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“Definition of a threenager: the little human living with you, who according to their birth certificate is 3, but according to their attitude is a teenager.” – Unknown


“Shhhhh. Mommy, I busy. Go away.”
“No, mommy, you are in timeout.”
“Mommy, I do it by myself!”

These are all statements I’ve heard countless times from my daughter—my sassy threenager. In the blink of an eye, she can go from a sweet and loving girl who wants millions of hugs and kisses, to a volatile, stubborn little woman.

As my daughter sprays her independence all over the house, with her sharp words and growing personality, I sometimes don’t know if I should laugh or serve the same attitude right back to her.

In those moments of teenage anguish, I go in search of whatever patience I didn’t use up when she was two, and I remind myself that at 3 years old, she’s going through some major life transitions.

This little one is starting to grow her own sense of self, finding her own voice and independence, and it’s my job to encourage it.

Even though she can be unknowingly rude, this developmental stage serves as a major learning experience for both of us. It’s a time for her to grow into herself, and a time for me to give her the space to do that while also showing her how to appropriately express who she is.

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If you’ve got a threenager in your house, you know what a challenge it can be. But before you respond to this stage with your own sassiness, remember that it’s more important to model good behavior than it is to shut that threenager down.

Three-year-olds go through some major life transitions at this stage in their lives:

1. They’re learning to manage their emotions

Around the age of three, children start to understand their emotions. They might even begin identifying their feelings with words. However, they’re still not developmentally ready to control their emotions. If they think something is funny, they’ll laugh uncontrollably. If something happens and they feel sad, they cry inconsolably.

Their emotions are intense and can seem overwhelming— try to just be patient and understand that, at three, they don’t have the capacity to properly control their emotions.

2. They want instant gratification

Three-year-olds don’t have much impulse control. If they feel the need to do something, they’ll act on it without much thought.

For example, they might take the chocolate out of your purse even after you’ve said “No,” or they might hit another kid when they get mad. Delayed gratification has to be learned over time, and it isn’t something 3-year-olds fully understand.

3. They’re learning how to solve conflict

Three-year-olds may hit, bite or push as a way to deal with conflict. Since they act in the moment on impulse, they don't understand the difference between appropriate and inappropriate conflict resolution skills.

As a parent, it’s important to show your threenager that there’s a proper and improper way to express emotions and resolve problems with others. You show them this by being mindful of how you respond to conflict, and by talking them through their own conflict resolutions.

4. They’re developing a sense of humor

I don’t know about yours, but my 3-year-old is hilarious! She’s developing a real sense of humor. I can see that she loves to make me laugh. Like most kids her age, she finds talking about things like poo poo and pee to be very entertaining. Though your taste in humor might be slightly different, remember that at this stage, 3-year-olds are learning how to be funny.

5. They’re learning empathy

Empathy starts to develop in children around age three. They can relate to others when they’re hurt, and you can get a response from them when you ask how they’re feeling. They might also cry if they think they hurt you, especially if they didn’t mean to.

6. They’re learning to play with others

At 3 years old, kids learn to play with others. Before that there’s a lot of parallel play, but at this age, they start to engage with each other. They may even start asking you to play with them, too!

Your baby is growing up quickly and turning into his or her own person. As scary as that may be, it’s also very exciting to see your children grow into themselves. They start to have their own likes and dislikes, personalities and curiosity for life.

I’ve found that the better my daughter gets at using her words to express how she's feeling, even if it’s with attitude, the fewer tantrums she has.

We all know that our threenagers want to call the shots, but they don’t always have the fine motor skills to complete certain tasks. Watching them pick out their own (non-matching) outfits and put them on backwards is frustrating—naturally, we feel the urge to help them. But we can better serve them by sitting back and letting them figure it all out on their own..

It’s important for everyone parenting a child at this delicate age to remember that consistency and patience are key. Don’t take their words personally, and try to explain things without getting overly emotional or angry.

Remember, our threenagers will have fewer meltdowns and learn to better transition through life if we act like adults ourselves.

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If there's one thing you learn as a new mama, it's that routine is your friend. Routine keeps your world spinning, even when you're trucking along on less than four hours of sleep. Routine fends off tantrums by making sure bellies are always full and errands aren't run when everyone's patience is wearing thin. And routine means naps are taken when they're supposed to, helping everyone get through the day with needed breaks.

The only problem? Life doesn't always go perfectly with the routine. When my daughter was born, I realized quickly that, while her naps were the key to a successful (and nearly tear-free!) day, living my life according to her nap schedule wasn't always possible. There were groceries to fetch, dry cleaning to pick up, and―if I wanted to maintain any kind of social life―lunch dates with friends to enjoy.

Which is why the Ergobaby Metro Compact City Stroller was such a life-saver. While I loved that it was just 14 pounds (perfect for hoisting up the stairs to the subway or in the park) and folds down small enough to fit in an airplane overhead compartment (you know, when I'm brave enough to travel again!), the real genius of this pint-sized powerhouse is that it doesn't skimp on comfort.

Nearly every surface your baby touches is padded with plush cushions to provide side and lumbar support to everything from their sweet head to their tiny tush―it has 40% more padding than other compact strollers. When nap time rolls around, I could simply switch the seat to its reclined position with an adjustable leg rest to create an instant cozy nest for my little one.

There's even a large UV 50 sun canopy to throw a little shade on those sleepy eyes. And my baby wasn't the only one benefiting from the comfortable design― the Metro is the only stroller certified "back healthy" by the AGR of Germany, meaning mamas get a much-needed break too.

I also appreciate how the Metro fits comfortably into my life. The sleek profile fits through narrow store aisles as easily as it slides up to a table when I'm able to meet a pal for brunch. Plus, the spring suspension means the tires absorb any bumps along our way―helping baby stay asleep no matter where life takes us. When it's time to take my daughter out, it folds easily with one hand and has an ergonomic carry handle to travel anywhere we want to go.

Life will probably never be as predictable as I'd like, but at least with our Metro stroller, I know my child will be cradled with care no matter what crosses our path.

This article is sponsored by Ergobaby. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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It's been more than a year since Khloé Kardashian welcomed her daughter True Thompson into the world, and like a lot of new moms, Khloé didn't just learn how to to be a mom this year, she also learned how to co-parent with someone who is no longer her partner. According to the Pew Research Center, co-parenting and the likelihood that a child will spend part of their childhood living with just one parent is on the rise.

There was a ton of media attention on Khloé's relationship with True's father Tristan Thompson in her early days of motherhood, and in a new interview on the podcast "Divorce Sucks!," Khloé explained that co-parenting with someone you have a complicated relationship with isn't always easy, but when she looks at True she knows it's worth it.

"For me, Tristan and I broke up not too long ago so it's really raw," Khloé tells divorce attorney Laura Wasser on the podcast. She explains that even though it does "suck" at times, she's committed to having a good relationship with her ex because she doesn't want True to pick up on any negative energy, even at her young age.

That's why she invited Tristan to True's recent first birthday bash, even though she knew True wouldn't remember that party. "I know she's going to want to look back at all of her childhood memories like we all do," Khloé explained. "I know her dad is a great person, and I know how much he loves her and cares about her, so I want him to be there."

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We totally get why being around Tristan is hard for Khloé, but it sounds like she's approaching co-parenting with a positive attitude that will benefit True in the long run. Studies have found that shared parenting is good for kids and that former couples who have "ongoing personal and emotional involvement with their former spouse" are more likely to rate their co-parenting relationship positively.

Khloé says her relationship with Tristan right now is "civilized," and hopefully it can get even better with time. As Suzanne Hayes noted in her six guiding principles for a co-parenting relationship, there's no magic bullet for moving past the painful feelings that come when a relationship ends and into a healthy co-parenting relationship, but treating your ex with respect and (non-romantic) love is a good place to start. Hayes describes it as "human-to-human, parent-to-parent, we-share-amazing-children-and-always-will love."

It's a great place to start, and it sounds like Khloé has already figured that out.

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Kim Kardashian West welcomed her fourth child into the world. The expectancy and arrival of this boy (her second child from surrogacy) has garnered much attention.

In a surrogacy pregnancy, a woman carries a pregnancy for another family and then after giving birth she relinquishes her rights of the child.

On her website, Kim wrote that she had medical complications with her previous pregnancy leading her to this decision. “I have always been really honest about my struggles with pregnancy. Preeclampsia and placenta accreta are high-risk conditions, so when I wanted to have a third baby, doctors said that it wasn't safe for my—or the baby's—health to carry on my own."

While the experience was challenging for her, “The connection with our baby came instantly and it's as if she was with us the whole time. Having a gestational carrier was so special for us and she made our dreams of expanding our family come true. We are so excited to finally welcome home our baby girl."

A Snapchat video hinted that Kim may have planned to breastfeed her third child. What she chooses to do is of course none of our business. But is has raised the very interesting question, “Wait, can you breastfeed when you use a surrogate?"

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The answer is yes, you sure can! (And you can when you adopt a baby, too!)

When a women is pregnant, she begins a process called lactogenesis in which her body prepares itself to start making milk. This usually starts around the twenty week mark of pregnancy (half way through). Then, when the baby is born, the second phase of lactogenesis occurs, and milk actually starts to fill the breasts.

All of this occurs in response to hormones. When women do not carry a pregnancy, but wish to breastfeed, they can induce lactation, where they replicate the same hormonal process that happens during pregnancy.

A woman who wants to induce lactation can work with a doctor or midwife, and start taking the hormones estrogen and progesterone (which grow breast tissue)—often in the form of birth control pills—along with a medication called domperidone (which increases milk production).

Several weeks before the baby will be born, the woman stops taking the birth control pill but continues to take the domperidone to simulate the hormonal changes that would happen in a pregnancy. She'll also start pumping multiple times per day, and will likely add herbal supplements, like fenugreek and blessed thistle.

Women can also try to induce lactation without the hormones, by using pumping and herbs, it may be harder but some women feel more comfortable with that route.

Inducing lactation takes a lot of dedication—but then again, so does everything related to be a mama. It's a super personal decision, and not right for everyone.

The important thing to remember is that we need to support women and mothers through their entire journey, no matter what decisions they make about themselves and their families—whether Kardashian or the rest of us.

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