Ages and stages: babies, toddlers, and overstimulation

Ameliasnooze6mo

She starts to get restless.  I recognize the whimper and I pick her up and whisper in her ear as we walk around the bedroom. We walk and rock and it doesn’t take long before she is asleep, worn out from play and observing the world around her.

There are fussy moments that mean the baby is tired.  Or hungry.  Or overstimulated.  Amelia lets me know.

As I learn more and more about my child, I learn what her cries mean, what facial expressions indicate she’s overwhelmed, and I can anticipate her responses. 

This is something that an older sibling (and sometimes other adults) can’t as easily do.  At times there are hurt feelings.  “She doesn’t like me anymore.”

Sometimes, we can’t always decipher what our babies are trying to tell us.  One moment baby is happy and giggling, enjoying the game, and the next she is overwhelmed and frantic.

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Ages and stages: age four

AgeFOUR

Written by Kara Fleck, Simple Kids editor and Rockin’ Granola mama.

There’s a magical little creature who lives at our house.  She’s very shy around strangers, but around her family she lights up the room and is sometimes the noisiest child in this large family of ours.

She makes up stories and plays games.  She has a vivid imagination.  She loves horses and the color purple and baby dolls.  She dances and sings and also likes to sit quietly with a stack of picture books or a pile of paper and crayons.  She wears twirly dresses and silky capes and also Batman pajamas and a pirate’s eye patch.

This magical creature’s name is Lucy and she’s my four year old daughter.

“Four is, indeed, highly versatile.  What can he not do?  He can be quiet or noisy, calm or assertive, cozy or imperious, suggestible or independent, social, athletic, artistic, literal, fanciful, cooperative, indifferent, inquisitive, forthright, humorous, dogmatic.  He is many people in one.”  – Your Four Year Old: Wild and Wonderful by Louise Bates Ames, PhD.

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Ages and Stages: toddling along with pull toys (Plan Toys Dancing Alligator review)

Written by Kara Fleck, Simple Kids editor and Rockin’ Granola mama.

I suppose I should admit it, even though I can hardly believe it myself:  I am the mama of a toddler now. 

Amelia has been walking since just shy of her 10 month birthday and this mama certainly wasn’t ready for it.  Truth be told, I’m having a real hard time thinking of my baby as a “toddler” despite the fact that she’s been toddling along for almost two months now. Slow down, baby girl, slow down.

Amelia’s new-found walking skills mean that she is very interested in things that she can pick up and carry, like little baskets, small soft dolls, the measuring cups with handles.  One can usually find her toddling along with an object in each hand as she makes her way around our home.

The dancing alligator

She also currently loves push and pull toys.  She’s accomplished learning how to push the doll stroller, albeit in a rather awkward fashion, and anything with a string or a leash gets dragged along on the floor behind her.

One of her favorite toys right now is a pull toy: the Plan Toys dancing alligator.

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