Chicco car seat. Save yourself some hassle getting the baby in and out of the car by investing in this incredible efficient carseat. It’s simpler to install the base correctly than brands like Graaco. It is also easier to release the carseat from the base for carrying. The toddler version is sure to be a great investment, if it’s design is as efficient and effortless as the carrier.

White leggings. Take the tossing, searching and dressing pain away for baby or toddler girls – mixing and matching outfits with those little souvenir tshirts, cute comfy tops, and nicer shirts is a breeze. Most of her clothing items will pop beautifully with white leggings and look FANTASTIC. If you’re a grandparent, then you’ll be praised for your cute dressing skills instead of looked at in horror because you dressed the baby “out of style”. If you have a boy, then pick a neutral color pant that is super comfy and easy to pull on and off, that will go with any shirt.

Simple, basic, classic toys. It may be tempting to start educating a baby with electronic toys, but I must warn you that it could actually delay their development. I have first hand experience with this! It is recommended that babies and toddlers not watch shows or use electronics until the age of 2 because their speech and physical development depends on interactive play and associating one word at a time.

The brain gets overwhelmed with all the information coming in, especially sentences. And, if there are too many options of toys, the child may not learn how to focus. Too many words is can turn into garble in their head. Playing with one basic, simple toy at a time, like building blocks, placing shapes on pegs, pushing a fish into a slot, learning how to do a simple puzzle placing one shape or one animal in the corresponding spot, or dropping a ball in a bucket is the way the specialist trained me to help my daughter develop her expression of words.  Playing with a child in a structured way to encourage one-word associations, like the name of an animal – and to give two-word instructions, like “put on”, “push in”, “get zebra”, “hold hand”, “eat apple”, “feed baby”, “give to Daddy” are important to prevent or catch up a child’s developmental delay.

Book with one picture per page. Identifying objects around the house using one word is an important learning process, as well as, identifying one picture per page inside a book. The goal is not to overwhelm the child with multiple words. Once the brain begins to associate an item with a word, then she will begin to speak it verbally. Add on more vocabulary, and increase word count slowly, as the child is developmentally ready.

Lactose free milk, not soy milk. If you notice a baby gets congested when drinking regular milk, then take it away for a week. Many babies aren’t just having congestion, or being a “sick baby”, they are having an allergy reaction. Some babies are lactose intolerant. You can clear this up fast by taking away the milk, for a week or so, then reintroducing it. If the timing of starting milk and congestion starts, it could be a true virus, which may include fever. Do this a couple times, if necessary, because my baby ended up having a milk allergy. If your child or grandchild has a milk protein allergy – then stay away from soy milk. We ended up in the emergency room and later found out from the pediatrician not to give her soy milk because it has the protein causing the allergic reaction. Good to know this! Some babies can have small amounts of milk product, like chesse, but don’t over do it if there’s a milk allergy.

Room to play, drawers to explore, and baby gates. Clean out a drawer in each key area of the home that baby will be roaming around in with you. Inside the drawer, place fun items for them to discover. A kitchen shelf or cabinet set up just for baby is a wonderful way to cook together or just enjoy the kitchen together. In a bedroom, a nightstand drawer is a fun place to add some baby friendly yet grown up items, like an old watch, a straw, and whatever else you can find around the house. The entire area will have to be baby proofed, so if you don’t want little ones exploring all your stuff, then invest in baby gates. Prepare to be “on alert” 24/7 with a baby in the house! The baby gates can give you some relief, so you can spend your energy playing! They love closets too, so prep it with fun discoveries – a suitcase of clothing or shoes is a fun “emptying it” activity that will give them a sense of great accomplishment when they’ve tossed every single item out of it.

The less stuff you have “cluttering” up your home, the less monitoring you’ll have to do so baby is free-er to roam. And, the faster you’ll be able to scoop things up that land all over the floors. But, there’s a bonus to less stuff when it comes to teaching your little one to concentrate. By being more streamlined, you reduce the chances of a baby becoming overstimulated and not being able to focus on one activity.

How to teach your little one to concentrate. Remove all items from a room, with the exception of the core pieces of furniture. Remove items from surfaces that they can reach. Place one interactive toy in the room. Interact with the baby or toddler by playing with this one specific toy. Teach them how to play with it, then allow them to do it on their own with guidance from you. Praise or clap for them when they are performing an activity. Stick with this one activity for as long as the baby is interested. If the baby starts “destructing” the play by swiping or throwing items, then it may be time to “clean up” and bring out another activity.

You can give the little one 2 options of what to concentrate on (or play with) and follow his/her choice of interest. By removing the “distractions”, including phones – so both baby and you are not distracted by it – then your baby will be practicing the art of concentration. Mastery of any skill takes concentration. Concentration takes removal of distractions.  And, if you are the one that has the sudden impulse to do something different, then practice ignoring the impulse.

Overall, don’t overstimulate your grandchild with too many things, and purposely improve their focus by directing their attention OR following their interest to one activity at a time. Clean it up when they are ready to move on, and get busy with the next activity. This will help improve your concentration skills, as well.

Enjoy your little one!