shutterstock 1135603496The human brain is amazing. It starts developing in the womb and keeps on growing as the child starts to form more complex thoughts. 

Intelligence may be inherited, but brain development can be supported, enhanced, and optimized. As parents, we try our best to promote cognitive growth so that children hit their cognitive milestones on time. The good news is we can do this in different ways. 

                                         An interview with Judy & Sanford Jones, Co-Directors of Youth Opera International 

Young Kids and Music Judy and Sanford Jones met and were married in New York City in 1986. Judy received a BA degree in ballet and theatre, pursued a career as a Broadway dancer, owned two dance studios and became a Certified Movement Analyst in the Laban Theory of Movement. Sanford, a music major at Westminster Choir College, became a Montessori teacher and teacher trainer. He founded and directed Montessori schools, while composing and performing children’s operas. The Joneses continue to greatly influence music and dance for children nationally and internationally through their operas, workshops and line of materials for home and classroom use.  

Toddler meltdownLet’s get something abundantly clear from the start. From the time we  start to think about having a kid to the moment it finally happens, the (ahem) magic of parenthood begins.  We quickly find out were lied to. 

Social media makes parent-hood look like hugs at sunset on a summer’s eve, warm meals around the table at 5pm every night and goodnight kisses after a good bedtime story. The realness of parenting and the challenges it brings is almost looked down upon in some groups, like you’re less of a perfect parent than your Instagram feed tells everyone you are. 

This isn’t that. 

pediactric milestonesA young family welcoming a newborn has a wonderful, (maybe trying) experience in-store. New parents want to know in the delivery room, “Is my baby OK? “Is he normal?” Thankfully, the vast majority of the time the answer is, “Yes,” though even as a newborn, what is defined as normal can be a fairly wide range.

shutterstock 699695935I can still remember the very first time I heard of “sleep training.” I was 7 months pregnant, having a girls' night out with some other mamas, and I remember thinking, “Really, you have to train a baby to sleep?” At the time, I brushed it off thinking the perfect human I was growing in my belly would never have sleep issues; I mean he was perfect, right? WRONG. Well, yes he is perfect, but sleep issues he did have. The idea of sleep training can be a bit overwhelming with so much information out there, but I will break it all down for you here, including when it’s the best time to start and what to expect at every age.