For those of you expecting or who have a child under 1, I wanted to recommend a couple awesome things…
First of all, if any of you are feeling adventurous, actually it doesn’t take that much courage, but some time…is to make your own baby food. This is an awesome kit that tells you what foods to try first, how to pick & cook them, etc. Its available on Amazon.
I used it a lot for Haddie. I think it probably saved me a lot of money. Well, at least some. Our pediatrician told us to use organic produce if we were going to make our own. So, of course that probably offset the savings some. But some of my friends just used regular produce, so it may not matter that much. I liked the experience and knowing what she was getting. That and I was able to feed her a bigger variety than what the stores have to offer.
One of the other most useful items I’d recommend is this book, Baby Signs, also from Amazon.
There are a lot of other baby signing books out there that I’m sure are good. This is just the one I picked and I really liked it. It explains the research behind their methods and using baby signs. I saw a lot of the advantages they discuss with Haddie. She seemed to learn things a lot quicker because she could “talk” with us before she could actually talk. She seemed to have less tantrums that she probably would have otherwise because she could communicate (at least on a limited basis) what she wanted. And she seemed to have a bigger vocabulary once she started talking. I’ve lost track as to how many words she actually knows these days. I’d say she knows at least 250, if not more (she’s 22 months old). And she ended up learning over 43 different signs.
She still occasionally uses signs for things that she can’t say yet or when I don’t understand what she’s saying. She also uses signs sometimes when her mouth is full and she wants something (usually “more”!). I’m really impressed with the whole baby signs movement and I hope that she continues to learn and do sign language. We have quite a few people at church who are deaf, so it would be awesome for her to be able to communicate with them. And her Nana (Seth’s mom) also knows sign language, so hopefully she’ll be able to teach her some as she grows up. I’d love for Haddie to know 2 or even 3 languages (Spanish will hopefully be the next one…someday).