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My New Life

Author: Lovevery

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The early years of a child’s life are the most important for their long-term development. Sometimes, the abundance of information out there can feel overwhelming and difficult to navigate. My New Life is here to support parents and help make sense of the science behind early learning.

I’m Jessica Rolph, mother of three and CEO of Lovevery. With the help of experts from around the world, we break down all the child development science into usable nuggets of knowledge that you can put to the test in your own home.
9 Episodes
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Ever get the feeling like you are babbling more than your baby? It turns out that going gaga over your baby actually serves a purpose. It helps them with language acquisition! Their brains are taking in loads of information from these back-and-forth interactions.   Jessica Rolph welcomes Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek to this episode to explore the characteristics of this early communication. Kathy is a  professor in psychology at Temple University and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. She is also co-author of Becoming Brilliant: What Science Tells Us About Raising Successful Children.    Key Takeaways: [1:12] How can a parent contribute to the building of communication skills? [2:30] Remember to pause and create space for your baby to respond. [3:24] Kathy talks about infant-directed speech. [5:30] The back-and-forth conversation with a baby might be more important than we thought. [6:30] Technology sometimes gets in the way of opportunities to communicate with our babies.    Mentioned in this episode: Brought to you by Lovevery.com Becoming Brilliant: What Science Tells Us About Raising Successful Children
Laundry, diapering, feeding, laundry... this is the work of a new parent, and much of it can feel rather tedious. Unfortunately, boredom can sometimes slip into darker feelings of disconnection.   In this episode, Jessica Rolph is accompanied by Erica Komisar, who suggests that one way to stay engaged is to take an interest in your baby’s brain development. Erica Komisar is a psychoanalyst and parent coach based out of New York City.  Key Takeaways: [1:26] Erica Komisar talks about her clinical work with patients who are experiencing boredom. [3:05] Interest in child development as a possible solution for a parent’s boredom. [4:45] Erica explains how to ignite a sense of wonder around your baby’s development. [6:35] Recognizing the immense value of nurturing your baby. [7:14] Possible cues of postpartum depression. [8:30] Skin-to-skin contact lays the foundation for emotional security. [9:16] Breast feeding, in light of the skin-to-skin contact, has neurological benefits. If you are bottle feeding, consider taking off your shirt. [12:18] Advice to mothers who have been separated from their babies. [14:05] Tips to spark the connection between you and your baby. [14:59] Mirroring your baby is about reflecting how your baby feels; as a result, your baby feels understood. [16:53] The perils of idealizing parenthood. [19:11] Does COVID-19 bring more risk of depression? [20:45] When is the best time to seek professional health?   Mentioned in this episode: Brought to you by Lovevery.com Don’t dismiss a new mom’s boredom. It could be a sign of something more serious. The Washington Post, Erica Komisar 
Jessica Rolph welcomes Sami Carrick to this episode to talk about that magical moment of connection with our baby: story time. And all those who have read a book to an infant know that it doesn’t always go as planned! We know how important it is to read to our babies, but what should we do if they are crawling out of our laps, crazily flipping pages, or just plain not interested in what’s on the page?   Sami shares how teaching literacy can take lots of forms. She is a certified reading specialist and the mom behind Literacy for Littles.   Key Takeaways: [1:30] Reading to a newborn: Sami explains how this might look. [2:34] Position your newborn baby so they can see your facial expressions while you are reading. [3:04] Consider incorporating a book at nap time and bedtime to help create predictability for your baby. [3:31] When to introduce sensory books to babies. [4:26] Tips to engage your baby in reading when they don’t seem to be able to stop moving or are uninterested. [6:28] Sami shares practical tips to help a child learn how to turn the pages. [8:01] The benefits of adding rubber bands to the pages. [8:48] How to incorporate reading in the daily routine outside of bedtime. [10:24] The importance of using a dramatic, animated voice while reading to your baby. [11:50] Tips for parents to teach literacy early on. [13:54] Sami explains why learning letter sounds is more important than being able to recite the ABCs. [16:22] The benefits of incorporating sign language into a child’s day.   Mentioned in this episode: Literacy for Littles Brought to you by Lovevery.com
Parenting is a time of so much change for you and your baby, a little reliable information can go a long way towards making this new life, a good life.  Jessica Rolph is your host and she is joined by Rachel Coley in this episode of My New Life, a Lovevery podcast, to discuss the common anxiety parents share about their children reaching milestones and comparing to other children’s progress. Does it help? Does it really matter? Rachel Coley is a Pediatric Occupational Therapist and the mom behind a super informative website called CanDo Kiddo. Rachel prefers to focus on what she calls “mini-milestones”, which are all the tiny steps a baby takes to reach their objective. Tune in to learn what to do if your baby doesn’t like tummy time, how baby containers are getting in the way of natural development, and why the floor is the best place for your baby to be.    Key Takeaways: [2:51] Technology is shaping what kind of toys we are putting in front of our babies. [4:22] Why do babies need to be on the floor? [6:25] Is swaddling beneficial for a baby? [7:14] Tummy time is the baby’s first opportunity to interact with gravity. [11:15] Thinking about tummy time as a position for play is really helpful. [13:54] Milestone anxiety vs staying curious about mini-milestones. [15:30] How parents can help babies build the strength necessary to roll over.   Mentioned in this episode: Brought to you by Lovevery.com CanDo Kiddo 
Jessica Rolph is joined by Veronica Fernandez, who talks about how she takes advice from various parenting approaches and incorporates the best from each. Veronica discusses philosophies such as Montessori, RIE, and attachment parenting. She also shares with us ways to introduce bilingualism to babies and the benefits of it.  Dr. Veronica Fernandez is a new mom, with a Ph.D. in Developmental and Child Psychology, with a focus on bilingual education.     Key Takeaways: [1:35] Veronica shares her journey from preschool to Ph.D. [3:38] How to incorporate different philosophies in parenting your baby.  [5:23] Veronica shares how she used the Montessori philosophy to create a prepared environment for her newborn baby. [6:19] The essence of the Montessori approach. [8:33] The Montessori approach characterizes by giving children the chance of manipulating materials such as glass. [9:38] The RIE Method is about respectful parenting. [13:45] Being in physical proximity to a child is always beneficial.  [14:11] What does not resonate with Veronica about Attachment parenting? [17:19] When the focus is on playing and interaction, the opportunities for teaching will show up spontaneously. [18:56] Be present and playful in your interactions with children [19:13] Introducing a second language to babies [20:05] Children learn more by exposure than to intentional teaching.  [21:58] The benefits of bilingualism.   Mentioned in this episode: Brought to you by Lovevery.com
We all know how important it is to read to our children, but trying to build a baby’s math skills can feel like a challenging task, especially if we don’t have a positive association with math ourselves.    The good news is, baby is encountering math everywhere, and nurturing a love of numbers is not as hard as commonly thought. After all, we are all born loving numbers!   In this episode, Jessica Rolph speaks with Gillian Starkey, a professor in neuroscience with an emphasis on children’s developing math skills. She shares some pointers that are going to score big with you and your baby, and might even make math into something you both look forward to.   Key Takeaways: [1:22] What constitutes math for babies? [2:45] Gillian shares why it is important to build basic math skills at home with our babies. [3:51] What do babies know about math when they are born? [4:49] Activities that you can do with your baby (0-12 months old) to build math skills. [8:00] How do children’s understanding of numbers and what they represent evolve as they get older? [9:01] Gillian explains how to engage toddlers in everyday math.  [10:03] Baking is one great way to introduce mathematical concepts to toddlers. [10:33] Shapes and patterns can be used to strengthen math skills. [11:40] Gillian gives tips on how to deal with our own math anxiety.   Mentioned in this episode: Brought to you by Lovevery.com Learn more about Gillian Starkey
Executive function is a hot topic in brain research. The marshmallow test is a widely referenced study suggesting that the ability to delay gratification is an indicator of success in life. Impulse control is one of a suite of skills associated with executive function.    Jessica Rolph is accompanied by an expert in this field, Dr. Melissa Clearfield, a professor of psychology at Whitman College. In this episode, Melissa shares her research on executive function in babies, along with some grounding advice for parents on connecting with their babies. That connection, she explains, is the foundation for the relationships that your baby will have later on in life.   Key Takeaways:  [1:46] Melissa defines executive function and its link to success later in life. [3:08] Signs of executive function in the baby’s first year of life. [4:21] Melissa shares interventions that can boost executive function. [6:25] The importance of parents giving baby their undivided attention. [8:17] Electronic toys and babies. [9:40] Simple toys promote learning, exploration and cognitive development. [10:06] When is it beneficial to offer your child multiple levels of stimulation? [12:13] How to model good executive function for children. [13:50] The attachment style that you have with your infant sets the stage for that child’s attachment style later in life in their romantic partnership. [14:50] Play for Success.   Mentioned in this episode: Brought to you by Lovevery.com Learn more about Dr. Melissa Clearfield
Play has so much to teach us, children and parents alike. Sometimes parents can get a little too involved in their child’s play, particularly with the extra cool toys. When does our guidance become interference? And what amount of direction is appropriate?   Dave Neale joins Jessica Rolph to help us strike the right balance. Dave is a researcher in the psychology of play at the Centre for Research on Play in Education, Development and Learning at the University of Cambridge.   Key Takeaways: [1:13] Dave explains the ‘sweet spot’ when a parent can provide support while not being too involved in the child’s play. [3:20] Playing and its link with structured learning. [5:30] How to find the balance between helping children achieve the goal of a game or letting them just explore the materials. [8:18] Play with your children, engagement and becoming an entertained play partner are the most important factors. [9:23] The effects of a parent who is not sufficiently involved. [12:23] What is Dave’s favorite activity to do with 0-12 months old babies?   Mentioned in this episode: Brought to you by Lovevery.com Learn more about Dave Neale Centre for Research on Play in Education, Development & Learning (PEDAL)
Welcome to My New Life. I'm your host, Jessica Rolph. When we founded Lovevery, my co-founder Rod Morris and I believed that young children and their parents do best when they feel supported. My New Life is a podcast for parents in search of community and deeper insights into how our babies are developing. The first season is aimed at parents of infants. I’ve interviewed experts in child development and neuroscience, as well as inspiring moms with real-life struggles. My goal is to give you information that you can put into action, so you can spend the time that you do have in a really meaningful way. Look for fresh episodes to drop every other Wednesday. Thank you for being here. Together, we will make the most of this new life.
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