3 best ways to boost your baby’s language development

Speak with your baby in a certain way, new research shows, and your baby is far more likely to pick up on language. The difference is big — more than double the vocabulary by age 2.

How? Glad you asked, because “how” is what Zero to Five is all about.

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Baby refusing to eat? 8 things to consider

In the midst of transitioning her baby to solid foods, a mama wrote to me with a challenging situation. At 6 months, her little boy started off eating pretty well. At 7 months, he wasn’t eating enough or was refusing to eat, to the point where he had fallen off the weight charts. She felt stuck trying to force calories into him, while knowing that experts recommend not forcing kids to eat.

I know this dear mama is not alone on this issue. If your little one isn’t eating either, here are 8 tips to get you back on a better path.

12 ways to include your toddler when cooking and cleaning

“Hey, that’s my BOOK!” one mom said when she saw me at a baby-expo booth with Zero to Five. “That saves my LIFE!” (And you, dear mama, made my day.) She said her favorite tip was about including your baby in whatever you happen to be doing. A few days later, I got a question on Facebook: “I have a hard time including my 16-month-old in kitchen activities. Do you have any suggestions on good ways to include a toddler when you’re cooking and cleaning?”

Sure do! These are things I remember doing when my daughter was that age.

When your kid hits another kid (what to say in the moment)

It’s the worst feeling: your kid hits another kid (or bites or embeds fingernails in or otherwise mauls another kid) during a play date. You make sure the other kid is OK, and now you turn to yours. The pressure’s on: the kid’s parent is looking at you, or pretending not to look at you. You want to prove that you’re handling it.

What do you say?

This is how you truly listen to an angry kid

My preschooler came out of her room and stomped once. I carried her back to bed. As I turned to leave, she called out:

“When we were camping, C wanted to be alone and I kept at him, and he hurt me. He hit me first. I hit him second. Next time we go camping, I’m going to hurt C.”

“Then I’m afraid we can’t go camping with C,” I said gently, hoping she would see the error in her ways (but not see I was making that up). “We go camping to have fun, not to hurt people.”

My response was typical enough of many parents, I think. Logical consequence + You’re wrong + What’s right x Lots of talking. And it doesn’t work.

Here’s what does work.

4-year-old takes 12-hour road trip with no iPad. Here’s what happened

“Should WE try that?”

A friend had just come back unscathed from a road trip to Yellowstone with her 5-year-old, and we thought, “Huh.”

We decided to do it. Of course the big unknown was how G would do on the 12-hour car ride from Seattle to Yellowstone. She’d be solo in the back seat, as my attempts at borrowing somebody’s kid didn’t work out.

I recalled the late-summer trip recently, when revised screen-time guidelines came out from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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