child development

How can I ease my new mom nerves?

Dear Mama Drama: I’m a new mom and feel like I have no idea what I’m doing most of the time. I haven’t spent much time around babies or young children, so am not sure what my daughter is supposed to be doing when. We are also on a tight budget, so my resources are limited. (photo credit) What ideas do you have for getting us off on the right foot? ~ Nervous Mama Dear Nervous: Please know you are experiencing the same feelings every new mom faces. Trust your instincts, respond to your daughter’s cues, and get connected with a support system. There are many great resources to help you feel more confident in understanding your daughter’s development as well as your ability to support and care for her. Look at a variety of sources and find a style that feels right to you. Since you are on a bu...

Mama Drama: Articulation Angst

Dear Mama Drama: My 4-year-old son has an extensive vocabulary but like a lot of kids, has a difficult time saying his “R”s and “L”s. When should I start worrying about getting him in speech and what can I be doing with him now? ~ Concerned Mama (photo credit) Dear Concerned: While I’ve worked with children of all ages and a wide range of special needs, I am not a speech expert. To make sure you get the best information I consulted with Deb Trench and Ashley Neff, Early Childhood Speech Language Pathologists in Aurora Public Schools. Articulation guidelines indicate that the ability to clearly articulate the /r/ sound should be developed by the age of 8. Children should be able to use /l/ sounds consistently around five or six, with boys often being on the later end...

Mama Drama: Bedtime Woes & Sibling Fights

Dear Mama Drama: My 13-month-old daughter used to go to bed easily. Now she stands in her crib and screams. We have a consistent, calming bedtime routine, but it doesn’t seem to be working right now. ~Exasperated Dear Exasperated: Your daughter may be telling you it’s to change her sleep schedule. She may not be as tired at her current bedtime as she used to be. Toddlers often shift their sleeping patterns as their activity and developmental needs change. They still need 10-13 hours of sleep on average, but may take fewer naps, need a different bed time, or need to be awakened earlier. It may also be helpful to take a look at her schedule throughout the day. Make sure she is getting enough physical activity and that she is not over-stimulated in the hours just before bed. Warm baths, massa...