About Me

I am retired. I had a long career as an occupational therapist working with children. For the last 5 years, I worked in Early Intervention, with babies from birth to 3 years old. I loved it. I love babies. I find them extremely interesting. Each baby has such a unique personality from the minute they enter the world. Any mother with more than one child will be able to tell you that. Babies are equipped with techniques to communicate their needs, though we, as adults, sometimes need to learn the language.  Babies are fairly direct. They do not learn to be manipulative or cautious until they are older.  They can seem frustrating when they fuss and cry and you are not sure why,  but they are not trying to aggravate their parents. They are trying to communicate with you. Some babies seem more difficult than others, but all babies, especially the quiet ones, need love and attention as much as food.
Because my interest was babies, I returned to school for a master’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies after 12 years of work as an occupational therapist. My focus and thesis were on the development of play in infants and toddlers.  I was head teacher in a toddler preschool class during that time. I returned to work in occupational therapy for 2 years. At that point, I left the work force to raise my own 2 children, who are now adults, though I did work part time on a consulting basis during those years. I returned to full time work when my youngest left for university and found the job of my dreams working with children from birth to 3 and their families.
Though I am retired, I still love babies. I want to continue to interact with them and to study them and to learn from them for many years to come. That is why I decided to start a blog. I am hoping to include some information on development, along with activities that are right for babies at each level of development.  There are so many things that you can do with babies, one reason why I was never bored while working, that I hope to collect suggestions from you as well. I will start at birth and add information for each month as the months go by. 
As I said, each baby is born with a personality and each is different from the others. Each parent has their own set of beliefs, concerns and values and each is different from the others. Therefore, the suggested activities are just that, suggestions. Take what you want and leave the rest. Add your own if you will.  I will stress places where safety is an issue because safety is not negotiable, the rest is up to you.
I do have some biases and need to make them clear here, but I am not suggesting that you need to follow all of them.  First, I a strong advocate of breastfeeding. Feed the mother well and feed the child. It is a win-win situation in my mind. I realize that not everyone feels that way and that there are cases where breastfeeding in not possible.  Next, I believe that a baby’s cry is a communication that needs to be answered. I know there are some people who advocate “crying out” to learn to self-soothe but I do not think it is necessary for an infant under a year old to learn to self soothe. I also believe that you cannot spoil a child under a year old by being attentive.  I do not think that babies need expensive toys. I think that the most important plaything for a baby is you.  The most important concern for an activity for a baby should be safety followed by developmental appropriateness. The baby’s state should also be considered when playing. A sleepy baby does not need to play.
There are many right ways to raise a baby and yours is right for you.  The best advice anyone gave me was to relax and enjoy my child and not to take it personally if things did not go as I had planned. Looking back, there are things I wish I had or had not done to or for my children when they were growing up. They turned out alright so I guess it does not matter. I hope I can help you expand your knowledge and give you some ideas you can use.
One last point, as I have been writing, I have come across the problem of pronouns, his/her, she/he, etc. In the interest of ease, I will use the male and female pronouns randomly but will always mean all babies no matter which pronoun comes up in a particular section. I am not comfortable with “it” or “they