Thinking & Learning

Your newborn's hearing in the first month

Despite being on the other side of the womb, your baby still has a lot of developing left to do. After all, she isn't going to be this tiny forever, and eventually, she will able to drink water. So how well is your baby's hearing developed at this point?

When do babies start to recognize people?

Before your baby really learns how to express herself and you really learn to read her cues, getting to know her can feel like a bit of a one-sided relationship sometimes. It isn't, though, and your baby recognizes the important people in her life from an earlier age than you'd think.

What is a comfort object?

A warm cup of coffee in your hand, a book in your lap, or a favorite blanket you can roll up in at the end of the day - even adults have comfort objects! If you still can't figure out why your baby won't let go of her teddy, then trust us: there are more complicated factors at play.

Helping your child learn about object permanence

It's a sticky summer morning and you open up the cupboard, only to find yourself staring eye to antenna with a huge carpenter ant! You slam the pantry door shut but you know the little beast is still inside. How do you know this? Two words: object permanence.

Benefits of reading to your baby

Just because your baby isn't talking yet, or even necessarily comprehending the words you're reading, that doesn't mean she isn't listening! Even this early, there are plenty of reasons to read to your baby.

How does baby memory develop?

When your baby's a teenager, she will be crazy grateful to have no memories of parents wiping her bottom. But there are probably some memories that you hope last past the 'terrible twos.' Here's how much your baby is retaining in that precious head of hers, and some little things you can do to encourage her brain to remember more.

Why do babies love repetition so much?

For all their breakthrough discoveries and trips to the moon, humans are creatures of habit. And by now you've probably noticed that your baby is no exception to this rule - but why?

When do babies start interacting with books?

Whether storytime is your baby's favorite part of the day or something she is often too squirmy for, there's a good chance the books themselves aren't having as big of an impact on her as the whole storytime experience. So when will she start having her own opinions about what makes great literature?

Baby's personality: Chess and Thomas' baby temperaments

So what's your sign? People love putting personalities in categories, and babies personalities are no different, though there's a little bit less data to work with. Theories about baby-temperaments have a bit more scientific grounding than astrology, but they're just as fun to think about.

Why do babies love throwing things on the ground?

Why is your baby's dinner decorating the floor, instead of her hands, bib, and face ...again? Maybe it just looked better there. Or maybe your little one is finding new (messy) ways to learn about the world.

Why do babies love throwing things on the ground?

Why is your baby's dinner decorating the floor, instead of her hands, bib, and face ...again? Maybe it just looked better there. Or maybe your little one is finding new (messy) ways to learn about the world.

Fostering baby's self-esteem

There are plenty of things in the world that could test your baby's self-esteem as she grows older, but if she builds up a good sense of self now, while she's little, it could help her weather any challenges she meets later.

Ways to build your baby's vocabulary

your baby's first word is a big deal, no matter what it turns out to be, but the words that come after that first one are just as important, and the more of them she comes across, the better she will be prepared to take on the world - once she learns to tie her own shoes.

When do babies develop imagination?

Your little one may not be ready to start playing pretend just yet - the imagination may not be a literally muscle, but it does need to grow big and strong before your baby starts to feel comfortable with it in just the same way, and she's still in the training stage now.

Your toddler's understanding of space and time

Slow and steady wins the race - around the track, but also when it comes to understanding the relationships between time, speed, and distance!

What is the line between baby and toddler?

your baby has been a baby since she was born, but some day, she's going to be a child, and even - gasp - a teenager, as strange as it is to think about. The next step, though, is toddlerhood. But when does your baby stop being a baby and start being a toddler?

Do babies have long-term memory?

These first months and years of your baby's life may be some of the more memorable ones in your life, but will she feel the same? When does a baby's long-term memory start working?

Baby's new favorite word: no

No, it's not just your baby picking a fight - for a lot of babies and toddlers, learning to say 'no' is a big deal, and once they figure it out, they may start to use it as often as they can.

The beginning of self-consciousness

Whether it's a fear of public speaking, or a memory of a particularly awful phys-ed class, most adults have a few moments they feel self-conscious about, even looking back. There's a good chance not too many of those memories are from infancy, though - babies aren't born embarrassed. Like tying shoelaces and learning to ride a bike, embarrassment has to be learned.

When can children recognize themselves in mirrors?

Your face may be your baby's favorite, but her own probably isn't far behind - even if she isn't totally sure it's hers yet.

Your one-year-old and personal space

The idea of personal space is different from culture to culture, and your baby's idea of personal space is probably that there is none. Explaining personal space and establishing boundaries will be an ongoing process, and there are some good ways to get the conversation started.

Self-centeredness in the second year

If you've been scratching your head wondering where on earth your baby learned to be so self-absorbed, never fear! There's a reason why she acts this way.

Your toddler and the concept of storage

Since the cradle of civilization, the concept of storage has been a vitally important part of human history, and your baby could learn that same lesson that her thousands-of-years-ago ancestors did any day now!

Making story time fun with your squirmy toddler

Toddlers and sitting still go together like peanut-butter and mud - messily. Taming a tempestuous tot long enough to read her a story isn't always easy, but it is rewarding.

The effects of play on development

Your toddler may look like she's just kicking back and enjoying herself during playtime, but for toddlers, play is a serious business.

What is separation anxiety in toddlers? When does it end?

Your toddler may be bold as a lion when the adventure is exploring somewhere she shouldn't be, but if she transforms into a lamb - an upset lamb - when you try to leave the house without her, she might have a little bit of separation anxiety.

The importance of options

Letting your toddler decide what the family has for dinner might seem like a recipe for disaster, but offering toddlers choices is an important part of their mental and emotional growth. That doesn't mean you need to agree to having toast for dinner, bet letting your baby start to make a few more choices could be an important part of her development.

Your toddler's growing sense of organization

She may not be up for alphabetizing anything yet, but your toddler is getting better and better with the basic concepts surrounding organization every day!

Your toddler's understanding of time

"Five more minutes!" may end up being your baby's favorite phrase in a few years, but these days, it's all Greek to her.

When will my toddler develop a sense of humor?

your baby might laugh at things that you do, and you might laugh at things that she does...but does that mean she has a sense of humor? When it comes to some jokes, yes! When it comes to others...not at all.

Bright sides of the "mine" phase

Quick, read this article before your baby steals your phone yelling "mine!"

Helping your fidgety toddler settle down

Toddlers are born to run, but the world around them sometimes needs them to slow down for a little while.

Your toddler and comfort objects

From loveys to blankies, there may be objects in your baby's life that bring her comfort. It can be helpful to understand which ones are most popular with her age group and how they can most effectively do their job of keeping your baby feeling safe and secure.

Explaining the difference between dreams and reality to your toddler

Is this real life, or is this just fantasy? When your baby gets confused about a dream, it can feel like there's no escape from reality.

Praise and self-esteem

You know there's some sort of mystical, magical balance you're supposed to strike between praising your child and spoiling her, but how do you get there? Praise does have an effect on your child's self-esteem, so it's important to be thoughtful as you laud, cheer, and compliment your little one.

Fostering an interest in science in your toddler

your baby is still on the younger side for complicated lesson plans but it's never too early to get her excited about science.

Your toddler's attention span

One study estimated adult attention at about 8 seconds, down from 12 seconds since the year 2000. Teaching your baby to have a good attention span can be hard in a world full of distractions.

Positive ways for your toddler to channel negative emotions

Everyone has trouble dealing with emotions like anger, but toddlers in particular don't have a lot of practice, or a lot of communications skills for working anger out.

Fear and anger in toddlers

Helping toddlers understand their feelings is an important part of a parent's job, but it isn't always obvious what a toddler is feeling.

Toddlers and the "why" phase

Do you know why the sky is blue? Do you know why your cat likes that spot under the bed? Do you know why carrots are orange, and why it's not always summer? If not, now's your chance to start studying, before your toddler hits the "why" phase.

Toddlers and self-control

Everyone struggles with self-control, but toddlers are in a league of their own - and there's a reason for that.

Toddlers and pre-math

Math isn't all long division and arctangents - your baby is getting her first lessons in the concepts she'll use when she is first learning math just by exploring the world around her!

How much TV should a toddler watch?

Maybe your favorite show from childhood is a treasured memory, or maybe you were strictly a books-only kid, but there's a good chance that, at some point, shows and videos and the screens they come on are going to be a part of your baby's life. But when is the right time to start?

Toddlers and sensory development

We learn about the five senses (fun fact: there are actually far more) from a young age, but we start working on our sensory development even earlier.

Toddlers and aggression

It's common for toddlers to strike out aggressively as a way of expressing themselves when they're still figuring out how to handle their emotions. It's also pretty common for parents not to now exactly how to handle this tendency.

Contagious distress and your toddler

It's not just enthusiasm that's contagious - your baby can catch more negative feelings, like fear or agitation, too.

5 tips for dealing with a temper tantrum

Even the most easygoing toddler has her bad days. It takes two to tantrum, though - or at least to get a really dramatic one going.

Opportunities to encourage your toddler's growing sense of independence

She will still need to hold your hand crossing the street for a few more years, but with your encouragement, your baby is growing more and more independent every day.

Toddlers and limit-testing

With new words, new movements and new personality comes testing limits. Your toddler is likely trying new things all the time now, and is probably testing you and how much you'll let her get away with.

Toddlers and limit-testing

With new words, new movements and new personality comes testing limits. Your toddler is likely trying new things all the time now, and is probably testing you and how much you'll let her get away with.

The evolution of the bedtime story

From those early days when your little one is only registering the sound of your voice, to her future as a bookworm, the way a child responds to bedtime stories is always changing.

The evolution of the bedtime story

From those early days when your little one is only registering the sound of your voice, to her future as a bookworm, the way a child responds to bedtime stories is always changing.

Reminiscing: Reasons to talk to your toddler about the past

When it comes to your baby's development, talking about past events can be an important tool for growth.

Toddler copying actions

Monkey see, monkey do, right? Babies, toddlers, children, and even adults all learn about the world by watching others and imitating what they do. What's really going on in your baby's brain when she copies your actions?

Toddlers and literal thinking

Whether it's the way she leaps into action when you tell her that the two of you have to run, or the fastball she sends your way when you ask her to throw you another napkin, toddlers can be pretty literal thinkers, but this stage doesn't last forever.

Teaching your child about safety

The world is a big, beautiful place, but it's important to learn some of the unwritten rules from a young age.

Talking to your toddler about other people's feelings

Your toddler may not be the picture of empathy today, but she's learning more and more about other people's feelings all the time, and the more you talk to her about them, the more practice she gets.

Fun science experiments to try with your toddler

Sure, your baby may be a little young to start writing lab reports, but that doesn't mean she can't get a head-start on observing the world around her!

Toddlers and tablets

your baby may be great with your tablet, but is your tablet great for her?

A toddler's growing sense of independence

One day your toddler can't stand without a little extra support, and the next, she is running off to kindergarten! That's how it can feel, anyway. Right now, though, your little one is at a crucial middle-point where her sense of independence has the chance to grow every day.

Common fears in the toddler years

Whether it's dogs, the dark, or a rising sense of existential dread, most toddlers are afraid of something at some point. Toddler fears don't always make too much sense to adults, but that doesn't make them any less scary to the toddlers experiencing them.

Toddlers and magical thinking

Magical thinking sounds pretty fun - and it is - but it can also be the cause of some of the more illogical toddler fears you and your baby may encounter before kindergarten comes around.

Toddlers and repeated stories

There's probably a limit to the number of times you want to read even your very favorite book, but you and your baby are very different people, and there's no guarantee that she shares your restraint.

A toddler's first lie

Who chopped down that cherry tree? Not your baby - or did she? Toddlers may look innocent, but the older they get, the more capable they become of hiding the truth.

Crib talk and your toddler

Whether your baby is still sleeping in her crib, or she has moved on to the big kid bed, she may still be doing a little crib talk.

Encouraging pretend play

Playing pretend is an icon part of childhood, and an important part of the way children learn about the world, and sometimes a little encouragement can help it get a flying start.

Is there any truth to the "terrible twos?"

A lot of words start with the letter "t," but as your little one's second birthday approaches, "toddler," "tantrum," "two," and "terrible" might start to feel like the only ones your hear.

Your toddler's problem-solving skills in the third year

your baby's been around the playground a time or two now, and while her problem-solving skills may not be ready to take on world peace, but they're definitely getting stronger every day.

Why it's important for toddlers to make mistakes

It can be hard to watch your child struggle - and even more difficult to see her really fail. And yet there are actually a wealth of reasons why it's helpful for your toddler to have room to make mistakes.

Talking to your toddler about street safety

What's cooler than a car to a toddler? The lure of the forbidden on the road that car drives on - which makes these years a key time for teaching street safety.

Toddlers who resist independence

The toddler years have a reputation for being all about striking out into the unknown, but for some tots, it's not quite that simple.

The right kinds of books for two-and-a-half-year-olds

As your little one's understanding of the world around her grows, right along with her cognitive skills, her taste in books is going to grow too.

Can toddlers multitask?

your baby may not be able to pat her head and rub her tummy at the same time yet - but maybe she can. Have you asked her?

How long will my toddler stay attached to their comfort object?

It's sweet to see your little one all cuddled up to her beloved wind-up tractor, but aside from the worry about the meltdown that may happen if a toddler's comfort object gets lost, many parents find themselves wondering whether their children are relying too much on their comfort objects or whether relying on a comfort object may be a sign of insecurity.

Simple answers to complicated questions: why is it raining?

In the case of complicated questions, the best answer is usually the simplest. Here's what to say when your baby asks you a question about one of the simplest and most mysterious types of object to fall from the sky.

The development of toddlers' self-control

There's a famous experiment that measures children's self-control by watching to see if they can wait to eat a marshmallow, because if they wait a certain amount of time, they'll get two. If you think your baby would have that tasty treat in her mouth before the researcher was even out of the room, you're not alone - there's a reason they did that experiment with children slightly older than your baby.

Setting up your toddler's world for independence

It's an adult's world, and your baby is trying to become a more independent toddler within it.

Simple answers to common questions: why is the sky blue?

In the case of complicated questions, the best answer is usually the simplest. Here's what to say when your baby asks you why the sky is blue.

Why are children's stories so scary sometimes?

If your baby's favorite story is also the one that's most likely to give her nightmares, not only is she not alone, but she is also part of a long tradition of scary children's stories.

Simple answers to complicated questions: why do bad things happen to good people?

In the case of complicated questions, the best answer is usually the simplest. Here's what to say when your baby asks you a question about bad things, and why they happen to good people.

Simple answers to complicated questions: why do bad things happen to good people?

In the case of complicated questions, the best answer is usually the simplest. Here's what to say when your baby asks you a question about bad things, and why they happen to good people.

Talking to your toddler about trying new things

There's a whole new world out there for your baby to explore! But how do you respond when she's not feeling so adventurous?

When will my toddler be able to run for office? A skills breakdown

Your little one may very well be the voice of a generation, and if she is, should she really have to wait until she's grown up to start changing the world?

Handling questions you don't know the answer to

You may be pretty close to all-knowing when it comes to your baby, but there are probably one or two things in the world you're not sure about, and one of these days, your baby is going to ask a question about one of those things - toddlers are really good at that.

Educating your child about the internet

Should we still be worried about chat rooms, or is there a new danger on the digital horizon?

Toddlers and strange fascinations

Sometimes a toddler's obsession is an interest that's the intense, toddler version of a hobby (like running out to see the garbage truck pick up the trash every week), while in other cases, it might be something less comprehensible to adults (like wanting to wear shoes everywhere - including to bed or in the bath).

Slaying the monster in the closet: Dealing with your toddler's irrational fears

Everyone has irrational fears - toddlers just tend to have a few more of them than other people.

Children and foreign languages

Knowing multiple languages has many benefits for your baby, but it also has a great benefit for you: you can tell your baby you love her in even more ways!

Answering the big questions

your baby's questions are a sign that your little one's mind is growing right on track.

Maturity in the 2- to 3-year-old classroom or playroom

"Does age really matter when it comes to the level of a child's maturity?"

Imagination in the coming year

The more your baby learns about the world, the more she can imagine, and you're about to see a whole lot more of that imagination in the next year!

Your toddler and the word 'why'

Curiosity is a beautiful thing for...the first 100,000 questions. Not to be hypocritical, but why is your toddler so obsessed with asking why?

Monitoring your toddler's screentime

People's eyes are drawn to light and movement - it's not your baby's fault that your phone looks like the shiniest thing around, some days. She can't limit her screentime on her own - she needs your help.

Common toddler fears in the third year

Smart as she is, there are a few thing your baby isn't quite ready to understand yet, and calculus is right up there with the fact that the monster she is imagining behind her closet door isn't real.

Your almost-three-year-old's sense of self-control

your baby has a little more self-control than she used to - that is, she has any - but it's still very much a skill that she's still learning.

Easy read-aloud techniques to help boost language development

Reading together with your toddler is fun, it can be soothing, it can be exciting - and even if she isn't reading for herself quite yet, it's a great way for her to work on her pre-reading skills.

Welcome to lil'bee!

It looks like you're using an ad blocker. That's okay. Who doesn't? But without advertising-income, we can't keep making this site awesome. Please disable your ad blocker and refresh this page.

Thanks for understanding 🙏