Your child ca​n’t be "too attached"

Here's why clinginess can be a good sign.

clingy toddler behavior is healthy

Your child is sitting next to you, so close that you're actually touching. Together, you're building a house for her dolls, and then it hits you...you have to pee, like bad.

As you do your "I gotta go" dance toward the bathroom, you reassure your daughter that you will be back in 2 minutes to play. A few steps into your retreat, she melts down, crying and clinging to you, and in that moment, you feel a mix of emotions—frustration, annoyance, concern. You want to care for yourself and your child.

When it comes to playing independently or being away from your side for more than a second (and yes, sometimes it feels like an actual second) before she is tugging and pulling or following behind you in tears, your child struggles. The reality is, your "to do" list is growing, self-care feels like a forgotten art, and you wonder, am I doing it wrong?

But you can rest easy, as research says that quite the contrary is true. Her "clinginess" may actually be a good (even healthy) thing.

Let's break this down to see what research tells us about the path towards secure attachment in early childhood.


Early attachment

In the first year of life, children attach to their caregiver as a biological instinct to stay safe. When a baby is hungry, tired, wet or wants connection, she cries to let us know she has needs. As parents, the way we respond to those needs creates a template for the way she sees herself and others, and close relationships in general. This working model acts as an internal guidance system for filtering experiences in the world.

Research shows that early emotional bonding is vital for forming a secure attachment. When your child cries and you respond by picking her up, using a comforting tone, or touching her to communicate safety, you reflect back your baby's emotions, giving them meaning and regulating them. Your child begins to recognize that she can count on you and views you as a safe haven during times of distress and a secure base to explore the environment when regulated. This type of parenting teaches children that others recognize their needs, and establishes foundations for trust, empathy, understanding relationships, and verbal and non-verbal communication.

Parental concerns + attachment

Yet, many parents still wonder, Is my child too attached? Parents often fear that in being too responsive to their child's needs, they will hinder their growth as independent beings. But as rational as these fears might appear at first glance, science tells us that, in simplified terms, a met need integrates, and here's what the experts mean by "integrate" (spoiler alert, it's good).

Attachment provides safety for children to explore and step into their independence to learn new skills. According to Dr. Deborah MacNamara, author of the best-selling book Rest, Play, Grow: Making Sense of Preschoolers (or Anyone Who Acts Like One) (or Anyone Who Acts Like One), and the Director of Kid's Best Bet Counselling and Family Resource Centre:

"Children can't be too attached, they can only be not deeply attached. Attachment is meant to make our kids dependent on us so we can lead them. It is our invitation for a relationship that frees them to stop looking for love and to start focusing on growing. When kids can take for granted that their attachment needs will be met, they are freed to play, discover, imagine, move freely and pay attention. It is paradoxical but when we fulfill their dependency needs, they are pushed forward towards independence. As a child matures, they will likely become more capable of taking the steering wheel in their own life and we will be able to retreat into a more consulting role."

Attachment then does not deter growth, it fuels it.

So, back to your clinging child who is pulling at your leg as you attempt to break to the bathroom: In this case, her clinginess is a sign that she considers you a secure base. She believes, through prior experience, that you are available and sensitive to her needs. Simply put, her clinginess is a sign that she trusts you.

Insecure attachment

When children do not have secure attachments with their caregivers, however, they feel that they can't rely on them when needed. Studies show that these babies and toddlers are actually less clingy in scary situations. Children who feel their needs are not met may experience increased anxiety and may have difficulty regulating emotions, understanding body signals and interacting with peers. Other children learn strategies for achieving and holding attention such as over-compliance, constant smiling or disruptiveness.

While clinginess may be a sign of healthy development in young children, it doesn't always make it less overwhelming for parents who are juggling the gazillion roles that come with being a parent.

Here are a few tools to help your child (and you too) during these moments:

1. Check-in with you:

    • Pause. When your child is clinging to your leg or refuses to play independently, know that nothing is broken. This gives you the power to be with "what is" in that moment. Pause and notice what feelings your child's behavior brings up for you. Are you frustrated, anxious, worried, depleted? Allow for your feelings, breathe, and center yourself before addressing your child.
      • Release goals. Once you feel less triggered, notice any goals that you've set for your child. If your goal, for example, is for your child to play independently so you can use the bathroom, do the dishes, or have a moment to yourself, cancel the goal. While your goals are valid and good, we can only control our own thoughts, words, and actions. When we turn our goals inward, we move into our power and can better be with our children.
        • Take self-care breaks. Ask your partner, a family member, or babysitter to look after your kiddo while you take the time needed to recharge. It can be challenging to fill your child's emotional tank if yours is empty.
          • Set boundaries. It is ok to set a boundary for yourself to have a cup of coffee, take an uninterrupted shower, or chat with a friend. Your child may have big emotions surrounding this, and you can meet them with empathy while still holding to your loving limits. Give yourself permission to temporarily step away while also giving permission for your child to feel their emotions.
            2. Give special time:
              • Fill your child's emotional bucket in ways that are meaningful to them. Does your child like to read books, cuddle, run outside? Spend 10 minutes each day filling your child's tank by giving them "special time" that they can count on every day. Name it, schedule it, and help your child know that they are powerful and at the top of your list.
                3. Teach patience:
                  • It's hard for our children to wait, especially when they want our attention and it is directed elsewhere. "To wait" is a skill and we can help teach patience and impulse control through small moments throughout the day. This can be done with games such as Red Light Green Light or by offering intentional delays during tasks. Acknowledge to your child that waiting is hard, and help them wire their brain for this skill.
                    4. Help them play alone: If your child doesn't like to play by themselves, here are some things you can try:
                      • Play together and, after about 15 minutes, play a little less and watch a little more. Once that transition is tolerated, back up a bit to give your child some space. Eventually, increase the distance until they feel comfortable with you stepping away.
                        • Another option is to use a timer. When you want to step away, invite your child to set a timer, offering her a concrete time for your return. "Let's set the timer for 5 minutes while I do the dishes, and when it buzzes, I will come back." This can help your child become used to you leaving for short intervals. As your child feels more comfortable, you can slowly increase the time.
                          • Involve your child. Ask your child what would help them feel more comfortable when you need to step away. By involving her in the process, she may be more motivated to participate in the plan.

                          While a clinging child may put you at a loss when it comes to knocking things off the 'ole to-do list, one thing you can cross off your list is parent guilt. Secure attachment is an ongoing relationship between you and your child. As you communicate safety and respond instead of react to your child's needs, they can and will (it takes time...years!) feel more secure in exploring, learning and growing.

                          So, you ask, are you doing it wrong? No way...not even a little.

                          This post originally appeared on Generation Mindful.

                          True

                          In This Article

                            How one company is making a huge difference for LGBTQ youth

                            Take notes, all you other brands, this is how it's done

                            Photo by Sharon McCutcheon from Pexels

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

                            We spoke to Chris Bright (he/she/they), Director of Public Training at The Trevor Project, who works closely with H&M. Chris shared with us the Trevor Project's important mission, and what all brands should do to best support LGBTQ youth today.

                            1. For those that do not know, what is The Trevor Project's mission? What is it all about and its impact on society?

                            The Trevor Project is the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) young people. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people, and LGBTQ youth are more than four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight or cis peers. Our mission is to end suicide among the estimated 1.8 million LGBTQ youth under the age of 25 in the U.S. who seriously consider suicide each year.

                            Founded in 1998, The Trevor Project launched TrevorLifeline, the first 24/7 national lifeline supporting LGBTQ youth in crisis alongside HBO's broadcast of the Academy Award-winning short film Trevor. The first calls were answered that night. Since then, we have grown from reaching several thousand LGBTQ youth per year to becoming the preeminent resource for LGBTQ young people in crisis, directly serving over 200K LGBTQ young people in the last fiscal year alone. We work tirelessly to save young lives by providing support through our free and confidential crisis programs on platforms where young people spend their time — online and on the phone. In addition to TrevorLifeline, we offer 24/7 digital crisis services including TrevorText and TrevorChat, as well as TrevorSpace, the world's largest safe space social networking site for LGBTQ youth.


                            H&M + The Trevor Project

                            2. Can you describe the nature of the relationship/partnership the Trevor Project has with H&M?

                            Our collaboration with H&M has been remarkably successful, with H&M driving awareness of The Trevor Project and our services among its audience while also demonstrating its strong support of LGBTQ young people. H&M first partnered with us in December 2020 during our "Every Single One" holiday campaign, where they donated $250K in matching funds for Giving Tuesday. This helped The Trevor Project have our best-ever Giving Tuesday moment.

                            Our work together has had extensive impact, allowing H&M to engage employees, customers, and community members in conversations about LGBTQ Allyship through Trevor's resources and mission. We're thankful for H&M's support, which helps us continue to operate and improve our 24/7 life-saving crisis services so we can serve more LGBTQ young people.

                            3. Why was H&M the right company to partner with?

                            H&M is an established yet relevant brand that has the attention of young people, and we're always so thankful to partner with youth-facing brands that can not only spread messages of love and support, but also can increase the awareness of our crisis services and resources. We know that H&M genuinely cares about creating a better future for LGBTQ young people.

                            4. What do you see as the biggest challenge or struggle for LGBTQ kids today?

                            LGBTQ youth are incredibly diverse, with so many intersecting identities and unique experiences — making it difficult for me to pinpoint what might be the single biggest challenge or struggle for all LGBTQ youth today.

                            What I can say, however, is our research reveals numerous challenges or struggles that may be more prevalent across the board for LGBTQ youth. According to our 2021 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, which captures the experiences of nearly 35,000 LGBTQ youth ages 13 to 24 across the U.S., nearly 42% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, including more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth. Over 94% of LGBTQ youth reported that recent politics negatively impacted their mental health and more than 80% of LGBTQ youth stated that COVID-19 made their living situation more stressful.

                            What's clear is that while there is no single biggest challenge or struggle for our LGBTQ youth today, it's critical that we find ways to uplift and support each and every LGBTQ young person that we can.

                            5. Since it's back to school time, are there stressors or situations that are uniquely heightened for LGBTQ youth, other than the standard new school year jitters, that people don't necessarily know about?

                            Our research has found that LGBTQ youth who reported having at least one LGBTQ-affirming space had 35% reduced odds of attempting suicide in the past year, with LGBTQ-affirming school environments having the strongest association with reduced suicide attempts. Since the onset of COVID-19, the volume of youth reaching out to us has significantly increased, at times nearly double our pre-COVID volume. Feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anxiety have been heightened as a result of the pandemic, further emphasizing the need for LGBTQ youth to have access to spaces that affirm their identities, such as gender-neutral bathrooms, trans-inclusive sports, and positive extracurricular activities such as Gender and Sexuality Alliances (GSAs).

                            LGBTQ youth who reported having at least one accepting adult — whether it be teachers, coaches, or counselors — were 40% less likely to report a suicide attempt in the past year. The Trevor Project created the Model School District Policy on Suicide Prevention, which includes requirements for teacher training, mental health instruction for students, and policies and procedures for suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention. Now, more than ever, it is crucial that as in-person learning returns, schools provide LGBTQ students with safe learning environments where they can feel empowered, supported, and accepted by their peers and educators.

                            H&M + the Trevor Project

                            6. In what way is the support that The Trevor Project provides crucial to LGBTQ youth, especially as it pertains to suicide prevention?

                            The support that The Trevor Project provides is so crucial because suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people — and LGBTQ youth are more than four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight or cis peers. LGBTQ youth reach out to Trevor because we are LGBTQ-affirming and a trusted provider of crisis services. All of our volunteers are highly-trained to answer calls, chats, and text from LGBTQ youth 24/7 when they are feeling suicidal or need a safe, non-judgmental place to talk.

                            Almost three-quarters of youth stated that they either would not or were unsure if they would have another service if The Trevor Project did not exist. We aim to be there for every young LGBTQ person in crisis with a clear message: you are loved, your life has value, and you are never alone.

                            7. What do you think the responsibility is for brands to be involved in pro-social, activism-related work?

                            Everyone can play a role in creating change and building progress in our society. Brands — especially those with large platforms and influence — have a responsibility to fulfill that role as well. We recognize H&M and our other brand partners for helping spur progress on important issues, and we encourage others to follow suit. Beyond the essential financial support that brands can provide to nonprofits like The Trevor Project, there's also a direct benefit for the community when brands are loud about their support of Pride; we've found that more than half of youth said brands who support the LGBTQ community positively impact how they feel about being LGBTQ. Finally, it's important to remember that Pride doesn't begin and end in June — the opportunity to support Pride is 365 days a year. We are thrilled to have H&M as a year-round partner for The Trevor Project, demonstrating their authentic support for our work.

                            8. What is one of the biggest impacts or positive results you have seen come from the partnership between The Trevor Project and H&M?

                            We wouldn't be able to do the work we do and make the progress we've made without our brand partners like H&M. The Trevor Project has experienced significant growth in the last few years with the implementation of our five key program areas: crisis services, peer support, research, education and public awareness, and advocacy. Since 2019, we've been working to scale our volunteer training to increase the number of crisis services counselors on a yearly basis. In addition to original, intersectional monthly research briefs, our research team launched the world's largest survey of LGBTQ youth mental health in 2019, and has released a total of three national, annual reports. We've ramped up Trevor's advocacy work on the local, state, and federal levels to protect the rights of LGBTQ people, including bills to protect LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy that have been in introduced in 40 states. H&M's partnership helps us advance this work by raising significant funds and awareness for our mission. During June 2021, when H&M served as one of our key Pride Partners, our crisis counselors served over 19,500 crisis contacts with free, confidential support via phone, chat, and text.

                            9. How important is it for LGBTQ+ youth to see allies in popular culture, be it a celebrity or high profile person, mainstream brand, etc.?

                            LGBTQ representation in the mainstream media is extremely important as it makes LGBTQ youth feel seen, validated, and confident that they are not alone. Over 80% of youth said that celebrities who are LGBTQ positively influence how they feel about being LGBTQ, and more than half of youth said brands who support the LGBTQ community have a positive impact on their LGBTQ identity. As we continue to see increased visibility for marginalized communities in popular culture, diverse images will become normalized, which in turn creates a safer, more accepting world for all of us.

                            10. For people who want to get involved with a cause like The Trevor Project, what is the best way to make a difference?

                            There are a number of ways to get involved with The Trevor Project – from making a donation (TheTrevorProject.org/Donate) to applying to be a volunteer (TheTrevorProject.org/Volunteer) to spreading the word about our resources.

                            Affirming spaces and support systems work to save young LGBTQ lives. People can be active in their communities to ensure that more safe, affirming spaces are available and thriving. Even making an effort to respect someone's pronouns and encouraging those around you to do the same can make a huge difference. Our research has also found that LGBTQ youth who report having at least one accepting adult were 40% less likely to report a suicide attempt. If you get the opportunity, be that one person for a young person in your life.

                            If you or someone you know needs help or support, The Trevor Project's trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386, via chat www.TheTrevorProject.org/Help, or by texting START to 678678.

                            Our Partners

                            This incredibly soft comforter from Sunday Citizen is like sleeping on a cloud

                            My only complaint? I've slept through my alarm twice.

                            When it comes to getting a good night's sleep, there are many factors that, as a mama, are hard to control. Who's going to wet the bed at 3 am, how many times a small person is going to need a sip of water, or the volume of your partner's snoring are total wildcards.

                            One thing you can control? Tricking out your bed to make it as downright cozy as possible. (And in these times, is there anywhere you want to be than your bed like 75% of the time?)

                            I've always been a down comforter sort of girl, but after a week of testing the ridiculously plush and aptly named Snug Comforter from Sunday Citizen, a brand that's run by "curators of soft, seekers of chill" who "believe in comfort over everything," it's safe to say I've been converted.


                            Honestly, it's no wonder. Originally designed as a better blanket for luxury hotels and engineered with textile experts to create this uniquely soft fabric, it has made my bed into the vacation I so desperately want these days.

                            The comforter is made up of two layers. On one side is their signature knit "snug" fabric which out-cozies even my most beloved (bought on sale) cashmere sweater. The other, a soft quilted microfiber. Together, it creates a weighty blanket that's as soothing to be under as it is to flop face-first into at the end of an exhausting day. Or at lunch. No judgement.

                            Miraculously, given the weight and construction, it stays totally breathable and hasn't left me feeling overheated even on these warm summer nights with just a fan in the window.

                            Beyond being the absolute most comfortable comforter I've found, it's also answered my minimalist bed making desires. Whether you opt to use it knit or quilted side up, it cleanly pulls the room together and doesn't wrinkle or look unkempt even if you steal a quick nap on top of it.

                            Also worth noting, while all that sounds super luxe and totally indulgent, the best part is, it's equally durable. It's made to be easily machine washed and come out the other side as radically soft as ever, forever, which totally helps take the sting out of the price tag.

                            My only complaint? I've slept through my alarm twice.

                            Here is my top pick from Sunday Citizen, along with the super-soft goods I'm coveting for future purchases.

                            Woodland Snug comforter

                            Sunday-Citizen-Woodland-Snug-comforter

                            The bedroom anchor I've been looking for— the Snug Comforter.

                            $249

                            Braided Pom Pom Throw

                            Because this degree of coziness needs portability, I'm totally putting the throw version on my list. It's washable, which is a must-have given my shedding dog and two spill-prone kiddos who are bound to fight over it during family movie night.

                            $145

                            Lumbar pillow

                            sunday-citizen-lumbar-pillow

                            What's a cozy bed without a pile of pillows?

                            $65

                            Crystal infused sleep mask

                            sunday citizen sleep mask

                            Promoting sleep by creating total darkness and relaxation, I've bookmarked as my go-to gift for fellow mamas.

                            $40

                            We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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                            Motherly created the flexible online birth class moms need

                            The Motherly Birth Class is completely online, which means you can take the class at your own pace.

                            Taking a birth class is a pregnancy milestone. Whether you've been excited to take a birth class for a long time or have just recently decided that you wanted to take one, sitting down for that first lesson feels big—spoiler alert, this is really happening! But finding time for a birth class isn't as easy as it would seem.

                            We know new parents are busy (hello, understatement of the year). Between diaper changes, pediatrician appointments, healing from birth and the general adjustment to #newparentlife, the days can fill up quickly. But a lot of people are caught off guard by how busy pregnancy can be, too! That first trimester is so often full of symptoms—like nausea and fatigue—that can make previously easy or simple tasks exhausting. The second trimester begins and (usually) we start to feel better. But then our days get filled with planning out baby registries and deciding on questions like, "Where will this tiny new human sleep?" And before you know it, it's the third trimester—and, well, then you're in the home stretch. Plus there are so many appointments!

                            All this to say that we get how busy you are—and how hard that might make it to fit in a birth class.

                            And that's why we created The Motherly Birth Class. The Motherly Birth Class is completely online, which means you can take the class at your own pace.


                            Think you'll want to watch each lesson a few times over? Great!

                            Due date's next week and you need the option to take a birth class very quickly? No problem!

                            Like everything at Motherly, we designed this class with you in mind.

                            Taught by Certified Nurse-Midwife Diana Spalding (who also wrote "The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama"), this class is broken into 12 lessons—and you get to control how and when you watch them. We'll teach you about what your (amazing) body is up to in labor, how to decide when it's time to head to the hospital or birth center (or when to call your home birth midwife), what your options are for coping with pain and so much more.

                            When you sign up for The Motherly Birth Class, you'll get access to a downloadable workbook and meditations. Plus, you'll be invited to join our supportive private online community (where you can chat with the class instructor!)

                            Oh, one more thing: Your insurance or flexible spending account might even able to able to cover the cost of this class.

                            Pregnancy is wonderful—but it's a lot. You deserve a birth class that works for you and empowers you to have your best birth. Because vaginal or Cesarean, unmedicated or medication, birth is incredible. And you are the star of it all.

                            You've got this.

                            Sign up for The Motherly Birth Class today!

                            The Motherly Birth Class

                            pregnant-woman-looking-at-her-belly

                            Take our completely digital birth class from the comfort of your living room. We'll help you have your best birth—because you deserve it.

                            $79

                            We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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                            14 toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

                            They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

                            Keeping kids entertained is a battle for all seasons. When it's warm and sunny, the options seem endless. Get them outside and get them moving. When it's cold or rainy, it gets a little tricker.

                            So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of the best toys for toddlers and kids that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, many are Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

                            From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these indoor outdoor toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.


                            Tiny thrill-seekers will love this kid-powered coaster which will send them (safely) sailing across the backyard or play space. The durable set comes with a high back coaster car and 10.75 feet of track, providing endless opportunities for developing gross motor skills, balance and learning to take turns. The track is made up of three separate pieces which are easy to assemble and take apart for storage (but we don't think it will be put away too often!)

                            $139

                            Secret Agent play set

                            Plan-Toys-Secret-agent-play-set

                            This set has everything your little secret agent needs to solve whatever case they might encounter: an ID badge, finger scanner, walkie-talkie handset, L-shaped scale and coloring comic (a printable file is also available for online download) along with a handy belt to carry it all along. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

                            $40

                            Mini golf set

                            Plan Toys mini golf set

                            Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

                            $40

                            Stepping Stones

                            Stepping-stones

                            Kiddos can jump, stretch, climb and balance with these non-slip stepping stones. The 20-piece set can be arranged in countless configurations to create obstacle courses, games or whatever they can dream up.

                            $99.99

                            Sand play set

                            Plan Toys sand set

                            Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

                            $30

                            Sensory play set

                            kidoozie-sand-and-splash-activity-table

                            Filled with sand or water, this compact-sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

                            $19.95

                            Vintage scooter balance bike

                            Janod retro scooter balance bike

                            Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

                            $121

                            Foam pogo stick

                            Flybar-my-first-foam-pogo-stick

                            Designed for ages 3 and up, My First Flybar offers kiddos who are too young for a pogo stick a frustration-free way to get their jump on. The wide foam base and stretchy bungee cord "stick" is sturdy enough to withstand indoor and outdoor use and makes a super fun addition to driveway obstacle courses and backyard races. Full disclosure—it squeaks when they bounce, but don't let that be a deterrent. One clever reviewer noted that with a pair of needle-nose pliers, you can surgically remove that sucker without damaging the base.

                            $16.99

                            Dumptruck 

                            green-toys-dump-truck

                            Whether they're digging up sand in the backyard or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? It's made from recycled plastic milk cartons.

                            $22

                            Hopper ball

                            Hopper ball

                            Burn off all that extra energy hippity hopping across the lawn or the living room! This hopper ball is one of the top rated versions on Amazon as it's thicker and more durable than most. It also comes with a hand pump to make inflation quick and easy.

                            $14.99

                            Pull-along ducks

                            janod-pull-along-wooden-ducks

                            There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

                            $16.99

                            Rocking chair seesaw

                            Slidewhizzer-rocking-chair-seesaw

                            This built-to-last rocking seesaw is a fun way to get the wiggles out in the grass or in the playroom. The sturdy design can support up to 77 pounds, so even older kiddos can get in on the action.

                            $79.99

                            Baby forest fox ride-on

                            janod toys baby fox ride on

                            Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

                            $79.99

                            Meadow ring toss game

                            Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

                            Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

                            $24.75

                            We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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                            20 kids' books to read during Hispanic Heritage Month

                            These books highlight exemplary Latinx figures who have contributed to US history.

                            Although I went to school in multicultural Los Angeles, I don't remember ever reading about (much less doing a book report on) a prominent Latino during my elementary school years. When I eventually became a mother, I wanted to make sure my children grew up proud of their Mexican-American heritage, but I struggled to find children's biography books featuring Latinx leaders. Latinos make up almost 20% of the entire U.S. population, but many of our heroes are not highlighted in books.

                            That is why I decided to use all of the skills I learned as a journalist for over 25 years to write children's books that filled that gap, so that not only my kids, but other Latinx children can learn and read about leaders from their own community. As a result, in 2018 I created Con Todo Press, a publishing company that highlights Latinx leaders and celebrates our culture. During Hispanic Heritage month, many classrooms and families are eager to learn more about the valuable contributions Latinos have made not only to our country, but to the world.

                            Below I am highlighting some of the books I have written to fill that gap, as well as other books written by Latinx authors or illustrators that highlight Latinx leaders.


                            Be Bold! Be Brave! 11 Latinas Who Made U.S. History

                            This non-fiction rhyming book features 11 Latinas who achieved greatness in various fields such as medicine, science, sports, and politics. Dolores Huerta, Selena, and Sonia Sotomayor are featured along with 8 additional outstanding women.

                            $13.96

                            Grandes Dreamers

                            Grandes Dreamers celebrates the hardships and milestones of 12 women born in the United States.

                            $49.95

                            Fearless Trailblazers: 11 Latinos who made U.S. History

                            Fearless Trailblazers highlights 11 Latinos who made history in their respective fields including science, sports, the arts and politics. Cesar Chavez, Fernando Valenzuela and Jean-Michel Basquiat are among those featured.

                            $14.89

                            Latinitas: Celebrating 40 Big Dreamers

                            Latinitas features 40 powerful women who we have to come to recognize in the United States today.

                            $15.10

                            Courageous History Makers: 11 Women from Latin America Who Changed the World

                            This bilingual rhyming book features 11 women from Latin America who are now known throughout the world because of their contributions in their respective fields. Celia Cruz, Frida Khalo and Rigoberta Menchu are among those featured.

                            $13.53

                            Nuestra América: 30 Inspiring Latinas/Latinos Who Have Shaped the United States

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                            Entertainment

                            The important safety tip parents need to know about sleep + car seats

                            Why you might want to plan for more pit stops on your next road trip.

                            When we become parents we don't just have to learn how to take care of a baby, we also have to learn how, when and why to use all the different kinds of baby gear.


                            There is so much to learn and when it comes to car seats there is one rule many parents haven't heard of: infants shouldn't be left in car seats for more than an hour at a time, and they should never nap in a car seat outside the vehicle.

                            According to multiple studies, babies are at risk for decreased oxygen levels while in car seats, especially when the car is not in motion or the trip lasts for an extended period of time. Although preterm babies or infants with respiratory conditions are most at-risk, there is good reason for all families to take proper precautions.

                            As Scottish mother-of-two Kirsti Clark recently told STV, she had no idea that infants shouldn't be left in car seats for more than an hour at a time until her 3-week-old daughter, Harper, had a seizure following a car trip that went longer than expected. It was a situation not unfamiliar to many other families: The Clarks simply got stuck in traffic and then left Harper in the seat while they put their older daughter to bed.

                            When Harper's father then took her out of her car seat she seemed like she could not get comfortable on his lap, Metro reports. Her father tried to settle her on a play mat and that's when the baby suffered a seizure. The Clarks rushed to the hospital where she was treated and thankfully recovered. But, Clark says one of the biggest shocks to her was that these guidelines even exist.

                            "I've never once been told a child should not be in a car seat for any length of time," she told STV. "Nowhere in the instruction booklets or any guidance that we've seen online has there been anything mentioned about breathing difficulties."

                            This is why some hospitals do what's known as a "car seat challenge" with preterm babies before discharge, which allows professionals to monitor the baby's cardiorespiratory stability when they're in their car seat.

                            Make sure all care providers know to never use a car seat for naps 

                            Sharon Evans, a trauma injury prevention coordinator at Cook Children's Hospital, told WFAA News the idea that car seats can be used for naps outside the car is a pretty common misconception that needs to be cleared up.

                            "There's nothing about the car seat that's designed to sleep," she told WFAA News. "Of course, if the straps aren't tight, the child can kind of slump down."

                            Safety experts say parents should make sure everyone who looks after the baby, including daycare providers and babysitters, understands that they should not be placed in the car seat outside of the vehicle.

                            Lisa Smith tells WFAA News she did understand the risks associated with car seat naps and didn't let her baby daughter, Mia, nap in the car seat. Tragically, at nearly 18 months old Mia was left to nap in a car seat at her licensed home daycare, and lost her life to positional asphyxia, or restricted breathing. Now Smith, like Clark, is on a mission to educate other parents to make sure this doesn't happen to another child.

                            "I walk around town and see people using a car seat on the seats at restaurants or putting them on the floor at tables," Smith says, adding that she will tell Mia's story to parents when she sees a baby napping in a car seat, letting them know kindly, "'I just want you to be really careful.'"

                            What parents should do

                            Researchers with the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Paediatric Society agree with Smith: The most dangerous time for a baby to be in a car seat is when they're not actually in a car. So while it may seem convenient to leave a sleeping babe in their car seat after a long trip or while you're at a restaurant, it's best to take them out right away.

                            The AAP recommends that when you are using the car seat as intended in the car, plan"to stop driving and give yourself and your child a break about every two hours." In the case of babies younger than one month, some car seat researchers recommend avoiding unnecessarily long road trips.

                            "Restrict it to say, no more than half an hour or so," Professor Peter Fleming, a noted car seat researcher, told the BBC. (If you've got to go farther than that, just plan for rest stops to get baby out of the car seat.)

                            All this comes with one significant note: While baby is in a moving car, safely buckled into a car seat is always the safest place to be. As noted in a study The Journal of Pediatrics, babies riding in a car seat as per the manufacturer's guidelines have a very low risk of suffocation or strangulation from the harness straps.

                            If we're aware of the risks and make sure to take breaks and take the baby out of the seat when the car stops, everyone can ride safely. Car seats, when used properly, are a literal lifesaver we should all be thankful for.

                            [Update, September 13, 2018: Added information regarding Lisa Smith's case.]

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