My New Life

By Lovevery

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Description

The early years of a child’s life are the most important for their long-term development. Sometimes, the abundance of information out there can feel overwhelming and difficult to navigate. My New Life is here to support parents and help make sense of the science behind early learning. I’m Jessica Rolph, mother of three and CEO of Lovevery. With the help of experts from around the world, we break down all the child development science into usable nuggets of knowledge that you can put to the test in your own home.

Episode Date
Learning through play: Is free or guided play better?
17:12

Play has so much to teach us, children and parents alike. Sometimes parents can get a little too involved in their child’s play, particularly with the extra cool toys. When does our guidance become interference? And what amount of direction is appropriate?

 

Dave Neale joins Jessica Rolph on this episode to help us strike the right balance. Dave is a researcher in the psychology of play at the Centre for Research on Play in Education, Development and Learning at the University of Cambridge.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:13] Dave explains the ‘sweet spot’ when a parent can provide support while not being too involved in the child’s play.

[3:20] Playing and its link with structured learning.

[5:30] How to find the balance between helping children achieve the goal of a game or letting them just explore the materials.

[8:18] Play with your children, engagement and becoming an entertained play partner are the most important factors.

[9:23] The effects of a parent who is not sufficiently involved.

[12:23] What is Dave’s favorite activity to do with 0-12 months old babies?

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Learn more about Dave Neale

Centre for Research on Play in Education, Development & Learning (PEDAL)

 

Receive weekly emails about your child’s development, and stay in the know about new play essentials, promos, and more by signing up at Lovevery.com

Follow Lovevery and Jessica Rolph on Instagram.

May 18, 2022
Nutrition for pregnancy and postpartum
23:06

Any pregnant mom will tell you: Their body goes through a major transformation! And with each passing month, nutritional needs change. We hear lots about omega-3s, but did you know that protein and choline play critical roles in the baby’s development in utero? Host Jessica Rolph speaks with Registered Dietitian Ryann Kipping, founder of The Prenatal Nutritionist.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:40] What is the role of protein in a pregnant person’s diet?

[5:05] In what ways should our diet shift post-pregnancy? 

[9:54] What nutrients are particularly important during the last stage of pregnancy? 

[12:35] What risks come with not gaining enough weight during pregnancy?

[15:07] What is better for preconception: Folic acid or folate?

[18:02] What are Ryann’s tips around supplementation during pregnancy?

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Dr. Brewer's Pregnancy Diet

The Prenatal Nutritionist

Follow The Prenatal Nutritionist on Instagram

 

Receive weekly emails about your child’s development, and stay in the know about new play essentials, promos, and more by signing up at Lovevery.com

Follow Lovevery and Jessica Rolph on Instagram.

May 04, 2022
Does Mozart really work?
12:40
The so-called “Mozart effect” first entered the public conscience in the early 90s. The theory states that listening to classical music while pregnant, will make your baby smarter. We talk a lot about how babies become smarter on My New Life, so host Jessica Rolph figured she better dig into this theory. Here to give us a straight answer is Dr. Thomas Dardarian. He is an OB-GYN at Axia Women's Health and past president of the American College of Osteopathic Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:45] Does playing Mozart while pregnant make our babies smarter? 

[2:47] What can we extrapolate from evidence of new neurons generated in chicks and rats exposed to music in utero? 

[4:33] What about other sounds? When does a baby start to hear sounds outside the belly?

[5:24] Does does talking and singing to the baby in the womb make a difference?

[7:06] Where does Dr. Dardarian come down on regularly reading to a baby in utero? 

[8:36] What about repetitive prenatal reading of a single story? Can that have an impact? 

[9:52] Is there danger in exposing your unborn child to loud of music or other loud sounds?

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Receive weekly emails about your child’s development, and stay in the know about new play essentials, promos, and more by signing up at Lovevery.com

Follow Lovevery and Jessica Rolph on Instagram

Learn more about Axia Women’s Health

Follow Axia Women's Health on Instagram

Apr 20, 2022
Little liars: What to do about lying
25:55
Children, like adults, lie and they can learn to do so from the young age of 2 years old, according to the researchers. In this episode, Jessica Rolph is joined by Dr. Kang Lee, a University of Toronto professor who has been examining lying and what it tells us about human cognition for over two decades. Kang is so dedicated to this field of study, he has convinced some 5,000 children to lie to him!  

While many parents despair when in the face of these little lies, evidence suggests it is proof that executive functioning skills are developing in a child’s brain. Kang says to use these moments as teachable ones, but resist the urge to fall back on the “Never Cry Wolf” story. You’ll find out why at the end of this episode!

 

Key Takeaways:

[2:37] What is the difference between lying and storytelling?

[3:50] How does a child’s fantasy world factor into the storytelling? 

[5:49] How should you respond when you trap your child in a lie? 

[8:28] Is it a good idea to call our children out on their lies at all? 

[12:05] How does the situation differ when a child is lying to get their needs met?

[15:48] When do children start to use white lies in social settings? 

[18:10] Are white lies OK? How can we help children differentiate between the various types of lying? 

[20:04] How do parents encourage truth-telling with a 3-5 year old? 

[24:21] Jessica shares key takeaways from her honest conversation with Dr. Kang Lee.

 

Mentioned in this episode

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Receive weekly emails about your child’s development, and stay in the know about new play essentials, promos, and more by signing up on Lovevery.com

Follow Lovevery and Jessica Rolph on Instagram. 

 

Dr. Kang Lee and his associates are conducting a social integrity study exploring children’s decision-making and rule adherence. Children will read stories and do activities in two 1-hour sessions, online via Zoom. Families will receive a certificate and a $25 Amazon gift card for participation. Use this link to learn more and participate: kangleelab.com/participate

 

Apr 06, 2022
Discussing intellectual disability and neurodiversity with children
23:35
Jessica Rolph is joined by Dr. Kate Barret and Dr. Terry Jo Bichell to bring listeners the story behind “Uncle Rob’s Pizza Party,” a Lovevery book about a toddler’s relationship with a man with Angelman Syndrome.

 

Lovevery’s Senior Advisor of Equity and Inclusion, Nicole Stamp, guides the conversation. This episode challenges some of the norms around how we discuss neurodiversity, particularly with our children.

 

Key Takeaways:

[2:15] Jessica explains why Uncle Rob’s Pizza Party has a special place in her heart.

[3:05] Jessica and Kate share how this book came to fruition.

[5:36] The sisters look back at their childhood growing up together with Rob and share interactions with other children around Rob’s condition, and why a book like this would have been helpful.

[7:13] Jessica and Kate talk about the process of actually creating the book.

[9:19] Jessica talks about the photoshoot for the book, which became her favorite day ever at work. 

[10:47] Terry Jo shares her experience with Angelman syndrome.

[12:03] Terry Jo talks about the relationship between her son Lou, diagnosed with Angelman, and his nephew, Elio.

[15:52] Terry Jo shares what is important for a family to know If a child is showing any traits that could be markers of Angelman syndrome or any other cognitive diagnoses.

[17:51] Kate, from her background in occupational therapy, shares her advice for families who think that maybe their child is exhibiting behaviors that might be associated with some kind of diagnosis.

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Angelman.org

Cure Angelman

Combined Brain

Receive weekly emails about your child’s development, and stay in the know about new play essentials, promos, and more by signing up at Lovevery.com

Follow Lovevery and Jessica Rolph on Instagram. 

Mar 23, 2022
Choline & your baby’s developing brain
22:12
Choline is a nutrient proven to have a lasting link to a baby’s brain development when taken in pregnancy, but many prenatal vitamins don’t have much choline. The recommended amount is 450 mg/day, and studies show only 10 percent of all pregnant women get enough.

 

A recent study at Cornell University looked at the benefits of doubling the recommended choline consumption. It showed a link between sustained attention in 7-year-olds and 930 mg of choline during pregnancy. There is also some research backing the possible benefits of giving choline supplements to breastfeeding mothers and toddlers. Host Jessica Rolph is honored to be joined by study authors Dr. Barbara Strupp and Dr. Richard Canfield.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:58] What did Dr. Strupp and Dr. Canfield’s human study discover?

[5:44] Choline has been proven (in animal studies) to improve not only attention but also some other benefits.

[9:30] What should pregnant women be doing with this information? 

[12:06] Dr. Canfield talks about the different ways to get adequate levels of choline as a pregnant woman.

[13:45] Is there any indication that supplementing to the adequate intake, or even above that amount, is helpful for breastfeeding moms? 

[16:00] Dr. Strupp talks about indications that supplementing during childhood can make a difference in future brain health.

[17:59] How do Dr. Canfield and Dr. Strupp approach choline consumption in their adult lives?

[20:48] Jessica shares the highlights of her conversation with the Cornell researchers.

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery

Receive weekly emails about your child’s development, and stay in the know about new play essentials, promos, and more by signing up on lovevery.com

Follow Lovevery and Jessica Rolph on Instagram.

Mar 09, 2022
Tune in, Talk more & Take turns
18:48

Parent-child interaction is crucial to brain development. An important part of that interaction is what is said while we’re engaging with our child — not just the words we use, but the frequency of those words and the way in which they are offered up.

 

Jessica Rolph welcomes Dr. Dana Suskind to today’s episode to talk about the reasons why a language-rich environment is so important and to best achieve one. Dr. Suskind is the author of Thirty Million Words: Building a Child's Brain and she is releasing a new book in April called Parent Nation: Unlocking Every Child's Potential, Fulfilling Society's Promise.

Key Takeaways:

[1:36] Dana talks about her path from surgeon to public health advocate. 

[3:03] How nurturing words contribute to the development of an infant’s brain.

[4:15] An overview of the Thirty Million Words study, the impetus behind Dana’s first book.

[6:45] How can parents help develop a nurturing experience while talking to their infants? Dana and her team developed 3 Ts: Tune in, Talk more, and Take turns.

[9:05] How can parents prioritize language in the face of so much streaming?

[10:25] Cooing and goofy exchanges with your baby have a critical role to play as catalysts. Dana explains why.

[12:23] The distinction between overheard speech and speech directed to the child.

[13:16] Dana talks about Parent Nation, a book that pictures a society that puts children and families at the center, that values the important work that parents and caregivers do every day.

[16:08] Most of this country believes in the power of family, parents, and caregivers, but they don’t look at one another as allies or as a collective whole. Dana and her team want to change that.

 

Mentioned in this episode:

ParentNation.org

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

 

For practical tips on how to create a language-rich environment for your baby and toddler, tune into My New Life episodes: 

 

​​Get your baby talking with The Speech Sisters

Baby talk: Learning your baby’s language with communication and play with Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek

 

Feb 23, 2022
New additions: Bringing home a sibling
28:44

Share the news of a baby brother or sister with a toddler, and it’s likely to be met with enthusiasm. But at some point after the baby arrives, jealousy and resentment can get in the way, and that can manifest in all sorts of new behaviors.

 

Jessica Rolph welcomes Gabrielle Felman, an early childhood development specialist and clinical social worker. She shares loads of practical, real-life tips and insights for how to best prepare for and navigate this transition.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:40] What is the best way to prepare your toddler to be a big brother or sister?

[4:55] When is the right time to talk to a toddler about the birth of a sibling?

[5:46] When do you first tell your toddler that they’re going to be a big brother or big sister?

[7:33] What about using a baby doll to prepare?

[9:32] Is there an optimal age for a child to become a sibling to a newborn?

[10:28] What behavior should parents be expecting from the older child when the new baby gets added to the mix? What’s typical?

[15:38] Is there a way to derail the sense of rivalry or jealousy from the very beginning between siblings?

[19:34] Gabrielle shares her perspective about granting space to the older sibling and taking a laid-back approach to holding, cuddling, even being excited about the baby.

[20:56] What to do when the older sibling is smothering the baby sibling with love. How do you give that baby some space?

[22:54] How can parents involve the toddler in caring for the newborn?

[24:29] What if your toddler wants you to pick them up when you’re holding the baby or feeding the baby?

[25:43] What to do when your older child isn’t interested in the baby at all?

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

 

Books recommended by Gabrielle:

The New Small Person, Lauren Child

King Baby, Kate Beaton

Little Miss, Big Sis, Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Snuggle the Baby, Sara Gillingham

Feb 09, 2022
Mindfulness for parents
17:09

So many parents find themselves flying through the day, constantly running through a mental to-do list. It seems there is always room to squeeze in more. To be focused on one moment in time feels next to impossible, but there are ways to get present, even with with all this mental clutter.

 

Jessica Rolph welcomes Hunter Clarke-Fields to today’s episode. She’s the Mindful Mama Mentor, author of Raising Good Humans: A Mindful Guide to Breaking the Cycle of Reactive Parenting and Raising Kind, Confident Kids, parenting coach, and host of the podcast Mindful Mama.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:51] How did Hunter become the Mindful Mama?

[4:28] Hunter shares two important steps that are backed by research to stop yelling.

[11:09] Why does taking breaths actually help? What is the science behind it?

[13:30] How can parents bring themselves back to the present moment?

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Mindful Mama Mentoring

Jan 26, 2022
Calm is contagious
20:18

Parenting is full of trying moments. One way that parents express their frustration is by yelling — we’ve all been there! Feeling overwhelmed is usually at the root of it, but being around a parent who regularly raises their voice isn’t optimal for a child. Learning strategies to reduce yelling takes time, but it’s worth the hard work.

 

Jessica Rolph, your host, welcomes Brandi Jordan to today’s episode, she is the founder of The Cradle Company and host of the podcast Dear Doula. Brandi shares her strategies to bring more calm into the home.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:40] Why “calm is contagious” is a favorite phrase of Brandi’s.

[3:22] What is Brandi’s advice for us when baby needs our attention and we are far from calm?

[4:50] What about when a toddler is in meltdown mode? Can calm really prevail?

[7:10] What to do when your children aren’t listening.

[10:39] Brandi speaks to the importance of being honest with ourselves about how we were parented.

[13:22] Brandi explains why she is a big advocate of asking for support.

[15:30] What are some silver linings emerging from the pandemic, according to Brandi?

[17:33] How does Brandi find calm when chaos erupts in her own home?

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Jan 12, 2022
A glimpse inside the Waldorf philosophy
17:04

Waldorf education has become increasingly popular in recent decades. Supporters champion the creativity and independent thinking that it fosters, but some critics say it fails to prepare children for the “real” world, where things like competition and technology cannot be avoided.

 

Jessica Rolph welcomes Dr. Natasha Beck to today’s episode. She holds a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and has a Master’s in Public Health. Mom to three children and pregnant with her fourth, Dr. Beck is known to her social following as Dr. Organic Mommy, and much of her parenting is built around the principles of Waldorf.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:33] Why did Natasha choose a Waldorf school for her first child?

[2:18] Natasha shares some of her favorite Waldorf teaching methods.

[4:07] What are Waldorf children not doing, in contrast to other preschoolers?

[5:38] Natasha explains how writing and reading instruction works in Waldorf schools.

[8:16] Ways in which Waldorf teachers create a language-rich environment without defaulting to storybooks.

[10:34] How can we bring some of the Waldorf philosophy and creativity into our homes?

[12:26] In Waldorf, screen time is a huge no-no. So no movies, no devices, or any other screens are allowed at school or at home. What’s the rationale behind that guideline?

[14:25] At what age does Natasha recommend introducing some media?

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Dr. Organic Mommy

Dec 29, 2021
Dr. Becky on the importance of empathy
26:39

Do you find yourself constantly having to nudge your toddler to stay on schedule and tick all the boxes? Let’s get a move on, we’ll be late! No seriously, it’s bedtime! Little wonder that we parents lose sight of our playful side in all the hustling. Today’s guest on the podcast has a remarkable knack for incorporating playfulness in the trickiest of situations. Even the dreaded tantrum feels slightly less scary with her guidance.

 

Dr. Becky Kennedy has earned the title of this generation’s Dr. Spock for her ability to dispense no-nonsense advice as a clinical psychologist, Instagram influencer, and now through her podcast, Good Inside. Let’s not overlook perhaps her greatest credential: She is a mother of three!

 

Key Takeaways:

[2:20] What do we do when our kids go in the opposite direction when we call them?

[5:36] Dr. Becky shares why being goofy humanizes parents in the eyes of a child.

[7:20] What’s the best way to handle a tantrum?

[11:28] Dr. Becky’s tips to help parents stay calm, even in the eye of the storm.

[16:24] Feelings don’t scare kids, but being alone with their feelings may.

[19:31] Dr. Becky speaks about how to model emotional regulation through play.

[22:25] Guidance on patching things over after a meltdown.

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Visit GoodInside.com

Listen to Peaceful Parenting: Dealing with Tantrums an interview with Dr. Laura Markham

Dec 15, 2021
Get your baby talking with The Speech Sisters
25:17

Language milestones are a hot topic. When should my baby be speaking? And how many words? So much is tied up in our ability to communicate with our little people. On today’s episode of My New Life, we call in the experts to get your baby talking! 

 

While the timeline for those treasured first words varies from child to child, there are some time-tested tricks to help the process along. Spoiler: Don’t be afraid to sing to your child. Jessica Rolph, your host, is accompanied by speech language experts Bridget Hillsberg and Brooke Dwyer, aka The Speech Sisters.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:54] How much is nature vs nurture when it comes to a child developing language?

[3:13] Bridget and Brooke talk about their babies’ language development.

[4:47] The Speech Sisters’ number one tip for parents: imitate.

[6:05] What’s the difference between baby talk and imitating? 

[8:01] Another tip for parents: Act it out.

[9:25] Listening, labeling, and demonstrating play an important role in encouraging language development.

[12:37] What constitutes saying the first word versus babbling? If you know what they mean when they say it, does that count as a word? 

[13:23] How much should a child be talking? What’s typical? And when should we worry?

[16:04] Bridget and Brooke share stories about children who received early intervention to assist in their language development.

[18:25] Can a child learn language through screens?

[21:17] How much of a child’s language development stems from parent intervention versus screens or some other outside service?

[23:15] Parents have a tremendous impact on their children’s language acquisition. 

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Learn more about Bridget and Brooke on SpeechSisters.com

Speech Sisters on Instagram

Dec 01, 2021
Sensory play & what it does for your child’s brain
27:35

Some children make a lot of noise as they move through their day. They tend to like big movements: bear hugs, wrestling, getting messy. Others are quieter. They can sometimes be bothered by subtle things: tags, temperature, too much light. These children might retreat if their senses get overloaded. Sensory preferences fall on a spectrum.

 

Jessica Rolph is accompanied by Dr. Allie Ticktin to talk about how to navigate these differences. Dr. Allie is an occupational therapist with a specialty in sensory integration and early childhood development. She is the author of Play to Progress, Lead Your Child to Success Using the Power of Sensory Play.

 

Key Takeaways:

[2:07] Allie talks about how sensory needs can vary from child to child.

[3:19] How do you know if a child’s sensory needs are within the normal realm, versus when it’s time to get extra support?

[4:07] Why is proprioception one of Allie’s favorite senses to work on? 

[5:32] Allie shares tools to provide more proprioceptive input to your child.

[9:25] What senses other than proprioceptive should be on a parent’s radar?

[11:25] How do we respect our child’s need to be clean? 

[13:40] Why do parents need to engage these senses for children’s learning?

[14:52] How can we have sensory-rich play that engages all of these senses?

[15:38] What are open-ended toys and why you should choose more of those?

[18:38] What is a sensory toolbox? Does it vary based on the child’s needs? 

[20:42] The first step is regulation; a child who is not regulated can’t learn.

[21:04] How can you tell if a child is playing with something or if it’s helping them regulate? 

[22:15] What is in the calming toolkit?

[24:14] Allie’s advice to parents: Allow your child the space to play and to explore.

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Play2Progress

 

Nov 17, 2021
Kindergarten ready: You may be closer than you think
17:14

The human brain has about 100 billion nerve cells, all of which are present at birth, but have few links between them. Those links are formed by experiences children have. The idea that the right inputs can strengthen a brain’s architecture informs much of the product design at Lovevery. But there’s lots of debate around how early we should start laying the foundation for academic learning.

 

Jessica Rolph, your host, welcomes Sarah Chesworth to today’s episode of The Perspective Series, to help us navigate Kindergarten prep in the baby and toddler years. Sarah is a former Kindergarten teacher and early childhood educator.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:43] How does Sarah explain the debate between academic and play-based learning for 2 and 3 year olds?

[2:46] Should we be exposing our 2, 3, or 4 year olds to any academic skills?

[3:25] What are some categories of concepts that Sarah feels like children need to have to be ready for Kindergarten?

[4:48] What are some ways that math and spatial understanding can show up in play?

[6:29] Sarah talks about the distinction between healthy brain development in early childhood and the role that academics play.

[9:23] What early number skills might Sarah look for in children entering Kindergarten?

[10:48] What are some ways that parents can build empathy skills?

[12:04] Sarah speaks about the development of fine motor skills.

[13:00 ] Sarah describes the space she created for her daughter and the ways that she’s incorporated play and academics.

[15:01] Sarah extends her advice to parents: Listen, read, play, sing, and snuggle.

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Learn more about Sarah Chesworth

Nov 03, 2021
Setting our kids up for success
20:42

We all have big dreams for our little people, and there are so many ways to define success: finding purpose in life and work, reaching goals (whatever those might be), surrounding yourself with loved ones, to name just a few. Psychologists have pointed to a variety of practices that can help our kids achieve these things. Spending time with your child is a major one; others include letting your child make decisions and prioritizing kindness.

 

Jessica Rolph welcomes Esther Wojcicki to today’s episode to talk about raising successful children, her area of expertise. Her daughters, Susan, Janet, and Anne, are some of the most powerful women in Silicon Valley. They are respectively, the CEO of YouTube, a professor of Pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, and the Founder and CEO of the genetic testing company 23andMe. Esther, also known as the Godmother of Silicon Valley, is the author of How to Raise Successful People: Simple Lessons for Radical Results.

 

Key Takeaways:

[2:17] Did Esther set out to raise CEOs?

[3:24] Esther explains the acronym TRICK: Trust, Respect, Independence, Collaboration, and Kindness.

[5:19] What does trust look like in our modern-day society?

[8:00] Perhaps we shouldn’t be so worried all the time.

[8:50] Esther explains why allowing babies to self-soothe can be a demonstration of trust.

[12:02] How can parents of toddlers show respect? Just listen!

[14:15] Don’t do anything for your children that they can do for themselves.

[15:12] Esther speaks about collaboration in the home.

[17:30] The profound impact of kindness.

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Visit Raise Successful People 

Oct 20, 2021
A more accessible Montessori
23:00

Many new parents struggle with decisions around learning outside of the home. When is the right age? Is daycare or preschool the answer? If extended family isn’t available or other help isn’t affordable, should parents keep their children at home while also juggling work or all the many other responsibilities? Then there’s the decision regarding what learning philosophy to follow.

 

Jessica Rolph, your host, welcomes Nikki Johnson to today’s episode. Nikki struggled with these decisions and landed on a homeschooling arrangement that aligns with Montessori. In addition to homeschooling her four year old, Marley, Nikki is an attorney and entrepreneur; she is also behind the Instagram account cultured_montessorian. Nikki and Jessica examine Montessori through a modern lens, from screen time to clutter.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:40] What went into Nikki’s decision to start homeschooling her child?

[2:40] What made Montessori a good fit for Nikki’s daughter?

[3:48] Has Nikki seen any evidence of greater equity and inclusivity moving forward in the Montessori community?

[5:08] Nikki talks about the ways Montessori benefits children of color specifically.

[6:54] How does Nikki carve out time from her clearly very busy schedule as an entrepreneur, lawyer, and teacher to her daughter?

[10:27] Where does Nikki come down on screen time for Marley and how does this fit in or not fit in with Montessori?

[12:51] Are there any other ways that Nikki has interpreted Montessori through this more modern lens?

[14:59] Nikki’s daughter has a sensory processing disorder; she shares how she has tailored her learning to support that difference.

[17:10] Nikki shares how she approached decluttering and keeping her home environment more minimalist.

[19:01] What is the rhythm of a typical day for Nikki?

[21:35] Nikki spent time living in a homeless shelter as a child. How does that experience inform the home life that she has created for Marley?

[23:28] Nikki encourages families to do Montessori in whatever way works for them.

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Check out Nikki’s Instagram @cultured_montessorian

Oct 06, 2021
Understanding RIE parenting
25:01

Feeding, diapering, dressing, soothing. At times, it feels like we’re merely surviving those early months. When in overdrive, pausing to observe doesn’t always come naturally, but looking and listening before responding to your baby or toddler can lead to some surprising discoveries about your child, and yourself! Something called RIE parenting is founded on that principle. RIE was created in 1978 by a woman named Magda Gerber. The basis of Magda’s RIE philosophy is respect for the child, and it asks us to examine our power in caring for these little beings.

 

Jessica  Rolph, your host, welcomes Hannah Olavarria to today’s episode, she has been trained in the foundations of RIE and is half of the parenting duo behind Upbringing, along with her twin sister, Kelty. Hannah shares how she has been incorporating RIE into their parenting and coaching for years.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:58] What does RIE represent?

[2:49] What is Hannah’s experience with RIE as a mother?

[5:03] What does the RIE method for parents of babies really look like?

[8:23] Hannah talks about the RIE way to speak to a baby.

[11:55] Some RIE practitioners object to tummy time and Hannah gives her perspective on this.

[15:20] What does a typical “Yes space” look like?

[18:13] Hannah breaks down Upbringing’s 10 Freedoms, starting with the Freedom to Struggle.

[19:15] Hannah explains what the Freedom to Choose looks like for a baby and a toddler.

[23:07] There is no one parenting philosophy that fits all parents. 

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Upbringing

Upbringing on Instagram

Sep 22, 2021
Because it moves! How girl & boy brains differ
24:18

“Trucks are for boys and dolls are for girls.” Our ideas around femininity and masculinity have significantly evolved in recent generations, but there is still lots of room for growth. Today’s guest argues that understanding the differences between genders — specifically, the ways in which girl brains differ from boy brains — can actually break down those gender stereotypes. 

 

Dr. Leonard Sax is a physician and psychologist, as well as the author of Why Gender Matters: What Parents and Teachers Need to Know about the Emerging Science of Sex Differences, where he discusses key differences in how boys’ and girls’ brains are wired, including differences that show up even when the baby is in the mother’s womb.

 

Key Takeaways:

[2:02] How are gender differences relevant to parents of babies and toddlers?

[2:50] Girls’ brains develop much earlier than boys’.

[3:54] Leonard Sax explains differences in the visual and auditory systems among boys and girls.

[10:15] How do auditory differences play out in the home with toddlers?

[13:33] Leonard makes a connection between boys’ auditory needs and ADD diagnoses.

[14:33] The acceleration of the academic curriculum and the correlation to ADD and ADHD diagnoses.

[16:48] Leonard claims American doctors are more inclined to prescribe medication as the first resource.

[17:46] Leonard talks about varying rates of brain development among boys and girls and how parents should approach this matter.

[18:31] Every child is unique and is a mixture of masculine and feminine.

[19:20] The most important factor in raising a happy child, according to Dr. Leonard Sax.

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Learn more about Dr. Leonard Sax

Sep 08, 2021
"How to Talk" authors on what to say to your toddler
20:57

It’s remarkable how choosing your words carefully can mean the difference between a moment of connection or disconnect. Today’s guests are experts at effective communication with young children. Joanna Faber and Julie King are co-authors of the book, How To Talk So Little Kids Will Listen: A Survival Guide to Life with Children Ages 2-7, and they have just released a second book: How To Talk When Kids Won’t Listen: Whining, Fighting, Meltdowns, Defiance and & Other Challenges of Childhood.

 

Joanna and Julie share helpful tools to communicate with young children thoughtfully, avoiding orders and threats.

 

Key Takeaways:

[2:04] How do you get your kids to listen to you?

[5:13] Joanna shares a few examples of how to be playful when communicating with your child.

[6:03] Julie explains how it can help to give in fantasy what you can’t give in reality.

[9:15] How can we phrase our instructions so that children want to follow through?

[10:08] Do Julie and Joanna recommend giving children time-outs?

[13:30] What to do when your kid is hitting a younger sibling?

[15:31] Learn the distinction between punishment and expressing your feelings strongly.

[16:32] How can you help your toddler make amends and feel better?

[18:22] What are some strategies for whining?

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

How To Talk So Little Kids Will Listen: A Survival Guide to Life with Children Ages 2-7, by Joanna Faber and Julie King

How To Talk When Kids Won’t Listen: Whining, Fighting, Meltdowns, Defiance and & Other Challenges of Childhood, by Joanna Faber and Julie King

Aug 25, 2021
Co-regulating emotions with Mr. Chazz
28:24

We’ve all been there: Witnessing the big emotions that roll in from the left field and feeling ill prepared for the storm that follows. It can be the wrong utensil, the wrong lovey, or just the wrong side of the bed. Toddlers are excellent at showing emotions but not yet skilled at expressing them, that is why they need our help naming and understanding their feelings.

 

Jessica Rolph, your host, is joined by Chazz Lewis, popularly known as Mr. Chazz, on today’s episode. Mr. Chazz walks us through how to co-regulate and offers tips on how to best communicate what the child is feeling in these dysregulated situations. He is an educational specialist who oversees 9 preschools.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:44] What is the concept of co-regulation?

[4:45] Mr. Chazz gives some insight into what this co-regulation moment looks like.

[7:54] A story about a frustrated 3-year-old girl who was not heard beautifully illustrates this process.

[17:46] Should parents ask for children to apologize or even force an apology?

[22:06] What does shame specifically look like?

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Learn more about Mr. Chazz

Find more guidance from Mr. Chazz at Patreon

Follow Mr. Chazz on TikTok

Aug 11, 2021
A Montessori perspective on potty learning
25:15
Jessica Rolph, your host, is joined by Nicole Kavanaugh, a Montessori parenting expert and the writer and mom behind The Kavanaugh Report. Learn why Nicole takes a firm stance against bribing and likes to see children take an active role in their own potty learning. This doesn’t have to be a sprint to the finish. If you approach it more like a marathon, or at least a long, meandering stroll through the park, it can take some of the pressure off. And removing some of the pressure tends to make the process a whole lot more enjoyable for the parent, and the child.   

Key Takeaways:

[1:57] How does Montessori toilet learning differ from the more traditional potty training?

[3:34] How early did Nicole start this process with her kids?

[4:49] Nicole explains how the Montessori approach works.

[7:14] What kind of timeframe should a parent expect?

[9:10] Nicole talks about the benefits of the Montessori way and the cons of doing it in a more focused manner, with bribes and rewards.

[11:47] Why are we so squeamish when it comes to poop?

[14:48] Nicole describes what the Montessori potty learning environment can look like.

[16:03] Are cloth diapers an essential part of the equation? Nicole says no.

[17:07] Nicole gives her recommendations for pottying in public.

[19:56] Tips on nighttime and nap-time toilet training.

 

Mentioned in this episode

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Everyone Poops, by Taro Gomi

Jul 28, 2021
Perspectives on toileting with author of 'Oh Crap! Potty Training'
24:27

Jessica Rolph is joined by Jamie Glowacki, author of the book: Oh Crap! Potty Training: Everything Modern Parents Need to Know to Do It Once and Do It Right. And don’t we all want to “do it once and do it right”? Despite our best intentions, this is one transition that rarely goes smoothly. But a few ground rules can make a world of difference. Tune in for a little parent training on how to do toilet training.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:25] Jamie’s top do’s and don’ts in potty training.

[3:57] Jamie talks about the importance of parents making the decision about when to start potty training.

[7:11] Is there any advantage to starting potty training earlier than 3 years old?

[8:42] Jamie shares what to expect on the road to regular toilet use.

[12:54] A discussion about the tension around poop and how we should be reacting to this bodily function.

[15:30] The ergonomics of pooping — and why you should care!

[16:47] Advice to those parents whose children hold poop until they are in their diapers.

[20:15] Jamie’s policy on rewards and praise while potty training. Spoiler alert: Don’t go there.

[22:53] Jamie shares a piece of final advice to listeners: Potty training is not a measurement of your parenting.

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Jamie Glowacki’s digital home

Jul 14, 2021
A medical perspective: Alternatives to going all-natural
25:28

Natural is a loaded word when it comes to parenting. While it feels good to make choices that stem from nature, following an all-natural course and all the rules that come with it, can lead to stress. There are a lot of conflicting messages out there when it comes to what is healthy for our children: Is it ok to delay vaccines? Is it ok to use formula? What happens if your birth doesn’t go as planned?

 

Jessica Rolph is joined by Pediatrician Dr. Mona Amin on today’s episode to discuss alternate vaccination schedules, natural birth, cesarean deliveries, early nutrition, and even the nature vs. nurture debate. Tune in to hear the of straightforward medical advice that has made Dr. Mona’s podcast PedsDocTalk hugely popular.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:49] Dr. Mona’s advice about babies, vaccines, and alternate schedules.

[6:55] Dr. Mona addresses parents who are concerned that there is a link between autism and vaccinations.

[8:16] What about the concern that babies on their first pediatric appointments are just too young to get so many vaccines?

[10:08] Dr. Mona shares aspects of her personal birthing experience and what she learned from it.

[13:34] There’s evidence that babies born by cesarean miss out on this transfer of essential bacteria from their mother. Is there anything that can be done about that?

[17:01] Dr. Mona provides her perspective on the homemade vs. packaged baby food debate.

[21:09] Dr. Mona talks about the age-old nature/nurture question. What is more important, genetics or the environment?

[23:25] Learn why owning your parenting decisions is so crucial.

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Listen to Dr. Mona’s podcast PedsDocTalk 

Jun 30, 2021
Perspectives on feeding: Getting real about sugar
21:08

Maple syrup, beet sugar, molasses, honey… there are so many alternatives to refined sugar. But despite a parent’s best efforts, it’s hard to avoid the processed stuff all together. And is that really the best approach anyhow? How much sugar restriction is too much? Can it backfire? Jessica Rolph welcomes Registered Dietitian Jennifer Anderson to the show. She is the mom behind Kids Eat In Color. Her specialty is forming healthy eating habits in the home.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:54] The government released the first-ever dietary guidelines for infants and toddlers recommending no added sugar for children under age 2. Does this mean you should be making your kid’s first birthday cake with beet sugar?

[4:36] Jennifer gives suggestions to parents who have mostly avoided sugar for their baby, and want to introduce sugar after two.

[6:38] Jennifer talks about how overly restricting sugar for children can backfire.

[8:54] Consider this alternative to: No dessert until you finish your veggies!

[13:22] How do we encourage our kids to love veggies?

[15:22] Jennifer and Jessica discuss intuitive eating.

[18:27] Jennifer reviews the top questions she hears from parents who struggle to feed their toddlers.

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Kids Eat In Color

Get your Free Child-Feeding Guide at Kids Eat In Color

Jun 16, 2021
Perspectives on feeding: Picky eaters
20:19

Child nutrition and early brain development are profoundly linked. What goes into our babies, is essential to their brain growth. But that’s not to say achieving those optimal inputs is easy! The picky-eater routine can wear down even the most steadfast parent, and If we’re not careful, mealtime can become a battleground.

 

Jessica Rolph, your host, is accompanied today by Specialist Pediatric Dietitian Dr. Bahee Van de Bor. Learn valuable tips for parents challenged with keeping their strong-willed babies healthy.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:48] Did you know a child may need up to 10 encounters with a new food before trying it?

[3:04] What approaches to feeding help nurture an adventurous eater?

[5:35] What are some common reasons why toddlers become picky eaters?

[9:54] Dr. Bahee shares her perspective on disguising veggies (for example, hiding foods like cauliflower or broccoli in other foods).

[12:07] Is it recommended that parents insist on their children trying new flavors, even when they reject it?

[13:11] How to avoid creating pressure around mealtime.

[14:43] Dr. Bahee gives a few strategies to try with children who only want sweets.

[16:05] Can snacking have a negative impact on the child’s health?

[17:39] How should parents approach their children’s variation in appetite?

[18:11] Dr. Bahee expands on how to transform a picky eater into a more expansive eater.

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

You can learn more about Dr. Bahee at UK-KIDS-NUTRITION.com

Dr. Bahee’s free download: 5 ways to help your child try new foods

Jun 02, 2021
Perspectives on feeding: Baby-led weaning
27:30

As co-founder of the organic baby food company Happy Family, host Jessica Rolph has invested a lot of energy trying to get the right nutrients into her kids. One of her children’s favorite first foods was sardines, and fast forward a few years, Jessica was surprised to see a post on the hugely popular Solid Starts recommending sardines as a first food.

 

Solid Starts promotes baby-led weaning, or finger-foods first. CEO Jenny Best joins Jessica on today’s episode to share her perspective on when to start your baby on solid foods and how best to do it.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:40] What is baby-led weaning?

[2:24] Jenny talks about the advantages of the baby-led weaning approach.

[7:35] Giving children a front seat in their feeding experience.

[9:16] Challenges that come with baby-led weaning.

[13:47] How did Jenny first expose her twins to solids?

[14:51] Jenny examines fears around allergens.

[18:08] How should we think about the ingestion of food in those first few months of feeding?

[22:23] Jenny shares the recommended ages for starting baby-led weaning and starting solid foods in general.

[25:29] Jessica revisits some of the highlights of her conversation with Jenny Best.

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Solid Starts

May 19, 2021
Baby sleep: Alternatives to 'cry-it-out'
23:17

Host Jessica Rolph welcomes Certified Pediatric Sleep Specialist Lauren Heffernan to the second episode of our new season, Perspectives. In this season, you’ll hear curated perspectives on topics like sleep, feeding, and parenting philosophies, so you can make informed choices for your family.

 

It is rare to find a new parent who doesn’t wish for more hours of sleep; long nights seem to be part of the bargain. When those long nights start dragging on, it can feel like sleep training is the only way out. Lauren proposes a different approach. She is the founder of Isla Grace: Attachment-Focused Sleep. She prefers to avoid separation and the cry-it-out method of sleep training.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:31] Lauren speaks about her own experience sleep training.

[3:56] She explains how that experience informs her practice as a sleep consultant.

[6:35] Supporting your babies’ emotions when you are sleep deprived is challenging.

[8:20] Why it’s difficult for parents to sit with those big emotions from their child.

[9:26] Lauren answers a question from a listener: My baby only falls asleep when I breastfeed him and wakes up throughout the night for more breastfeeding; how can I stop this without the cry-it-out approach?

[12:48] What happens when night weaning gets derailed.

[13:38] Bed-sharing and how to practice it safely.

[16:08] Lauren explains “bridging” between crib and toddler bed.

[17:04] How to reframe inconsistent napping.

[19:45] If you are getting extremely frustrated and exhausted, try a shifting pattern or ask for someone to support you.

[21:06] Lauren’s bottom-line advice to sleep-deprived parents.

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Isla Grace: Attachment Focused Sleep

May 05, 2021
Toddler sleep strategies
29:09

Sleep, or the lack of it, is probably the most discussed topic among parents of newborns. And while sleepless nights are widely accepted as just part of the bargain of bringing a new life into the world, we are not always prepared for the sleepless nights to drag into years. Night wakings, bedtime routines that seem to go on and on, skipped naps, sleep regressions, musical beds, and crib to bed transitions — it is truly exhausting!

 

In today’s episode, host Jessica Rolph is joined by Lauren Lappen, a certified sleep consultant and co-founder of Wee Sleep Solutions, who offers practical advice on toddler sleep.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:38] How do you get a toddler to bed and keep them there?

[2:45] The benefits of using routine cards during bedtime.

[4:04] Lauren’s tips on how to avoid a battle of wills with your toddler.

[5:10] How to respond when your toddler wakes in the middle of the night, asking for you.

[6:35] Why “musical beds” aren’t ideal for anyone; toddlers like to wake up in the same bed where they fell asleep.

[9:18] What if the wakings are a function of your child being unwell?

[10:26] Lauren talks about the signs a baby is ready to move to a toddler bed, and gives suggestions for types of beds to use.

[13:55] Considering easy access to the potty.

[17:22] Suggestions for specific situations, like if you’ve got a new baby coming and you need to make room, or if your child is a climber and might exit the crib.

[20:16] How critical are night feedings to toddlers?

[22:38] How to wean a toddler from that night feeding.

[24:23] What to do about pacifiers. Do they stay or do they go?

[27:06] Jessica gives some highlights of her conversation with Lauren.

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Apr 21, 2021
How to Limit Your Toddler's Screen Time
25:10

This week, we are revisiting a listener favorite from September, 2020, as we prepare the lineup for our upcoming season: Perspectives. Starting April 21, you’ll hear perspectives from experts on sleep, eating, and parenting philosophies, among other topics, so you can make informed choices for your family.

 

Few topics will spark debate among parents more readily than screen time. It’s so controversial! Screens are everywhere. And avoiding them can feel like the domain of super-human parents. Learn some tips to cut down on screens from Dr. Screen-Free Mom: Meghan Owenz. She runs a website, Screen-Free Parenting, with over 27,000 active participants. She is also an Assistant Teaching Professor at Penn State University.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:46] What does screen-free look like for Meghan’s family?

[2:24] Meghan shares her alternatives for keeping kids engaged and busy.

[3:23] Use her S.P.O.I.L. system to cut down on screen time.

[4:38] How can independent play be achieved so parents can have a break too?

[6:37] Rotate favorite toys in and out of special baskets so that they feel fresh.

[8:18] Does screen-free mean more stuff? There are ways around it: Something as simple as a scarf can offer miles of road-trip diversion.

[9:37] What does the science tell us about the effects of screen time on kids?

[11:17] Meghan shares research findings on attention.

[12:13] Meghan talks about how language is impacted by screens.

[14:00] What about connecting with grandparents or friends over Zoom or FaceTime?

[16:13] How does Meghan help parents wean their children from screens?

[18:08] What does becoming screen-free look like?

[19:38] How can a parent enforce a screen-free approach? She provides advice around changing rules with a toddler, as well as older children.

[22:45] Jessica provides a recap of an eye-opening conversation with Dr. Meghan Owenz.

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Screen-Free Parenting

Apr 07, 2021
House Tours & Other Real-Life Experiences that Build Your Baby’s Brain
23:58

This week, we are revisiting a listener favorite from June 17, 2020, as we prepare the lineup for our upcoming season: Perspectives. Starting April 21, you’ll hear perspectives from experts on sleep, eating, and parenting philosophies, among other topics, so you can make informed choices for your family.

 

Talk to any toddler for more than a couple of minutes, and you will be easily reminded of how thirsty they are for knowledge and information. While humans are continuously learning, we are born with something of an empty canvas, and it’s the early experiences that we encounter as babies that form the brain architecture to support that learning.

 

At a birthing class, Jessica Rolph was introduced to a book that helped her put the science of early learning into action with her own baby and ultimately inspired her to create Lovevery. This book was written by Dr. William H. Staso, the guest on today’s episode.

 

Will is a psychologist who focuses on the assessment of autism in children under 3 years old. In 1999, he published “Neural Foundations: What Stimulation Your Baby Needs to Become Smart,” a book about the experiences that form the early architecture of the brain. In it, he shares multiple ideas for learning activities and ways to engage with your baby.

 

Key Takeaways:

[2:55] Dr. Will Staso explains what happens on a neurological level during the first 3 years of life.

[4:52] The importance of a baby’s environment to when it comes to wiring neurons.

[6:41] What parents can do to promote language acquisition.

[8:58] Will explains ways to stimulate your baby’s brain in place of flashing, noisy toys.

[10:06] Will talks about experienced-based activities.

[11:36] What does the perfect learning environment for a baby look like?

[14:10] The role of the adult and how to interact with your baby.

[15:55] Discovery learning requires non-restrictive parenting.

[17:49] Awareness of location and quantities prepare your child for letters and numbers later on.

[18:25] Learning sequences and making predictions.

[19:52] Nature or nurture?

[20:35] What does smartness really look like?

[21:45] Why is one brain more efficient than another?

[21:59] Will sums up his advice to parents.

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Mar 24, 2021
Ways to raise a bilingual child
24:01

Toddlers love words. This enthusiasm helps them grow their spoken words from just a few at age one, to 1,000 or even 2,000 by age three. Given how receptive young children are to new sounds and ways to use them, it is not surprising that toddlers can pick up second languages easily. Research also suggests that brain connections multiply when babies are exposed to new languages. Parents have caught on, and demand for bilingual products and preschools is at an all-time high.

 

While experts agree on the benefits of exposing kids to multiple languages, the best means of doing so is up for debate. On today’s episode, Host Jessica Rolph is joined by Dr. Veronica Fernandez, a developmental and child psychologist, with tips on how to best approach bilingualism in the home.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:35] Veronica talks about the benefits of raising a bilingual child and shares the reasons why she is choosing to raise her daughter, Isla, with two languages.

[3:02] How can parents who only speak one language at home best lay a strong foundation for bilingualism at home?

[5:05] Veronica discusses the advantages and disadvantages of various approaches to bilingualism.

[6:57] Veronica speaks about the challenges of raising Isla as bilingual.

[8:00] How important is immersion? Do kids benefit from occasional exposure to a second language, or do they need to have some component of an immersive experience?

[8:50] Veronica debunks some myths about bilingualism, including the unfounded concern that learning another language may cause your child to have a speech delay.

[11:13] What if your child is using two languages within one sentence?

[12:25] What about those talking books and toys that switch from one language to another? How effective are they?

[14:21] Toddlers generally experience a language explosion around 18 months to 2 years; should parents expect the same of a bilingual baby?

[15:07] Should a parent drop a language if a child has a perceived delay?

[16:01] Is there an optimal age to introduce a second language?

[16:48] Veronica offers a few tools to teach the target language.

[18:01] If a child is reluctant to speak the second language, what can be done to encourage them?

[19:35] Veronica shares tips for parents who are monolingual and want to introduce their babies to another language, as well as for bilingual parents who are also on the journey to bilingualism with their children.

[21:40] Jessica reviews the highlights of her conversation with Veronica.

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Mar 10, 2021
Quick perspective: Toxic metals in baby foods
03:54

Baby-led weaning expert Jenny Best, founder of Solid Starts, gives us a reassuring perspective on the recent congressional report that highlighted toxic metals in baby foods.

Mar 05, 2021
First Words: What to Look Out For
17:55

Baby’s first words — few milestones are met with more emotion from the adults in the room! But what constitutes a first word and when should parents be expecting to hear them? Join Host Jessica Rolph and Speech Language Pathologist Gopika Kamdar for a look at some common indicators of language development.

On the table for discussion is research from the ’90s suggesting the volume of words spoken to infants is paramount to speech and language development, as compared with more recent research that emphasizes the importance of serve-and-return, the turn-taking that comes naturally to adults. So which is it? As with most topics we cover, we think you’ll find the answers reassuring.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:26] Gopika talks about the benefits of narration and serve-and-return as approaches to promote language development.

[4:07] Gopika explains the difference between receptive language and expressive language.

[5:11] When do most children say their first words?

[6:52] When should we worry? When do you start to see a need for intervention?

[9:06] What are some language milestones for a 24-month-old?

[11:28] What are markers of a speech delay if a child isn’t meeting the average ranges?

[13:51] Myth or truth: Does pacifier use cause speech delays?

[16:07] Jessica shares her top three takeaways.

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Feb 24, 2021
Talking About Race & Embracing Differences
25:29

Children’s questions about physical differences often catch us off guard. Parents worry about getting the response wrong, making the situation tense. But TV host and co-founder of ByUs Box, Nicole Stamp, says there’s a better approach.

 

On today’s episode with host Jessica Rolph, Nicole offers ways of thinking about these encounters from an equity perspective, ensuring everyone comes away from the interaction having had a positive experience. Equally important is the practice of building conversations about inclusion into the every day. After all, these are the conversations — which continue throughout a child’s life — that help our kids to make sense of the world.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:45] We teach children to categorize from a young age by encouraging them to distinguish patterns, colors, and shapes. How does this categorization connect to the research on how toddlers are categorizing people?

[5:15] If a 2 or 3 year old walks up to somebody with a mobility device full of questions, how should a parent respond?

[6:20] Nicole explains the difference between diversity and equity.

[7:15] What does inclusion really mean?

[8:55] How can you guide a conversation with a child interested in another child with a physical difference?

[11:45] What kind of proactive steps can parents take to reinforce equity and inclusion?

[17:12] Nicole explains why being “color blind” does not help create the equitable society that we strive for.

[21:30] If a parent avoids conversations about race or other differences among people, their child is picking up on that message in non-verbal ways.

[23:33] Jessica shares her takeaways from a powerful conversation.

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

ByUs Box

Feb 10, 2021
What Is Intrinsic Motivation? How To Praise Your Kids While Teaching Grit
25:34

We parents are a proud bunch. It’s natural to shower our children with compliments when they achieve something. But when babies become toddlers, “Good job” often evolves to “You’re so smart” or “What an amazing artist you are”. Too much of this kind of feedback as our child get older, may not help them persist in the face of challenges.

 

Psychotherapist Susan Bordon of Kinspace joins host Jessica Rolph on today’s episode to discuss ways to encourage intrinsic motivation. With a little bit of grit, kids are more motivated to try new things even when it’s hard, and make efforts to pitch in without bribes or rewards.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:41] What’s wrong with telling your toddler: “You're so smart”?

[3:35] Susan talks about a recent research done by Carol Dweck, a psychologist at Stanford, who studied the effects of praise on grade-schoolers.

[5:25] How does this research apply to babies and toddlers?

[7:35] Why do parents praise children?

[9:20] What does it look like to be a parent who encourages intrinsic motivation?

[11:36] Praising the effort, rather than the outcome, takes practice.

[13:40] Susan talks about how and why not to interfere when a baby or a toddler is trying to achieve a challenging task.

[16:03] How the Montessori approach to demonstrating fits into the equation.

[17:54] Words that can help build self confidence in our children.

[19:35] How to introduce the concept of sharing to children.

[21:10] How early should parents adopt these practices to encourage intrinsic motivation in their children?

[23:40] Jessica reviews the highlights of her conversation with Susan.

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Kinspace

Jan 27, 2021
Bonus Episode: Why Mom Guilt Doesn't Serve You
15:57

Have a few parenting regrets from 2020? You are not alone. But does rehashing all that make you a better parent? Dr. Leesha Ellis-Cox would argue that mom guilt is a disservice to you and your children. If you could use a pep talk as we launch ourselves into a new year, this is the episode for you!

Dr. Leesha is a psychiatrist, mother to 3 children, and the author of "Ditch the Mommy Guilt: A Blueprint for the Modern Mommy".

Jan 20, 2021
Intensive Parenting: Why Take a Step Back?
22:17

There is a lot of advice out there for parents. Not only are parenting books multiplying in number, they are increasing in volume. And there is certainly no shortage of online resources. Instagram now has so many parenting experts you can get an almost endless scroll of advice.

 

The abundance of information can be helpful on the one hand. But it can also lead us to think we are not doing enough, making it is easy to slip into over-parenting. This hands-on approach is sometimes referred to as intensive parenting, and its benefits (to both parent and child) are up for debate.

 

For a closer look at intensive parenting and how we can recognize it in ourselves, Jessica Rolph speaks with Developmental Psychologist Dr. Holly Schiffrin. She discusses all-important parenting skills like how to stand back and allow your child to experience natural consequences.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:20] Holly co-authored a study called Insight into the Parenthood Paradox: Mental Health Outcomes Of Intensive Mothering. What was her objective in studying this style of parenting?

[4:55] Is motherhood supposed to be joyful at every turn?

[5:18] The study compared moms working in the home versus moms who also work outside the home.

[6:16] Parents who stay at home with their kids often go without the kind of recognition customary in paying jobs.

[6:53] The research suggests that mothers who rated particularly high on the idea of essentialism, that mothers are the essential parent, were less satisfied with their lives.

[8:00] Holly discusses the outcomes she’s observed in the children of intensive parents.

[9:56] What is the difference between intentional and intensive parenting?

[11:02] Has the pandemic made parents more or less intensive?

[12:35] What are the factors driving this intensive parenting approach?

[15:20] Holly talks about parental unhappiness.

[16:15] How does parenting in America compare to parenting in other cultures?

[17:15] Holly offers advice for parents of babies and toddlers.

[20:25] Jessica shares the highlights of her conversation with Dr. Holly Schiffrin.

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Jan 13, 2021
Chores: Benefits & Tips for Starting Early
20:41

Whether it is cleaning up the toys, setting the table, or sorting laundry, involving your toddler with chores around the house is almost always an exercise in patience. And it most certainly is not going to produce impeccable results, but results are not the goal here. Developing a habit  of helpfulness and a sense of autonomy is what we parents are after.

 

Jessica Rolph welcomes Behavioral Specialist and Parent Coach Jeanna Twomey to today’s episode to explain how to best get your toddler involved in the dirty work. Tune in to hear strategies that will leave your child feeling like an important contributor to the household. Jeanna provides personalized support to parents through text, phone and video. She can be found at JeannaTwomeyParenting.com.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:29] Why should we go to the trouble of getting our toddlers to help around the house?

[2:57] Why Jessica likes the terms “contribution” and “responsibility” more than “chores”.

[3:43] When is a good age to introduce the concept of contribution?

[4:27] Self-help skills are a great place to start.

[4:59] What can you do if your toddler refuses to help?

[7:08] Constructive ways to respond to your child’s efforts.

[9:01] Helpful ways to respond to mistakes.

[10:55] Jeanna gives specific examples of some good contributions to practice with your toddler.

[12:38] Jeanne shares her perspective on sticker charts.

[14:26] What are some motivating alternatives to rewards?

[16:03] Jeanna extends her advice to parents who feel like chores are just another box to check in an already overwhelming to-do list.

[18:18] Jessica sums up the conversation with her take aways.

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Dec 30, 2020
How To Be Resilient & Set Boundaries
24:32

This holiday season is different. For many of you, it is family traditions that make this time of year significant and memorable. But in 2020, reuniting with extended family is not possible for everyone. It feels sad and lonely. Jessica Rolph is joined today by Dr. Zelana Montminy to help propel us into the holidays with a little more cheer.

 

Dr. Zelana is a renowned behavioral scientist and positive psychologist, delivering a fresh perspective rooted in science. She is the author of 21 Days to Resilience: How to Transcend the Daily Grind, Deal with the Tough Stuff, and Discover Your Strongest Self.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:17] Dr. Zelana defines resilience.

[3:07] Zelana shares the top things resilient people do to get through hard times.

[4:50] How can we cultivate gratitude in our children?

[5:18] Modeling resilience for our toddlers.

[9:02] Strategies to help our children when they feel frustrated without solving their struggle for them.

[11:14] Helping your child deal with discomfort.

[14:19] How best to deal with judgement from parents and in-laws who might not agree with your parenting style.

[17:50] Zelana talks about the impact of the pandemic on babies and toddlers in the longer term.

[21:11] Consider ways to create meaningful memories this holiday season that cost nothing.

[22:30] Zelana shares one pandemic practice that will serve her in the long term.

[25:39] Jessica offers 3 takeaways from her conversation with Dr. Zelana.

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

21 Days to Resilience: How to Transcend the Daily Grind, Deal with the Tough Stuff, and Discover Your Strongest Self, Dr. Zelana Montminy

Dec 16, 2020
Positive Discipline: More On Toddler Tantrums & Power Struggles
21:39

Opinions vary wildly when it comes to managing tantrums. From waiting out the storm, to taking a hard line. Whatever you do, be consistent! With so much advice, it’s easy to understand why parents panic when the tears start flying. 

 

Jessica Rolph, your host, welcomes Positive Discipline Coach Jody Malterre, a master at bringing calm to every situation. Jody is a Montessori teacher trainer at Westminster College with over 30 years experience in Montessori education. She also sits on the board of the Positive Discipline Association. 

Key Takeaways:

[1:39] What is Positive Parenting?

[3:02] Why do toddlers have tantrums?

[5:05] Why empathy works wonders — for children and adults. 

[6:50] Other strategies to help your toddler move beyond the tantrum.

[9:52] How do you give your toddler a sense agency in their world?

[14:30] Jody shares tips for toddlers who stall with bedtime.

[16:00] Why routine and tools like bedtime cards work so well.

[18:08] Jody talks more broadly about positive discipline and how to shift into a positive discipline mindset.

[19:45] Jessica shares the highlights of a valuable conversation with Jody.

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Listen to Peaceful Parenting: Dealing with Tantrums 

The Lovevery Helper Play Kit with Routine Cards

Dec 02, 2020
Baby’s First Steps: Walking and Other Milestones
19:13

Few milestones in a baby’s life are more memorable than their first steps. It feels like a major accomplishment — for baby and parent! But what comes after those first steps varies greatly from child to child, something Dr. Giselle Tadros constantly reminds her patients. She’s a pediatric physical therapist, founder of In-Home Pediatric Physical Therapy, and the guest on today’s episode of My New Life.

 

Giselle discusses how long it takes most babies to switch from crawling to walking as their primary mode of locomotion. Got lots of gear to help your kid with that transition? If so, you’re in good company. But you may be surprised to learn that baby walkers are not legal in many countries outside of the US!

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:40] What is the most common reason a parent of a toddler goes to a physical therapist for help?

[2:42] What does Giselle consider late for walking? When should a parent seek help? 

[3:52] What can parents do to help their children develop the core strength needed to be physically active toddlers? 

[6:10] What do jumpers do for children?

[7:27] Giselle explains why she promotes baby wearing.

[8:35] What are signs of core weakness in a child?

[10:03] Why some children need support with balance.

[10:43] How long does it take for a child to become good at walking? 

[12:04] What are some ways to encourage muscle development in toddlers in a natural way so that they become really active kids?

[13:35] What are some ways to replicate outdoor play inside? 

[14:40] Giselle talks about what she likes to see in an 18-month-old toddler in terms of gross motor skills.

[15:25] Giselle discusses the milestones of a typical two year old, from a gross motor development perspective.

[17:46] Jessica reviews the highlights of her conversation with Dr. Giselle Tadros.

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

In-Home Pediatric Physical Therapy

#inhomepediatricpt on Instagram

Nov 18, 2020
The Montessori Parent: Mindset & Lifestyle Tips
16:29

Montessori parents can give the impression that they do it all: organized home, tidy bedrooms, carefully ordered trays and activities. Sometimes it seems like Montessori sets the bar really high — so high that it feels unattainable for a busy parent. 

 

My New Life host Jessica Rolph speaks with Kylie D’Alton, an Australian mom that has gone a long way toward making Montessori principles more accessible. Kylie is the author of the popular blog How We Montessori, and in today’s episode, she shares valuable tips on how to bring Montessori into our homes in ways that don't involve accumulating more stuff.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:06] Thinking like a Montessori parent.

[2:50] The benefits of observing and allowing children to experience something for themselves over correcting or teaching.

[4:51] Kylie explains how she introduces the real before the abstract and the benefits to your toddler’s development.

[6:35] What sort of things does Kylie involve her toddler in?

[10:25] How did Kylie take the Montessori approach to potty training? 

[13:26] Kylie shares some of her favorite memories of Montessori learning at home.

[14:43] Jessica reviews the highlights of her conversation with Kylie.

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

How We Montessori

Nov 04, 2020
Peaceful Parenting: Dealing with Tantrums
21:41

Most parents would not describe living with a toddler during Covid as peaceful, but there are ways to invite more calm into your home and limit the shouting. Host Jessica Rolph welcomes Psychologist Dr. Laura Markham to today’s episode. In her work as a coach with thousands of parents all over the world, Dr. Laura describes her approach as “peaceful parenting”. Who doesn’t want more of that? Learn why responding to tantrums with empathy can be a game changer.  

 

Dr. Laura is the author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How To Stop Yelling and Start Connecting, Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How To Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Life, and now her latest book, The Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids Workbook: Using mindfulness and connection to raise resilient, joyful children and rediscover your love of parenting.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:35] How to be a peaceful parent during tantrums.

[4:32] Teach your toddler that big feelings are not dangerous; show them they are safe.

[5:45] How to let go of your concerns about being judged by others when your child is having a tantrum.

[8:25] What does a peaceful parent do when a toddler hits?

[12:12] When your child gets aggressive, demonstrate how to express feelings in a more acceptable way.

[12:47] Dr. Laura explains why rough housing leads to the release of oxytocin.

[14:46] Best practices for sharing peaceful parenting concepts with a spouse or other caregiver.

[17:27] Why empathy is a cornerstone for peaceful parenting.

[19:10] Why it’s important to acknowledge your child’s behavior as developmentally normal and realize this too shall pass.

[20:11] Jessica revisits the highlights of her conversation with Dr. Laura.

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Learn more about Dr. Laura at AhaParenting.com

Oct 21, 2020
How to Build Your Toddler’s STEM Skills at Home
25:46

Babies are born wondering. They have to piece together the world around them by gathering information, and they do this by observing, experimenting, and asking questions. In this way, children are like little scientists. If you have a toddler in the house, there’s no shortage of questions in your daily conversations. But is it a two-way street? How many questions are you asking your toddler?

 

Jessica Rolph welcomes Dr. Sarah Lytle to today’s episode. She is the Director of Outreach and Education at the Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS) at the University of Washington. She says parents have a critical role to play in promoting early learning and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). And this starts with asking questions of your toddler.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:26] What does STEM learning look like for toddlers?

[2:42] Early math skills are a strong predictor of later school achievement. Does Sarah’s research support that finding? 

[3:49] How do you make math part of the every-day with your toddler?

[5:06] Guided play versus instructing.

[7:52] The power of narration for preverbal children, as well as for toddlers.

[9:06] Sarah gives examples of how parents can shift from a narrative style to an inquisitive one: Why do you suppose birds live in trees?

[11:50] Sarah explains the scientific concepts children are learning while playing with water. She models some questions parents can ask their children while they are splashing around.

[14:35] We tend to associate technology with screens, but what kind of technology learning is Sarah promoting at I-LABS that is screen-free? 

[15:55] What kind of tools can support spatial awareness?

[17:53] Sarah offers her advice for parents around block play and suggests how parents can really get engaged and help their children discover the joy of learning through blocks.

[19:09] Women continue to be under-represented in STEM fields. Sarah explains how to encourage little girls to have positive experiences in STEM from an early age.

[20:46] What did Sarah’s parents do to get her excited about science? 

[21:32] What other activities can we do with our toddlers that really bring math, science and engineering to the forefront? 

[23:49] Jessica summarizes the key takeaways from their conversation.

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Learn more about I-LABS

Oct 07, 2020
How COVID Affects Toddlers' Social Development
16:21

With preschools and daycares in transition and case counts fluctuating, COVID has given parents plenty to worry about. One prominent concern among parents stems from a lack of socialization. None of us are socializing much, but given all the information out there suggesting socialization with other children is important, parents are particularly worried about their children not interacting with peers.

 

In this episode, we look at how toddlers socialize and how we, as adults, can help them build those skills at home. Jessica Rolph, your host, is joined by Nekole Eaton, a Pediatric Occupational Therapist specializing in child development. You can find her at Kids OT Help on YouTube, where she has built an audience of almost 90,000 subscribers.

Key Takeaways:

[1:22] What kind of socialization most benefits children at a young age?

[3:50] How can parents simulate foundational socialization with their children at home? 

[5:02] What can parents do to impart the lessons that come from disagreements when the playgrounds are closed? 

[6:11] Is it the same to Zoom a grandparent as it is to watch a show or to play a game? 

[8:48] Children can effectively learn basic social skills through caregivers, parents, grandparents, and aunts.

[9:56] Nekole shares how she is socializing her son.

[12:01] On some days, just holding it together during these challenging times is enough.

[14:40] Jessica summarizes the takeaways from her conversation with Nekole. 

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Kids OT Help on YouTube

Sep 23, 2020
How to Limit Your Toddler's Screen Time
24:57

Few topics will spark debate among parents more readily than screen time. It’s so controversial! Screens are everywhere. And avoiding them can feel like the domain of super-human parents. Learn some tips to cut down on screens from Dr. Screen-Free Mom: Meghan Owenz. She runs a website, Screen-Free Parenting, with over 27,000 active participants. She is also an Assistant Teaching Professor at Penn State University.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:46] What does screen-free look like for Meghan’s family?

[2:24] Meghan shares alternatives for keeping kids engaged and busy.

[3:23] Use her S.P.O.I.L. system to cut down on screen time.

[4:38] How can independent play be achieved so parents can have a break too?

[6:37] Rotate favorite toys in and out of special baskets so that they feel fresh. 

[8:18] Does screen-free mean more stuff? There are ways around it: Something as simple as a scarf can offer miles of road-trip diversion.

[9:37] What does the science tell us about the effects of screen time on kids? 

[11:17] Meghan shares research findings on attention.

[12:13] Meghan talks about how language is impacted by screens.

[14:00] What about connecting with grandparents or friends over Zoom or FaceTime? 

[16:13] How does Meghan help parents wean their children from screens?

[18:08] What does becoming screen-free look like?

[19:38] How can a parent enforce a screen-free approach? She provides advice around changing rules with a toddler, as well as older children.

[22:45] Jessica provides a recap of an eye-opening conversation with Dr. Meghan Owenz.

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Screen-Free Parenting

Sep 09, 2020
The Benefits of Unstructured Play
22:50

With opportunities for social interaction outside the family in short supply, many parents are stepping in as their child’s primary playmate. Is one way of playing better than another? In this episode with Dr. Shimi Kang, host Jessica Rolph explores the benefits of unstructured play and looks at how play prepares us for adulthood. 

 

Dr. Kang is a Harvard-trained psychiatrist, neuroscientist, and best selling author. She is the author of The Dolphin Parent: A guide to Raise Healthy, Happy and Self-Motivated Kids, and her newest book The Tech Solution: Creating Healthy Habits for Kids Growing Up in a Digital World.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:35] How did Shimi’s upbringing inform her work around play?

[3:17] Why is play such an important piece of childhood from a research perspective?

[6:10] We are hardwired to play.

[6:36] Shimi discusses a fascinating study that involves rats — play is crucial to their survival.

[7:50] How does play help children adapt to stress and emotionally process new experiences?

[9:18] Shimi explains the difference between free play and guided play. Why might parents want to emphasize one approach over the other? 

[11:19] Why toddlers benefit from unstructured activities.

[13:04] How can we tell if our toddlers are over-stimulated or overwhelmed?

[14:45] How much should parents get down on the floor with their children, or should parents play the role of observer?

[15:48] Do children need their parents to help scaffold pretend play?

[17:26] Tips for parents who want to give their children more freedom to play.

[18:55] The challenges of being mindful of technology and how it is impacting parents’ relationships with their children.

[21:03] Jessica shares her takeaways from the conversation.

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Learn more about Dr. Shimi Kang

The Dolphin Parent: A guide to Raise Healthy, Happy and Self-Motivated Kids, Dr. Shimi Kang

The Tech Solution: Creating Healthy Habits for Kids Growing Up in a Digital World, Dr. Shimi Kang

Aug 26, 2020
How Are Gender Stereotypes Influencing Your Parenting?
18:50

Girls in sparkly, pink dresses. Boys crazy about anything with wheels. Gender differences are everywhere. It’s difficult not to see those differences and then attribute them to something that is hardwired at birth, but neuroscience shows that there is very little difference between boys’ and girls’ brains.

 

Host Jessica Rolph welcomes Dr. Lise Eliot to this episode. She is a professor of neuroscience at the Chicago Medical School and the author of Pink Brain, Blue Brain: How Small Differences Grow Into Troublesome Gaps — and What We Can Do About It. Lise and Jessica explore ways we, as parents, can help break down damaging gender stereotypes.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:12] How do boys’ and girls’ brains differ?

[3:22] How should we think about gender stereotypes? Why is it important to avoid them?

[4:30] Lise talks about the trends she has noticed in parenting both genders.

[5:53] Do mothers talk more to preschool-aged daughters than sons?

[9:17] Lise talks about how to raise children who can fully express themselves by not discouraging what could be considered gender-inappropriate play.

[11:23] What should parents do about a relative or caregiver who is showing disapproval of their boy’s interest in princesses and “girl stuff”? How can parents explain their philosophy to that person?

[13:11] Toddlers are naturally interested in categorizing; what is the reason for that?

[15:27] Lise talks about dressing our boys and girls.

[17:23 ] Jessica shares her takeaways from the conversation with Lise.

 

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Pink Brain, Blue Brain: How Small Differences Grow Into Troublesome Gaps--and What We Can Do About It, Dr. Lise Eliot

What's Going on in There?: How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life, Dr. Lise Eliot

Aug 12, 2020
Why Teach Sign Language to Your Baby
18:09

Babies' understanding of language comes well before their ability to speak. This also can be the case with their motor skills. Most babies will wave bye-bye before they can say the words. These are a few of the reasons signing works well for babies. It gives them another means of communicating. Plus research shows that babies who learn basic sign language develop pathways for communication sooner than they would otherwise. 

 

Jessica Rolph welcomes Joy Jackson (@lyric_laughter_learning) to today’s episode. She has been using sign language with her daughter from the time she was 4 months old. Joy shares why she chose to teach her sign language and how this has enhanced her communication skills.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:16] Joy explains why she taught herself sign language in order to share it with her daughter.

[4:12] Joy started teaching Lyric sign language at 4 months old. When did Lyric start using signs?

[5:19] Is there any benefit to teaching sign language to verbal children?

[6:08] What are some common misconceptions about sign language and teaching babies sign language?

[8:15] Joy talks about the difference between baby sign language and ASL.

[9:29] If a parent is just going to use six or seven signs, what are some particularly useful ones?

[10:42] How many signs did Joy’s baby have when she was 1 year old? What can parents expect?

[11:50] Is a baby who can sign considered bilingual?

[13:02] How and why to teach emotion signs.

[14:25] Some great reasons to invest the time necessary to teach our babies and young children sign language.

[16:43] Jessica’s takeaways of today’s show.

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Joy’s Instagram: @lyric_laughter_learning

Jul 29, 2020
Pregnancy Prep: Are You Ready to Give Birth?
25:57

Giving birth is one experience in your life you will never forget. There are so many emotions in the mix, both leading up to the birth, and on display during the birth! 

 

Host Jessica Rolph met Leslie Schrock when she was in the process of publishing her book Bumpin’: The Modern Guide to Pregnancy, which she wrote while she was pregnant with her first baby. Leslie does not consider herself a pregnancy guru, but instead a curious person who found trustworthy resources for pregnant women in short supply. She talked with all variety of experts in the process of writing her book and shares her findings on this episode.  

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:34] What inspired Leslie to write her book about pregnancy?

[3:10] Leslie shares how it felt to be her own health advocate.

[5:58] What is the technical difference between a doula and a midwife? Why would you want one over the other? Does it make sense to have both? 

[7:55] Does the participation of a doula or midwife preclude you from having a medicated birth? 

[10:32] Where does a doctor fit into all of this? 

[11:59] What goes into the decision to have an epidural or not? How to build a supportive birthing team and what to consider if you want to plan for an un-medicated birth.

[16:07] Leslie shares tools for feeling positive when going into labor.

[18:40] Leslie gives advice on how to best involve your birth partner. 

[20:23] What is going on with the pelvic floor during pregnancy and birth? What can women do to make sure that it's healthy after birth?

[21:18] What is pelvic floor dysfunction?

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Bumpin’: The Modern Guide to Pregnancy, Leslie Schrock

Bumpin.com

Jul 15, 2020
How and Why Human Touch is Important for Kids
22:40

Host Jessica Rolph welcomes Rebecca Parlakian to this episode to talk about the power of touch between infants and parents. 

 

Few moments are more tender in those first weeks of life than when your baby reaches out and takes your finger while in your arms. It’s the all-important language of touch at work! Social connection is not the only connection at work in that moment; there are neural connections forming as your baby makes contact with that finger. In today’s episode, Jessica and Rebecca examine the importance of touch for both baby and parent.

 

Rebecca Parlakian is a senior director program at Zero to Three, a national nonprofit organization that focuses on the healthy development of infants, toddlers, and families. Much of her work at Zero to Three is connected to the work of Dr. Andrew Meltzoff at the University of Washington Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences. 

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:27] Rebecca talks about Dr. Meltzoff’s research, and how physical touch helps to develop a baby’s sense of self and other.

[3:03] When do babies know that they have hands?

[3:58] How important is skin-to-skin contact between a parent and a baby?

[5:32] Rebecca discusses how parents can incorporate touch after the hospital — with infants and toddlers.

[6:12] What is Rebecca’s opinion of the research that indicates babies don't get the same benefit by being hugged by a friendly stranger as they do by a loved one? 

[7:32] Is there any research that supports skin-to-skin contact after the hospital? 

[9:09] What role can massage play in enhancing that bond between a parent and a child? 

[11:10] The nine elements of temperament.

[12:34] Some children love to get their hands messy and other children have an aversion to touching things. What causes this range in sensory preferences?

[13:40] The characteristics of sensory-aversive and sensory-seeking children.

[15:02] Why is sensory play important for a child’s development

[16:25] Why is mouthing natural and important?

[18:03] Is sucking a thumb or finger positive for a baby’s development?

[20:01] What is the earliest memory of touch?

[21:15] Jessica shares the highlights of her conversation with Rebecca.

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

ZERO TO THREE

Jul 01, 2020
House Tours & Other Real-Life Experiences that Build Your Baby’s Brain
24:48

Talk to any toddler for more than a couple of minutes, and you will be easily reminded of how thirsty they are for knowledge and information. While humans are continuously learning, we are born with something of an empty canvas and it’s the early experiences that we encounter as babies that form the brain architecture to support that learning.

 

At a birthing class, Jessica Rolph was introduced to a book that helped her put the science of early learning into action with her own baby and ultimately inspired her to create Lovevery. This book was written by Dr. William H. Staso, the guest on today’s episode.

 

Will is a psychologist who focuses on the assessment of autism in children under 3 years old. In 1999, he published “Neural Foundations: What Stimulation Your Baby Needs to Become Smart,” a book about the experiences that form the early architecture of the brain. In it, he shares multiple ideas for learning activities and ways to engage with your baby.

 

Key Takeaways:

[2:55] Dr. Will Staso explains what happens on a neurological level during the first 3 years of life.

[4:52] The importance of a baby’s environment to when it comes to wiring neurons.

[6:41] What parents can do to promote language acquisition.

[8:58] Will explains ways to stimulate your baby’s brain in place of flashing, noisy toys.

[10:06] Will talks about experienced-based activities.

[11:36] What does the perfect learning environment for a baby look like?

[14:10] The role of the adult and how to interact with your baby.

[15:55] Discovery learning requires non-restrictive parenting.

[17:49] Awareness of location and quantities prepare your child for letters and numbers later on.

[18:25] Learning sequences and making predictions.

[19:52] Nature or nurture?

[20:35] What does smartness really look like?

[21:45] Why is one brain more efficient than another?

[21:59] Will sums up his advice to parents.

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

“Neural Foundations: What Stimulation Your Baby Needs to Become Smart” Dr. William H. Staso. To get a free copy of the book, please DM Jessica Rolph on Instagram. 

Jun 17, 2020
Baby Talk: Learning Your Baby’s Language with Communication and Play
09:36

Ever get the feeling like you are babbling more than your baby? It turns out that going gaga over your baby actually serves a purpose. It helps them with language acquisition! Their brains are taking in loads of information from these back-and-forth interactions.

 

Jessica Rolph welcomes Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek to this episode to explore the characteristics of this early communication. Kathy is a  professor in psychology at Temple University and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. She is also co-author of Becoming Brilliant: What Science Tells Us About Raising Successful Children. 

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:12] How can a parent contribute to the building of communication skills?

[2:30] Remember to pause and create space for your baby to respond.

[3:24] Kathy talks about infant-directed speech.

[5:30] The back-and-forth conversation with a baby might be more important than we thought.

[6:30] Technology sometimes gets in the way of opportunities to communicate with our babies. 

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Becoming Brilliant: What Science Tells Us About Raising Successful Children

May 20, 2020
The Untold Secret: Sometimes, Being a New Mom is Boring
23:17

Laundry, diapering, feeding, laundry... this is the work of a new parent, and much of it can feel rather tedious. Unfortunately, boredom can sometimes slip into darker feelings of disconnection.  

 

In this episode, Jessica Rolph is accompanied by Erica Komisar, who suggests that one way to stay engaged is to take an interest in your baby’s brain development. Erica Komisar is a psychoanalyst and parent coach based out of New York City. 

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:26] Erica Komisar talks about her clinical work with patients who are experiencing boredom.

[3:05] Interest in child development as a possible solution for a parent’s boredom.

[4:45] Erica explains how to ignite a sense of wonder around your baby’s development.

[6:35] Recognizing the immense value of nurturing your baby.

[7:14] Possible cues of postpartum depression.

[8:30] Skin-to-skin contact lays the foundation for emotional security.

[9:16] Breast feeding, in light of the skin-to-skin contact, has neurological benefits. If you are bottle feeding, consider taking off your shirt.

[12:18] Advice to mothers who have been separated from their babies.

[14:05] Tips to spark the connection between you and your baby.

[14:59] Mirroring your baby is about reflecting how your baby feels; as a result, your baby feels understood.

[16:53] The perils of idealizing parenthood.

[19:11] Does COVID-19 bring more risk of depression?

[20:45] When is the best time to seek professional health?

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Don’t dismiss a new mom’s boredom. It could be a sign of something more serious. The Washington Post, Erica Komisar 

May 06, 2020
Reading to Babies: How to Make Early Literacy Development Easy & Fun
18:49

Jessica Rolph welcomes Sami Carrick to this episode to talk about that magical moment of connection with our baby: story time. And all those who have read a book to an infant know that it doesn’t always go as planned! We know how important it is to read to our babies, but what should we do if they are crawling out of our laps, crazily flipping pages, or just plain not interested in what’s on the page?

 

Sami shares how teaching literacy can take lots of forms. She is a certified reading specialist and the mom behind Literacy for Littles.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:30] Reading to a newborn: Sami explains how this might look.

[2:34] Position your newborn baby so they can see your facial expressions while you are reading.

[3:04] Consider incorporating a book at nap time and bedtime to help create predictability for your baby.

[3:31] When to introduce sensory books to babies.

[4:26] Tips to engage your baby in reading when they don’t seem to be able to stop moving or are uninterested.

[6:28] Sami shares practical tips to help a child learn how to turn the pages.

[8:01] The benefits of adding rubber bands to the pages.

[8:48] How to incorporate reading in the daily routine outside of bedtime.

[10:24] The importance of using a dramatic, animated voice while reading to your baby.

[11:50] Tips for parents to teach literacy early on.

[13:54] Sami explains why learning letter sounds is more important than being able to recite the ABCs.

[16:22] The benefits of incorporating sign language into a child’s day.

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Literacy for Littles

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Apr 22, 2020
Baby Milestones: How to Handle Skill Development Anxiety
19:59

Parenting is a time of so much change for you and your baby, a little reliable information can go a long way towards making this new life, a good life. 

Jessica Rolph is your host and she is joined by Rachel Coley in this episode of My New Life, a Lovevery podcast, to discuss the common anxiety parents share about their children reaching milestones and comparing to other children’s progress. Does it help? Does it really matter?

Rachel Coley is a Pediatric Occupational Therapist and the mom behind a super informative website called CanDo Kiddo. Rachel prefers to focus on what she calls “mini-milestones”, which are all the tiny steps a baby takes to reach their objective. Tune in to learn what to do if your baby doesn’t like tummy time, how baby containers are getting in the way of natural development, and why the floor is the best place for your baby to be. 

 

Key Takeaways:

[2:51] Technology is shaping what kind of toys we are putting in front of our babies.

[4:22] Why do babies need to be on the floor?

[6:25] Is swaddling beneficial for a baby?

[7:14] Tummy time is the baby’s first opportunity to interact with gravity.

[11:15] Thinking about tummy time as a position for play is really helpful.

[13:54] Milestone anxiety vs staying curious about mini-milestones.

[15:30] How parents can help babies build the strength necessary to roll over.

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

CanDo Kiddo

Apr 06, 2020
What's the Best Type of Parenting Style or Philosophy For You?
25:40

Jessica Rolph is joined by Veronica Fernandez, who talks about how she takes advice from various parenting approaches and incorporates the best from each. Veronica discusses philosophies such as Montessori, RIE, and attachment parenting. She also shares with us ways to introduce bilingualism to babies and the benefits of it. 

Dr. Veronica Fernandez is a new mom, with a Ph.D. in Developmental and Child Psychology, with a focus on bilingual education. 

  

Key Takeaways:

[1:35] Veronica shares her journey from preschool to Ph.D.

[3:38] How to incorporate different philosophies in parenting your baby. 

[5:23] Veronica shares how she used the Montessori philosophy to create a prepared environment for her newborn baby.

[6:19] The essence of the Montessori approach.

[8:33] The Montessori approach characterizes by giving children the chance of manipulating materials such as glass.

[9:38] The RIE Method is about respectful parenting.

[13:45] Being in physical proximity to a child is always beneficial. 

[14:11] What does not resonate with Veronica about Attachment parenting?

[17:19] When the focus is on playing and interaction, the opportunities for teaching will show up spontaneously.

[18:56] Be present and playful in your interactions with children

[19:13] Introducing a second language to babies

[20:05] Children learn more by exposure than to intentional teaching. 

[21:58] The benefits of bilingualism.

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Apr 06, 2020
How Soon Should Children Learn Numbers & Math?
14:17

We all know how important it is to read to our children, but trying to build a baby’s math skills can feel like a challenging task, especially if we don’t have a positive association with math ourselves. 

 

The good news is, baby is encountering math everywhere, and nurturing a love of numbers is not as hard as commonly thought. After all, we are all born loving numbers!

 

In this episode, Jessica Rolph speaks with Gillian Starkey, a professor in neuroscience with an emphasis on children’s developing math skills. She shares some pointers that are going to score big with you and your baby, and might even make math into something you both look forward to.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:22] What constitutes math for babies?

[2:45] Gillian shares why it is important to build basic math skills at home with our babies.

[3:51] What do babies know about math when they are born?

[4:49] Activities that you can do with your baby (0-12 months old) to build math skills.

[8:00] How do children’s understanding of numbers and what they represent evolve as they get older?

[9:01] Gillian explains how to engage toddlers in everyday math. 

[10:03] Baking is one great way to introduce mathematical concepts to toddlers.

[10:33] Shapes and patterns can be used to strengthen math skills.

[11:40] Gillian gives tips on how to deal with our own math anxiety.

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Learn more about Gillian Starkey

Apr 06, 2020
What Executive Function Predicts About Babies
17:03

Executive function is a hot topic in brain research. Impulse control is one of a suite of skills associated with executive function. 

 

Jessica Rolph is accompanied by an expert in this field, Dr. Melissa Clearfield, a professor of psychology at Whitman College. In this episode, Melissa shares her research on executive function in babies, along with some grounding advice for parents on connecting with their babies. That connection, she explains, is the foundation for the relationships that your baby will have later on in life.

 

Key Takeaways: 

[1:46] Melissa defines executive function and its link to success later in life.

[3:08] Signs of executive function in the baby’s first year of life.

[4:21] Melissa shares interventions that can boost executive function.

[6:25] The importance of parents giving baby their undivided attention.

[8:17] Electronic toys and babies.

[9:40] Simple toys promote learning, exploration and cognitive development.

[10:06] When is it beneficial to offer your child multiple levels of stimulation?

[12:13] How to model good executive function for children.

[13:50] The attachment style that you have with your infant sets the stage for that child’s attachment style later in life in their romantic partnership.

[14:50] Play for Success.

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Learn more about Dr. Melissa Clearfield

Apr 06, 2020
Learning Through Play: Is Free or Guided Play Better? 
16:13

Play has so much to teach us, children and parents alike. Sometimes parents can get a little too involved in their child’s play, particularly with the extra cool toys. When does our guidance become interference? And what amount of direction is appropriate?

 

Dave Neale joins Jessica Rolph to help us strike the right balance. Dave is a researcher in the psychology of play at the Centre for Research on Play in Education, Development and Learning at the University of Cambridge.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:13] Dave explains the ‘sweet spot’ when a parent can provide support while not being too involved in the child’s play.

[3:20] Playing and its link with structured learning.

[5:30] How to find the balance between helping children achieve the goal of a game or letting them just explore the materials.

[8:18] Play with your children, engagement and becoming an entertained play partner are the most important factors.

[9:23] The effects of a parent who is not sufficiently involved.

[12:23] What is Dave’s favorite activity to do with 0-12 months old babies?

 

Mentioned in this episode:

Brought to you by Lovevery.com

Learn more about Dave Neale

Centre for Research on Play in Education, Development & Learning (PEDAL)

Apr 06, 2020
Introducing: My New Life
01:29

Welcome to My New Life. I'm your host, Jessica Rolph. When we founded Lovevery, my co-founder Rod Morris and I believed that young children and their parents do best when they feel supported. My New Life is a podcast for parents in search of community and deeper insights into how our babies are developing.

The first season is aimed at parents of infants. I’ve interviewed experts in child development and neuroscience, as well as inspiring moms with real-life struggles.

My goal is to give you information that you can put into action, so you can spend the time that you do have in a really meaningful way. Look for fresh episodes to drop every other Wednesday.

Thank you for being here. Together, we will make the most of this new life.

Apr 05, 2020