Category Archives: LEARNING

​INSPIRING YOUR BABY TO LEARN (EVEN BEFORE BIRTH)

Written by BabyPlus mom Janine Snyder

Life is easier when you have a love for learning. You have the ability to succeed and achieve in school, at work and even athletically and socially. This is not a unique concept and that is why parents start thinking about how to inspire a love of learning in their children, sometimes even before birth. I am guilty of buying devices and spending time talking, reading and playing varying heartbeats to my first born in utero. As I am working on conceiving my second, I have thought about all of the ways that I have tried to foster this love of learning in my first and I wanted to share them as I am knee deep in heartbeats and hand me downs.

During my pregnancy

When I was a first-time mom, I wanted to be involved and give my baby every advantage. I thought I would have to wait until my little guy was born, but I was stoked to learn that I could start interacting with him in utero. One of the ways I helped to foster his love for learning was by using the BabyPlus Prenatal Education System. Your baby listens to varying heartbeats, beginning when you are 18 weeks pregnant, on a schedule. With all of the ways that BabyPlus is said to give your baby a head start, I can attest to the fact that my son was alert at birth, interactive, hits his milestones early and is a straight up genius (according to my mother).

Another thing I did for my baby in utero was to speak to him, softly and soothingly, into a microphone that was attached to a little speaker on my belly. I read to him, sang to him and played classical music. I’m not sure if any of this helped, but it made me feel involved and connected to him.

After birth

When my son was born, I continued reading, singing and listening to music with him. Sometimes we would listen to music in French and Spanish. I had heard that listening to music in another language would make it easier for him to learn languages as he got older. He was also exposed to a lot of young men and women from different countries. As an ambassador for cultural exchange through the Au Pair program, I spend time supporting Au Pairs that are caring for children in the US. A lot of them are bilingual and even trilingual and I had always encouraged them to speak to my son in another language. You could see that his eyes would get wider and he would move around a lot when they spoke to him. He enjoyed hearing these new languages and accents. I had seen Host Kids of the Au Pairs easily picking up a second language while in their care and I hoped that some of it would rub off on my little guy.

Another language that I was able to teach him myself was sign language. The benefit was that he could communicate a few words before he was even able to speak. I believe it also helped him learn to speak faster as he realized that he could make me understand his needs with a single word. He started speaking in full sentences at an early age and at two, he his constantly talking and is really very funny!

As he grows

Some ways that I have encouraged him to learn from very early in his life and continue to do so is by singing the same educational songs frequently. Right now, we sing the alphabet, the days of the week and the months in the year. I sang these songs to him at every bath and continue to do so. Most of the time, he sings them by himself now, but every so often, he lets me sing along with him. Next, we will be working on the 50 states and their capitals and the US presidents.

My son has also been exposed to older children that he plays with regularly. While he does have friends his own age, I see a lot of development when he plays with children that are a little older. The older children are able to help him work through social situations that he doesn’t know how to handle yet and they encourage him to use different words and play games. He has certainly picked up some the older kid attitude, but the benefits outweigh this humorous, sometimes frustrating, trait.

Lastly, I let him watch TV. I know that some people feel that this would have the opposite effect, it has actually encouraged him to learn about things neither of us knew he would be interested in and has taught him a lot about math, language and social skills.

As I think back on the past few years and the years to come, I wonder if any of these things will have a great impact on him when he gets into the school-aged years and into adulthood. I’m not sure there is a way to know for sure, but I do know that being involved and connecting with my kid will always be beneficial for him and for me too.

Janine Snyder is a wife, mom, stepmom and ambassador for the cultural exchange program. She supports parents and nannies from all over the world and enjoys writing about their experiences as well as her own. She lives with her family in New Jersey and enjoys moving around her furniture.

NOW I UNDERSTAND

 

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I’ve always known people have used BabyPlus and have believed faithfully in this product. But, it wasn’t until I actually had one of my own that I could really understand how amazing it really is. Of course, I saw my fellow BabyPlus mammas and their little ones and the difference it made. I heard the rave reviews about how their children learned to walk, talk and read much earlier than other babies their age. But, then I had Avalyn and actually got to see it for myself!

I was recently on the BabyPlus testimony page of the website and noticed that one mom had written this:

Over the weeks and months to come everywhere we went people always commented on how alert and attentive she was – parents, doctors, nurses – everyone. Our daughter began “cruising” as they call it at 7 1/2 months and by 8 1/2 months was completely walking. She has reached all of her developmental and motor milestones on an average of 3 months earlier than expected and always a lot sooner than her peers.

I have seen the exact same results from my daughter and am looking forward to her walking (although I know it means constant running around for me). I can’t even imagine her being able to read but know that will be here before I know it. If you haven’t purchased your BabyPlus system, do it! I can promise that you won’t regret it!

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AHEAD OF THE GAME

 

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This little peanut is 7 months. For those that have followed along via social media and/or this blog, you’ve seen the progression from early pregnancy to birth to now 7 months old. All I can say is that she is hitting milestones earlier than we ever would have imagined. She started rolling at 3 1/2 months, holding her bottle at 5 months, sitting up at 6 months andshe’s now on the verge of crawling.

So, when people ask me if I’d recommend BabyPlus to my friends, my answer is a most certain yes! I LOVE what BabyPlus has done for my daughter. Not only has she been hitting milestones early, but she is the most calm and joyful baby I’ve ever met. If you want to hear from more parents who have used BabyPlus, visit our website. Have questions? Let us know!

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TWO PREGNANCY MUST HAVES

The two things that I think are essential for any pregnancy are BabyPlus

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and the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Dr. Marc Weissbluth.

 

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Here’s why:

  1. BabyPlus. BabyPlus has done everything it claims to. I have such an easy baby. She latched right away and is a great eater to this day. She’s attentive, yet relaxed and very go-with-the-flow. She’s accomplished milestones earlier than most, which include rolling over at 3 1/2 months and sleeping 12 hours a night since she was 9 weeks old. She is honestly such an easy baby and I believe BabyPlus has played a huge part in that!
  2. Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. This book has been a God-send. Seriously, we have followed it pretty closely and our daughter is the happiest baby you could ever meet. There have been times when she’s tried getting out of her sleep habits and we’ve followed the guide, and she’s back to normal the next day. I do recommend reading this while pregnant because you will actually retain the information. Don’t wait until you’ve already had your little one and your already sleep deprived.

Looking for that next perfect shower gift. The two mentioned above are definitely my recommendation!

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AN EASY BABY THANKS TO BABYPLUS

I feel bad even admitting this to most moms, but I truly do have the easiest baby in the world. And, I credit that to

BabyPlus. Sure, my husband and I are both really laid back, but I don’t believe I’d have such a good, calm, happy and alert baby without BabyPlus!

She is currently 14 weeks old (I can’t believe how the time flies) and she’s been a breeze so far! Not only is she incredibly adorable, but she is one of the most easy going babies I have ever been around. For those of you who aren’t familiar with BabyPlus, it is a patented learning system shown to strengthen your baby’s cognitive development in many ways. With BabyPlus, your baby simply learns to differentiate between two natural sounds. It’s tailored to the prenatal developmental stages, leading to so many lifelong benefits!

Here are a few benefits of BabyPlus:

  •     More relaxed & alert at birth
  •     More readily nurse
  •     Display increased ability to self-soothe
  •     Are more interactive & responsive

Did I also mention that she could take a pacifier at 2 weeks old and keep it in. Plus, it didn’t affect her nursing at all. Thank you, BabyPlus!

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Sleepy Avalyn

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Alert Avalyn

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A GREAT SLEEPER

ow I know that I’ve commented on this a few times, but I really cannot say it enough…thanks to BabyPlus, I have the best sleeper. My husband and I are pretty laid back people (although I do have my moments), but our daughter is a better sleeper than we could have ever imagined.

I used BabyPlus up until my due date. My daughter was 3 1/2 weeks early, so I was a little worried about not getting in the last two lessons of BabyPlus. However, that didn’t seem to have any negative effect. At 8 weeks, she started sleeping through the night (8-13 hours depending) and she’s still doing it at 13 weeks! I have friends that have 2-year-olds that don’t even sleep that long. Additionally, she will sleep anywhere and everywhere and doesn’t seem bothered by surroundings or noise.

From our first night at home, we put her in her crib in her own room. She didn’t seem to phased by it, so we kept that pattern. BabyPlus along with a book we read, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child: A Step-by-Step Program for a Good Night’s Sleepby Marc Weissbluth, we feel that we’ve given our daughter the best start possible.

To see what else BabyPlus can do for you, visit babyplus.com.

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HER FIRST MOMENTS

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The first hour of your child’s life is a blur, yet the world also seems to completely stop in its tracks. I’ll never forget the first moments of my daughter’s life. I remember just being grateful to be done pushing, but also seeing Avalyn for the first time was unreal. I immediately looked and her and then looked at my husband. He was so proud and his eyes were filled with joyful tears. It was the best moment of my life (next to marrying him, of course).

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The hospital I delivered at, Community North in Indianapolis, requires an hour of skin-to-skin time, which was a huge blessing. After holding her, they cleaned her up and weighed her very quickly, then brought her over. Since I decided to nurse, they had be feed her within the first half hour of her life. And, she latched on right away. Never having done it before, I didn’t really know what I was doing, but my little bundle of joy led the way. The doctor and nurses couldn’t get over how quickly she latched on and how alert she was right at birth. I attribute this to BabyPlus. While I missed the last two lessons because Avalyn was 23 days early, I know that BabyPlus helped to make her the wonderful baby she is.

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Not only was she alert and latching right away, the doctor was also impressed with her next control and strength at her one week appointment! She was already hitting milestones much earlier than many babies that are a few weeks older than her. Since she was so early, they told me that she could have a few minor delays, but on the contrary, she was already ahead. I love BabyPlus and would recommend it to all of my friends. She is a great eater, great sleeper, super laid back and a very happy BabyPlus baby!

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HOW MUCH SHOULD WE SLEEP?

In my household, with the start of the school year we begin adjusting to new schedules all over again. This year is particularly difficult because my daughters no longer attend the same school and the start times of their two buildings differ by 1 hour and 5 minutes.  We have the obvious issues of having to get to bed earlier for school and waking to an alarm in the morning, and our district is investigating is a bigger issue of the push to move school to a later start time for older students. It seemed like a good time to investigate the sleep needs of children in general.

The Sleep Aid Resource site posts the following table on the sleep needs of children and adults. Keep in mind that each child is different. I like this chart in particular because it outlines the sleep needs if you are pregnant as well. You are growing a little person after all. It is okay to feel that you might need a little more rest than before.

One of my daughters is a night owl who has no trouble waking in the morning. My other daughter has always and continues to need and want more sleep. As an infant she adapted to a sleep schedule with no difficulty (thanks BabyPlus!) and as a toddler and beyond she would sense her bedtime was passing and would ask or put herself to bed. She is still always the first asleep at a slumber party.

 

 

SLEEP CHART BY AGE

Age Total Sleep Needed Additional Notes
1-4 Weeks 15-16 Hours Newborns are developing their internal biological clocks
1-4 Months 14-15 Hours Regular sleeping patterns begin and longer night sleeping
4-12 Months 14-15 Hours Important to establish regular sleeping patterns at this time
1-3 Years 12-14 Hours Naps remain important to sleep health
3-6 Years 10-12 Hours Naps will become shorter
7-12 Years 10-11 Hours Bedtime gets later
12-18 Years 8-10 Hours Teens may need more sleep
Adults 7-8 Hours Times will greatly vary
Pregnant 8+ More sleep and naps may be needed

 

Young children (infant and toddlers)likely spend a large portion of their day asleep. If you have ever skipped naptime, you may believe that this plentiful sleep is greatly needed. You might find that with decreased sleep you have increased irritability in your little one. Once over tired it may take a little more work to get them calmed down to a point where they can fall asleep. I remember so many times thinking that something was wrong with my daughter as her behavior deteriorated, only to look minutes later and find her fast asleep.

Older children on the other hand have different issues to factor in. By this age they have more obligations to juggle such as school, extra-curricular activities, jobs and homework to name a few. The American Association of Pediatrics explains that the shift in the circadian rhythms of teenagers make it extremely difficult for them to fall asleep before 11 pm. This paired with early school start times makes it nearly impossible for a teen to achieve 8-10 hours of sleep per night. This is the basis for why on August 25, 2014 the AAP issued a policy statement encouraging middle and high schools to delay the start of classes until 8:30am or later.  If your local schools are currently considering changing their start times this just might have something to do with it.

Before you shrug off the issue of getting enough sleep, please note that according to the AAP chronic sleep deprivation can contribute to added risks of: becoming overweight, suffering depression, increased automobile accidents, lower grades, lower standardized test scores and lower quality of life.

If you would like to read more from the sources I sited, the links are below.

http://www.sleepaidresource.com/sleep-chart.html

http://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/Let-Them-Sleep-AAP-Recommends-Delaying-Start-Times-of-Middle-and-High-Schools-to-Combat-Teen-Sleep-Deprivation.aspx

 

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HOW TO MAKE A DIAPER CAKE

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I recently hosted a diaper shower for a friend. While I had never done this, I’ve had other friends host these types of parties and they are such a hit. Second and third time moms tend to love them because they don’t really need more stuff. Rather, they need the essentials like diapers and wipes. So, how do you make a diaper cake? It’s a lot easier than I would have thought. I’ve posted my picture (to the right) and it only took about 20 minutes!

There are two main ways to make a diaper cake:

  • Rolling Method. This is where you roll each individual diaper and attach it with a rubber band. I found this to be a little more difficult and time consuming. Also, moms will have to unroll each diaper as they use it.
    • MAKE SURE YOU GET ALL WHITE DIAPERS OR ONES WITH A FUN PATTERN.
    • FORM THE TOP OF THE DIAPER CAKE. ROLL UP A DIAPER, STARTING AT THE “OPEN” TOP END. WRAP A RUBBER BAND AROUND THE ROLLED DIAPER TO STOP IT FROM UNROLLING. THIS DIAPER WILL FORM THE CENTER OF THE LAYER.
    • ROLL UP AND SECURE SEVEN MORE DIAPERS. PLACE THEM AROUND THE CENTER DIAPER (OR BABY BOTTLE) SO THAT THEY ARE ALL EVENLY SPACED. KEEP THEM TOGETHER BY PLACING A LARGE RUBBER BAND AROUND ALL OF THE DIAPERS.
    • CREATE CENTERPIECE FOR THE MIDDLE LAYER. REPEAT STEPS ABOVE, BUT THIS TIME ROLL UP 15 MORE DIAPERS AND PLACE THEM AROUND THE CENTERPIECE. SECURE THEM WITH A LARGE RUBBER BAND.
    • CREATE BOTTOM PIECE OF THE CAKE BY REPEATING THE STEPS ABOVE, BUT USING 30 DIAPERS THIS TIME. SECURE THEM WITH A LARGE RUBBER BAND.
    • DECORATE THE CAKE WITH RIBBON AND TOYS.
    • GET STEP-BY-STEP DIRECTIONS WITH PICTURES.
  • Pan Method. This method does not require you to roll and rubber band each individual diaper. Plus it looks just as nice as the rolling method and takes a quarter of the time.
    • START WITH THREE DIFFERENT SIZED POTS OR PANS.
    • BEGIN TO MAKE THE BOTTOM LAYER OF YOUR DIAPER CAKE BY TAKING THE LARGEST PAN AND PLACING STACKS OF DIAPERS ONE NEXT TO EACH OTHER. TRY TO PACK THEM CLOSE TOGETHER, AND AT THE END YOU SHOULD HAVE A COMPACT CIRCULAR SHAPE WITH THE DIAPERS FORMING A SPIRAL.
    • SECURE THE DIAPERS TOGETHER WHILE THEY’RE STILL IN THE PAN.
    • REMOVE THE LAYER OF DIAPERS FROM THE PAN.
    • REPEAT TWO MORE TIMES WITH SMALLER PANS.
    • STACK ALL THE LAYERS THAT YOU’VE MADE ACCORDING TO SIZE, STARTING WITH THE LARGEST LAYER ON THE BOTTOM.
    • DECORATE THE CAKE WITH RIBBON AND TOYS.
    •  GET STEP-BY-STEP DIRECTIONS WITH PICTURES.

If mom doesn’t already have a BabyPlus system. This is another great item to bring to a shower. I’ve never met a mom who doesn’t love theirs!

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FINISHED LESSON #9

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The picture above shows me finishing up lesson #9! I’ve already started on lesson #10 and seem to breezing through that one too. It is just amazing to know how fast time is going by. I have around 2 months left and it seems like she will be here before we know it.

Many of my friends have seen me using BabyPlus and have asked what it is and why I’m using. I let them know that BabyPlusis a series of audio lessons that are specifically tailored to every stage of infant growth in the womb. These lessons consist of natural sounds similar to the comforting rhythm of the mother’s heartbeat. As your child grows during the prenatal development stages, the lessons also change slightly and evolve. Basically, it’s a great way to give your baby a head start. I also let them know about the benefits:

BabyPlus® parents report babies at birth and infancy:

  •     Are more relaxed & alert at birth
  •     More readily nurse
  •     Display increased ability to self-soothe
  •     Are more interactive & responsive

And later in life demonstrate:

  •     Earlier developmental milestones
  •     Longer attention spans
  •     Improved school readiness
  •     Strong learning skills

Have questions? Email us at customerservice@babyplus.com or leave a comment below.

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