So you’ve made it through months one and two. You and baby


already have your own special language with each other and he’s starting to

respond to your baby talk and smiles. So… now what?

Three- and four-month-olds are in an interesting transition

– just starting to gain mobility and awareness of people and objects

surrounding them, but they’re also still bitty babies. Since he’s still not

able to crawl away, this is a great time to do your own thing, but you can also

take your mama-baby activities to the next level. Check out the suggestions

below and stay tuned for more!

1. Baby sign language

While most babies won’t be able to sign back for several

months, it’s never too early to start introducing key signs – if anything,

it’ll get you into the habit of integrating signing into your regular speech. Think

of this as you sowing seeds for five or six months from now when baby is trying

to communicate, but can’t yet use words. Instead of frustration, you’ll have a

secondary outlet to share his wants and needs!

There are quite a few products you can buy to learn to sign

with baby, but there are also plenty of videos on YouTube, and a quick Google

Image search turns up more instructional images than we could count. If you’re

a hard-copy info fan, check out Baby Signing Essentials: Easy Sign Language for

Every Age and Stage by Nancy Cadjan, which takes you from introduction of

signing around four months all the way through two years, including which signs

to integrate at each stage.

2. Organize

For lots of moms, organizing is on the level of having a

tooth pulled. But like a trip to the dentist, organization is an unfortunate

necessity – especially after you’ve added a load of baby gear to your house. It’s

easy to get completely overwhelmed when looking at the big picture, so take it

one room at a time or, even better, one four-foot section at a time. Everything

needs a home and if it’s not used or needed, toss it!

We recommend checking out The Organized Mom: Simplify

Life for You and Baby, One Step at a Time by Stacey Crew. Crew is the

founder of the GOPACK Method, which stands for Grouping Objects, Purging,

Assigning, Containing, and Keeping It Up. While this book was originally

intended for expectant moms prepping for baby, it’s just as useful now that

baby is here. She breaks down a standard house room-by-room with tips and

tricks in each.

It’s the perfect time to organize, mama, especially before

baby is on the move!

3. Tummy time

While tummy time isn’t possible with every baby, research

shoes that by three or four months, babies should be getting at least 20

minutes of tummy time a day. Make this time fun for both of you by laying

out her baby gym or a thin, but comfy, blanket. Pick a few board books and

select toys, introducing one at a time. If you offer too much at once, she

could get over stimulated and upset, so pace yourself! Read a few books, shake

a rattle or two, and be sure to give her positive reinforcement with a, “You

go, girl,” “Good job,” and “So strong!”

Speak with your pediatrician to find out if tummy time is

right for your baby and if not, what alternate methods you can try.

4. Sleep

It’s still early in your mama journey and man, are you

tired. You are owed a daily nap for at least the first six months, so do not

feel guilty about grabbing a power nap or even a lengthy afternoon snooze

session.

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Most families have built a network of social support by the time they have their first child—if they don't already have a support system, they develop one through various baby classes and groups set up for parents. The creation of the village can be instrumental to the mental health of new parents. Social distancing, the lockdown of cities, and isolation will inadvertently affect the type of support available.

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But raising a mentally strong kid requires parents to avoid the common yet unhealthy parenting practices that rob kids of mental strength. In my book, 13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don't Do, I identify 13 things to avoid if you want to raise a mentally strong kid equipped to tackle life's toughest challenges:

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