5 tips for introducing baby to strangers
When it comes to life skills, the more you practice, the better you get. And your baby's got the potential to go from a shy caterpillar to a brilliant social butterfly. Try using some of these techniques to help your baby with the transition.
Babies and personality
Right now you could recognize your baby by her cry, shape, or bare bum. But when will your baby's personality start to show?
Finding friends for yourself
If making new friends when you first get out of school feels hard, making new friends with a baby in tow can feel that much harder, but it doesn't have to be - how can your new friends-to-be resist a face like your baby's, after all? Or a face like yours?
What is separation anxiety?
This is one of those terms that's easy to write about but very hard for a parent to experience. Understanding the basics of separation anxiety can help you and your baby deal when - not if - it happens.
Why do babies like lullabies so much?
Does your baby have a favorite song? What about a favorite lullaby? You may know which song sends your little one off to dreamland, but do you know why she likes it as much as she does?
Teaching others to tell your children apart
If you have identical twins, or just fraternal ones who look similar, think of how much trouble you might have telling your little ones apart. Now think about how much trouble OTHER people might have.
Why do babies laugh so much?
If you ever doubted your sense of humor, you probably feel a lot more confident now that your baby is cracking up at everything you say and do. Have you gotten funnier? Or is there another reason why your baby is laughing all the time?
Dealing with separation anxiety
For some, 'sorry' seems to be the hardest word. But for your baby, that word might be goodbye. If your baby has been giving you serious grief every time you try to walk out of the room, she might be experiencing separation anxiety.
Preserving your children's distinct personalities
Twins and higher order multiples will often share clothes, food, and your love, but one thing they won't necessarily share is their personalities. Sure, there could be some similarities, but even when it comes to multiples, every child is different.
When do babies start caring about other people's feelings?
We all want our children to be kind, but when do babies really start caring about people's feelings?
The beginning of fear
We think of fear as a bad thing, but it can actually be a pretty handy quality to have - it keeps us relatively safe and rational, after all. As your baby's parent, there are some ways you can help your baby develop a healthy sense of fear.
"So, what does it do?": helping family and friends bond with your baby
Not everyone is a baby person, but there are probably plenty of non-baby-people in your life who'd love to get to know YOUR baby - as long as you're willing to give them a few pointers.
How to cope when your baby plays favorites
Popularity contests are SO early-teenage-years, but your baby is young enough that she doesn't know that yet! Unfortunately, this means it's up to you and your partner to be the bigger people, since you're, well, so much bigger.
Talking to your child about public vs. private behavior
Not every adult is really good at figuring out public versus private, so it's not your baby's fault that she's not an expert yet. Lucky her, she's got you for a teacher!
When will my baby start making friends?
It may seem like the perfect time to start introducing your baby to her future life-long friends, but don't worry if she doesn't hit it off with anyone just yet. She's at a point in her life where socializing with her parents is probably plenty.
When is baby ready to start sharing when he/she plays?
There's no need to be embarrassed or worry if your baby isn't a natural at sharing her toys yet - most babies don't understand how to play with other children at all just yet, never mind how to play nicely. Your little one is still a few steps away from sharing on her own, but don't worry - she's on her way!
Why table manners can wait
Full glasses of water, foods that stain carpets, sharp objects: there are a lot of variables at mealtime, and it's understandable when parents want rules at their table. But there's a case to be made for waiting until your toddler is a little older to teach her table manners.
My toddler is acting out, is this normal?
So you know toddlers have tantrums, you know it's normal, but it's also normal to look down at your little one mid-tantrum and wonder, "Is THIS what's normal, though?" (Usually, the answer is yes.)
Birthday party etiquette
Whether you've always been a party animal or more of a wall-flower, there's a good chance you haven't spent much time at toddlers' birthday parties since you were, well, a toddler. Toddler parties are different from pretty much every kind, so there's no shame in needing a refresher on your party-manners before you head out!
Help! My toddler is meaner to me than to other caregivers
Is your toddler all sunny skies with babysitters, but stormy when you come home? It's not much fun, but it's a pretty seasonally appropriate forecast for toddlers everywhere.
Keeping events uneventful with a toddler
It's a great big world out there, and your baby has only seen such a small part of it so far - but taking a little care when you're introducing her to big events can make them more enjoyable for both of you.
When your toddler is afraid around a relative
Not every toddler is a social butterfly, but some shyness is more of a developmental stage than a character trait.
Teaching your toddler about giving gifts
your baby has the skill of receiving gifts down, but when it comes to giving them gracefully, she may still need a little practice.
Handling public events like a pro (with a toddler in tow!)
You may not be taking your baby out for a night on the town any time soon, but a day at the beach, or the fair, or even at a party might be right within your grasp!
A parent's guide to making friends at the playground
your baby isn't the only one who might be hoping to make a new best friend at the playground! You might be having a slightly harder time, though, since you're probably used to basing friendships on something a little bit more substantial than a shared interest in eating rocks.
Why you are your toddler's hero
You might not be faster than a speeding bullet or have a lasso of truth (though those would both come in handy with a toddler), but you are a superhero in your baby's eyes!
The realities of multiples' dynamics
Multiples may share birthdays with their siblings, but they're not all exactly alike! Research (and personal experience from parents) has shown that while there are some things parents can typically expect from their multiples, there are always new things to discover about their dynamics.
The evolution of parallel play
Parallel play isn't the toddler version of synchronized swimming, but rather a transitional stage in the development of friendships.
Your toddler's sense of humor
Your toddler may not be cracking jokes yet, but her sense of humor is growing every day - and right now, it might lean towards the absurd.
Helping a toddler with social anxiety
No one's immune from getting a little shy now and then, and toddlers are no exception. Your little one may get a little bashful now and then, but lucky for her, she has you on her side, to help her get through it.
Teaching manners as your child grows
As your baby grows, she learns new skills every day - and one of these days, you may want one of those skills to be saying 'please.' Here are a few thoughts about getting started.
Having and teaching compassion for children with allergies
Just because your child might be lucky enough not to have any food allergies, that doesn't mean that food allergies won't be a part of her life at some point.
Talking to your toddler about the differences between people
your baby is an observant person, and as she grows, she is going to start to notice more and more things about the people around her.
Pre-school problem-solving: When your toddler is having trouble getting along
Making new friends is tough, especially if you're a toddler, and your social skills are still in their infancy (or at least their toddlerhood).
Your toddler's first friend you don't like
You're not going to get along with everyone in life, but it can be disconcerting the first time one of the people you don't totally get along with is someone else's toddler.
Building social skills without daycare
Daycare is a great way for young children to spend time with other kids, but it's not the only way for a pre-pre-schooler to make friends and start to build her social skills.
Sick day activities for toddlers
Sick days are usually spent napping, but sometimes toddlers have a hard time napping when they're sick. If this is ever the case for you and your baby, it's good to have a few ideas on hand for how to help the time go by.
When to get involved in toddler arguments or fights
You've had decades to learn how to avoid fights and resolve arguments. your baby? Not so much. Learning how to peacefully end arguments and fights is an important part of growing up, but there does come a time when should you step in and help out.
How much socialization should an almost-two-year-old get?
Now that your baby is getting older, when is the right time to start encouraging social interaction?
Helping your shy toddler make friends
Shyness in children is common, and it's completely normal for young toddlers. Still, a parent wants to see their little one having fun and making friends, which can be harder for shy children. You can't make friends for your baby, but you can help her learn how to make friends on her own.
Saying goodbye to a caregiver
Choosing who's going to be taking care of your baby when you're working or busy is a big decision, and saying goodbye to that person is a big deal as well.
Other kids on the playground
The playground is a place of fun, and wonderment...and other kids. Make sure your baby knows how to navigate in this world of the potty-trained.
Craft kits for traveling
Craft kits can make any type of travel more entertaining for your baby. Best of all, they encourage your baby to practice skills that she is just starting to learn, including imagination, sorting skills, problem-solving, and fine motor skills.
Your toddler's growing understanding of ownership and sharing
Whether it's an epic battle over the green truck today, or a tiff over parking spaces with her neighbor twenty years from now, sharing is a skill your baby is going to have to use for the rest of her life.
Help! My partner and I have different parenting styles
As your baby grows older, you and your partner will get more and more opportunities to learn about each other's parenting styles. There will be times when both of your styles work well together, and there will also most likely be times when they conflict.
Talking to your toddler about tough stuff
Difficult things happen in life, and it's often very hard to explain them to a toddler. Reading about how to approach them can give you a better understanding of how to talk to your baby when they come up.
Teaching your child not to bully
It's often easier to teach a child how to be nice than how to stop being mean.
Traveling with your toddler
Despite what you may have heard, traveling with a toddler isn't impossible. Whether you're going by land, by sea, or by air, here are some things you should know to make the whole thing a lot smoother.
Socialization in the third year
This year, one of your baby's big projects will be working on her social skills - emphasis on the word "skills."
Toddlers and mischief
Toddlers and mischief go together like peanut butter and jelly, but unlike PB & J, many haven't quite figured out the right salty-sweet balance quite yet.
Socializing to prepare for preschool
For many tots, preschool is just the next step that makes sense after nursery school, but for little ones who may not have had that experience, preschool can be a little bit of a shock.
Birthday gifts for your toddler's peers
Are birthday parties filling up your baby's social calendar? And, if so, is looking for birthday presents for all of her friends filling up yours?
Introducing your toddler to new adults
Maybe your baby goes around charming adults she doesn't know every day, but if she's a little on the shyer side with strangers, it can be helpful to prep her before any big changes to her social circle.
Introducing your toddler to new social situations
your baby may be getting better at being social every day, but new people and places can throw anyone off.
When to step in to toddler arguments
It's a dog-eat-dog world on the playground, but toddler fights can serve an important purpose.
Helping your toddler make friends
your baby's social circle is probably pretty small, but then, so is she, and she'll be ready to start branching out any time now.
I don't like my toddler's friends
You can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your toddler's friends. But what if you really, really want to?
Toddler friendships when you're not friends with the parents
Nice kids your baby likes are raised by nice parents you'll like ...right? Parent friendships matchmade by friendly toddlers don't always run perfectly smoothly.
Just shyness, or a problem with socialization?
It's hard to get to the root of a toddler's behavior on your own, especially because, at this point, your toddler is probably doing most of her socializing with family at home.
The guest list for your toddler's third birthday party
Choosing the right formula for a birthday party can be tricky.
The benefits of toddlers playing with older kids
Little playmates, big playmates, peer playmates - all playmates are great! But here are just a few reasons why letting your toddler play with older kids in particular can be helpful.
Food ideas for a toddler birthday party
your baby just keeps getting older, and by the time this next birthday rolls around, she may have friends she'd like to celebrate with - and if there's one things toddlers at parties like to do, it's try to get at the colorful pile of presents - but if there's a second thing, it's eating birthday treats.
Activities for your toddler's third birthday
If you and your baby want it to be, birthday party number three can be a little bit more of a big deal than the two that came before it!
Socialization in the fourth year
your baby has been working on her social skills a lot this year, and she is heading towards the point where that work is about to start paying off.