Best Baby Toys for Sensory Development

Best Baby Toys for Sensory Development | Baby Chick

Best Baby Toys for Sensory Development

Babies begin processing their world through their senses before they are even born. Very early in the gestational period when the fetus is only a few inches long they feel the vibrations from mom’s voice resonating through her body. Babies take in information from the world by what they see, hear, taste, smell, feel and the gravitational pull on their body. Babies develop their skills further by interacting with their world and exercising their sensory processing skills.

Some baby toys and items are better than others for providing these opportunities to explore and hone the sensory processing skills. As a pediatric occupational therapist, I have some tried and true favorites and some aren’t even toys.

1. A deck of cards

When babies are born they can best see contrasting colors, black, white and red because the rods and cones in their eyes are not fully formed. Something like a two of hearts or a five of spades is very visually stimulating for a newborn and I always carry a few cards in my scrubs pocket in the NICU. Cards are novel and unfamiliar to babies and a great way to get them to focus their eyes.

Babies get bored with the same old toys and respond better to new and different objects. Try this exercise with newborns. Hold the card about eight to ten inches from the baby’s face and jiggle it slightly to get her attention. Once she is able to focus on it move it in an arc horizontally and vertically and see if she can track it. This helps to develop her visual acuity and the coordination of the tiny muscles around her eyes which is great for visual motor skills and will help with tracking and even reading a line of print later on.

READ MORE
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2. Wrist rattles and bootie rattles

Babies start to understand cause and effect at a very young age and wrist rattles and bootie rattles are a great way to teach that. When your baby moves her arm and hears the rattle, then turns her head that direction and attempts to recreate the sound, she is not only learning cause and effect, but body awareness as well. This is another important part of sensory processing that provides the foundation for gross motor skills and coordination.

3. Mirrors

Studies show that babies love to look at parents’ faces, other babies’ faces and their own face in a mirror more than anything else, so mirrors are very visually stimulating for babies and an important part of developing the sense of vision.

4. Music boxes

The left side of the brain controls the right side of the body and vice versa and the two sides of the brain are connected by the corpus callosum. Processing music is an activity that stimulates both sides of the brain at the same time, helping to develop the corpus callosum. This helps with higher level cognitive skills later on. Processing music is also great for developing the sense of hearing, which is very developed at birth, but continues to fine tune throughout baby’s first year.

5. Beach balls

Beach balls are a great tool to help your baby develop a sense of balance, core strength and body awareness. Try some movement activities on the beach ball. Place your baby on the ball on her belly or back and roll her forward and back and side to side. Allow her to process the gravitational pull on her body as she tries to right her head. Sit her on the ball and gently bounce her up and down while you support her torso. You are teaching her balance, an important sensory skill that will come in very handy when it is time to take that first step.

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6. Taggie blankets

Taggie blankets provide tactile sensation that babies love. The silky fabric is soft against their skin and the little tags are great for tiny finger dexterity.

7. Crinkle books

Books that make crinkle noises when moved stimulate baby’s sense of hearing, touch, and teach cause and effect. Babies learn quickly that they can make that noise and re-create it.

8. Teethers with lots of textures

Babies explore by mouth the majority of their first year. They learn a lot about the world by putting objects in their mouth and tasting it, assessing the texture, density, size and shape. Different textures provide them with more sensations and they are able to process more information.

The whole world is a sensory playground for a baby and with the right guidance and exposure to safe objects, babies can be provided with opportunities to develop their sensory processing skills.

About the Author /

Dr. Aimee Ketchum is a pediatric occupational therapist and has been working in pediatrics for 20 years. Ketchum works in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at UPMC Pinnacle Hospital and lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with her husband and two daughters. Ketchum is also the owner/operator of Aimee’s Babies LLC, a child development company.

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Being hard on ourselves just means that we are try Being hard on ourselves just means that we are trying to be the best mothers to our children that we can be . . .
And giving ourselves grace means that we recognize that we are only human and that we will make mistakes along the way.
It’s okay to make mistakes as long as we’re trying. And when we make mistakes, recognize them, admit them, ask for forgiveness and keep going. ❤️ Children easily forgive us just like we easily forgive them. It’s because of love. Love is a powerful thing. Now we just need to show ourselves a little more of that love too. 💕
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💗 Say This, Not That: What New Moms Need to Hea 💗 Say This, Not That: What New Moms Need to Hear 💗⁠
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Becoming a #newmom is simultaneously one of the most exciting and nerve-wracking moments in a person’s life. Your baby is finally here, and you get to embark on this amazing new phase of life. 😍 On the flipside, you also suddenly have a new life to take care of –  and one that is 100% dependent on you. Cue the anxiousness! 😳 To make it even more fun, there’s definitely no instruction manual for this new tiny human, but seemingly everyone has an opinion and they are not afraid to give their (well-meaning but usually irritating) advice to new moms. 🙄 What new moms need to hear and what most everyone tells them are, unfortunately, very different things!⁠ So if you’re wondering what you should and shouldn’t say to a new mom, here are a few quick tips.⁠ 👍⁠ {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!}⁠
📷 : @melaniegracephoto⁠
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If this isn't an exact interpretation of my son . If this isn't an exact interpretation of my son . . . 🤦‍♀️⁠😷
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You've just welcomed a new baby into your arms. Co You've just welcomed a new baby into your arms. Congratulations! 🤗🎉 There is so much oxytocin in the room (the "love" hormone) that everyone is on a high! 😍 Your body has accomplished so much up to this point, growing and birthing a baby, and it will continue to do hard work during your recovery post-birth. 💪 But you've done it! And you and your partner rejoice! yayyy!⁠ 🥰
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As the days pass after giving birth your exhaustion levels go up. 😴 After delivering a baby, regardless of the method of delivery, and staying up all night (night after night) #sex may be one of the last things on your mind. 🙅‍♀️ Between the physical changes to your body from the delivery, the exhaustion of caring for a newborn, and the emotional changes induced by hormones, there are just a few barriers to #sexafterbaby. If you feel this way, the good news is these feelings are very normal, common, and temporary. But, it is also normal, common, and good to want to have sex with your partner as soon as you can. ❤️ But how long do you need to wait to have sex after having a baby? And why?⁠ 🤔 We have an OBGYN answering these questions and more on baby-chick.com {Click the 🔗 in our bio!}⁠
Beautiful 📸 by: @alaynadunklin⁠
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Exactly!! 🙌😑⁠ 📷: @alrightmom⁠ .⁠ #m Exactly!! 🙌😑⁠
📷: @alrightmom⁠
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❤️ How to Parent With Encouragement Instead of ❤️ How to Parent With Encouragement Instead of Criticism ❤️⁠
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As a both a parent and an educator, my hope is to parent with encouragement instead of criticism. But like any parent, I’m not perfect, and I’ve been on my own journey to learn how to discipline my children without criticizing them when they make a mistake. This topic has been of particular interest to me over the years.⁠
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A fascinating article published in The Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology found that children who are constantly being criticized develop a habit of avoiding looking at other people’s facial expressions—whether those people are expressing positive or negative feelings. By avoiding looking at other people, children’s ability to receive positive information and make positive social connection with others is undermined. Researchers suggest that this could lead to anxiety and depression in that child.⁠
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More and more scientific research shows how parenting and education techniques that revolve around encouragement rather than criticism can lead to a healthier self-image and positive behavior in children. With depression, anxiety, and suicide on the rise for youth across our nation, it is more important than ever before for us to lovingly examine the ways we parent and how we talk to our children during these early childhood years. {Continue reading by clicking 🔗 in bio❤️}⁠
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My eyes be popping like 👀😴⁠ 📷 :@amandam My eyes be popping like 👀😴⁠
📷 :@amandamescall⁠
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Yeah....sure, honey. My armpit is free. 😒⁠
📷: @wivesnightin⁠
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Any parents with four kids out there agree? 🙈😂🌊⁠
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😂😂😭😭 WHY?!⁠ (quote via @katewhinehal 😂😂😭😭 WHY?!⁠
(quote via @katewhinehall)⁠
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What are some of the things that you craved while What are some of the things that you craved while you were pregnant? 🍦🍟🥞🍖⁠
📷: @hallmarkbaby⁠
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🤣🤣🤣✂️👋⁠ (quote via @askatewouldh 🤣🤣🤣✂️👋⁠
(quote via @askatewouldhaveit)⁠
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🧘‍♀️ 10 Self-Care Necessities for Moms 💅⁠
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As mothers, we are usually the last ones on our priority list. There is so much to do . . . for the house, for our jobs, for our partners and pets, and especially for our children. It can leave us with little to no time for ourselves. With self-care making a comeback and more people recognizing the importance of "me time" and mental health, people are speaking up and making themselves a priority again. As moms, we need to do the same. Because as they say, it's not us saying "me first" it's us saying "me too." Moms matter! So if you're looking for some items that can help you put yourself back on your to-do list, we're sharing our self-care necessities for moms that we love and recommend. ❤️ {Click 🔗 in bio to check them out!}⁠
📷: @maydesigns⁠
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#TBT to one of the positives of pregnancy. 👌😂⁠
📷: @artfulnight via Twitter⁠
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When you're hungry and pregnant and go to the groc When you're hungry and pregnant and go to the grocery store. 😬🤣🤰⁠
(quote via @hatchgal)⁠
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😴 Finding Rest During the Newborn Days 😴⁠ 😴 Finding Rest During the Newborn Days 😴⁠
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Nothing is more amazing than the moment you see your baby’s face for the first time. The joy, excitement and love that overcome you make it feel like you are literally on top of the world! It isn’t until you get home where the doubts, fear and overwhelming feelings begin to kick in. Suddenly, you are responsible for this tiny, helpless being . . . who won't sleep! 😳 You are feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. And you start to wonder how you will ever find rest during these seemingly endless newborn days. 😖⁠
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Unfortunately, nothing can prepare you for how hard, exhausting, lonely and overwhelming motherhood can be. There are levels of tired no one can accurately describe. The good news is that you are not alone, and the way you're feeling is very normal. And I am here to tell you that you are doing great and that these hard moments won’t last forever.⁠
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As a mom of three little ones (6 years, 4 years and 2 years) I have experienced first-hand MANY exhausting moments. As a Certified Sleep Consultant, I have worked with hundreds of families who are experiencing exhausting moments themselves. We all go through really hard times on our parenting journey and that is okay. I always tell my fellow moms that it is okay to NOT be okay! One of my favorite quotes is “we are wired to do hard things.” But that doesn't mean you can't get some help and advice along the way. {Click the 🔗 in bio to continue reading how to find rest during the newborn days}⁠
📷: @alexajeanbrown⁠
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It's so true. ❤️⁠
📷: @livelaughluci⁠
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❤️ Oxytocin: All About the Love Hormone ❤️ ❤️ Oxytocin: All About the Love Hormone ❤️⁠
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Widely known as the love hormone, attachment hormone, or the cuddle hormone, #oxytocin is one of the essential acting #hormones in the process of conception, birth, lactation, and bonding. It helps us grow deeper in love with our babies and each other. There are even ways we can increase the love hormone in ourselves to deepen connections to each other.⁠
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We're talking all about oxytocin and how it affects our bodies, our bonding and relationships. {Click 🔗 in bio to read all about it!}⁠
📷: @cail_elston⁠
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She's my kind of mama. 😏⁠ 📷: @lifeandtimes She's my kind of mama. 😏⁠
📷: @lifeandtimesofmom⁠
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YES! 🙌👏👏👏⁠ .⁠ #birth #newmom #chil YES! 🙌👏👏👏⁠
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❤️ 5 Things You Should Do Your First Week as a ❤️ 5 Things You Should Do Your First Week as a New Parent ❤️⁠
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Welcome to #parenthood! After what seems like forever, baby has finally arrived. 😍 This is one of the most exciting, nerve-wracking times a person can have in their life, and it can be very easy to get overwhelmed and lost in the moment. 🙈 But this first week as a new parent can be one of the hardest.⁠
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I thought reading a few books was all I really needed to prepare me for motherhood, but in the end, it was completely different from anything I ever imagined. The first week, especially, was much more overwhelming than I expected; you’re physically recovering from #childbirth, your hormones running haywire as they start to resettle back to some sort of normal, and you’re getting to know your baby, all while trying to get them to eat, sleep, and stay healthy and strong.⁠
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Looking back on that time, there are definitely more than a handful of things I wish I could have told my newbie-mom self to do, but here are my top five pieces of advice for the first week as a new parent. {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!}⁠
📷: @adrienneneufeld⁠ & @stephanie.lauren.co
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Sad but true . . . 🤷‍♀️😭⁠ (quote via Sad but true . . . 🤷‍♀️😭⁠
(quote via @perfectpending via Twitter)⁠
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🍌 Baby-Led Weaning is Actually the Best Lazy Pa 🍌 Baby-Led Weaning is Actually the Best Lazy Parenting Hack 🥑⁠
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Baby-led Weaning has become a very popular feeding trend in the last decade or so. When I first started having kids, though, I'd never heard of it. After my daughter was born, I assumed I would eventually give her purees when it was time to start her on solid food. However, I knew I would never give her the awful canned baby food in the grocery store.⁠
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For one thing, I had terrible college experiences (hey, sorority games!) trying those purees and the thought of it made me gag. Secondly, I knew from research that most of these store-bought purees were not made with quality ingredients and often had sugar added. I preferred to feed my baby good food, so I decided I was going to make her purees. How hard could it be?⁠
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Long story short, I survived one week making homemade purees. ONE WEEK. I discovered the hard way that I did not have time, nor patience, nor energy, to make my kid food every several days. Admitting to myself that I was a lazy mom (i.e., tired mom), I was determined to find a better way. I started researching other methods of introducing solids and (praise the heavens!) I stumbled onto Baby-Led Weaning. 🙌 {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading about Baby Led Weaning!}⁠
📷: @fieldsofhoney⁠
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Thank you, honey. Cheers to you! 🍷😘⁠ 📷: Thank you, honey. Cheers to you! 🍷😘⁠
📷: @momof1anddone⁠
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Let’s. Go. 👿🦹‍♀️⁠ Why does it alwa Let’s. Go. 👿🦹‍♀️⁠
Why does it always have to get to this point? 😒⁠
(quote via @lurkathomemom)⁠
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Yes, pregnancy is a blessing. But no, you don’t Yes, pregnancy is a blessing. But no, you don’t have to love every minute of it to be a good mom. Just because you might not like moments (or days or weeks) of being pregnant, it doesn’t mean you don’t want your baby or don’t love your baby or that you’re ungrateful to be pregnant. Pregnancy is a lot of work and can be crazy uncomfortable and exhausting. But, of course, you love your baby. It’s okay to be tired and over it and ready to meet your baby. And yes, you are still a good mom. ❤️
📷: @mrs.caitlin_fought
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#pregnancy #pregnant #pregnancytip  #momtobe #pregnancylife #mamatobe #babybump #pregnancyjourney #bumpie #preggo #maternity #motherhood #momlife #expecting #mumlife #mommytobe #pregnantlife #babyontheway #inspirepregnancy #mommychick #babychick
YIKES! 😬 Hopefully there's a stellar recital at YIKES! 😬 Hopefully there's a stellar recital at the end of this. 😂⁠
📷: @humorandwine⁠
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Hope your Valentine's Day was filled with love, hu Hope your Valentine's Day was filled with love, hugs and kisses. 😍❤️⁠
📸: @julianaguilar⁠
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#kisses #valentinesday #love #happy #picoftheday #xoxo #lipstick #baby #newborn #cute #family #momlife #babyboy #motherhood #babylove #instagood #babiesofinstagram #babychick #mommychick #valentines #valentine #vday #happyvalentinesday #bemyvalentine #bemine
What would your candy heart say? 😜❤️⁠
📷: @punsandlittleones⁠
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Happy Valentine's Day! 💝 Just FYI before you ce Happy Valentine's Day! 💝 Just FYI before you celebrate . . . It's never just a "back rub" 🤦‍♀️🤣⁠
(quote via @littlewinkssleep)⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick #disney+ #disneyplus #netflixandchill
❤️ Low Cost Date Night Ideas for Couples on a ❤️ Low Cost Date Night Ideas for Couples on a Budget ❤️⁠
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Ah, #dating. Do you remember those days? After #marriage and a baby, dating your partner is probably the last thing on your mind. I get it. Dating is expensive. It takes time. It takes energy. These are things you may be lacking as a busy couple. But, there are low cost #datenight ideas you can incorporate into your busy schedule and I think you should. Why? Because dating your partner now is more important than ever.⁠
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Not only is dating after you are #married incredibly beneficial to your marriage, it's also really important to the rest of your #family dynamic. When mom and dad are happy and show #love toward one another, kids can feel that energy. The same is true when mom and dad aren't happy. For these reasons, date night should be one of the most important appointments on that very busy family calendar!⁠
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With a little planning, you can incorporate date night back into your schedule. Start with one night a month, for example. Then perhaps try to find time for one night a week. There are a lot of ways you and your partner can invest in one another without spending much (if anything!) and, perhaps, not even leaving the house! Here are some low cost date night ideas you can use to start making your dating life a priority again. {Click 🔗 in bio to check out our low cost date night ideas!}⁠
📸: @sivanayla⁠
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#pregnancy #pregnant #momtobe #pregnancylife #mamatobe #babybump #bumpie #preggo #maternity #motherhood #momlife #expecting #mumlife #mommytobe #pregnantlife #babyontheway #inspirepregnancy #mommychick #babychick #love #couple
If you're wondering what to gift her on Valentine' If you're wondering what to gift her on Valentine's Day that doesn't cost a lot?? These are guaranteed to make her feel loved. 💕⁠
📷: @majatomljanovic⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #mamalove #mommychick #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #selfcare #selflove #vday #valentinesday #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
🤱 Don't Give Up: It May Not Be Low Milk Supply 🤱 Don't Give Up: It May Not Be Low Milk Supply 🤱⁠
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The early stages of #breastfeeding can be challenging. So many different new things happening all at once. Sometimes new mothers experience issues that they confuse with low #milksupply. Although it is possible, it is actually pretty rare. There are several other factors that can explain the challenges moms face during breastfeeding, all of which are normal. Before you give up on breastfeeding, make sure to educate yourself on these several fixable issues. {Click 🔗 in bio to read what you can do!}⁠
📸: @yoli_and_otis⁣⁠
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#breastfed #motherhood #momlife #postpartum #nursing #momtobe #normalizebreastfeeding #newmom #mumlife #newbaby #breastpump #breastfeedingfact #motherhoodthroughinstagram #mommylife #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #mommychick #babychick⁣ #lactationconsultant #breastmilk
So true ❤️⁠ 📷: @car_buettner⁠ .⁠ #mot So true ❤️⁠
📷: @car_buettner⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #boymom #vday #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #mommychick #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #valentinesday
And the quickest way, partners, to get murdered. 🔪🔪🔪😤⁠
(quote via @fruitsofmotherhood)⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
👶 Baby Names for 2020 👶⁠ .⁠ We're sharin 👶 Baby Names for 2020 👶⁠
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We're sharing the top baby names of 2019 and what baby names we think are going to climb the charts in 2020! {Click 🔗 in bio to find out more!}⁠
📷 : @paigemolinaphoto⁠
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#newborn #newbaby #newbornphotography #babynames  #namingbaby #babynameoftheday #namesforgirls #namesforboys #girlnames #boynames #namehelp #popularbabynames #babyname  #baby #newbornphotographer #babygirl #momlife #motherhood #babyphotographer #newbornphotos #newbornbaby #infant #babylove #newbornposing #babiesofinstagram #newbornsession #newmom #babyphotos #newbornpictures #mommychick
It looks like a murder scene up in here. 😦🍝👶🤦‍♀️⁠
📷: @alrightmom⁠
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#dinnertime #spaghettinight #motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
💜 How to Show Love to Your Partner in Labor 💜⁠
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Giving birth is a labor of love—with extra emphasis on the hard work behind the word "labor". It’s a time where anything goes, the best laid plans can be instantly reversed, and no one minds if a few swear words slip out now and then. The end result of a new baby in arms isn’t the only showcase of love, however. Oftentimes, the love shown between the partners is just as tear-jerking as the birth of the baby.⁠
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How can partners create a positive birth environment by bringing a little love into things? Here are some ways each partner can show love to the other during labor. {Click 🔗 in bio to read more!}⁠
📸: @taprootdoula⁠
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#birth #childbirth #laboroflove #pregnancy #motherhood #pregnant #babybump #birthwithoutfear #momlife #mumlife #empower #prenatal #naturalbirth #hospitalbirth #birthisbeautiful #homebirth #birthcenterbirth #birthphotographer #birthphotography #birthbecomesher #birthwithconfidence #laboranddelivery #motherhoodrising #positivebirth #birthmatters #love #mommychick #babychick
Sorry, kiddo. It looks like it’s gone. 🤷‍♀️😈⁠
📷: @stonecolddaddy⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
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