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Extreme Toddler Action

It’s true what they say. Kids really do grow fast. One day you’re cradling baby in your arms, and the next you’re watching them crawl towards kitty’s litter. Welp. From the moment they’re able to slink out of your arms, babies and toddlers are fearless, so much so you’d assume that many are fighting for the top spot in the next season of American Ninja Warrior.

First walkers, in particular whole-heartedly laugh in the face of precaution -- ripping off coffee table corner guards, sticking fingers in outlets, and climbing, well, everything.

As parents, we can only do so much. Sure, part of your your job description as mom is to protect your baby, but don’t fool yourself into thinking you’ll change that little daredevil of yours. These little suckers (and we mean that in the kindest way) are determined, and standing in their way only creates an obstacle towards their end goal. And man, you do not want to get in their way. Have you ever “accidentally” been headbutted in the mouth by trying to protect your child from a concussion? It hurts like a mother.

You’d think that age would wisen them in their late toddler years, but then suddenly it’s time to introduce them to wheels! Which we’re not gonna lie, is a scary sight. And while you might think the anxiety induced by your toddler simply going up the playground ladder will lead you to an early grave (who designed these things anyway??), you’ll survive this too mama.

In the meantime, here are 5 ways to keep you and your tots in one piece (and at peace) while they’re gaining their footing.

1. Keep Cool. On the inside that is. Toddlers are like teenagers. The more you try and tell them what to do, the more they’ll rage out and do the opposite. Let them think you’re totally cool. Keep close, but not too close. Observe their extreme actions, but don’t tell them what to do and mentally prepare yourself to swoop in at any given moment.

2. Travel in packs. Being a good parent ain’t easy, but it’s true what they say: there truly is strength in numbers. Call a friend, heck, call 10 and have them meet you at the park. This way, there will always be an extra set of eyes or arms around the corner. Being able to vent to another parent about your toddler’s latest shenanigans is the icing on the cake.

3. Stable shoes are key. When they’re teeny tiny babies, it’s purely about the cute factor. But as your babe gets his balance, it’s ALL about the function. OK, yes, and the cuteness. But your toddler will use his toe as a break. He will jump in that puddle, and he will most definitely run, run, run as fast as he or she can in every direction. Investing in durable, safe, stable, water resistant footwear like KEEN Kids shoes will help save some spills and last through the toughest toddler moves while still looking cute.

 

4. “Forget” to take off your kids helmet. The first time you leave your toddler’s scooter helmet on at the playground might be accidental, but when you do, an “aha” moment will happen and you’ll realize that helmet might be the safety net you wished playground architects were genius enough to actually build in.

5. Encourage them. While you might wonder how your baby or toddler will ever start walking, climbing or scooting, they will! They all do it at their own pace, and they’ll all be good at their own thing. Practice makes perfect, and though it may come with a bunch of scrapes and bruises, there's nothing like seeing your child accomplish a task he or she has effortlessly worked on. So sit back, encourage your babe to do the best he or she can, and let him or her know that you're proud of all the hard work.

 

*We are so grateful when brands support our content and community. This post was sponsored by KEEN. Use the code, WellRounded2016 for 15% off your next purchase at KEEN Kids shoes. We're also giving a way a pair of KEEN Kids shoes to 10 lucky readers, so enter the giveaway below!

Photography by Belle Augusta for Well Rounded NY.

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Baby stuff comes in such cute prints these days. Gone are the days when everything was pink and blue and covered in ducks or teddy bears. Today's baby gear features stylish prints that appeal to mom.

That's why it's totally understandable how a mama could mistake a car seat cover for a cute midi skirt. It happened to Lori Farrell, and when she shared her mishap on Facebook she went viral before she was even home from work. Fellow moms can totally see the humor in Farrell's mishap, and thankfully, so can she.

As for how a car seat cover could be mistaken for a skirt—it's pretty simple, Farrell tells Motherly.

"A friend of mine had given me a huge lot of baby stuff, from clothes to baby carriers to a rocker and blankets and when I pulled it out I was not sure what it was," she explains. "I debated it but washed it anyway then decided because of the way it pulled on the side it must be a maternity skirt."

Farrell still wasn't 100% sure if she was right by the time she headed out the door to work, but she rocked the ambiguous attire anyway.

"When I got to work I googled the brand and realized not only do they not sell clothing but it was a car seat cover."

The brand, Itzy Ritzy, finds the whole thing pretty funny too, sharing Farell's viral moment to its official Instagram.

It may be a car seat cover, but that print looks really good on this mama.

And if you want to copy Farell's style, the Itzy Ritzy 4-in-1 Nursing Cover, Car Seat Cover, Shopping Cart Cover and Infinity Scarf (and skirt!) is available on Amazon for $24.94.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy.You've got this.

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Daycare for infants is expensive across the country, and California has one of the worst states for parents seeking care for a baby. Putting an infant in daycare in California costs $2,914 more than in-state tuition for four years of college, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Paying north of $1,000 for daycare each month is an incredible burden, especially on single-parent families. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines affordable childcare as costing no more than 10% of a family's income—by that definition, less than 29% of families in California can afford infant care. Some single parents spend half their income on day care. It is an incredible burden on working parents.

But that burden may soon get lighter. CBS Sacramento reports California may put between $25 and $35 million into child care programs to make day care more affordable for parents with kids under 3 years old.

Assembly Bill 452, introduced this week, could see $10 million dollars funneled into Early Head Start (which currently gets no money from the state but does get federal funding) and tens of millions more would be spent on childcare for kids under three.

The bill seeks to rectify a broken childcare system. Right now, only about 14% of eligible infants and toddlers are enrolled in subsidized programs in California, and in 2017, only 7% of eligible children younger than three years of age accessed Early Head Start.

An influx of between $25 to $35 million dollars could see more spaces open up for kids under three, as Bill 452, if passed, would see the creation of "grants to develop childcare facilities that serve children from birth to three years of age."

This piece of proposed legislation comes weeks after California's governor announced an ambitious plan for paid parental leave, and as another bill, AB 123, seeks to strengthen the state's pre-kindergarten program.

Right now, it is difficult for some working parents to make a life in California, but by investing in families, the state's lawmakers could change that and change California's future for the better.

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When a mama gets married, in most cases she wants her children to be part of her big day. Photographers are used to hearing bride-to-be moms request lots of pictures of their big day, but when wedding photographer Laura Schaefer of Fire and Gold Photography heard her client Dalton Mort planned to wear her 2-year-old daughter Ellora instead of a veil, she was thrilled.

A fellow mama who understands the benefits of baby-wearing, Schaefer was keen to capture the photos Mort requested. "When I asked Dalton about what some of her 'must get' shots would be for her wedding, she specifically asked for ones of her wearing Ellie, kneeling and praying in the church before the tabernacle," Schaefer tells Motherly.

She got those shots and so many more, and now Mort's toddler-wearing wedding day pics are going viral.

"Dalton wore Ellie down the aisle and nursed her to sleep during the readings," Schaefer wrote on her blog, explaining that Ellie then slept through the whole wedding mass.

"As a fellow mother of an active toddler, this is a HUGE win! Dalton told me after that she was SO grateful that Ellie slept the whole time because she was able to focus and really pray through the Mass," Schaefer explains.

Dalton was able to concentrate on her wedding day because she made her baby girl a part of it (and that obviously tired Ellie right out).

Ellie was part of the commitment and family Dalton if forging with her husband, Jimmy Joe. "There is no better behaved toddler than a sleeping toddler, and she was still involved, even though I ended up unwrapping her to nurse her. I held her in my arms while my husband and I said our vows. It was really special for us," Dalton told POPSUGAR.

This is a wedding trend we are totally here for!

Congrats to Dalton and Jimmy Joe (and to Ellie)! 🎉

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The internet is freaking out about how Peppa Pig is changing the way toddlers speak, but parents don't need to be too worried.

As Romper first reported, plenty of American parents have noticed that preschoolers are picking up a bit of a British accent thanks to Peppa. Romper's Janet Manley calls it "the Peppa effect," noting that her daughter started calling her "Mummy" after an in-flight Peppa marathon.


Plenty of other parents report sharing Manley's experience, but the British accent is not likely to stick, experts say.

Toronto-based speech and language pathologist Melissa James says this isn't a new thing—kids have always been testing out the accents they hear on TV and in the real world, long before Peppa oinked her way into our Netflix queues.

"Kids have this amazing ability to pick up language," James told Global News. "Their brains are ripe for the learning of language and it's a special window of opportunity that adults don't possess."

Global News reports that back in the day there were concerns about Dora The Explorer potentially teaching kids Spanish words before the kids had learned the English counterparts, and over in the U.K., parents have noticed British babies picking up American accents from TV, too.

But it's not a bad thing, James explains. When an American adult hears "Mummy" their brain translates it to "Mommy," but little kids don't yet make as concrete a connection. "When a child, two, three or four, is watching a show with a British accent and hears [words] for the first time, they are mapping out the speech and sound for that word in the British way."

So if your baby is oinking at you, calling you "Mummy" or testing out a new pronunciation of "toh-mah-toe," know that this is totally natural, and they're not going to end up with a life-long British pig accent.

As Dr, Susannah Levi, associate professor of communicative sciences and disorders at New York University, tells The Guardian, "it's really unlikely that they'd be acquiring an entire second dialect from just watching a TV show."

It sure is cute though.

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