The First Years Blog | TOMY

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Hints & Tips

Summertime and the Playing is Easy

by Dr. Maureen O’Brien

Posted on Thursday, July 16, 2020

Are you worried that this summer is going to be different from any other? With lots of restrictions in place and many child care centers closed, you may be concerned about how to fill up all that ‘free time’ with your little one. The good news is that children are naturally curious and love to...

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COVID-19 and Co-parenting

by Dr. Maureen O’Brien

Posted on Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Uncharted territory. New normal. Unprecedented times. These phrases hold true for everyone, but parents have had their world upended more than most by the pandemic. Much of what constitutes good parenting–reliable home routines, patience, clear boundaries–is out the window. As parents, we are...

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Turn That Frown Upside Down

by Dr. Maureen O’Brien

Posted on Tuesday, May 5, 2020

If you are dealing with a cranky toddler these days, you may not want to hear this: Frustration is actually a good thing. That’s correct. When your two year old knocks over her blocks on purpose because her tower isn’t right, it feels negative. And the emotion behind it may, in part, be negative...

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Who Needs a Laugh? We All Do!

by Dr. Maureen O’Brien

Posted on Thursday, April 2, 2020

One of the joys of being a parent is watching your little one develop a sense of humor. From those first infectious baby giggles to silly toddler faces, laughing together is a gift and a great stress reliever! And it doesn’t take much time. In seconds, you can coax a belly laugh with a tickle....

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Dreamy Solutions to Sleep Issues

by Dr. Maureen O’Brien

Posted on Tuesday, March 3, 2020

There’s not a parent alive who hasn’t dreamt of more sleep – either for themselves or for their baby. Yet there is more conflicting advice about the management of sleep than any other childrearing area. (And much of that advice is unsolicited!) Here’s what we do know:

  • Creating and
  • ...
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At the Heart of Love

by Dr. Maureen O’Brien

Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Parental love is like no other. As Elizabeth Stone once said, “It’s to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” Even before your little one was born, you likely felt awe about who your baby would turn out to be. And you committed to love this new being and keep her...

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What do you resolve (not) to do?

by Dr. Maureen O’Brien

Posted on Friday, January 3, 2020

Resolutions, by definition, are difficult to keep. Lots of resolutions are about personal goals and revolve around physical health. But as a new year dawns, it feels like an opportune time to reexamine your priorities as a mom or dad. Ask yourself: Are there parenting or family practices that...

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Reducing the Gimmes this Season

by Dr. Maureen O’Brien

Posted on Wednesday, December 4, 2019

‘Tis the season for gift giving. For some of us, this conjures up a way to express care and appreciation for loved ones. But too often for families, it feels like we are entering the “Season of Stuff.” We are bombarded (prior to Thanksgiving now) with advertisements for the latest, greatest...

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Do you have a picky eater?

by Dr. Maureen O’Brien

Posted on Thursday, October 31, 2019

As the mom of a child whose palate was limited to mac & cheese, yogurt and peanut butter during his formative years, I feel VERY qualified to write about picky eaters. The fact that his twin(!) would eat anything I put in front of him led me to one important insight: don’t blame yourself. ...

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Facing fears: Uh oh….and oh no!

by Dr. Maureen O’Brien

Posted on Thursday, October 3, 2019

Being afraid is part of being human.  Some typical toddler fears (darkness, loud noises, being alone) are logical to us adults because we remember having them ourselves. Other fears seem irrational at first, but become clearer when we understand how young children’s minds work.  Let’s take the...

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