mama!

Try out some of the tips to get labor going found at The Bump. 

Appointment 11: 40 weeks

40 weeks! Your due date is here!

If you’re past your due date, your doctor will be in close contact with you about your preferences regarding induction. 

Being “induced” means that the doctor medically intervenes to get labor going. Some moms welcome this help, and some moms prefer to wait for their body to prepare for labor all on its own.

Check out some articles for both sides of the argument here:

Risks of Inducing Labor- 5 Things to Know Before You’re Induced

5 Benefits of Inducing Labor

baby's fac

Appointment 12: Labor!

Ahhh! It finally happened! Whether you were induced or labor started naturally, you’re finally having this baby!

Congratulations mama! 

You made it through all these crazy doctors visits, and now it’s the good part!

You’ll LOVE being a mom- even if it’s not your first baby. It’s always a joy to welcome a new little life to your family!

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

FREE Pregnancy Weight Gain Tracker

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Who is Mrs. S… and why do people call you that? 

It’s my favorite nickname! That’s what all my students call me!

I’ve been around the block a time or two. I’ve worked with children from ages 0-18, some with mental illness, some with disabilities, some with Autism, and many with behavioral problems.

I also worked as a parent educator!

All that doesn’t hold a candle to my best experience with children- being a mom. Want to learn more about me? Click here! 

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Everything Parents Need to Know Development from 6 Weeks to 6 Months

Everything Parents Need to Know- Development from 6 Weeks to 6 Months Old

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Photo by Minnie Zhou on Unsplash

This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

Keep an eye out for upcoming Development Posts covering all developmental stages from 0-18!

Welcome to When Fit Hits the Shan’s Development Series!!

We’ll cover each major developmental phase of life from age 0-18, diving deep into what affects children during that particular phase, what you as a parent need to be aware of, and how you can help your child develop properly.

Each post (including this one!) covers helpful topics for each developmental stage of life- including:

  • Milestones, New Skills, and Developmental Goals
  • Activities to Boost Development
  • Warning Signs or Potential Dangers
  • Typical Struggles for Mom and What to Do
  • GREAT Things About This Developmental Phase
  • What’s Coming Up Next for Your Child??

Let’s dive into what it takes to care for a baby from 6 weeks to 6 months old!! 

baby eating pacifier

Milestones, New Skills, and Developmental Goals

As always, don’t worry if your kid and the neighbor’s kid are slightly different in their milestones.

All kids reach various developmental goals in their own time and in their own way. No need to compare, because your sweet little one is his own perfect person!

Here’s a few milestones to watch out for between 6 weeks and 6 months of age:

  • Rolling Over. This is a super exciting moment because it’s baby’s first gross motor (whole body) movement! Soon, your cutie pie will be crawling, then walking, then running… but for now he’s mastering the art of rolling!
  • Sitting (with Help). Your little one is learning how to control his body more and more- although it’s still a work in progress. He can sit up but is still prone to fall over. Give your little one extra help as needed- such as when mom holds his arms to help him balance or when he has pillows propping him up.
  • Lift Head and Chest. Yes, this is the first sign that crawling is on its way! You’ve been practicing tummy time since your baby was born and now it’s paying off! She’s getting stronger and can lift her head and chest up off the ground for a few seconds! Some babies might even master crawling by 6 months old, but it’s normal for babies to crawl anytime between 6-10 months.
  • Beginning Solid Foods. It is recommended to begin solid foods at 6 months of age. However, some babies might show signs of being ready to eat solids sooner. Here are signs to watch out for:
    • Baby can sit up all on his own- without support.
    • The tongue-thrust reflex should be gone! When babies are born, their tongue automatically pushes solids out of his mouth. This reflex disappears around 6 months of age. If the reflex is gone, your baby might be ready to begin solids.
    • Baby shows interest in food by watching and reaching for food.
    • Baby is developing a “pincer grasp” which means he can pick up small objects using his thumb and pointer finger. This skill is important to learning to self-feed.
  • Teething. Teething is tough for moms and babies, but an essential part of development. Most babies get their first teeth around 6 months old, but some babies get their teeth much earlier or much later. My first baby didn’t get her first tooth until 11 months!!
  • Eye Contact and Smiles. This age is awesome because your baby shows genuine interest by laughing at, interacting with, and smiling for you and others. These interactions are a big deal because they form the beginning of relationships, social skills, and self-esteem. You’ll get to enjoy your baby laughing, smiling, jabbering, and showing excitement to see you by kicking his feet and flapping his arms when he sees you!
  • Conversations. Ok, so you don’t really have conversations with a baby. But, the interactions you do have with your baby are forming his earliest understanding of conversations. For example, he’s learning that people take turns talking, that people fluctuate their voices as they speak, that there are lots of different tones to use, lots of different sounds incorporated in our language, that common phrases or words are repeated, and, best of all, that making noise gets people’s attention! He’s learning that “speaking” (or his best attempts at speaking) is a useful tool and that will be motivating to keep learning all about language!
  • Attempt to Grab Objects. Yay, fine motor skills are developing! That means your baby is learning how to use his hands and fingers! She’s very rusty at it at first. She might try to swipe at an object and miss completely, but she’ll get better and better until she can reach for, pick up, and play with the object that she wanted!

Activities to Boost Development

Alrightie moms, you know what to expect from “nature”- that’s those developmental milestones that you’re watching for.

Let’s chat about “nurture”- the part where you get to actively participate in shaping your child!

Here are some things you can do now to help your baby reach his developmental goals:

  • Tummy Time. Tummy time is vital until a baby is strong enough to crawl. Indeed, tummy time directly correlates with a baby’s development of the muscles and coordination needed to crawl. This important skill can be delayed if a baby doesn’t get the chance to practice via tummy time.
  • Attention. Have you heard that old saying, “You can’t spoil a baby?” Well it’s true! Don’t worry about teaching your baby to delay gratification. Right now, your baby cries for legitimate reasons (hungry, thirsty, tired, over stimulated, uncomfortable, hot, cold, etc.) so don’t hesitate to meet their needs quickly! This teaches the baby that you are a reliable caregiver, which fosters trust.
  • Holding, Snuggling, Touching, Blow Raspberries. The biggest success a parent can have during the baby phase is to show your baby with absolute confidence that you will always be there for them. This bond will last a lifetime and it begins here. Making time to play and interact with your baby strengthens  the attachment they have with you. Plus, it’s a lot of fun!
  • Change Positions Often. Switching things up keeps babies interested and engaged with their environment, encourages them to turn their head in all directions, and helps them develop different muscles than if they were always in one position.  You can switch which side of crib baby’s head is on and lay/hold your baby in different positions (right side, left side, tummy, back… now let’s try propping you up to practice sitting, and then I’ll stand you up on my lap, and then you’ll lay back down… etc).
    • Make sure you include sitting and standing in the rotation of positions (although your child will need you to support them in these positions) as this will teach the skills needed to eventually master sitting and standing!
  • Talk, Read, Sing, and Label Familiar Objects. Babies love to hear language. They might not understand quite yet, but soon they will recognize familiar words and begin to respond to what you say- and it’s all because you talk to your baby now!
  • Repeat After Your Baby. I know, this might look a little weird if someone walked in the room at the wrong time. But it really is good for your baby! Your baby is more likely to imitate YOUR language if you imitate HIS language. You’re teaching him what he needs to do to learn how to speak. Plus, babies LOVE it! They notice that you are showing interest in them, at their level. They love having some control in the interaction. You can give your child the feeling of being special and valued, even as a baby.
  • Toys. Not all toys are good for babies. It’s important to know what to look for. Try toys that stimulate one or more of the senses. For example, bright colors and pictures stimulate the eyes. Textures and toys that move stimulate the sense of touch. Toys that make noise stimulate hearing. It’s also a great idea to choose toys that are easy to pick up. This will help the baby develop those fine motor (hand and finger movement) skills.

Fisher-Price Rattle ‘n Rock Maracas, Blue/Orange

iPlay, iLearn 10pcs Baby Rattles Teether, Shaker, Grab and Spin Rattle, Musical Toy, Unique Gift Set, Early Educational Toys for 3, 6, 9, 12 Month Baby Infant, Newborn

Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle and Sensory Teether Toy

Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes Musical Toy

VTech Busy Learners Activity Cube

Sassy Developmental Bumpy Ball | High Contrast Colors and Patterns | Easy to Grasp Bumps Help Develop Motor Skills | For Ages 6 Months and Up

Fisher-Price Deluxe Kick ‘n Play Piano Gym

Nuby Ice Gel Teether Keys

teytoy My First Soft Book, Nontoxic Fabric Baby Cloth Books Early Education Toys Activity Crinkle Cloth Book for Toddler, Infants and Kids Perfect for Baby Shower -Pack of 6

VTech Lil’ Critters Moosical Beads (Frustration Free Packaging)

Warning Signs or Potential Dangers

Just a few things to be aware of, but remember that most babies are healthy and strong! This is all informational and just in case!

Don’t stress too much about the possible things that might go wrong in parenthood or you’ll miss the great things that are happening now!

If you have any questions, just give your doctor a call. It’s always better to be safe and double check! 

Here are some common problems between age 6 weeks to 6 months:

  • SIDS. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is a scary but PREVENTABLE risk during the baby stage. Follow the guidelines of the Safe Sleep Academy to decrease the risk of SIDS.
    • Some parents prefer to use monitors that track the baby’s movement to decrease the risk of SIDS. Check out some products like these by following the links below.

NANNY Baby Movement European Monitor – EU Medical ‎device SIDS Certified – NOW ON US ‎MARKET + ‎Breastfeeding Apron.

New Model: Babysense Video + Baby Movement Monitor – Bundle Pack: Babysense Video Baby Monitor with Babysense 7 Under-The-Mattress Baby Movement Monitor – 2 in 1

Snuza Hero (SE) Premium Baby Movement Monitor – Wearable Infant Abdominal Movement Monitor Alarm – Cordless, Long Battery Life – Updated Model and Color for 2019 – (Grey)

New Babysense Petite Clip Baby Movement Monitor – with Vibration Stimulation & Audible Alarm – for Baby’s Safety and Parents’ Peace of Mind

  • Over Stimulation. Many parents are unaware that their attempts to entertain and engage with their babies can be too much. If a baby has too much going on, he feels overstimulated. He may cry, turn away, refuse to make eye contact. The solution is simple- he just needs a little quiet time and then he will be ready to interact again.
  • Choking. Babies explore the world around themselves by putting objects into their mouth. Keep small toys or objects away from the baby. As the baby gets more mobile (rolling, crawling, walking) the parent should be more aware of choke-able objects. Not sure what toys are too small?? Use a choke tester!

Safety 1st Small Object Choking Tester

  • Falling. The ability to get around via rolling or crawling adds the potential to fall. I remember setting my 4 month old daughter on a chair just for a second while I put my coat on. I thought there was no possible way for her to move. She couldn’t even roll yet. But she could kick her legs, and that was enough to propel her body off the chair. She was fine, but falls can be very dangerous especially if the child hits her head.
  • No Eye Contact. Children with Autism show very few signs in the early years, but if a parent is aware they may identify Autism early on. If a child is not making eye contact by 6 months, it is possible that the child could have Autism or other developmental delays.
  • Unresponsive, “Floppy”, Not Interested in her Surroundings. Babies at this stage are energetic, interested, and engaged. They are strengthening their muscles every day through movements. If your baby is very still, uninterested, and unresponsive, their may be a need for medical intervention. See your doctor.
  • Not Gaining Weight. Babies double their birth weight during the first 5 months of life! If your baby isn’t gaining weight, there might be a medical condition that needs to be addressed. See a doctor and/or a lactation consultant for help with feeding.
  • Not Responding to Loud Sounds or Not Making Sounds Herself. It can be difficult to identify if a baby has hearing problems, but one warning sign is if the child does not respond to loud sounds. This lack of response could be due to deafness or partial deafness. Similarly, children with hearing problems don’t hear the sounds that other people make so they don’t begin to imitate those sounds themselves. If your child does not try to make noise, she might have a hearing problem. See a doctor to confirm.

baby laying on bed

Typical Struggles for Mom and What to Do

As with every phase, 6 weeks to 6 months has its own unique challenges. But they aren’t as bad when you’re prepared for them!

Here’s what you might find yourself struggling with in this phase:

  • Postpartum Depression or Anxiety. Postpartum depression and anxiety are very real conditions that affect a lot of women. Get help quickly by telling your doctor if you think you might be experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression or anxiety.
    • Medication,
    • natural remedies,
    • self-care,
    • asking for help from family and friends,
    • and finding things that bring you joy can help ease the symptoms of these disorders. ALWAYS tell a doctor- don’t try to ease postpartum depression on your own as this can be dangerous for you and your baby. 
  • Hormones and Other Postpartum Surprises. Most people expect their bodies to be very different for the first 6 weeks postpartum. It can be a shock when it’s been a few (or a lot) of months (or years) since you had your baby and you’re still dealing with changes in your hormones or your body.
    • Learn about your new body through helpful books and educational materials.
    • Accept that some changes are permanent and that’s ok- Your baby is worth it!
    • Find out what things you can change and set realistic goals to make those changes.
    • Love yourself!
    • Take each day one step at a time.
    • Be aware of your own needs and limitations so that you don’t do too much too soon.
    • Ask and accept help from others.

This Isn’t What I Expected: Overcoming Postpartum Depression

The Fourth Trimester: A Postpartum Guide to Healing Your Body, Balancing Your Emotions, and Restoring Your Vitality

Moods in Motion: A coloring and healing book for postpartum moms

  • Back to Life. After the first 6 weeks, you’ve got to start transitioning back to reality. For moms who work, maternity leave ends and you’ve got to figure out a whole new routine. For all moms, you run out of freezer meals and it’s time to start cooking again. Your fridge empties, and it’s time to get to the grocery store. Your house gets dirty, and you’re the one who’s got to clean it. And you’re doing all this with one extra tiny person to juggle. There’s a lot to learn and a lot to figure out!
    • Take things one step at a time. Clean the bathroom today, go shopping tomorrow.
    • Don’t expect too much of yourself too soon.
    • Ask for help as needed!
    • Get your partner and older kids involved in the housework and errands. Split up the chores.
    • Do chores and errands on a rotation- not all at once.
    • Find a way to reward yourself for a job well done to keep yourself from getting burnt out.
    • Wear your baby! It’s way easier to get things done.

Baby Wrap Carrier All-in-1 Stretchy Ergo Baby Wraps – Best Ergonomic Baby Carrier- Best Infant Carrier – Baby Wrap – Hands Free Babies Carrier Wraps – Best Baby Shower Gift – One Size Fits All (Classi

Luxury Ring Sling Baby Carrier – extra-soft bamboo and linen fabric – lightweight wrap – for newborns, infants and toddlers – perfect baby shower gift – great for new Dad too – nursing cover

Natural & Breathable My Honey Wrap Lightweight Baby Carrier Sling – for Infants & Babies – 4 Color Options

4 in 1 Baby Wrap Carrier and Ring Sling by Kids N’ Such | Charcoal Gray Cotton | Use as a Postpartum Belt and Nursing Cover with Free Carrying Pouch | Best Baby Shower Gift for Boys or Girls

Infantino Flip 4-in-1 Convertible Carrier

  • Nursing Struggles. If you or your baby struggle to nurse, it’s possible that these issues could be a long-term problem for you. There isn’t one solution as every person’s needs are different. Here are a few of the potential solutions for you to consider:
    • See a lactation consultant to identify if you and your baby’s nursing technique is correct.
    • See a doctor to make sure the baby’s nutrition and growth is adequate.
    • Consider pumping and feeding the baby your breast milk out of a bottle.
    • Don’t be upset or ashamed to feed your baby formula! If it’s what is best for you and your baby, then who cares what other people think??
    • Take advantage of all the great breast feeding products out there to make yourself more comfortable!

Suekaphin Nursing Wireless Women’s Sleeping Maternity Breastfeeding Bra,Large, Black/Beige/Pink/Gray/Purplebean

Lansinoh Lanolin Nipple Cream, 100% Natural Lanolin Cream for Breastfeeding, 1.41 oz Tube

Lansinoh Nursing Pads, 2 Packs of 100 (200 Count) Stay Dry Disposable Breast Pads

Reusable Hot Cold Gel Packs NO CLOTH BACKING – Set of 5 Microwaveable Hot Packs or Ice Cold Compress for Pain Relief, Boo Boo Pack, Breastfeeding, Nursing Pad, or First Aid

Nursing Diagnosis Handbook: An Evidence-Based Guide to Planning Care

  • Sleep Deprivation. As you deal with all this transition back to real life after having a baby, you have to do it all on half the sleep you used to get! It’s no fun. There’s no easy way to handle it. It just sucks to not sleep! But your baby will sleep more and more and you’ll have fewer feedings up until the child finally transitions to sleeping through the night. It gets better, mama!
    • Give yourself a good cry now and again. This part just sucks.
    • Research sleeping tricks and tips. With my first baby, I got her out of bed to eat every time she made the slightest noise in her bed. I found out later that she didn’t need to eat every time and I was actually waking her (and myself) up way more than was necessary!
    • Sleep during the day every chance you get. Naps aren’t time to clean the house or get stuff done! It’s time for you to rest!
  • Teething. Ahhh, teething. Another fact of life that just sucks… for mom and baby. Teething is painful and uncomfortable for babies. There are some tricks that moms can use to help out a poor teething baby. Check out these great products to make teething a little easier for you and your baby!

Boiron Camilia, 30 Doses, Homeopathic Medicine for Teething Relief

Nuby Natural Soothing Gel for Sore Gums with Bonus Silicone Massaging Toothbrush, 0.53 Ounce, Benzocaine Free, Belladonna Free

Hyland’s Baby Nighttime Oral Pain Relief Tablets, Soothing Natural Relief of Oral Discomfort, Irritability, and Swelling 125 Count

Baltic Amber Teething Necklace For Babies (Unisex) (Cognac) – Anti Flammatory, Drooling & Teething Pain Reduce Properties – Natural Certificated Oval Baltic Jewelry with the Highest Quality Guaranteed

Nuby Soothing Teething Mitten with Hygienic Travel Bag, Grey

Nuby Garden Fresh Fruitsicle Frozen Pop Tray

Munchkin Fresh Food Feeder, 2 Pack, Blue/Green

Nuby Teething Blankie – Characters May Vary – Pack of 1

Baby Bandana Drool Bibs and Teething toys Made with 100% Organic Cotton, Super Absorbent and Soft 6-Pack Unisex ( Vuminbox )

 

GREAT Things About This Developmental Phase

That’s right, just because there are some tough things doesn’t mean that age 6 weeks to 6 months isn’t AMAZING!

I LOVE this phase! You’re past the infant stage and moving into the baby phase. Here are some wonderful things about this age:

  • Baby is Responsive! The absolute, hands down, most amazing part of the baby stage is how much FUN you get to have with your baby! They’re cute, they’re friendly, they’re playful, and they love everything you do. It’s the best! You’ve got your own little BFF to hang out with all the time! They’re never mad at you, they’re so loving and sweet. It’s just fun to be around a baby!
  • Baby is Not TOO Mobile. Every experienced mom will tell you that life gets a little harder once baby starts to crawl and walk. That means you’re in the perfect phase of limited mobility! Baby is able to sit up if propped up with pillows and she can play by herself for short periods of time… but she’s also not so independent that she’s getting into your cupboards and drawers! What a great place to be!
  • No Discipline Yet! Oh yeah. I soak up the baby phase because the parenting part of it all is very simple. No worrying about teen pregnancy or instilling proper morals into your kids. It’s just basic! Keep the kid alive! I don’t care who you are, that kind of no pressure parenting is nice!!
  • Nursing Problems May End Soon. 6 months is a major milestone for nursing moms! If you can nurse for the first 6 months of life, you’ve given your baby a great head start!! If you’re having a tough time with nursing, 6 months might be a good time to quit. Other moms continue nursing for a year, and other moms nurse for many years. Do whatever is best for your family!
  • No Stranger Awareness Yet. Another GREAT thing about young babies is that they don’t experience fear of strangers until they are older. That means you are free to drop them off with grandma for an evening while you go get dinner and there’s no separation anxiety. You can let your friends hold your baby at church, you can get a babysitter, it’s all good! That’s something to take advantage of!

baby lying on inflatable ring

What’s Coming Up Next for Your Child??

Your baby is growing and growing! You won’t believe how big she’ll get in the next couple months!

Soak up your little one because she won’t be little for long!

Everything Parents Need to Know- Development from 6 months to 12 months!!

 

Well. There you have it.

All the wonderful things, struggles, and adventures of being a mom of a baby from 6 weeks to 6 months old. 

Need more resources? Check out Child Development 3-6 Months or Baby Development!

It’s a great time of life, for you and for the little one!

Enjoy it mama!

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

 

Who is Mrs. S… and why do people call you that? 

It’s my favorite nickname! That’s what all my students call me!

I’ve been around the block a time or two. I’ve worked with children from ages 0-18, some with mental illness, some with disabilities, some with Autism, and many with behavioral problems.

I also worked as a parent educator!

All that doesn’t hold a candle to my best experience with children- being a mom. Want to learn more about me? Click here! 

FREE Pregnancy Weight Gain Tracker

Click here to receive your FREE Pregnancy Weight Gain Trackers! 

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Everything Parents Need to Know- Development in the First 6 Weeks

Everything Parents Need to Know- Development in the First 6 Weeks

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Keep an eye out for upcoming Development Posts covering all developmental stages from 0-18!

Welcome to When Fit Hits the Shan’s Development Series!!

We’ll cover each major developmental phase of life from age 0-18, diving deep into what affects children during that particular phase, what you as a parent need to be aware of, and how you can help your child develop properly.

Each post (including this one!) covers helpful topics for each developmental stage of life- including:

  • Milestones, New Skills, and Developmental Goals
  • Activities to Boost Development
  • Warning Signs or Potential Dangers
  • Typical Struggles for Mom and What to Do
  • GREAT Things About This Developmental Phase
  • What’s Coming Up Next for Your Child??

Let’s dive into the infant stage!

First of all, congrats Mama!! That’s so exciting that you get to enjoy this amazing miracle of parenthood!

It’s seriously the best. There’s not a thing in the world that can compare. You love these little ones so much, and they just fill your entire universe.

Sometimes I just let my jaw drop and sit in awe for a minute at how wonderful and perfect and sweet and funny and cute and innocent and pure and loving and forgiving and cuddly and honest and wonderful kids are! Especially my own kids. There’s nothing like having your own.

And now you get to enjoy all that too! I’m just bursting with joy FOR you!  

So here it is! Everything a mom needs to know about your infant’s development within the first 6 weeks of life! 

Infant's feet being held by a woman's hand with painted and manicured hands resting on a gray blanket

Milestones, New Skills, and Developmental Goals

First of all, it’s important to note that developmental milestones happen over a range of time.

For example, it’s normal for kids to start talking between 9 and 14 months! That’s quite a range! It gets really stressful if your child is a 14 month old talker. 

You wait and wait… and all the other kids are saying words… And you’re just hanging in there hoping your baby will speak too! And then one day, he does! And it’s such a relief. But you can’t help but feel behind! Now all the other kids know five or six words and your baby only says one! 

Don’t get caught up in comparisons. It’s perfectly ok for kids to take their development at their own pace!

So don’t freak out mama.

Here are a few awesome new skills to watch for in the first 6 weeks of life:

  • Gain about 4 lbs during the first 6 weeks. Keep in mind- babies often loose a couple pounds in the first two or three days after birth, then gain it back slowly over the next weeks.
  • Focus on faces. This is super fun because you can tell your baby is getting to know you! Hold her close because her eyesight isn’t great at first.
  • Coo, sigh, gurgle, and other adorable sounds!! Soak these up! These adorable little noises are unique to newborns and will start to change as your baby gets older. This is great practice for your baby to eventually use those vocal chords to speak and sing!
  • Improve eating. Infants eat on demand- meaning whenever they are hungry, feed them. Your baby should be showing consistent signs of hunger (yay- you’re figuring out this crazy motherhood thing!). She should also be using a proper latch (if not, practice makes perfect! Don’t be afraid to stop feeding and adjust the latch!). You will also notice that she is more efficient at eating- meaning she can feed faster and less frequently.
  • Sleep 16 hours per day. Don’t expect your infant to sleep through the night because he still needs to eat during the night (I know, that sucks! Hang in there mom!). Around 6 weeks of age, you can start understanding better what your baby’s sleep patterns are! Woo hoo for schedules and death to the unpredictability of the first few weeks!!!!
  • Stronger neck and head! It’s tough for an infant to hold their head up, but as your baby gets lots of tummy time you will see improvement during the first 6 weeks! You will still need to be careful to support his head, but he will start trying to lift his head on his own. He should also be able to move his head from side to side.
  • Umbilical Chord. You can expect the baby’s umbilical chord to fall off on its own within the first few weeks. Once it does, your baby is ready for her first real bath- not just those wipe-em-down-with-a-towel wannabe baths!
  • Social and Emotional Skills! I know, so exciting! This is by far my favorite developmental milestone of the first 6 weeks! Your baby learns who you are! He learns your voice and your face! When you start talking or when you approach your baby, he’ll start to wiggle and flap his arms and reach for you! And the SMILES! Every once and a while, a newborn will smile in their sleep as they dream of your breast milk, but at about 6 weeks you see a real I-love-you-mommy SMILE! Yay! There’s nothing like it in the world.

baby lying on gray textile

Activities to Boost Development

One of my favorite things about being a mom is that balance between nature and nurture!

It’s awesome because I get to relax and enjoy my kiddos in whatever stage of life they are in (nature) and yet I also love being an active participant in shaping their character (nurture). 

So cool, huh?? Moms really get the best of both worlds!

We’ve been talking about the nature part so far (development) but let’s throw in a little of the nurture. Here’s what YOU can do to help your child along in learning new skills and mastering his first 6 weeks of life!! 

  •  Snuggle, touch, hold, kiss, diaper, burp, feed, sleep together, etc. Touch is wonderful for newborns! All the typical routines of taking care of a baby (diapering, burping, feeding, sleeping) can involve a lot of parent-child bonding if you hold and snuggle your newborn during those times. It’s stimulating to his senses, he can learn your voice and your face, and it strengthens your relationship.  Look for any chance you can find to soak up your sweet little one- it’s great for them too!
  • Eye contact. Newborns have poor eyesight, so hold them close to your face. It’s good for them to see you up close to learn who you are. This builds trust and familiarity. You can also practice tracking- meaning helping your baby follow an object with his eyes- by moving a brightly colored toy across the baby’s field of vision (this is also great for his neck muscles!!).
  • Talk, sing, read, and more! Let your baby hear your voice! Even though she can’t talk yet, she’ll learn to recognize who you are by your voice and she’ll pick up on specific pieces of language, like tone fluctuations, emotions in your voice, pauses in speaking, and more!
  • Movement games. Babies love to move! Lay your little one on your lap, take a hold of their hands or feet, and practice clapping, running, jumping, playing pretend drums, and more!
  • Bright colors and patterns. These are easier for their little eyes to see and they get their brains working!
  • Tummy time! Tummy time is not a suggestion- it’s an important part of babies’ health. Without tummy time, babies develop a flat head from laying in one position all the time. Laying them on their bellies strengthens babies’ neck and back muscles.
  • Meet their needs quickly! The most important developmental goal of the first 6 weeks is to develop a strong bond between parent and child. This bond is your child’s first emotional attachment and has a deep influence in the rest of her social and emotional development for life. Help your baby learn to trust you by meeting her needs quickly in the first few weeks. As the baby gets older, she is more capable of waiting a minute or two if needed. For now, do your best to respond quickly to your child’s cries.

black and red signage near body of water at daytime

Warning Signs or Potential Dangers

Now. Moms. We are always on hyper-alert for anything that might be wrong with our babies because we love them and it freaks us out to know that they might not be genetically perfect.

Keep an eye out for these things, but don’t stress yourself too much! Follow your mommy intuition. Trust your gut.

If you have any questions, just give your doctor a call. It’s always better to be safe and double check! 

Here’s a few of the common warning signs or potential dangers of the first 6 weeks of life.

  • Yellow skin or eyes. Jaundice is when your baby has too much bilirubin in her blood. Basically, her liver is just brand new and needs a little more practice to function properly. The great news is that there’s a super simple solution! All she needs is a little sunlight!  Open a window, lay down a blanket in the sun, and let your baby soak up the light for 10-15 minutes. In extreme cases, newborns may need to be hospitalized for extreme cases of jaundice. If you’re unsure, call the doctor and ask about your specific situation.
  • Sluggishness/Unresponsive. Babies who are lethargic may have medical problems that need a doctor’s attention. Your baby should sleep often, but wiggle, look around, and make noises when she is awake.
  • Refuse to eat. Generally, infants eat on demand- meaning we feed them whenever they need food. Typically, babies at this age are hungry every 4-5 hours. If your baby shows no interest to eat or avoids eating for a long period of time, see your doctor.
  • Vomiting/Diarrhea. Sickness in babies can be serious because of their weak immune systems. If your child is vomiting (more than just a little spit up… which is normal) or has diarrhea visit your doctor.
  • Fever. For a baby under 29 days old, a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit is a medical emergency. Get your baby to the doctor right away!
  • Umbilical Chord Infection. Keep an eye on the child’s umbilical chord for signs of infection, which include: red skin, puss, and/or a yucky smell. Take your child in to the doctor if you notice any of these symptoms.
  • Sucking Problems. Nursing is tricky for moms and babies. It’s a new skill that you both have to learn. Don’t be too concerned if nursing is difficult, but know that there is a lot of help out there (lactation consultants, online resources, creams and lotions to heal your nipples, etc.). However, there are more serious feeding issues that might require a doctor’s attention, such as:
    • Weak sucking
    • No swallowing during nursing
    • Abnormally long feeding (45 minutes or longer)
    • Excessive spit up or discolored spit up
  • Not gaining weight. Babies typically grow in a steady and upward trend. You don’t want to see a baby’s weight or height plateau. Your baby might not be gaining enough weight if he has very few dirty/wet diapers or if his skin is loose. Don’t be worried about the drop in weight that usually occurs 2-3 days after birth. It’s normal for babies to drop a little weight but then they gain it right back and then some in the following weeks.

woman sitting on bed while holding mug

Typical Struggles for Mom and What to Do

The first 6 weeks is no picnic. There are some tough things about this developmental phase.

Here’s a few of the common struggles for mom during the infant phase… and what to do about it!

  • Postpartum Recovery. Let’s not forget- through all of this development that your baby is going through and all this change you’re experiencing, you’re still healing from childbirth! This is a major physical and emotional adjustment. If you are struggling to care for your baby while recovering from labor and delivery, try these tips:
    • Follow the doctor’s directions to the T!
    • Ask other people for help!
    • Communicate clearly to your partner so that they can help you.
    • Make time for self-care, even if it’s just a little extra sleep.
    • Keep it simple. Cook meals out of a box like Hamburger Helper or something. Don’t worry about cleaning. Don’t move unless you have to. The couch and Netflix are your friends.
    • Take advantage of helpful products that can make you more comfortable.

MomWasher Peri Bottle for PostPartum Care by Fridababy – Perineal Recovery After Birth

Tucks Md Cool Hemorrhoid Pad, 100 Count

Gel Ice Cold Compress – (2 Pack) – Reusable comfortable soft touch vinyl provides instant pain relief, rehabilitation and therapy from injuries like shoulder, upper/lower back, knee, neck, ankle

Pink Stork Recovery: Strawberry Passionfruit Postpartum Body Tea -USDA Organic Loose Leaf Herbs in Biodegradable Sachets, Supports Healthy Labor Recovery, Restores Nutrients -30 Cups, Caffeine Free

Best Organic Sitz Bath Soak For Postpartum Care Recovery & Natural Hemorrhoid Treatment, Soothes Relieves Pain Reduces Discomfort, 100% Pure Epsom & Dead Sea Salts Witch Hazel Lavender Essential Oil

Herbal Perineal Spray by Earth Mama | Safe for Pregnancy and Postpartum, Natural Cooling Spray For After Birth, Benzocaine and Butane-Free 4-Fluid Ounce

Gepoetry 3 In 1 Postpartum Support – Recovery Belly Wrap Girdle Support Band Belt Body Shaper (Plus Size For Weight Over 190lbs, Nude)

  • Postpartum Depression or Anxiety. Please know that these are REAL conditions that can affect ANYONE- regardless of your emotional health before the baby comes. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. It’s nothing to hide. If you find yourself battling with postpartum depression or anxiety, try these tips:
    • Tell a doctor right away and follow his recommendations!
    • Tell your family and friends. Be prepared with a list of things they can do to help you- including cleaning your house, meals, taking the baby for a bit while you sleep, watching the older siblings, shopping, or WHATEVER else you think of!! Maybe you just need chocolate! Tell someone and they’ll get it for you!
    • Self-care the crap out of yourself!! Take long showers, nap when the baby naps, snuggle your husband and/or the baby, eat yummy food, get take out!! All that and more!

Need some great ideas for self-care? Read more here: 

27 Universal Truths to Live a Happy Life NOW!

Over 35 Guilty Pleasures for Moms that I’m NOT ABOUT to Stop!

What About Me? Stop Feeling Resentment Towards Your Kids With These Self-Care Tips

Fill Yourself- 6 Vital Tools for Balancing Parent Life and Personal Life


 

  • Knowing what baby needs. How am I supposed to care for an infant who can’t tell me what is wrong?? She just cries! Luckily, science and smart moms before me have it down. Here’s what to look for when your baby is crying:
    • Is he hungry?
    • Is he tired? (Side note- it’s better to help a baby fall asleep before they get fussy so be aware of early signs of sleepiness)
    • Is he hot or cold?
    • Is his diaper wet or dirty? (Or maybe he’s in the process of pooping??)
    • Does he want to be held?
    • Does he have gas? (Try pumping his legs or holding him in a different position to relieve gas pains)
    • Is he uncomfortable? (Try holding him in different positions or laying him down in different positions)
    • Is he overstimulated? (Try giving him some space to see if that calms him down)
    • Is there something hurting him that I didn’t notice? (Try checking him from head to toe to see if there is something wrong. It could be something poking him through his jammies or a hair wrapped around his toe. One mom told me she accidentally clipped the pacifier to her baby’s nipple! Oops!)
  • Colic. Basically, colic is when babies cry for no reason for 3 hours per day or more, for 3 days a week or more. It’s really tough on parents because colicky babies are difficult (nearly impossible!) to soothe. And it can last for a few months! If your baby is colicky, try these methods:
    • Give your baby something to suck on, like a pacifier.
    • Swaddle the baby tightly to resemble the snug feeling of being in the womb.
    • Sway and rock with your baby to calm and relax them.
    • Sing, shush, or use white noise to drown out the new and loud sounds outside the womb. These noises can be overstimulating to a baby, so consistent sound like a vacuum, running water, or shushing can be relaxing to a newborn.
    • Try a change of scenery, like going outside or taking a bath. The warm water or the fresh air might help your child calm down.
    • For more excellent suggestions, check out Coping with Colic from BabyCenter
    • And of course, moms- take care of yourselves if you have a colicky baby!!
  • Nursing struggles. Nursing doesn’t come naturally to a lot of people. If that’s the case for you, try:
    • Using a lactation consultant for help.
    • Practice, practice, practice!
    • Learn as much as you can. Maybe the baby isn’t latching properly and there’s a simple fix!
    • Try pumping and feeding the baby your breast milk in a bottle.
    • Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed if you need to feed your baby formula!
    • Take advantage of the products that are out there to help you.

Suekaphin Nursing Wireless Women’s Sleeping Maternity Breastfeeding Bra,Large, Black/Beige/Pink/Gray/Purplebean

Lansinoh Lanolin Nipple Cream, 100% Natural Lanolin Cream for Breastfeeding, 1.41 oz Tube

Lansinoh Nursing Pads, 2 Packs of 100 (200 Count) Stay Dry Disposable Breast Pads

Reusable Hot Cold Gel Packs NO CLOTH BACKING – Set of 5 Microwaveable Hot Packs or Ice Cold Compress for Pain Relief, Boo Boo Pack, Breastfeeding, Nursing Pad, or First Aid

Nursing Diagnosis Handbook: An Evidence-Based Guide to Planning Care

  • Sleep deprivation. If you ask moms what the worst part of the infant stage is, you’ll always hear about the lack of sleep! This one is universal. Everyone gets less sleep during the infant phase. Every baby in this phase needs to eat at night, and that means you’ll be up to feed them. So sorry about that one, mama! But it’s a fact of life. If you’re struggling with the sleep deprivation, try these things:
    • Sleep any time you can!
    • Ask friends or family to watch your older kids so that you can nap when the baby naps.
    • Don’t fall into the trap of trying to be productive while baby sleeps! You’ll get there later- but in the first 6 weeks, sleep time for baby is sleep time for mom too.
    • Divide duties with your partner. Pump some milk so that he can feed the baby with a bottle sometimes.
    • Use relaxation methods and calming techniques to help you get a restful sleep.
    • Simplify daily life. If you’re exhausted, you can’t keep up with everything, so just do what really matters and let the rest wait!
  • Feeling stuck indoors. Are you a social butterfly? Or a workaholic? Or a busy bee? Then you’re likely to struggle with the first 6 weeks. This time is about relaxing, laying around on the couch, figuring out this new little person. Not about getting stuff done or going out. In fact, it’s not very safe to take your little one out because his immune system is weak. If you’re feeling stuck, here’s some tips:
    • Ask friends to come visit!
    • Ask a friend, your partner, or a family member to watch the baby while you go out. Make sure you pump some milk so baby can eat!
    • Think up a bunch of fun activities for yourself before you have your baby.
    • Get ready to binge watch your favorite shows!
    • Get yourself treats, comfy pillows and blankets, adult coloring books, regular books, whatever you need to be cozy and happy indoors.
    • Sit outside with your baby for a few minutes to get some fresh air!

baby yawning

GREAT Things About This Developmental Phase

Now, just because there are some tough things doesn’t mean the newborn phase isn’t incredible… because it really is!

The newborn phase is one of my favorites. Ok, I’ll probably say that about every developmental phase… but it’s true- every single one has so many amazing things!!! 

You’ll never experience anything else like the infant stage. Here’s why:

  • They’re SOOO snuggly! As babies and children grow up, sometimes they don’t want to cuddle you. It’s so sad! Not so with infants. You can hold them close, dress them up, take adorable pictures, and snuggle some more. And they love every second of it!
  • It’s so short. The infant phase is unique because it’s only a few weeks long! That can be a good thing because there are difficult things about this phase… but it’s also the perfect reason to soak it right up!!! Your baby will change so fast, so you need to remember every second!
  • It’s an amazing reason to slow down in life. Life is way too fast paced in modern society. The infant stage defies this extreme rush! None of that- instead, we’re going to rest for a solid 6 weeks. That’s right- take that, assembly lines and race cars.
  • It’s humbling. The infant stage reminds me of what’s important. I refocus on my family each time I have another baby. But that’s not all- I learn that I can’t do everything myself and I learn to accept help from others all over again. I learn to simplify and take it easy. I learn to smell the flowers. I learn to admire the amazing perfection of a new child and I remember my immense responsibility to raise this little human to become a responsible adult. It’s a lot to take in- in a short time. The infant stage is all about the baby’s growth and my own growth.
  • It’s simple. The infant stage isn’t complicated. There’s no discipline because an infant doesn’t break rules. They cry for three or four reasons, give or take. The infant stage is a good beginner lesson to the complex role of parenting.

woman carrying baby standing near white wooden door

What’s Coming Up Next for Your Child??

Your child is graduating from the “infant” stage. Soon, she’ll be a full-fledged chubby, wiggling, giggling, playing baby!

Everything Parents Need to Know- Development from 6 Weeks to 6 Months Old!!

 

Well mama, enjoy your infant, and remember how lucky you are to be a mom! It really is the best job in the world. So rewarding, so fulfilling, and so enriching.

You’ll learn to give your entire self to another person who needs you.

There’s nothing like it! Enjoy motherhood! 

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

 

Who is Mrs. S… and why do people call you that? 

It’s my favorite nickname! That’s what all my students call me!

I’ve been around the block a time or two. I’ve worked with children from ages 0-18, some with mental illness, some with disabilities, some with Autism, and many with behavioral problems.

I also worked as a parent educator!

All that doesn’t hold a candle to my best experience with children- being a mom. Want to learn more about me? Click here! 

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