Hold and Reach

Encourage Infant Hand and Arm Use

You make a difference in your baby’s development!

Most babies are unable to reach for objects in the first 3 months of life. If you have participated in Parent Trust’s developmental screening program and have done a 4-month screening, you may remember an activity of holding a dangling toy over your infant to see if they reach for it. But even before that, in the 2-month screening, we practice putting a toy in baby’s hand to encourage holding objects.

A recent study found that most caregivers only start encouraging hand use after babies learn to reach. The study suggests that we can actually encourage reaching and holding (and thus hand and arm use) before a baby is attempting to reach on their own. Two suggested approaches emerged from the study:  Continue reading “Hold and Reach”

Music for Sleep…Maybe Not

Parents truly appreciate the importance of a good night’s sleep.  A recent experiment  shows that listening to music before bed-contrary to much current advice-can actually reduce your quality of sleep.

The study focused on the phenomenon of “earworms”–when a song or tune plays over and over again in a person’s mind.  Although this typically happens during waking time, the more music you listen to before bed, the higher the likelihood you’ll experience an earworm at night.  And nocturnal earworms, in turn, can cause disruptive sleep.   Continue reading “Music for Sleep…Maybe Not”

Relax About Relaxing

In today’s world, we are all bombarded with the message that it’s important to de-stress. You know that you should take time out to relax, rejuvenate–get some “me time.” But if you are anything like me, this knowledge is coupled with a crippling sense of guilt for actually doing what you know is good for you!

I recently found myself confessing to my sister that all I did on a recent Sunday was sit on the couch and read. Well–that and a few errands, laundry, prepping some meals for the week, and preparing for work on Monday (by working on Sunday) and calling a friend who needed some support.

Continue reading “Relax About Relaxing”

Green Hat, Blue Hat

Green Hat, Blue Hat
By Sandra Boynton
Ages 1-3



Three earnest animals and one misguided turkey learn colors and clothes. Summary from:

Marni’s comments:
I confess–I’m not a Boynton fan. But I was doing a Zoom screening with a 2 ½ year old recently, and he was cracking up repeatedly while reading this book. I mean BIG belly laughs. His Mom said he just loves this book. So, thanks, Jackson B! Hope others enjoy it too!

This book review is part of our “laugh aloud” special edition newsletter!
If you click on the book cover to buy the book from Amazon, a portion of the proceeds go to Parent Trust!

The Dogist Puppies

The Dogist Puppies
By Elias Weiss Friedman
All ages



Marni’s summary and commentary:
When I was growing up, we had a coffee table book that was all photographs of cats. When we were very lucky, my mom would pull it out and sit with me and my sister as we went through page by page. No story, just tons of gorgeous, cute and sweet cats. I’ll always remember the cozy feeling of sitting with my mom and sister as we looked at the photos.  Continue reading “The Dogist Puppies”

Stef Soto Taco Queen

Stef Soto, Taco Queen
By Jennifer Torres
Ages 8+



Estefania “Stef” Soto is itching to shake off the onion-and-cilantro embrace of Tia Perla, her family’s taco truck. She wants nothing more than for Papi to get a normal job and for Tia Perla to be a distant memory. Then maybe everyone at school will stop seeing her as the Taco Queen.

But when her family’s livelihood is threatened, Continue reading “Stef Soto Taco Queen”