5 Signs Your Toddler May Be Gifted

Think your toddler might be gifted? Here are some things to look for!

by Teresa Currivan, LMFT, Parent Coach

I had no idea what giftedness meant when I had my son. So, when he spoke his first word at 4 months, I thought I was hearing things. One day, when he was two years old, I was nervous about something. He said, “Mommy, just breathe.” I knew he was special, but I didn’t connect it to the word “gifted.”

I have a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. In all that time, in school or in the field, the term “gifted” never entered into my training. Most professionals working with children do not have training in giftedness. Yes, you heard me right. Even the ones we pay a lot for neuro-psych evaluations, the ones in schools. And it’s not their fault. It’s just often not part of the curriculum.

In addition, an important fact to know is that most standard testing does not test into the higher ranges of giftedness. This is why so many highly gifted kids are not thriving in our typical schools. The more gifted the child, the less likely you will get an accurate assessment, unless you go to the right place.

As a result, we as parents need to know what to watch for (and when to look for it) and have some tools to identify and address what may be going on with your children.  Continue reading “5 Signs Your Toddler May Be Gifted”

Breast is best, but formula is fabulous

Breastfeeding bumming you out? Formula might be the solution!

“Breast is best.” (Yes, we knoooow!) There is so much information out there about the benefits of breastfeeding, and every first-time mother I’ve met intends or intended to breastfeed exclusively in order to give her baby the “best.” But what happens when the best isn’t an option, or when what’s best for baby isn’t best for mom?

We are so fortunate to live in a time and place that offers an alternative: formula. Because we also have access to clean water (in this country), formula is perfectly safe for babies, and it can be a lifesaver for those unable to breastfeed. Unfortunately, many moms feel overwhelming guilt and shame when they turn to formula, feeling that they’ve failed their babies by being unable or unwilling to continue breastfeeding. No woman should have to feel this way, and as a former breast-feeder, former exclusive-pumper, and current formula feeder, I want to share the awesome benefits of formula feeding for any moms who may need or want to use formula.  Continue reading “Breast is best, but formula is fabulous”

Don’t make these 5 sleep mistakes with your baby

Baby won’t sleep? We may not have any good advice, but we can tell you what NOT to do!

Baby sleep is a lot like the stock market. Sometimes it’s up, sometimes it’s down, sometimes you can help nudge it in the right direction, and sometimes it’s completely out of your control. Sometimes it feels like you’ve hit the jackpot, and sometimes it will RUIN YOUR LIFE.

Sleep is notoriously tricky because so many variables are involved. Your baby may need less sleep than average or be a naturally short napper. She may have tummy issues or reflux which interrupt her sleep. He could simply be at a developmental stage when he is waking more frequently (like a growth spurt, sleep regression, or teething). Her temperament might make it harder for her to self-soothe, or he might be so easily distracted that it’s difficult for him to fall asleep. Basically, you and I could be doing exactly the same routines and achieve very different results, depending on each of our babies.

This is not a “how to get your baby to sleep, guaranteed!” type of article. This is a “holy crap, baby sleep is ridiculously difficult to figure out and here are some mistakes I’ve made so hopefully you can avoid some of these same issues but ultimately good luck because who the hell knows” type of article.  Continue reading “Don’t make these 5 sleep mistakes with your baby”

Toddler Marketing 101

Wondering how to convince your toddler to eat his peas? Check out our handy Toddler Marketing course!

Class, welcome to Toddler Marketing 101. I’m so glad you’ve elected to take this course, and I can say with some confidence that you will find the information we will cover this semester invaluable within the next 10 to 15 years. In fact, I would go so far as to recommend you hold onto your notes. While other marketing positions require someone to actually hire you, Toddler Marketing only requires one night of unfettered passion to become a survival skill more valuable than making fire.

As I’m sure most of you learned in fifth-grade science, the name of the Tyrannosaurus Rex is derived from the Greek words meaning “tyrant” and “lizard” and the Latin word for “king.” While that was probably the same year you learned that Pluto was a planet, this information is actually still correct. Now, a lesser known piece of trivia is the origin of the word toddler. The name is from the Greek word meaning “tiny” and the Latin word meaning “tyrant,” and there has rarely been a more accurate name for anything that roams the earth. Personally, I’d rather meet a hungry T-Rex than a toddler on the warpath.  Continue reading “Toddler Marketing 101”

Should I call the doctor?

Not sure if you should call your child’s doctor for that minor injury or illness? Me neither!

Recently, my 10-month old son dropped a metal mixing bowl on his finger, resulting in a subungual hematoma. That’s fancy speak for a bunch of blood pooling under his fingernail. He was understandably upset, but after several bottles of milk and some baby Tylenol, he finally settled down. My husband and I decided that no medical intervention was necessary (that’s fancy speak for “it’s after hours and I don’t think it’s worth calling the doctor, so let’s put him to bed and hope for the best”). He slept fine and seemed normal when he woke up, so I figured that was that. From my understanding, the only reason to treat a subungual hematoma is if the pressure under the nail becomes very painful, and he didn’t seem bothered by it at all.

However, I had some lingering concerns about long-term damage to his nail since the bowl landed directly on his cuticle, so I found myself headed down the same path I always go down whenever my son has a minor medical concern. Here’s the general thought timeline:  Continue reading “Should I call the doctor?”

This is the 1 gadget you need for introducing solids

Is baby ready to start gumming some real food? This tool will make introducing solids as smooth as pureed bananas!

“I’m sending you the link now. I’m warning you now: It’s not cute, it’s not eligible for Prime shipping, and I think it ships from Canada, but I’m telling you—this is the one.”

Ugh, no Prime shipping? From CANADA? What was my mother thinking? Not even a cute color?? Why in the world would I buy this baby food grinder?

One simple reason: it works.  Continue reading “This is the 1 gadget you need for introducing solids”

Top 10 Crock Pot Recipes for Busy Mamas

Busy mama? Not sure what to feed all those tiny (and big) mouths yelling for dinner? We’ve got you covered! | Motherhood Collective

First of all, you’re not confused; this is not a cooking blog.

But – this is a blog about motherhood, and by and large, it’s mamas who are called upon to provide the food so that our world isn’t ripped apart by hangry little humans (or big humans for that matter). As a stay-at-home mom, I usually have a kid hanging off my yoga pants while I cook, so I like to keep things as simple as possible. There’s only so far my worn-out yoga pants will stretch before they just give up (and believe me, no one wants to see that) which is why I am a huge fan of the slow cooker.  Continue reading “Top 10 Crock Pot Recipes for Busy Mamas”