Parents September 2021

Parents brings you expert advice you can trust to help you raise happy, healthy kids at every age, every stage! Celebrate the joys of parenthood! Say yes to Parents now and get all the family-focused fun, down-to-earth tips, and advice from the heart you need to be the best mom you can be!

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editor’s note

The Wonder of School Drop-Off IT WAS MY first parent-teacher night, one of those small but mighty milestones that make you feel as if you’ve truly arrived as a mother. I was sitting on a folding chair at the nursery school where my firstborn, then age 2, was enrolled three mornings a week. As the teachers’ presentation concluded, a fellow mom raised her hand. “I’ve noticed that Sophie has been singing songs I don’t know,” she said. “Could you possibly email out videos of the songs you’ll be covering this year so we can sing along at home?” Before the teachers could answer, a dad across the room chimed in: “Oh, and to piggyback on that, could we also get the titles of all the books in the classroom?” It had never occurred…

your guide to making the days easier and the journey sweeter

Leaf a Mark You want to ace the first day of school almost as much as your kid does. A good way to kick things off: Surprise their teacher with the classroom equivalent of a housewarming gift. Start by helping your little learner make cool designs on a small terra-cotta pot using acrylic paint. Then head to a garden center and pick out a plant that’s ridiculously easy to care for (we went for succulents). Keep things punny by sticking in a garden stake or a toothpick with a note that says, “Thanks for helping me grow.” TAKE 5 RECESS FOR YOUR BRAIN Calling all teacher moms! Try this exercise to quickly calm your mind when you’re back in the classroom this year. 1 Sit or stand still. 2 Listen for the farthest-away sounds you can hear (traffic,…

kim kardashian west

In real life, Kim Kardashian West, mom to North, 8, Saint, 5, Chicago, 3, and Psalm, 2, is studying law with the goal of aiding people who are serving unjust prison sentences. She also wrapped the 20th and final season of Keeping Up With the Kardashians and, like the rest of us, is preparing for back-to-school season. • My parenting superpower I’m naturally very calm, which I think translates into my parenting. I don’t get super-stressed or impatient, which I think is definitely a superpower when you have three kids age 5 and under running around. • My parenting kryptonite When my kids want something (typically candy), they give me this look directly in my eyes that cuts right through me. I usually give in and give them what they want. • Best…

the insider’s guide to checkups

EARLY IN the pandemic, many families put doctors’ visits that weren’t crucial on hold, and there was a 53 percent drop in kids’ annual checkups, according to a study in Academic Pediatrics. Few parents were eager to enter a waiting room where they could potentially get infected with COVID-19. And given how often standard checkups seem to fly by in a flash (“It’s over?”), it may have felt as if you weren’t missing much. Sick visits, too, were way down—an added benefit of mask wearing, social distancing, and frequent handwashing, which reduced the spread of typical kid illnesses like colds and strep throat. But we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel now, and returning to regular well visits is essential, health experts say. Not only have pediatricians been concerned…

the book nook

5 New Titles to Pick up Now 1. The Leaf Thief Written by Alice Hemming, illustrated by Nicola Slater Kids will laugh and learn from this playful tale about the changing seasons. Squirrel notices that some colorful leaves are missing from his tree and thinks they’ve been stolen. He frantically asks his animal friends if they’re “the leaf thief.” Slater’s pencil drawings of the animal’s wide eyes and frenzied movements amplify the amusing dialogue. Though frustrated, Bird shows patience for a pal scared by a changing world (a point you can build on in a post-story convo with your kid). Ages 3 to 7 2. Your Legacy: a Bold Reclaiming of Our Enslaved History Written by Schele Williams, illustrated by Tonya Engel When Williams, who is directing the upcoming revival of the musical Aida on Broadway,…

add a side of stem to playtime

PAGING DR. MOM “My Baby Drools and Spits up a Lot. Should I Be Worried?” Drooling and spitting up are incredibly common in healthy infants. Before teething starts, at around 3 to 6 months, babies begin to make more saliva, which causes drooling. Saliva helps protect teeth from decay and starts food digestion. Drooling may cause skin irritation, so try to keep their mouth and neck dry. Babies spit up because the muscle that keeps liquid in the stomach is still developing, letting stomach contents dribble back up. Spitting up may happen more often during play or tummy time after a meal. Parents tend to overestimate how much liquid is coming up, so if your baby seems content and is gaining weight well, they are likely getting adequate nutrition. Spitting up usually resolves…