Your growing toddler will benefit from an environment that is stimulating and "enriched".  An enriched environment is one that provides a variety of physical and social experiences. It doesn't cost a lot of money, just your time and a little creativity. You can use everyday household items and activities to enrich your toddler's daily experiences. When you share these experiences and talk about them, you are encouraging curiosity, learning and imagination!


Learn how to create an enriching environment

Brain Science for Your Baby

Scientists have studied the effects of environmental enrichment on rats.  Rats are not people.  And people (generally) are not rats.  But science learns a lot about how the brain develops from studying rats.  Scientists can manipulate the environments that rats are raised in.  They put some rat babies (pups) in a large cage with lots of toys and opportunities for play and other rats in a bare cage with limited toys and limited opportunities to play with others.  They found that rats raised in an enriched environment learn faster and have better memories (yes, you can measure that in rats!).   They also have less stress and are more willing to explore.  Scientists believe the same is true for babies too!   

A Baby Buffer Prescription for Your Baby

Develop a daily schedule with predicable routine...and stick to it!


Get plenty of fresh air and explore what comes with the great outdoors (e.g., dirt, water, sand, leaves, etc.) Talk to your toddler about what you see.


Offer simple household items for play and imagination (e.g., plastic bowl, spoons, cardboard box, washcloths, socks for puppet play)


Include your toddler in everyday tasks, dusting, folding laundry, stirring foods, organizing toys and objects


Create a special reading spot where toddler can reach and explore books on her own


Organize toys into bins and rotate which toy bins are available. This will make old toys new again and help to keep play interesting.  


Play a variety of appropriate songs and music. Dance and enjoy the moment! 

A Baby Buffer Prescription for You   


Spend time creating an environment that you enjoy! It's important to have your home child proofed and safe for your toddler, but that doesn't mean that his toys have to take over every space in the home.


Create a space in your home for reading, doing crafts, or other things that you enjoy.  Decorate with colors that you find pleasant, and make this a place that you can come to while your baby is sleeping or with another caregiver to "recharge". 


Remember, it's OK to take time and a little space for yourself.  You are a better parent when you are healthy, happy, and well rested!  Ask someone that you trust to help with your toddler when you need a break.   








What Your Baby Can Do - Developmental Milestones 


Emotionally, one-year-olds are just learning to recognize and manage their feelings. They experience a wide range of emotions and have tantrums when they are tired or frustrated. They may also respond to conflict by hitting, biting, screaming, or crying. One-year-olds want their independence, and may say, "No!" to adult suggestions or insist that they, "Do it!" Then, moments later, they might cling to an adult's leg or ask for help.

Gene's Research Tip

 A study from the New York University School of Medicine looked at women and the habit of watching TV while eating during the third trimester and then again when the babies were 3 months old.


They found that 70% watched TV while eating during pregnancy and that 30% of infants were fed in front of the TV.  Those mommies under 25 years were more likely to feed the babes in front of the boob tube, and bottle fed babies were also more likely to experience media.  So, is this bad? Well, numerous studies show that when our attention isn't on eating, we have a tendency to eat more.  One theory of this is that we aren't paying close attention to the signals the body is giving, so we just keep "shoveling it in!"


And the concern can be, that we get in the habit of "shoveling it in" to our babies, as well, especially, if we are thinking of something else, like that TV show, or that new text message...rather than really watching TSK (that special kid)! Read More

Baby Buffer Blog
Written by Katrina Ostmeyer-Kountzman, PhD, BCBA

It happens almost every day.  I walk in the door with my 2 year old son after a long day at work, and he turns around and says, "Mommy, pay with me."  This is usually followed by a large arm gesture, and a "come on" to get me to come to the toy he has wanted to play with all day.  When this happens, many thoughts go through my head.  I think about how cute and special he is, but I also think about everything I need to do.  There's unfinished housework, paperwork I brought home, dinner that needs to be cooked, and sleep that I desperately want. 


Usually, one look at that sweet little face helps me forget about some of those things.  Other times, it's knowing how important it is for my son (an only child) to be able to play with me. Read More

"Like" us on Facebook! 

 Sign up to get Baby Buffer emails!