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If you ask anybody about Lariah, they will tell you that she is the sweetest, most social child ever. And I’d proudly have to agree.

Although I can’t quite decide whether it’s 100% bad or good, my baby has never had a single hint of stranger danger. She will walk up to anybody anywhere and motion for them to pick her up or acknowledge her. It’s fine for us because I’m social and I love talking to people; plus I’m always around. She’s never too far from me and DEFINITELY never out of my eyesight.

Other than genetics of course, I think that my enrolling her in parent child activities at 3 weeks old and taking her to play groups was essential and crucial in her being so friendly. Squally has always been around other people and babies and she now enjoys their company and she plays with everyone very well, with the exception of her bestie, Yuri, but Yuri doesn’t mind Lariah trying to bully her. 😅


My point is, as soon as your feeling up to it, get these Squallies out and about!! Of course the types of activities available vary from city to city, but for immediately postpartum mommies, some hospitals offer new mom support groups! We attended Baptist Hospital for Women’s Beautiful Bundles New Mom Support Group in Memphis, TN as soon as I was feeling up to driving and it was one of the best decisions I had ever made! I made some great, life-long mommy friends and Lariah made some baby besties; more than that we helped each other through this stressful and life changing blessing called motherhood. And the support group was free!


We found many government-run, free mommy groups such as BF-STARS (Breast Feeding Sisters That Are Receiving Support) that NOT only gave us more information about breastfeeding and nutrition, but gave a safe place to ask questions and gave us lots of supportive supplies!


There’s the HUGS program by the government that comes to your house monthly and checks your for post-partum depression symptoms and gives you milestone information about what you can expect your baby to be doing and how you can help them be on the right path of development.

Here in Knoxville we found the Parents as Teachers program, which is similar to HUGS, except they focus more on how influential we, the parents, are as teachers of our children and they show you new, fun, and inexpensive ways to help your child learn and grow! They also have several events per month that you can attend so that you can learn along side other Parent-Teacher-Moms while also practicing some of these techniques that they’re teaching and socializing your baby!


We attended Kindermusik Classes with the lovely, Ms.Annette where they stress the importance of music, rhythms, and parent-interactions with the babies! An extra perk for us was the CDs that you get when you pay for the class: those songs have been and still are my savior for long car rides. Lariah LOVES the Kindermusik albums! Not to mention, the classes are fun and interactive for the babies and the parents. High sensory and stimulation  music and movements that help our kids to be musically inclined, social, and confident!


We took swimming lessons that helped to teach the joys of being in the water and making it a positive experience, not something scary!


Lariah’s currently taking gymnastics classes at the Little Gym (where she actually just won First Place in their Halloween Party Costume Contest 🎃👻) and in there we are teaching our babies balance and poise along with how to manipulate their tiny bodies positively and build those muscles! Lariah loves walking across the high beam bars. 🏅🏅


There have been other activities along the way, such as Yoga!


And today, we simply went to UT Gardens and walked around as a family, laid on a blanket, and enjoyed each other’s company!


The moral of the story is this: there’s no such thing as starting too soon to make a well-acclimated baby! You don’t have to break the bank  to get involved, you just have to be open to the possibilities!

I

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lariajenae

I'm a wife, a mother to Squally Muffin, a student at UTCVM, a friend to many, and a future Dr. 💁🏽

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