Forcing the Bloom

Happy, Healthy Mommy Blog


Talk to Your Baby

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Can talking to your baby give him or her the head start necessary to excel later in school?  Apparently so according to a NY Times article that came about earlier this month (April 10, 2013) called The Power of Talking to Your Baby by Tina Rosenburg.  The article discussed research by Betty Hart and Todd R. Risley from the University of Kansas, who published a book entitled “Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experience of Young American Children.”  Their study found that children whose families were on welfare heard about 600 words per hour; working-class children heard 1,200 per hour; and children from professional families heard 2,100 words.  Rosenburg noted that, “…by age 3, a poor child would have heard 30 million fewer words in his home environment than a child from a professional family.”  Furthermore, “[t]he disparity mattered: the greater the number of words children heard from their parents or caregivers before they were 3, the higher their IQ and the better they did in school.”  Ironically, talk coming from the TV was found detrimental not helpful to the child.

I found this article fascinating and wonder what other people think.  Does your environment during your first three years of life determine your outcome later on?  If the first years are so important, what about the birth experience?  What about talking in utero?  What about the hundreds of other factors that can influence a child’s learning experience and growth, i.e. food, friends, school, family, teachers?  Don’t challenges actually help you grow and make you who you are if you are able to overcome those challenges?  Or is that unfair?

On a personal note, I can’t help but think about talkative verses quieter parents.  My husband and I are both more on the quiet side.  Okay, I can be REALLY quiet.  Does that make a difference?  My little one year old is not very talkative.  Is that because of me or is that just the way he is?  I know my issue is different from what was addressed as a concern in the article, which was the disparity for children with socioeconomic backgrounds.  I’m still curious.  Our talk may be less than average as far as quantity goes but the quality is very high.  Does that make a difference?  We are generally positive parents but we could probably work on increasing the frequency of conversations.  So should every city start a program like Providence, RI where poorer parents are provided home visitors that teach family conversation?  What about all other post-natal care like breastfeeding or postpartum depression?  Where does it end or even begin?


Asheboro, NC Zoo Trip

Love free family day trips?  We had a great time at the Asheboro Zoo last weekend!  Our Baby B is one and was old enough to see and enjoy most of the animals.  He smiled when the giraffes strolled around and laughed when the sea otter twirled in the water.  I really enjoyed seeing the two baby gorillas (Apollo and Bomassa) who were both born last August.  The Asheboro Zoo is about 1 1/2 hours from Charlotte or Raleigh, North Carolina but it’s worth the drive.  This zoo is very open and spacious.  There are 500 acres so there is some more walking for visitors than in a city zoo.  There is greater distance between the exhibit areas than you may be used to but this allows the animals to have large areas to roam and gives a more peaceful, natural feel to the entire park.  There are two continents that you can explore, Africa‘s grassland and North America’s Arctic coast.  You can park at either end and walk the entire park or take a tram or bus from one end to other.   We arrived at the park around noon and were able to walk the entire park before it closed at 5 pm, and that included stopping for lunch and time to play at the kids’ park.  We brought our lunch, although there were places to buy food.  I think spring is a great time to visit since it was warm but not too hot.  I recommend it for everyone!

The first animals Baby B saw were giraffes.  He loved them!









Then we saw an old elephant.









We also saw some baboons!


















We met a playful river otter.


















We made time for lots of play at the very cool kids’ park.












































































And then we met more animals!













































Just as we were leaving we saw the baby gorillas!









We had a great time and look forward to going again soon!


Our Baby/Toddler at One Year

Our little guy had his one year birthday last week.  So what does a one year old do?  Well, he started walking about 3 days after his birthday.  So, he is officially a toddler now.  He still falls over but he can get across the room unassisted.  He makes a beeline for any open door, which is awesome 😉  He is all about receptive language.  We ask him where things are and he points to them.  He isn’t saying specific words yet, although I think that he thinks he’s saying words and signing songs.  They just come out like “bababa” or “mamam”.  He yells “yeah” after I finish singing a song.  He loves shakers and putting things (like ping-pong balls) into boxes.  He is especially fond of animal pictures.  They make him giggle.  He can eat an entire grilled cheese or PB sandwich.  He loves yogurt and hot cereal with banana.  He wants to be outside ALL the time and he doesn’t seem to mind that it’s cold or rainy.  He has a delayed wave and hides in my arm when stranger say “hi” but he also smiles at them.  We are still breastfeeding, although often it’s for comfort or when he’s tired.  He sleeps 12 hours like clockwork but will wake up at least once in the early morning hours.  A little snuggling and he’s back to sleep, usually in our bed.  He LOVES to wrestle with Daddy and be tickled.  He likes bubbles and story time at the library.  He is not very possessive of toys yet.  If another toddler takes a toy he just goes to find another one.  He does make a sort of whine when he doesn’t get what he wants but he can also be redirected or distracted pretty easily.  He NEVER likes having his diaper changed.  NEVER.  I’m sure there is some trick to this that I haven’t yet learned.  I think it’s time to start giving him a plate and spoon to feed himself.  He likes picking up everything with his hands.  He only has 5 teeth – 3 on bottom and 2 on top – and the top 2 are still coming in.  That’s a little late but no big deal.  He stayed awake for 2 nights while teething with a running nose but no other problems.  I just held him when he fussed.  Can’t wait to take him to the zoo now that it’s warm!

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