June 2020 - Mood Baby

Babies and toddlers can often dance to the beat of their own drum. When it comes to sleeping, feeding, toilet training and other necessary elements of life, they rarely follow any definitive guide book. That’s where Helpline and our experts come into the picture. On this episode, parenting coach Karina Lane helps parents navigate: A 26-month-old […]

The post Helpline with Karina Lane: Skipping day naps, toilet training troubles and more appeared first on Babyology.

Amy Schumer’s son is now 14 months old. We can’t believe it and neither can she—mamas know just how fast time goes by with their little ones. The comedian mama recently posted a pic of her and Gene swimming and captioned it: “I don’t want this age to end HELP!”

Amy, we feel you, mama.

There are certain ages and stages that are so heartbreakingly cute that it’s natural for mamas to want to freeze time. Her baby boy is that perfectly portable size right now, and is discovering his independence but still finds so much safety in mama’s arms.

Seriously, a 14-month-old can melt your heart. But Amy and fellow toddler moms should not worry because while we can’t freeze time, we can appreciate our babies as they grow. There will be more ages you don’t want to end.

Two will be terribly amazing. Your 4-year-old will make you see the world through a child’s eyes. At 6, your baby will stun you with their brilliance. Twelve will be a roller coaster you wish you could ride forever. And you won’t believe how incredibly creative your teen will be.

Schumer also posted a recent selfie of her family of three, captioning the pic “trying to appreciate every second”—a good reminder to all of us to appreciate those moments when we have them.

One day our babies won’t need us to carry them in the pool and won’t want to snuggle in mom and dad’s bed.

And that’s okay. That’s what growing up is all about.

So let’s enjoy the time we have. We can’t stop time, but we can stop prioritizing the things that make us feel like we don’t have enough of it.

The laundry can wait, mama. Snuggle that baby some more.

For a long time the first photo the public would see of a celebrity who’d recently given birth was a carefully staged, lit and edited bikini photo under headlines about how she “got her body back.” But today, celebs are turning the tables on this old trope, sharing their bodies and stories on their terms through social media.

We love this trend so much.

We love it because it helps postpartum mamas accept and love their own reflections, and because the next generation of moms won’t grow up thinking that bumps disappear within days, and will know there is nothing wrong with them when the bump (and the stretch marks and scars) sticks around.

Check out these celebrity mamas who are honestly sharing their postpartum experience (and taking the pressure off the rest of us).

Jamie Otis

Bachelor alum Jamie Otis is showing the world what a high waisted legging can do and what a real postpartum tummy looks like.

The Married At First Sight star posted two side by side pics with the caption: “It’d be easy to only share the left pic where I look a bit more toned & skinnier, but it’s so *normal* to have a ‘bump’ after having a baby! ⁣”

⁣It absolutely is and we’re glad Otis is sharing both photos!

Ashley Graham

Model Ashley Graham has been super open about her postpartum body and we love her for it.

These stretch marks are on display on her Instagram grid and they are beautiful. She captioned the shot: “Same me. Few new stories.”

We love how real Graham is about her postpartum experience, stretch marks and all.

Daphne Oz

Daphne Oz just had a baby 10 weeks before she posted this shot, so she was slowly returning to her workout routine. We love that, because she was giving her body time to heal. Giving birth is hard on the body!

“I’m not in a rush, I just want to start to feel my core again and strength in my skin. consistency and baby steps get it done,” Oz wrote in an Instagram caption, noting that when she snapped this selfie she had just finished the second workout she’s had since welcoming her youngest, Gigi.

This isn’t the first time Daphne Oz has been refreshingly honest about postpartum life 

But this isn’t the first time Oz has been super real about her expectations for her postpartum body. After having her third child, daughter Domenica, back in January 2018, the former co-host of The Chew posted a mirror selfie that sums up how so many fourth trimester mamas feel.

“Seven weeks post partum [sic], still looking three months pregnant,” she captioned her photo. “There is no bounce-back, it’s all onwards and upwards.”

For the record, she still looked amazing in that pic. Both of these photos are amazing.

Katrina Scott

Tone It Up co-founder Katrina Scott has a degree in Health Promotion and Fitness. She knows her stuff and is using her platform to teach other mamas the truth about postpartum fitness: It takes time to for our bodies to build back core and pelvic floor strength, even if fitness is literally your business!

On an episode of The Motherly Podcast, Sponsored by Prudential, Scott explained: “We need to change the conversation with everyone and with ourselves and realize how cool it is that our bodies are different.”

Ayesha Curry

In a recent interview with Working Mother Curry, a mom of three, explained that since becoming a mom when she’s been depressed about her body, and struggled with her body, and regrets the decision to get her “boobs done” after her second daughter was weaned.

“The intention was just to have them lifted, but I came out with these bigger boobs I didn’t want,” she explains, adding that she’s now trying to give her body more love and teach her kids to love what they see in the mirror, too.

“I’m not thin; I’m 170 pounds on a good day. It’s been a journey for me, and that’s why I want my girls to understand who they are—and to love it.”

Chrissy Teigen 

Chrissy is a queen. We love how real she was about postpartum panties after Miles was born in May 2018, and she’s never been shy about her stretch marks.

In March of 2019 she took to Twitter to talk about her postpartum body and how the former swimsuit model is in a new season of life, one where she’s a mom of two and a cookbook author who unapologetically loves food.

“I am 20 pounds heavier than I was before Miles,” she wrote. “[H]e’s 10 months old. I never lost the last bit because I just love food too much. Just coming to terms with my new normal, when I had this certain number for so long!”

Kate Hudson 

Kate Hudson is basically fitness personified, but she’s been super real about her postpartum recovery since the birth of daughter Rani Rose in October 2018.

A few short years ago the first picture the public saw of a celebrity postpartum looked a lot less real than this, but Hudson’s honesty is part of a refreshing change in celebrity culture.

The era of headlines about celebrities “bouncing back” after pregnancy is behind us, and it’s refreshing to see Hudson admitting that a mother’s body doesn’t change overnight after she gives birth.

Tia Mowry 

At seven weeks postpartum in June 2018, Tia Mowry explained how not seeing realistic postpartum images during her first pregnancy in 2011 negatively impacted her, so she chose to share her real body to help other mothers (and future mothers) understand that so-called snapbacks are an illusion.

“I remember after giving birth to Cree, my belly didn’t all of a sudden go flat. I did have a C-Section, (as well as with my second pregnancy) and I thought something was wrong with me. I had seen in magazines the many women on the beach a few weeks #postpartum in a two piece. To be honest, it had to take time for me to embrace my new body. With this second pregnancy, I now have embraced that fact that I’ve housed a human being. A miracle. A life. If it takes a while for me to get back to my normal self, than so be it. This.Is.Me. And I love me.”

Ali Manno

In July 2018 former Bachelorette Ali Fedotowsky Manno posted what she called her “most vulnerable post on Instagram ever,” showing her real postpartum belly to the world after welcoming her second child two months earlier.

“At the end of the day, I know it’s important to be open and honest about my postpartum body in hopes that it helps even one person out there who is struggling with their own body image,” Fedotowsky wrote.

Desiree  Siegfried 

Another mama from Bachelor nation, Desiree Siegfried also posted a post-baby mirror selfie at four days postpartum.

“So here I am 4 days postpartum looking like I’m still pregnant but feeling like a supermodel/ warrior,” she captioned her pic.

Jessie James Decker

Jessie James Decker’s postpartum mirror pic was a little further out, and shows that bumps sick around for a long time after birth and that’s totally normal and okay.

“Keepin it real! 3 weeks post and I’m still very swollen. The 3rd has been by far the hardest recovery, but I’m feeling stronger every day,” Decker wrote after the birth of her youngest in April 2018.

Jenny Mollen

Actress and author Jenny Mollen is known for sharing pretty much everything on Instagram, so it’s no surprise that IG followers got to see her c-section scar In October 2017, at two weeks postpartum.

“I wish somebody had shown me a pic like this 9 months ago,” Mollen wrote.

[This post was originally published March 3, 2019. It has been updated.]

Summer is here and I’m so excited to bring on the crafts. But if quarantining at home with my kids has taught me anything, it’s that crafts are fun, but they are much better when they don’t require a huge clean up. I’m not complaining, but if I have to scrub paint off the wall one more time, I won’t be happy. If you’re looking for screen-free activities that don’t create a lot of mess, you’ve come to the right place.

Try these 17 mess-free crafts to develop and hone your little one’s creativity skills:

1. Macaroni necklaces

Kids can turn their favorite food into a work of art.

2. Bead necklaces + keychains

Crafts are much better when you can wear them.

3. Color by number

Learn colors and numbers at the same time.

4. Shoe lace projects

Turn old shoe strings into a craft that also teaches fine motor skills.

5. Paper plate bunnies

Bunnies are much more fun when made of plates.

6. Basket decorating

Decorate your favorite storage basket in beautiful summer colors.

7. Tissue paper animals

Kids will have tons of fun making animals with tissue paper.

8. Bubbly wrap noise making

Pop goes the bubble wrap!

9. Rainbow cards

Make cards for family and friends you haven’t seen in ages.

10. Sponge ring pulls

Cut slits into a sponge to hide small objects.

11. Paper chains

Here’s a challenge: See who can make the longest paper chain.

12. Spoon art

Don’t just stop with one spoon, create an entire spoon family.

13. Stick wind chimes

Wind chimes are fun for every age to create and you can actually use them outside.

14. Paper bird wings

Playing dress up has never been cooler.

15. Yarn butterflies

Older kids will enjoy this slightly advanced craft that takes a little more focus.

16. Spirit frames

Create summer frames to display new words or sentences learned (or just a positive message!).

17. Felt animal masks

Bring out their inner animal with these simple masks.

There’s nothing more than I’d rather be doing right now than seeing all the people I love. After what seems like an eternity—in actuality, just 108 days—of isolation, I’m so ready to look into someone else’s eyes other than my partner or kids.

But not just yet.

You see, we took this whole global pandemic very seriously back in March because I had just given birth to twins. My defenses were super low after losing a ton of blood and my maternal animal instinct at an all-time high in terms of protecting my babies. So we locked down and saw no one.

We said goodbye to our support network.

Our nanny was asked to stay home despite our toddler asking where she was.

Our postpartum doula couldn’t stop by to help me recover.

Our night doula sadly could not help us with a night of full sleep anymore.

Our friends didn’t get to meet our babies.

Our family barely got to see them.

For the last 108 days, it’s been just the five of us. Day-in and day-out. Through the good and the bad. And yes, I’m craving human interaction with other adults besides my very patient husband, but the thought of us leaving our bubble terrifies me.

So I’m put in this awkward position where I have to tell very good-meaning friends and family that yes, we want you to visit too… but not just yet.

The uncertainty of the virus scares me too much. Does it affect children? Does it not? Do we know the long term effects of it? If we get sick, who will take care of our three children under the age of three?

We’ve made it this far and I’m not going to take a risk. Not now that cases are rising exponentially across the country. Not now that we are not merely surviving in isolation, but actually thriving. We’ve found a rhythm that works for us and we are not panicking at the endless hours a day.

At the same time, I want my toddler to see his cousins and go on adventures around our neighborhood.

I want my babies to be held by someone else than me because what if they never get used to strangers?

I want my parents to come to see their grandchildren and maybe give us some relief so my husband and I can have a date night—something we haven’t done since Valentine’s Day.

But not just yet.

Not like this.

I don’t want to regret it in a couple of weeks. I don’t want to trigger my anxiety all over again and search every little symptom throughout the day. I don’t want to put anyone I love at risk.

And it’s so hard because not everyone is on the same page as we are. So I see Instagram stories of friends playing at parks, getting a haircut, enjoying play dates or hanging out with their grandparents and I’m jealous. It’s hard because so many have reached out wanting to come visit, celebrate the birth of our (now) 4-month-old babies.

But not just yet.

Quarantined we’ll stay until the world feels safe again.

It’s not there yet, but hopefully soon.

No matter how you’re celebrating, these 4th of July shirts for kids, men and women will help you celebrate in style.

When Adrienne (not her real name) joined a program to help parents with meltdowns, her daughter was 15 months old and almost always in meltdown mode.

“Sophie was constantly screaming, crying and throwing tantrums,” her mom explains. “At that young age, she didn’t have the words to say what she wanted, so she used her voice to get attention.”

So Adrienne and Sophie became part of studies recently published in the Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology and the Infant Mental Health Journal, which helped coach parents on when to intervene as their kiddo was feeling “big emotions” or acting out. According to Adrienne, it was super helpful—the good news is you don’t have to sign up for a study to learn what she did. We have the tips right here.

Understanding ‘big emotions’ in little bodies

The study saw parents, like Adrienne, coached in ‘Parent-Child Interaction Therapy’ so that they could recognize a potential blow up and intervene early to help their little one.

“As parents become better equipped to identify why the child is being disruptive, they can help the child manage and regulate their emotions. With this support, the child will gradually become better at doing this on their own,” says Dr. Jane Kohlhoff, lead author of the study and senior lecturer at University of New South Wales Medicine’s School of Psychiatry, who adds that “it teaches parents to reconceptualise their child’s challenging behaviours.”

Kohloff continues: “Often, the behaviour isn’t a deliberate disobedience, but a result of the child’s struggle with new, big emotions, like frustration, fear and anxiety.”

Spotting you child’s escalating emotions

For example, imagine a child is playing with a toy oven and toy pot, and she can’t get the pot to fit in the oven. They may not understand why this isn’t working. Playing roughly and smashing toys can is a sign that children are having trouble understanding how the toys work or what they can do with them.

“For a young child, this can be frustrating and the feelings may escalate quickly. It may lead them to become rough and aggressive, or to have a tantrum,” says Kohlhoff.

“In this instance, the parent would be coached to notice this change in emotion early, and then to move closer to the child and validate their emotions by saying, ‘I know you are feeling frustrated right now’.”

Soothing, suggesting + showing physical comfort

The next step, says Kohloff, if to reassure your child. Try saying, “Mama is here to help you” in a soothing, calm voice. Offer physical affection and comfort and suggest another way to play (in this example, show the child another place to put the toy pot).

By doing this instead of simply telling our children to play nice, or chastising them for smashing their toys around, we are guiding them not only in play but in emotional regulation. Too often, kids are expected to know how to regulate their own emotions way too soon, and when parents come at them with this unrealistic expectation, the relationship suffers.

“Children at this young age are still trying to work out what emotions are, and how to navigate them,” says Kohlhoff. “One of the best things a parent can do is to help their child understand and manage their emotions. We can’t expect young toddlers to do it themselves.”

Bottom line: Getting involved in play can help prevent tantrums

For Adrienne, connecting with this study gave her the opportunity to learn these skills from professionals, but we can all replicate this study at home and replicate her results with Sophie.

“My husband and I feel more at ease with knowing how to help her during meltdowns,” she explains. “Our relationship with our daughter improved…I’m more mindful of what I say–for example, I’ve learnt to be specific in my praises rather than saying something general, like ‘Good girl,’ when she’s behaving well.”

Save 54% on the Fisher-Price Thomas & Friends TrackMaster, Cave Collapse at Amazon right now.

It’s $22.90. List price is $49.99.

Hurry! This deal could end at any time.

Free shipping with Prime or when you spend $35 or more.

As we kick summer off and find cool ways to entertain our kids during a pandemic, there’s one activity that’s a surefire way to keep little ones of all ages busy—an adventure-filled book. To help you find what’s best, we caught up with Keira Pride, head librarian at Stratford School to provide a list of books for kids to read this summer.

Some wisk readers away to magical lands, others delve into prejudice and coming of age, while some are fiction-based novels that take you to other worlds. Whatever adventure they choose, there’s something for everyone. Cheers to summer 2020.

Here are kid-approved books from a librarian that will entertain your child all summer long:


The Last Peach by Gordon Gus

The story of two indecisive bugs contemplating eating the last peach of the summer in a hilarious picture book about anticipation and expectation. Summer’s almost over, and there’s one peach left. There’s also some questions in the air: Should someone eat it? What if it’s rotten inside? But what if it’s juicy? Should the bug who saw it first get to eat it? Should both bugs share it with their friends? Will anyone eat the peach?

Yaks Yak: Animal Word Pairs by Linda Sue Park

This clever introduction to animal-themed homographs also works as a vocabulary lesson and a catchy read-aloud. Children are introduced to an array of animals paired with verbs that share their names: “Cranes crane” their elongated necks in one spread, while “Slugs slug slugs” with boxing gloves. “Ack! I’m upside down! I’m upside down!” yells a floundering flounder, and one badger badgers another about the apple it’s carrying, his long-winded pleas too big to fit in the speech bubbles above his head.

I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Whether celebrating life’s joyous milestones, sharing words of encouragement, or observing the wonder of everyday moments, this uplifting book is perfect for wishers of every age. It’s the perfect preschool graduation gift or just a book that brings positivity to all who read it.

First Grade

Paolo, Emperor of Rome by Mac Barnett, Illustrated by Claire Keane

Paolo the dachshund is trapped. Though he lives in Rome, a city filled with history and adventure, he is confined to a hair salon. Paolo dreams of the sweet life—la dolce vita—in the Eternal City. And then, one day, he escapes. Paolo throws himself into the city, finding adventure at every turn. Join our hero as he discovers the wonders of Rome: the ruins, the food, the art, the opera, and—of course—the cats.

The Bear’s Garden by Marcie Colleen

A little girl sees an empty lot in a city and imagines what it can be. With the help of her stuffed bear, the girl brings her community together to create a beautiful garden. Inspired by the true story of a community garden in Brooklyn, New York, this picture book is a testament to how imagination and dedication can transform communities and create beauty for everyone in unexpected places.

Scribble Stones by Diane Alber

This story starts off with a little stone who thinks he will become something amazing but then soon realizes he had become a dull paper weight. He’s on a mission to become something greater and in the process meets scribble and splatter and they all come up with a creative way to bring joy to thousands of people.

Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall

Step back in time and through the door of this iconic lighthouse into a cozy dollhouse-like interior with the extraordinary award-winning artist Sophie Blackall. Watch the days and seasons pass as the wind blows, the fog rolls in, and icebergs drift by. Outside, there is water all around. Inside, the daily life of a lighthouse keeper and his family unfolds as the keeper boils water for tea, lights the lamp’s wick, and writes every detail in his logbook.

Second Grade

The Invisible String by Patrice Karst

A comforting story about two siblings who learn that everyone has an invisible string that connects them to everyone they love, anywhere, anytime. This is a remarkable message that helps children cope with a variety of issues from everyday things, like a storm, to more serious issues, like the death of a friend or parent. The illustrations are done in soothing watercolors and the simple lines highlight the facial expressions and feelings of the characters.

Smart George by Jules Feiffer

Everyone’s favorite dog is back in the much-anticipated follow-up to Bark, George from celebrated author-illustrator Jules Feiffer. When George’s mother asks her pup to add one plus one, two plus two, and three plus three, George would rather eat, go for a walk, and take a nap. But soon George finds himself in a colorful dream about… numbers! Children will wonder if George will count his way out.

Call of the Sound Dragon: A Branches Book by Tracey West

Magic from a wizards’ battle is destroying the city of Remus. A new Dragon Master named Tessa and her Sound Dragon, Sono, will need help in order to stop it. But they won’t be able to stop this dangerous duel without a special Power Crystal. Can Drake, Petra, and Griffith find the crystal and save the city? Children will be busy reading the series all summer.

Third Grade

Aster and the Accidental Magic by Thom Pico

In her new home, Aster meets a mysterious old woman with a herd of dogs who gives her a canine companion of her own. But when she and her dog Buzz are adventuring in the forest, they run into a trickster spirit who gives Aster three wishes. After wishing for the ability to understand and talk to her dog, she becomes only able to talk in dog language and the trouble she gets into is just starting.

Poetree by Shauna LaVoy Reynolds, illustrated by Shahrzad Maydani

Sylvia celebrates winter’s end by writing a poem about spring and tying it to a birch tree. When she returns, a new poem is waiting for her. Could the tree be writing back? In lyrical prose and lovely illustrations, this fanciful tale speaks to the wonders of poetry and nature.

Fourth Grade

The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani DasGupta (series)

On the morning of her twelfth birthday, Kiranmala is just a regular sixth grader living in Parsippany, New Jersey until her parents mysteriously vanish and a drooling rakkhosh demon slams through her kitchen, determined to eat her alive. When Kiran is swept into another dimension full of magic, winged horses and moving maps, she must solve riddles and battle demons all while avoiding the Serpent King of the underworld and the Rakkhoshi Queen in order to find her parents and basically save New Jersey, her entire world and everything beyond it.

The Hive Queen by Tui T. Sutherland (series)

Book 12 of this popular series Wings of Fire is the perfect book to entertain preteens. Growing up in the hives, Cricket has always had a million questions. Why are trees forbidden, even in art? And the biggest, most dangerous and secret question of all: why is she immune to Queen Wasp’s powers? Whenever the queen takes control of all the HiveWings, speaking through their mouths and seeing through their eyes, Cricket has to hide, terrified of being discovered. The fugitive needs answers, and fast, in order to prevent a LeafWing attack.

The Code Busters Club by Penny Warner (series)

In the six books of the series released, the five club members have solved mysteries involving a haunted house, a prison, an Egyptian museum, a mission, an island and a spy museum. These interactive adventures keep readers entertained as they learn more than 15 codes and hone their deductive reasoning skills.

Fifth Grade

Clean Getaway by Nic Stone

Set against the backdrop of the segregation history of the American South, take a trip with this New York Times bestseller and an 11-year-old boy who is about to discover that the world hasn’t always been a welcoming place for kids like him, and things aren’t always what they seem—his G’ma included. This book is great for kids studying civil rights.

Dream within a Dream by Patricia Maclaughlin

Louisa and her brother Theo are “plunked off” at their grandparents’ sheep ranch for their annual summer stay. But this visit is different, and Louisa hates change. In this lively coming-of-age novel, readers discover along with its spunky narrator that change can be exciting and help you find yourself.

Middle School

War Stories by Gordon Korman

There are two things Trevor loves more than anything else: playing war-based video games and his great-grandfather Jacob, who is a true-blue, bona fide war hero. At the height of the war, Jacob helped liberate a small French village, and was given a hero’s welcome upon his return to America. Now it’s decades later, and Jacob wants to retrace the steps he took during the war—from training to invasion to the village he is said to have saved. Trevor thinks this is the coolest idea ever. But as they get to the village, Trevor discovers there’s more to the story than what he’s heard his whole life, causing him to wonder about his great-grandfather’s heroism, the truth about the battle he fought, and the importance of genuine valor.

The Blackbird Girls by Anne Blankman

On a spring morning, neighbors Valentina Kaplan and Oksana Savchenko wake up to an angry red sky. A reactor at the nuclear power plant where their fathers work—Chernobyl—has exploded. Before they know it, the two girls, who’ve always been enemies, find themselves on a train bound for Leningrad to stay with Valentina’s estranged grandmother, Rita Grigorievna. In their new lives in Leningrad, they begin to learn what it means to trust another person. Oksana must face the lies her parents told her all her life. Valentina must keep her grandmother’s secret, one that could put all their lives in danger. And both of them discover something they’ve wished for: a best friend.

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

“The court is sizzling. My sweat is drizzling. Stop all that quivering. Cuz tonight I’m delivering,” raps 12-year-old Josh Bell. He and his twin brother Jordan are kings of the basketball court, but their game and their bond are put to the test as this novel told in dynamic verse unfolds.