Spring for Love – Meet Dawn Ireland!

Spring for love button


Welcome to the Friday Spring for Love blog hop! Spring always reminds me of babies – baby lambs, baby bunnies and baby humans! So today I thought I’d share some helpful tips about small fry I recently learned at a conference!

Talking ~ Communication is about language (relating thoughts, ideas and needs), speech (making the sounds) and the social interaction.

Ever heard: “Wait until they turn 3/start school. He’ll grow out of it/boys develop later. Siblings talk for her. She’s shy/lazy. I didn’t talk until I was 5.”

Noooooo, it isn’t so.

Simplified milestones:

1 year – 1 step simple directions, single words (1-50words)

2 years old – 2 step directions, simple questions, two word phrases (50-100 words)

3 years old – longer directions, more complex questions, 3-5 word phrases (500-2000 words)

4 years old – multi-step, 5-8 word sentences, no need to change/simplify language (2000+ words)

The earlier young children are identified as being delayed, the better the chance of improving speech and language skills. They can focus on pre-verbal skills (gestures) long before actual language. Important since delays in language are related to: learning disabilities, reading and writing difficulties, school drop-out and criminal activity.

Caregivers are the primary language model for kids! Here’s what you can do to help kids learn:

mom and babyBe face to face with your child – shows you’re interested, lets them see your lips, develops eye contact.

Wait – give instructions and give kids a chance to respond; give them time to make sense of a gesture.

Follow their lead – let the child choose the game, conversation and join in as they play!

Repeat, repeat, repeat – correct baby talk, use lots of different words, say what they would say/see if they could talk as they play.

Add and expand – if they are using gestures, you can add one word; if they are using one-word phrases, you use two-word phrases.

different languages


Babies easily learn 2-3 languages – parents should speak in their native tongue because broken English is not natural to learn.

Click HERE for more great info!


Walking ~ Get babies moving!

To walk, babies must master mechanics, gravity and sensory-motor (posture, joints, environment)


  1. reflexes – 1st expressions of gross motor function (rooting, sucking)
  2. asymmetry – babies have to figure out the midline – hands together, head to center
  3. Extend against gravity from the crunch time of a full term baby squished in a uterus
  4. master stability – must learn to control body (so avoid super saucer/jolly jumper)
  5. turn on pelvis – weight shifting, elongate trunk onto side of shift
  6. walk at 12-24 months

baby crawling


Cognition for curiosity is there, but babies need opportunities to learn through active exploration of the environment – so get them on the floor (no super saucers, jolly jumpers)!


Don’t carry them up and down stairs – supervise them and let them add new skills.

Play with them. Let them learn by doing – building, crawling.

Help them maintain good posture – it can affect their line of sight and their vision.

baby on belly


Back to sleep. Prone to play. (tummy time) –helps prevent a flat head too!






I love this video – Physical literacy – starts when they’re young!


Tomorrow I’ll be sharing some spring ideas for table settings so drop by! Today I’m over at Rebecca E. Neely’s blog – click HERE to visit!


Welcome Dawn Ireland, author of The Perfect Duke!

Dawn IrelandMeet Dawn ~  “Once Upon a Time” are four of Dawn’s favourite words. After all, they start stories that contains a touch of magic and a large dose of romance. Her tales are set in England or Scotland during the late 1700’s, where her characters discover love is never easy, but always worthwhile. After all, isn’t love worth breaking the rules?

Dawn, what do you love about spring? As a gardener, the tender flower shoots popping through the rain-moistened soil remind me that I should be open to new beginnings. This rebirth is true magic. It amazes me each year that such beauty and life can come from Winter’s stark landscape.

Tell us about your historical romance The Perfect Duke.

The Perfect Duke cover

Known as The Marble Duke amongst the Ton, Garret Weston, the Duke of Kendal sets himself apart from his peers. Nothing will hinder his guilt-driven attempt to become a perfect duke. Nothing that is, save the alluring and imaginative betrothed he’d thought dead. His intended believes-of all things-that she is a Vicar’s daughter. The “perfect” duke needs a “perfect” duchess, but how was he to discern her suitability? Employing her as a governess to his niece seemed like an ideal solution. But whose “suitability” is being tested? His betrothed refuses to see he is beyond redemption. And most grievous of all, she stirs his blood, making him forget what’s important.

Cara believes fairy tales really can come true, until she meets the unrelenting and arrogant Duke of Kendal. He looks like a Prince, but acts like a Beast. Why must he challenge her at every turn? Her greatest peril is her attraction to the vulnerable, seductive man behind the title. A match between them would be impossible. But can she show him, without losing her heart that “perfect” is in the eye of the beholder?

Sounds like a great read with a lot of sparks! Here’s the buy link: The Perfect Duke

Thanks so much for stopping by Dawn! If you’d like to connect with Dawn, here’s where you can find her:

Website     Blog        Twitter        Facebook