5 Tips for a Stress-Free Christmas Day!

5 tips for a stress free christmas

The day has almost arrived! Kids all over have been counting down to Christmas day for months. Mums and Dads have been stressing and fretting over the day for months. Now that it is almost here, you would think the stress would all be over – right?

Christmas Day can be a very stressful day, especially if you have visitors coming over or if you have a lot of travelling to do with a car full of kids. There will always be things that are outside of your control, and something bound to not go to plan, but there are ways to manage the day and reduce your stress where possible.

Here are our 5 top tips to ensure you have a stress-free Christmas Day!

A Stress-Free Christmas Tip 1: Prepare and Pre-make foods!

If you are the one in the family that has the honour of hosting Christmas this year then you will have a lot on your plate. The last thing you want to be doing on Christmas Day when all your family is over is spending half of it in the kitchen. Once you have decided on the menu for the day, work out how many of the dishes can be made in advance and either heated up or served on the day to reduce your time in the kitchen. Salads can all be made the night before and refrigerated. If you are making potato bakes, quiches or cakes, these can all be made in advance, frozen and then warmed up on the day.

A Stress-Free Christmas Tip 2: Pre-decorate

Where possible pre-decorate so you aren’t left doing it on Christmas Day. If you are hosting family on the day, set up your Christmas table the night before with all the plates, cutlery and decorations. This will not only remove the task from having to be done on Christmas Day but it also gives everyone something to look at as they arrive.

DO YOU STILL NEED TO GET YOUR SANTA PHOTOS DONE? Read our top tips for a stress-free trip to visit Santa and get that perfect photo here!

A Stress-Free Christmas Tip 3: Pack the car the day before

If you are doing a lot of travelling on Christmas Day, be prepared by packing the car the night before with clothes, activities and gifts. This way all you need to put in the car on Christmas Day is any food you are taking, the kids and yourself. And if you’re doing a long journey, don’t forget snacks and activities or ipads for the kids to keep yourself sane!

A Stress-Free Christmas Tip 4: Have a schedule

If you are anything like me, having a list or plan of how something should play out reduces your stress levels immensely. I love a good list! Having a rough schedule of the day will help to relax you and reduce your stress. 9 times out of 10 the schedule will not go exactly to plan but having it there and sticking to it where you can will help the day run smoothly.

A Stress-Free Christmas Tip 5: Stay Hydrated

It is a simple one. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water during the day and staying hydrated. Once you start to become dehydrated you can become tired, lethargic and irritable – all things you want to avoid when you have a house full of family and excited children. Keeping your water intake up will help you feel refreshed and lively.

If all else fails and your stress levels start to increase and things just aren’t going to plan – bring out the wine. It is a day of celebration and festivities after all 😉

We wish each and every one of you a safe, happy and stress free Christmas. For all the mothers experiencing their little ones first Christmas – this is an exciting milestone, so do your best to stay stress-free and cherish the precious memories!


Catherine Nelson-WilliamsCatherine Nelson-Williams is the author of this article and founder of The Nursery Collective. She is a mum of two and juggles being a WAHM with blogging and running The Nursery Collective – a haven for mamas navigating the early years of motherhood, where you can find unique boutiques and services for Mum, Baby & Kids all in the one place.

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Our Tips for the Best Santa Photo Possible!

Santa Photos - Tips for the Best Photo Possible!

At any other time of the year, the thought of waiting an hour or more in a busy line with unsettled, hungry children and dozens of other families would send most parents running for the hills. However, throw in the words “Santa” and “Christmas” and all of a sudden it sounds like a perfect idea! Santa photos are a popular yearly tradition but can also be a stressful time for all involved.

Below are our best tips to help you through the day so you can hopefully leave your session with a wonderful Santa photo and memory!

Santa Photos Tip 1: Bring Spare Clothes!

Choosing the right outfit for Santa photos is a very important task which many parents ponder over for weeks before hand. Do I dress them all the same? Matching colours? Christmas themed outfits? Whichever outfit you decide to go with, make sure you have a backup outfit on hand with you. We all know kids, even if you have covered all bases, they find a way to get messy super easily!

If possible having them in every day clothes in the lead up to the photos is ideal. This way they can run amok and change into their photo clothes just before the photos and be clean and ready.

Santa Photos Tip 2: Book for after Breakfast or Lunch

Even if you have a booked in time for your photos the chances that you will have to wait in line because they are delayed are quite high. Making sure that you go after a good meal means the kids will hopefully be more content and able to wait without too much hassle or constantly bugging you for things to do and eat.

Santa Photos Tip 3: Bring Snacks

In the event that you do need to wait and haven’t had a full meal recently, snacks are a great way to settle (read: bribe) the kids. If you are packing snacks, try to avoid messy foods and stick to easy to eat and mess free foods such as fruit (but not any that stain!), muesli bars and sandwiches. Having snacks on hand will help to keep the children settled and focused. And don’t forget wipes!

Santa Photos Tip 4: Activities

If you are at a very popular photo place then you need to be prepared to entertain the kids. They are very unlikely to just stand and wait quietly in the line – how we wish they would! Having books, tablets or pencils to occupy them will help. Obviously, you cannot set up a huge assortment of activities but things that they can do whilst standing in the line will help the time to go quicker.

Time for the Photo!

Once it is your time for the photos, this is when the tears, tantrums and excitement can kick in. You might have done all you could to prepare the kids and let them know what to expect and they might have seemed okay with it….until the moment actually arrives!

The staff at most of the photo booths are great and have worked with kids for a number of years so they know how to handle all sorts of behaviours. Reminding your little ones that it is going to be fun, happy and exciting will help.

If the tears start and they do not want to be in the photo, jump in with them! There is no harm in a parent being in the photo and it makes for a great memory and story to tell down the track. Some Santa’s will play along and there have been numerous photos shared on social media of Santa crying with the kids, or Santa hiding behind the chair. These can sometimes end up more special than the perfect posed photo!

At the end of the day, your ‘perfect’ Santa photo may not be what you envisioned, however it will still be perfect whichever way it turns out. So try not to stress and enjoy the moment! A photo with your little ones is a photo to be cherished, and if there are tears or red faces or kids trying to run away (have seen those ones as well) then there is always next year. Just think of how embarrassed they are going to be when you bring that photo out at their 21st birthday 😉


Catherine Nelson-WilliamsCatherine Nelson-Williams is the author of this article and founder of The Nursery Collective. She is a mum of two and juggles being a WAHM with blogging and running The Nursery Collective – a haven for mamas navigating the early years of motherhood, where you can find unique boutiques and services for Mum, Baby & Kids all in the one place.

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Breastfeeding Confidently and Comfortably with Smylyn Bubby Covers : Review by Fi Morrison

Smylyn Bubby Cover Review

Fi Morrison, Nursery Collective Mama Blogger Expert, reviews the Smylyn Bubby Cover.

I recently welcomed my second son to the world, embarking on my second breastfeeding journey with a (slightly) clearer idea of what I was doing. After breastfeeding my firstborn for 14 months, I was aware of the different types of holds, the mechanics of getting a baby to latch, and how to express for bottle feeds. I thought I would feel confident and comfortable breastfeeding the second time round.

However, that hasn’t necessarily been the case, because what hasn’t changed for me is my discomfort feeding in public.

As an extremely modest person, I’ve always been shy about feeding in public. (This is just a personal preference – I fully support and envy the women who are comfortable with feeding in public).

One of the big questions for me when going out and about with my bub is always, “when is he next due for a feed? What will I do if he needs a feed? Where will I take him?”.

And I know I’m not the only Mum out there feeling this way. Unfortunately when I was feeding my firstborn, I didn’t have the most ideal breastfeeding cover. It was a bit restrictive for my boy and made him feel hot and stuffy (as well as being a handful to put on!). It made me feel more stressed and anxious about going out and feeding on the run. That’s why it was so important for me to find a breastfeeding cover that would be super practical – especially while also chasing a toddler!

I was SUPER excited to be asked to try the Smylyn Breastfeeding Bubby Cover. It looked simple and easy to use, and most of all functional for my new little boy.

My first trial run with the Smylyn was on a ‘short’ park visit for the toddler (luckily hubby could chase him around!). I wasn’t (mentally) prepared for a feed because I didn’t think he was due for one – but when bubs is screaming the place down, you’re just going to do it right?! So I got my Smylyn cover out, and within 2 minutes I was feeding my baby boy publicly and comfortably – I can’t tell you who was happier in that moment!! (I’m sure it was him, but barely…)

How the Smylyn Bubby Cover works

The Smylyn cover looks super simple – which it is – but this makes it extremely easy to use and very practical. The small strap attaches around the bra strap (so it doesn’t fall or catch on anything), and the cover drapes over your chest for coverage. Bub is placed underneath the cover, with the rest of the material wrapping under his head (in the crook of your elbow) to maintain the coverage around the breast.

The material is a medium sized square, making it the perfect size to still give bub room to move and breathe (with LOTS of air flow!). There is also an inbuilt piece of terry towelling to catch any leakages – including spews like for my darling little refluxy boy.

Smylyn Fi Morrison Review

Smylyn’s breastfeeding cover is easy to clean and great for portability – it can easily fold up and fit in a small pocket or space in the nappy bag. Plus, they come in such gorgeous designs (I may sound a little vain, but I’m a sucker for cute baby designs!!).

The Smylyn cover has been a game changer for me this breastfeeding journey. Now that I’m chasing around 2, I have to go out more often, with the increasing likelihood of being out when bub is due for a feed. While this thought used to make me very anxious, I’m now no longer worried (well, much much less worried at least!) knowing that I have a practical, convenient and reliable breastfeeding cover that has me COVERED! (See what I did there?!)

Fi Morrison Smylyn Bubby Cover

Summary of Smylyn’s Features:

Great coverage considering the size (looks are deceiving)
• Sewn-in towel to catch spills – no need for an extra burp cloth, and can also be used as a bib
• Velcro tab to attach to bra strap – ultra convenient!
• Easy to clean
• Great for airflow (not too stuffy for Baby) and for keeping an eye on Baby
• Small enough for portability – super practical
• Huge range of gorgeous designs on offer

By Fi Morrison

This blog post is sponsored by SMYLYN. Read owner and creator Lisa’s story about all the things she didn’t know about breastfeeding when she had her first baby and what led her to create these breastfeeding covers.

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Fi Morrison is the face behind the blog Mumma Morrison, and is a mum to two beautiful boys! She is the Nursery Collective Mama Blogger expert, available to answer your parenting questions in our Facebook group, Find Your Village.

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The Things I didn’t know about Breastfeeding

The Things I didn't Know about Breastfeeding

Lisa Collis, Owner and Creator of Smylyn Bubby Covers shares her story about all the things she didn’t know about breastfeeding when she had her first baby.

My breastfeeding journey started like I am sure many do. I was pregnant and keen to do all the right things. I knew that I wanted to breastfeed my baby, but in my circle of friends and family I had not ever really seen it, talked about it or understood what it involved.

You just stick the baby on the boob… right? and it all just happens… right?

As I look back at this now, I can only see this blind ambition as comical. Comical? Well, let’s start by pointing out that I so very naively thought milk came out of a woman’s nipple much the same as a cow’s udder (via one hole) so imagine my amazement and confusion as milk spurted in numerous directions from my nipples.

This then brings me to the next element that I was completely unprepared for… milk spray, milk squirts, milk drips… milk, milk, milk. I had absolutely no comprehension that once the baby cried and the ‘let down’ reflex triggered that my milk would just gush. I can remember one occasion, in particular, as I struggled to get bub in the right position to feed that my husband ever so gently reached over and repositioned the muslin wrap (that I was awkwardly using as a cover) to prevent my spraying breastmilk from spraying at an extreme ninety degrees from my nipple into nowhere.

WANT TO FIND OUT HOW BREASTFEEDING BENEFITS YOU AND YOUR BABY? Find out about all the amazing benefits here.

Another thing that I did not know, was that I was going to have to teach my baby what to do.

What? Is this not instinct? I don’t know what I am doing, how am I going to teach my baby what to do? Luckily, the midwives and lactation specialists were available to provide great support and advice. But again, came the problems with the milk. When bub was feeding incorrectly, I can describe what I was thinking – “It doesn’t feel right, oh maybe it will be ok, maybe bub will self-correct… why are my toes curling up, oh yep this is painful, yep really painful, ok I need to correct this”. By promptly putting my finger in bubs mouth to stop the suction I automatically proceed to spray her in the face with milk, as I get her set to start again.

Dealing with this milk excess was one of the key reasons that I created a towel lined breastfeeding cover – the Smylyn Bubby Cover.

I wanted a breastfeeding cover, as I was not confident about what I was doing, and I needed the towel lining to help with the spillage. From trying other options, I also decided that I needed to have something that would attach to my bra strap so that I knew that it would be secured, and I would not have to worry about it falling off or bub tugging it away. Whilst I wanted discretion, I was conscious that I only needed a small amount of it – I did not want to sit under a big cumbersome sheet of fabric that was going to make both bub and I hot and uncomfortable.

smylyn bubby covers

I wanted to share this story to share the fact that I went through the same eye-opening learning journey that I am sure that many new mums go through and I wanted to share not only my creation (in case you are looking for the same solutions) but also to let you know that sticking with it is so worth it. I breastfed both of my daughters and whilst both experiences were challenging, they were more than worth it. I am so thankful that I have been able to bond with my daughters in this way and provide them with this healthy start to their lives.

I hope that you enjoy your breastfeeding adventures too – squirts and all!

Lisa Collis
Smylyn Bubby Covers 


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5 tips To Embrace Your Body After Baby

body after baby

So, you’ve had a baby. Like most new mums, you were probably super ready for the new arrival. You prepped the nursery, you read all the books, you even prepared yourself for the lack of sleep and thought you knew all about the affect it would have on your relationship with your partner. You thought you had this whole new mum thing in the bag. But then something took you by surprise. You didn’t realise how it would affect your self-esteem. You didn’t factor in the toll it would take on your body and the resentment you might feel now that things have changed.

If you’re struggling with the physical changes in your body post baby, here are some (no BS) ways to learn to love your body again, after baby.Continue Reading →

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Top Tips for Flying with Children

flying with children

These wonderful Top Tips for Flying With Children have been written by our friends at Kooshy Kids – who are all about making family travel easier! If you’re planning some travel with the little ones, make sure you take a read of these fabulous tips!

These days there are so many great family-friendly places to travel to with kids, and with international travel being more affordable than ever, families can easily embrace an overseas family holiday. But we all know travelling with children, particularly flying with children, can be tough – so it’s best to be prepared! Here are our top tips for stress free family flying!

Flying with Children Tip 1 – Keep them entertained

Ipads, tablets and gadgets are undeniably great entertainment options when flying with children. Pre-downloading their favourite shows to watch and games to play will keep them quiet and content. Remember to always fully charge electronic devices prior to departure.

flying with children keep them busy

Also consider other toy options to keep them occupied, games and toys that encourage creative play are great and will limit the amount of screen time they have onboard. Small portable toys and activity sets with options like colouring, stickers, magnetic games, cards, puzzles etc are the best for travel.

There are some really great pre-packed kids activity kits that are age appropriate and designed for travel. In addition taking a favourite soft toy along for the adventure will also help them enjoy the journey. Avoid taking toys with small parts as they can easily get lost under and in-between seats, and before its time for sleep, give kids a break from backlit screens to help them wind down. Packing a book to read onboard is also a good quiet entertainment option for kids that can read.

Flying with Children Tip 2 – Get some rest

Keeping kids comfortable is key, especially on long-haul flights which can be a nightmare if you don’t have a way of letting your child sit and fall asleep comfortably. You really want to try and avoid the uncomfortable situation where you’re stuck holding a sleeping child sprawled out across you for hours on end rendering you unable to move!

flying with children kooshy kids

Luckily there is a practical and affordable product now available to help your child (and therefore you!) fly comfortably and get some rest. The Kooshy Kids Kooshion can be used to create a flat, flexible space for kids to enjoy as a couch or bed on the airplane. It is placed on the floor between your child’s seat and the seat in front and then inflated, providing a large flat surface for legs to stretch out and little ones to lay flat on for sleeping. It’s simple to use, lightweight, durable and most importantly comfortable with a soft material on top. Over 50 airlines allow the use of the Kooshy Kids Kooshion during flight. This product is a must when flying with children…if the kids can get some sleep then so can you, and you’ll arrive at your destination feeling rested and ready to explore! For more information on the Kooshy Kids Kooshion, head here.

Flying with Children Tip 3 – Pack some snacks

Food can be a huge help – kids can get cranky when they are hungry and they may not like the plane food available. It’s a good idea to pack some snacks you know they like in your carry-on luggage for the journey.

Take a few options, something healthy and their favourite treats too, and carry them in a separate easy to access bag. Snacks are also a good way to pass some time and keep kids quiet when travelling. Also remember to encourage your kids to drink lots water, airplanes can be very dehydrating environments, and walk around the plane at regular intervals.

snacks when flying with children

Flying with Children Tip 4 – Be prepared

With the extra bags and gear that comes with travelling with kids, it pays to be well organised. If you’re travelling with a toddler you may find they can carry their own small backpack bag. This is great as it means everything is packed together and saves you from having to carrying all their toys, games, water bottle, snacks and spare clothes.

traveling with a toddler use backpack

A backpack style bag is also handy for parents’ carry-on bag so when your travelling through airports your hands can be free to help or hold the kids. It’s also very important to be organised when it comes to your families travel documents and passports. It’s a good idea to take copies and keep them together and safe, a family passport wallet is handy for this.

If your children are a little older it can help to talk to them prior to the trip about what is going to happen, so they know what to expect and also so they get excited and look forward to the journey.

Flying with Children Tip 5 – Focus on the positives

It can really help to remain calm when travelling with a toddler and focusing on the positives can help. There are so many amazing benefits to travelling with kids, the knowledge they will acquire, skills they will develop and memories you will all gain from travel makes the journey totally worth it! Sometimes reminding yourself of the positive impact travel will have on them and the great experiences you will have together as a family can help you get through any stressful part of the plane journey.

So go on, select your dream places to travel with kids, book the flights and rest easy knowing that you can have a stress free travel experience with your kids!

Written by Megan Maden from Kooshy Kids. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
Looking for other essential travel items? Check out our Travel section in our shop here! 

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Think Peaceful Parenting is Impossible? Tips on How to Be Calm!

peaceful parenting

Let’s be honest. This parenting business can be stressful AF. And, unless you’re a practising Buddhist monk, you’ve probably flipped out at your kids a few (hundred) times. Like it or not, it goes along with the territory, and it doesn’t make you a bad parent. But, it’s important to know and understand the long term effects that regular bursts of anger can have on your children if you’re serious about trying to minimise them, and want to adopt a more peaceful parenting approach.

Kids who regularly see their parents angry end up being less empathetic than those raised in more calm households. These kids also tend to be more aggressive, are more like to suffer from depression, and perform worse in school*. So, if you’ve been convincing yourself that your anger issue isn’t something to worry about, think again.

The good news is, there are ways to get it under control, even if yelling has been your go-to disciplinary method so far. Peaceful parenting is an ongoing struggle for me and one of the things I need to constantly do is look at my own self care – if I let that slide, my patience wears thin and I find it a lot harder to stay calm. (Read more on Why Self Care Isn’t Selfish here).

Here are some easy tips on how to be calm and stop yelling:

Peaceful Parenting: Short circuit your anger

Notice the early signs of stress so you can become aware of when stress is coming on and stop it in its tracks. Be prepared for a potential meltdown from your tiny human and instead of getting angry, be ready to distract them with toys, food or one of their favourite comforts.

Peaceful Parenting: Give yourself a timeout

Take a break from the situation. Walk away or go into the next room. Distract yourself with an activity or simply bring your attention to your body. Watch the breath come and go, and as you breathe out imagine the anger being released from your body. Only go back when you have settled.

Peaceful Parenting: Express yourself

Explain your anger instead of releasing it. Pause, count to five and then communicate clearly what has made you upset. Own up to how you’re feeling and apologise for overreacting if you need to. Even if your kids don’t understand what you’re saying, you’ll benefit just from saying it aloud to yourself.

peaceful parenting how to be calm

Peaceful Parenting: Ask the right questions

Instead of asking why this is happening to you, ask yourself why this might be happening at all. Often, your kids don’t want to upset you, they are acting out because they want attention, or perhaps they are tired or hungry. See if you can be more compassionate with your kids by trying to understand where they are coming from, instead of going straight to disciplining them.

Peaceful Parenting: It Takes Practice

It will take to time to make each of these peaceful parenting habits replace your current reactions. Be patient with yourself and keep trying. Eventually you will be re-wiring your neurological pathways away from the angry route making way for a more calm, considered response and peaceful household.

*When Anger Hurts Your Kids, Matthew McKay PhD


Catherine Nelson-WilliamsCatherine Nelson-Williams is the author of this article and founder of The Nursery Collective. She is a mum of two and juggles being a WAHM with blogging and running The Nursery Collective – a haven for mamas navigating the early years of motherhood, where you can find unique boutiques and services for Mum, Baby & Kids all in the one place.

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Parenting Advice for the Modern Parent – Introducing ParentTV

We all enter parenthood without a manual, and no matter how many parenting books we read while expecting, nothing truly prepares us for the onslaught of real life parenting once our little ones arrive. Most of us can admit to having had preconceived notions on what kind of parents we will be before we have kids – how our kids will behave, what food we’ll feed them, how much screen time they will be allowed, whether we will breastfeed or bottle feed, co-sleep or sleep train…and yet it’s only when we are in the thick of real life parenting that we realise how unrealistic our ideas of parenting really were.

I can still clearly remember an evening when my husband and I, newly engaged and yet to have kids, were having dinner out in a restaurant with some friends who had a 2.5 year old – their little one couldn’t sit still, was noisy, clambering on and off his seat and under the table in between bites of food. I remember thinking that I would never allow MY future child to do that and scoffed silently when the dad said “ah he’s such a boy” and that he didn’t believe in raising his voice to children. Looking back, I can now see that this little one was in fact being extremely well behaved for a boy of his age and that his parents were doing an amazing job taking him out with them, staying calm and collected throughout the entire meal.Continue Reading →

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Why Self Care isn’t Selfish: How to take time for yourself without feeling guilty

Take Time For Yourself

As a mum, you’re always feeling guilty about something. You’re constantly questioning yourself, wondering if you are doing it right. You’re probably always feeling like you could be doing something better. While you run around taking care of everyone else, who is there to take care of you? While it would be nice to have a designated carer, most of the time it comes down to you needing to take care of yourself. But I’ll bet that as a Mum you don’t quite know HOW to take time for yourself (away from the kids) without feeling guilty, am I right?

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5 Natural Ways to Boost Your Child’s Immune System this Winter

boost your child's immune system

Today we have Nursery Collective Eco Mama & Wellness Coach Sig Chapman sharing her top tips on how to boost your child’s immune system this winter, naturally! 

Winter isn’t coming – it’s here. Having a sick kid really isn’t fun and on top of that can impact the wellbeing of the whole family. So, what can you do to combat the germs coming in from day-care, kinder and school, and boost your child’s immune system this winter?

The good news is that there are some simple and natural ways to help boost immunity and help them stay healthy in the cold and flu season, so if they do get hit with any nasty bugs, it doesn’t linger and they recover quickly. These are my secrets to increase immunity, keeping my kids healthy during winter.Continue Reading →

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Parenting an Anxious Child: What You Should Know

Parenting An Anxious Child

Do you have a child who is anxious? The lovely Alexandra Newmarch, Psychologist from Phoenix Place Play Therapy & Counselling shares her thoughts on parenting an anxious child and just how to recognise anxiety in kids.

True fact: parenting an anxious child is not easy.  I remember the mother of one of my little therapy clients exclaiming to me once, “It’s non-stop!  I know she’s not doing it on purpose, but I’m so tired of trying to be sympathetic.  I wish she’d just grow out of it.”

She was right – it is non-stop.  It is tiring.  And because anxiety often manifests differently in young children than it does in older children and adults, it can sometimes be hard to know if that’s even what’s going on!  So how do you know, and if you do have an anxious little person, what can you do to help them?Continue Reading →

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