Since our daughter was born, I’ve become very interested in how to keep her engaged throughout the day and the best way to support her cognitive growth based on where she is developmentally.
I’ve found two really incredibly helpful resources:
- Busy Toddler – Susie Allison’s parenting philosophy is that you shouldn’t spend all your time narrating and guiding your child’s play; they need time and space to create, learn and play on their own. And don’t let the name fool you; Susie Allison’s tips includes babies. Her website, Instagram account and newsletter have a ton information about creative but simple learning activities for kids. I love how she distinguishes between one-hit-wonder toys and toys that will grow with your children. Her ideas aren’t revolutionary but the genius lies in their simplicity and effectiveness. They just work. I’m adding her book Busy Toddler’s Guide To Actual Parenting to my list.
- The Wonder Weeks – The Wonder Weeks is the #1 best selling baby app worldwide. A friend of mine with three children recommended it, and I’m so glad she did. The content is focused on your baby’s developmental “leaps,” and it provides so much context on growth milestones and behaviors that might accompany them. In my experience, so much of parenting in the first six months has been troubleshooting, and this app has led to several aha moments when our daughter was fussy, clingy or not sleeping well, seemingly with no explanation. According to the app, fussy phases tend to indicate that a new leap is about to begin; we found these phases to be spot on and to correlate almost exactly with our daughter’s development and behavior. Having the knowledge that setbacks were due to a phase and not some huge mistake in our parenting was incredibly liberating. In addition to explaining current behavior, the app has also helped preview developmental milestones; I read a few weeks of our daughter’s last leap that she could start waving in the next leap, so we started waving to her regularly, and wouldn’t you know it; on Christmas morning, she waved for the first time. We absolutely wouldn’t have thought to start waving to her without the nudge from the app.