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Parenting in the First 3 Years

Parenting in the First 3 Years

By Ann McKitrick, MS
Parents of young children and parents-to-be: you're in the right place! This podcast takes a kind and respectful view of your child's development during pregnancy and first 3 years. Host Ann McKitrick brings a unique perspective through 30+ years as a child development professor, parenting coach, teacher educator and mentor and most importantly, as a parent. Subscribe now for expert interviews, insightful advice, and real stories about raising a little one in the world today.

Go to nurturednoggins.com/ for show notes, downloads and resources for each episode.
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Help Your Baby Sleep Better at Night with Joanna Clark

Parenting in the First 3 Years

Help Your Baby Sleep Better at Night with Joanna Clark

Parenting in the First 3 Years

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Finding Guidance through Faith and Prayer with Bunmi Laditan
Parents around the world find comfort and guidance in their spiritual faith, even during the hardest of times of their parenting journey. Prayer, journaling, and reflection are powerful tools that can bring peace during turmoil and a sense of direction on those days you feel lost. In this episode, I talk to award-winning author Bunmi Laditan about how parents can use their faith to ease the worry that comes with being a parent. Her new book, Help Me God, I'm a Parent is a collection of poetry that gives voice to the vulnerable thoughts that everyone has about parenthood, but may be afraid to say out loud. These lyrical prayers echo the same fears, joys, delights, loneliness, regrets, and love that caretakers hold in their hearts. Bunmi is a Webby- nominated writer from California who lives in Quebec, Canada, with her family. She has contributed to the New York Times, Parenting, and the Huffington Post and is best known for the satirical Twitter account Honest Toddler (1.6 million followers).
20:34
June 28, 2022
The Power of Smell in Attachment with Jude Stewart
Everyone knows that special newborn smell. And if you haven't experienced it yet, you've no doubt heard about it. Mothers young and old can recall the smell their children had during the first few weeks of their life. It's one of those things that sticks with you forever. But do fathers experience it the same way mothers do? And what about the babies - what role does smell play in developing an attachment to their parents? In this episode, I talk to author Jude Stewart about the importance of smell in raising babies and toddlers. I learned how the smell of our children changes with each developmental stage, and how that affects our role as their caretakers. It's all so fascinating! Jude has written three books, most recently Revelations in Air: A Guidebook to Smell (Penguin Books, 2021), along with pieces for The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, The Paris Review, Quartz, The Believer, Fast Company and many other publications. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram. If you'd like to read more of Jude's writing on the science of smell, check out her article in the Wall Street Journal, What Your Smell Says About You. Click here for the full show notes!
28:52
June 21, 2022
Babies Need Diversity: Fathers and Attachment with Dr. Josh Thompson
Fathers play an important and complicated role in their family. Not too long ago, fathers were expected to provide financially, and not much else. Boy how things have changed! Now, a father is considered a good one if he takes an active role in parenting and keeping house, splitting the responsibilities and duties with his partner. How can fathers learn from the way things used to be while embracing the new way of parenting? How can they interact with their babies and toddlers to create lasting bonds? In this episode, I talk to Dr. Josh Thompson about the crucial role that fathers play in creating diversity in a baby's life, plus how their partners can support and encourage the unique bond between father and child. Dr. Thompson is a Professor of Early Childhood Education at Texas A&M University. His professional mission is to promote and protect child-like wonder and love of learning in everyone he meets. Check out the full show notes here! Looking for ways to bond and play with your baby? Grab my free guide: 20 Ways to Play with Your Baby & Toddler, filled with activities for your child using regular household items!
29:39
June 14, 2022
Debunking Breastfeeding Myths with Erica Campbell
Breastfeeding. It's one of the most controversial topics concerning motherhood. And no wonder - it's both communal and extremely personal, there are so many expectations surrounding it, and when you're first getting started, each session can feel like a make-it-or-break-it moment. So how can new and expectant mothers keep a level head and weed through all the breastfeeding myths flying at them? In this episode, I talk to board-certified Lactation Consultant Erica Campbell about the biggest breastfeeding myths currently making the rounds, plus how new moms can navigate the world of information available to them while still trusting their instincts. Erica is a registered nurse and mother of two, currently residing in Houston, Texas. For more than 10 years, she has helped families with their lactation and breastfeeding journey. You can find her on Instagram and YouTube. If you or someone you know is expecting, check out Birth School! Erica was one of my featured experts and answered all the burning breastfeeding questions. Check out the full show notes here!
21:10
June 07, 2022
Keeping a Growth Mindset While Parenting with Estelle Giraud
When you have a growth mindset, you believe that your abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work (compared to solely relying on brains and talent). Many expecting parents think if they can just read enough books and do enough Googling leading up to the birth of their child, they'll be prepared for everything to come. Too bad that's not how that works. In order to become better parents, give our children more meaningful experiences, and make deeper connections with them, we must have a growth mindset. But what does this really mean, and what does it look like in day-to-day parenting? In this episode, I talk to Dr. Estelle Giraud, a PhD Scientist, leader in biotech and frontier medicine, and mother to a toddler. We chat about her transition into parenthood, and how her intuition has served her better than her book smarts. Estelle is a wonderful example of how keeping a growth mindset, and instilling one in our children, can create a more enjoyable, enriching, and developmental parenting experience. If you or someone you know is expecting, check out Birth School. Check out the full show notes here!
24:22
June 01, 2022
Teaching Your Child Autonomy at a Young Age with Rae Pica
One of our goals as parents is to raise confident, independent human beings who can take care of themselves so they can one day leave home and start a life of their own. The problem is, today's culture of gentle hands-on parenting is often construed as not letting your child make any mistakes, and doing everything for them. So how can we encourage autonomy in our children from a young age in a kind and supportive manner? What are some things we can let our toddlers do on their own to help build their confidence? In this episode, I talk to early childhood consultant Rae Pica about ways to develop and educate your child as a whole by letting them take action on their own and make their own decisions and mistakes. Author of 22 books, including What If Everybody Understood Child Development? and What If We Taught the Way Children Learn? Rae has shared her expertise with such groups as the Sesame Street Research Department, the Head Start Bureau, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the Chicago Children’s Museum, Mattel, and Hasbro. Show notes and lots of resources here!
25:29
May 24, 2022
Creating a Loving Home with Deborah Farmer Kris
Showing our children that our love is not based on how “good” they are is an important part of creating a lasting bond between parent and child. Not only that, but it can actually help our children regulate their emotions better, and gives them the emotional intelligence needed to navigate tough feelings for the rest of their lives. But how can we best explain this concept to our young kids? And how can we use these principles of kindness and positive language to lift ourselves up as parents? In this episode, I talk to child development expert and author Deborah Farmer Kris about how we can create a home where our children know they’re loved unconditionally, while also showing ourselves the same compassion. Founder of Parenthood365, Deborah works as a parenting columnist and consultant for PBS KIDS, writes about child development for NPR’s MindShift, and is the author of the “All the Time” picture book series. Her work has also been featured in The Washington Post, Boston Globe Magazine, and Oprah Daily. Check out the full show notes here!
23:54
May 17, 2022
How to Turn Your Kitchen into a Montessori Kitchen with Sarah Moudry
This is part 2 of a conversation with Sarah Moudry. In this bonus episode, we talk about how to turn your family kitchen into a Montessori kitchen so you can encourage hands-on learning during the prep and clean-up of meals.
24:60
May 12, 2022
Introducing Solid Food the Montessori Way with Sarah Moudry
Little ones love to help, especially when it involves food. But our culture tends to exclude young children from the entire process of serving a meal. We sit them in a high chair, away from the table, a plate magically appears in front of them, and we feed them without letting them try it on their own. What if we started incorporating our infants and toddlers into every part of the meal? Could they help set up? Could they serve themselves and eat on their own? What about the inevitable mess? In this episode, I talk to early childhood educator Sarah Moudry about how we can encourage our infants and toddlers to be active participants in mealtimes. Sarah is an author, international speaker, and founder and owner of The Studio June, an early educational studio for young children and parents offering in-person and online classes. She is also an interior designer and spends much of her time creating both classroom and home Montessori environments where children can learn and develop. Check out the full show notes here!
27:46
May 10, 2022
Introducing Foods to Infants and Toddlers to Raise Intuitive Eaters with Dani Lebovitz
The way we talk about food in today's culture is vastly different than when I was growing up (take a listen below to hear about my parents and their 5 lb block of cheese!). There's a lot of talk out there about diet culture, but what does that really mean? How can we lead our children into a healthy relationship with food from introducing solids, all the way through their toddler years and beyond?  In this episode, I talk to pediatric registered dietitian nutritionist Dani Lebovitz about how we can raise healthy and intuitive eaters by the way we are introducing foods to infants and toddlers. Dani is an author, early childhood education advocate, and Mom of 3 who founded Kid Food Explorers, a resource hub and learning platform that empowers families on their journey to raise confident, adventurous eaters. Check out the full show notes here!
26:52
May 03, 2022
The Dos and Don'ts of Developmental Play
We all need play in our lives. Yes, even you! It's amazing to watch babies and children play. It comes naturally to them, whereas it seems as adults we completely forget how to do it. Even though the way children play seems relatively simple, it's actually developmental play. It's how babies and young children learn about themselves and the world around them. In this episode, I'll cover the 6 stages of play, from birth through 4+ years. I answer the questions every parent wants to know: when will my child start playing without me? And when will they start playing with other kids? Not only that, but I delve into the dos and don'ts of developmental play, along with some ideas for how you and your partner can add some child-free play to your routine. Download our resource, 20 Ways to Play with your Baby & Toddler for simple activities you can do with your child today, using things you already have around the house!  Check out the full show notes here.
19:10
April 26, 2022
Tips for Potty Training with Positivity with Camilla McGill
How do you know when your child is ready to use the potty? How do you teach them to do it? Should you give them rewards or candy when they're successful? What’s the best way to respond when they have an accident? So many questions surround the simple task of learning to go to the bathroom-- the skill that every child has to learn. And every parent scratches their head about it because there are so many mixed messages out there. In this episode, I talk to parenting coach Camilla McGill about her tips for potty training that are gentle, nurturing, developmental, and positive – all the things I love! Plus she’s got a brand new book out that gives you step-by-step instructions and insight for your child. Camilla is a mom of four adult children and has been a parent educator for over 20 years. She founded My Parenting Solutions which provides online courses, along with group and 1:1 coaching sessions for parents. Check out the full show notes here!
26:02
April 19, 2022
Trauma in Early Childhood with Holly Elissa Bruno
Did your baby or child experience any trauma in early childhood? If you were quick to answer ‘no’, consider whether the past couple of years, living through a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, has felt like a traumatic experience to you. In what ways might this have also affected your little one? On the other hand, if you’re involved in the world of foster care, or you have experience with adoption, the idea of trauma may be one you’re very familiar with. But do you know what truly constitutes trauma, and how it changes babies’ brains? In this episode, I talk to Holly Elissa Bruno, a bestselling award-willing author and keynote speaker on the topic of trauma. We discuss the causes of trauma in early childhood, and some signs you can look for in children that have experienced it. She also tells the story of her own children, adopted from Korea with very different temperaments. Check out the full show notes here!
39:29
April 12, 2022
BONUS: How to Discuss Child Care Issues with Dr. Zlata Stankovic-Ramirez
In this bonus episode, Dr. Zlata Stankovic-Ramirez tells a personal story about her son starting Pre-K, which turned into a difficult partnership between her and the child care provider. She gives some helpful tips on how to bring up issues with your child care provider, and how to create a partnership between you and them.
14:36
April 05, 2022
How to Handle and Prevent Child Care Issues with Dr. Zlata Stankovic-Ramirez
Things can get a little sticky when parents and childcare providers don't see eye-to-eye on things like discipline, nutrition, and nurturing. But what power do parents have when they're having child care issues at a large daycare facility? Or even stickier, how do they communicate with family members who are watching their kids, without ruining those relationships? In this episode, I talk to childcare education expert Dr. Zlata Stankovic-Ramirez. We discuss how both verbal and nonverbal communication play a critical role in developing a trusting relationship between parents and a child care provider. We also tackle the tough question of how to set boundaries and communicate effectively with a family member who is watching your child. Check out the full show notes here!
32:03
April 05, 2022
Help Your Baby Sleep Better at Night with Joanna Clark
There's nothing more frustrating as a new parent than dealing with sleep disruptions. After all, when the baby doesn't sleep well, neither does one or both of the parents. This can make for some rough days! If you've spent your middle-of-the-night wakeups franticly Googling sleep tips, I'm sure you're familiar with the term "sleep training." But what does that really mean, and why is it such a hot topic among experts? In this episode, I talk to sleep expert Joanna Clark of Blissful Baby Sleep Coaching. We discuss the three skills that your baby needs to develop before they can become a successful independent sleeper. We also dive into all things sleep schedules and sleep training. Check out the full show notes here!
32:03
March 29, 2022
Four Things to Do With Your Newborn with Deborah McNelis
We've heard how important the first days are for your newborn's development. But when all you see them do is sleep, eat, and poop, it can be hard to imagine anything major is happening inside. Thankfully, science has proven otherwise! So what are some things you can do with your newborn to make the most of these first 2 months and form the essential bonds that will benefit your baby for years to come?  In this episode, I talk to Deborah McNelis, M. Ed. Deborah is an early brain development specialist, author, speaker, and founder of Brain Insights LLC. We discuss some common misconceptions about newborn care, the best ways parents can nourish their newborn's brain growth, and answer questions about those first 60 days. Deborah's got a free gift for you! Download Loving a Baby and frame it for your baby's room. 🥰 Check out the full show notes here!
26:60
March 22, 2022
How to Manage Tantrums & Meltdowns with Diane Goyette
Tantrums can be very triggering, leaving us feeling bewildered, impatient, helpless, and ready to throw in the towel. But there's a way to understand and manage tantrums and meltdowns that may bring relief to both us and our child. In this episode, Diane Goyette of Early Childhood Specialties, shares her insights on tantrums - why they happen, what they mean, and how you can respond to turn the moment into one of connection with your child. Download our free tool, How to Manage Meltdowns, for tips on how to connect with your child even in the midst of what feels like to them (and you!) major meltdown chaos. 😬 And if you'd like for me to pray for you, your child or anything, simply email me at ask@nurturednoggins.com. It's just a quiet, simple way for me to support you on your parenting journey. 🧡 Check out the full show notes here!
27:15
March 15, 2022
Is She a Good Baby? Exploring Infant Temperaments
There’s one question people commonly ask new parents that I can’t stand. And that's, “Is she a good baby?” Everyone wants an easy baby! But that’s such a broad description. What's an "easy baby" anyways? One that sleeps well, doesn’t cry too much, and smiles a lot? Is that even realistic? In this episode of Parenting in the First 3 Years we explore temperament, which explains why some babies seem to be easier than others. Hint: a lot of it has to do with your temperament as well! Take a listen - you'll learn so much! Check out the full show notes here!
14:01
March 08, 2022
How to Hygge With Your Baby with Maria Dior
Denmark has repeatedly been voted as having the happiest people in the world. It may be due to this thing called hygge (pronounced hoo-guh), which is a Danish term that means to cozy around together. This hygge lifestyle creates a feeling of connectedness to others, which gives meaning and purpose to life and time with our family. Parents around the world are beginning to embrace this idea, but often wonder how to hygge with their own children and family. In this episode, I talk to Maria Dior. Maria is a mother to three and an entrepreneur living in Aarhus Denmark. She specializes in health and nutrition for moms and pregnant women and offers online boot camps and courses that teach women how to stay strong and happy throughout pregnancy and postpartum. You can check her out in Birth School, my online course for expectant moms, where she helped create the module on fitness. We talk about her experiences with hygge both growing up, and as a parent now, the role that food plays in the hygge lifestyle, and tips for incorporating hygge into your daily life. Check out the full show notes here!
27:54
March 01, 2022
Tips for Parenting a 2-Year-Old
Toddlers sometimes get a bad rap. Maybe you've even had someone say to you, "just wait until they're two!" like your child will instantly morph from a sweet, happy baby into a demanding, obstinate toddler as soon as the clock strikes midnight. In this episode, we celebrate all things 2 by focusing on the second year of life. We'll talk about what's going on with your 2-year-old, all the wonderful, sometimes challenging developmental changes that are happening both inside and out, and how you can change your approach to parenting during this new phase of childhood. Check out the full show notes here!
15:35
February 22, 2022
Phones & Screen Time for Babies
Screen time for babies is a tricky topic. Babies and toddlers know, just as we do, that there are so many fun things to do with a phone! How can we live in the tension of the recommendations and what's realistic for our actual lives? What’s okay and what’s not okay about babies and toddlers when it comes to phones and tablets? In this episode, we cover 5 common assumptions that parents make about screen time for babies and toddlers.  Click here to learn more about babies, toddlers and tablets!
16:07
February 15, 2022
How to Help Your Baby Thrive When Starting Daycare with Gabrielle Holt
Starting daycare is a big adjustment for parents and children alike. How can you best prepare? What if the transition doesn't go well? Will your baby cry all day long? There are likely a lot of questions swirling around in your head as you contemplate enrolling your baby in a child care center. In this episode, our guest, Gabrielle Holt answers these questions and more. Learn more about that wonderful little baby of yours at Nurtured Noggins. 😍 Check out the full show notes here!
27:34
February 08, 2022
What Makes Babies Laugh
When can you expect that your baby will start laughing? What about those big belly laughs you see on TikTok? What do babies find funny anyway? In this episode, we explore all things baby laughter.  Learn more about that wonderful little baby of yours at Nurtured Noggins. 😍
16:08
February 03, 2022
Why "Baby Talk" is Good for Language Development
We all know that people use a different tone of voice when they talk to babies, like what we would typically call ‘baby talk’. Researchers have identified this sing-song, high pitched, slow speech with a name… “motherese,” “parentese,” or IDS (Infant Directed Speech). These speech characteristics are observed in all languages as parents and caregivers engage with babies. And there’s a lot more to it than just the way it sounds. In this episode, we explore the one thing that almost every person does, an instinctive way of interacting with a baby that is exactly what a child needs in the first year of life. Longing to learn more about your baby? We've got you covered at Nurtured Noggins! Checking out the full show notes here.
16:40
February 03, 2022
Trailer
Parents of young children and parents-to-be: you're in the right place! This podcast will take a kind and respectful view of your child's development during pregnancy and their first 3 years. Subscribe now for expert interviews, insightful advice, and real stories about raising a little one in the world today. The first three episodes drop on February 3, 2022.
09:22
January 21, 2022