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Why baby’s bath time is a perfect time for learning

When he creates a splash by dropping his rubber ducky in the tub your baby learns about cause and effect.

Why baby’s bath time is a perfect time for learning

If your baby could talk

What could be more awesome than a giant puddle in a steamy, warm


room, where I’m center stage and no one is allowed to interrupt us?

Just

you and me and my belly and my nose and my fingers and all the other

parts of me that you tell me about. I can fill cups with water and dump

them in the tub. And when you soap me up it feels so good.

Watch me! I

can rub my belly clean just the way you do. Floating boats and ducks and

bubbles all make my bath time even more fun. When we’re done, I love to

be wrapped up in a warm towel and snuggled, and hear you tell me how

sweet I smell. Hmmm. I’m something special.

What your baby is learning:

Self-esteem

Your gentle and respectful touch, during the bath and when you’re cuddling

afterwards, builds your baby’s self-esteem because it makes him

feel good about himself.

Social skills

He develops important social skills when he gets

you involved in a playful splashing game. He figures out how to engage

you, take turns and have fun.

This helps prepare him to share good times

with other people as he grows.

How things work

A few simple water toys can go a long way toward enhancing the learning

opportunities of bath time.

When he creates a splash by dropping his rubber

ducky in the tub, or empties the full container, your baby learns

about cause and effect—how things work.

Math and science

He is also discovering basic

math and science concepts such as full and empty, floating and sinking,

and the difference between liquids and solids.

Love

Most important, all of this

learning takes place within the context of his loving relationship with

you.

There’s no better way to stimulate his curiosity.

What you can do:

  • Always keep your baby safe in the bath!
  • Six-month-olds learn by imitation. Fill up a bucket, or make the rubber

    ducky squeak and encourage him to do the same.

  • You don’t have to wait until nighttime to give your baby a bath. Even

    during the day it can be soothing and help him switch gears.


This article was provided in collaboration with the Too Small to Fail Initiative of the Clinton Foundation.

A very important letter for new mamas

Listen, mom-guilt is a dirty liar. Yes, it's your job to fill your little human's needs, but you matter too. Don't forget to take care of yourself. Hang out with friends, take a drive blaring 90's hip hop or shower without interruptions—trust me, you'll be a better person (and mom) because of it.

Dear new mom,

You will shave again someday. Today is not that day.

Set expectations low, my friend, and set your partner's lower—at least where body hair and overall hygiene are concerned.

That conversation could go something like this: “From now on let's not consider shaving a “standard," but more like a gift that happens on birthdays and the first day of summer."

Voila, you are a gift-giving genius. You know what else is a gift? Shaving the inch and a half of skin that is between your skinny jeans and your boots. You're welcome world.

You will not be perfect at parenting.

Boom.

I have yet to meet a perfect mother, but when I do, she's going to be a tiger who is insanely good at making up songs. (Daniel Tiger's mom, we salute you.)

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Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Earth Mama: Effective, natural herbal care for mamas and babies

Founded and grown in her own garage in 2002, Earth Mama started as an operation of one, creating salves, tinctures, teas and soaps with homegrown herbs. With a deep desire to bring the healing powers of nature that have been relied on for thousands of years to as many mamas as possible, Melinda Olson's formulas quickly grew into Earth Mama Organics. Since then, the brand has remained committed to manufacturing clean, safe and effective herbal solutions for the entire journey of motherhood, including pregnancy, breastfeeding and baby care, and even the loss of a baby.

Bravado Designs: Soothing sounds for a good night's sleep

With 28 years of serving pregnant and postpartum mamas under their belt, Bravado Designs is a true authority on the needs of changing bodies. It's true that we have them to thank for rescuing us from the uncomfortable and frumpy designs our own moms had to live with. Launched in Canada by two young mamas, they designed the first prototypes with extra leopard print fabric certain that a better bra was possible. Throughout the years they've maintained their commitment to ethical manufacturing while creating long-lasting products that truly work.

The Sill: Instagram-ready potted plants

We've long admired this female-founded brand and the brilliant mind behind it, Eliza Blank. (She even joined Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety on and episode of The Motherly Podcast!) The mission behind the business was simple: To make the process of bringing plants into your home as easy as possible, and as wonderful as the plant themselves. With their in-house, exclusively designed minimalist planters, the end result makes plant parenthood just a few clicks away.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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