Having a baby makes us feel vulnerable. How do you feel connected - to yourself in your new role, to your baby, and to your partner - when you don't feel like yourself?
There is no shortage of "experts" (not to mention well-intentioned family and friends) when it comes to child-rearing. How do you sift through the sea of information for trustworthy sources that speak to YOU?
- To "do your research" about how to best support your baby's development, but you struggle to hold a normal conversation - much less read a book about early learning!
- To build the confidence to be the best parent you can be, but each time you feel like you've "figured it out," everything changes.
- To find simple, actionable ways to make use of the information you know about what's "good" for your baby, in a way you feel comfortable.
My name is Ayelet Marinovich, and I'm a pediatric speech-language pathologist.
I've worked with hundreds of families to provide education and promote infant-caregiver interactions to support early development.
In my professional opinion and in my experience as a mother of young children...
these are the three major reasons we have difficulty getting to the "heart" of becoming parents:
1. Parents lack time to sift through the mass of information to find resources that provide research-based information and practical ideas
2. Parents lack understanding of how babies learn and develop
3. Parents often feel they don't know where to start when it comes to "playing" with an infant
It doesn't have to be this way.
There's a way to get to the heart of it, and it's a mixture of science and art.
Parenting is easier when you have resources you trust.
When you feel empowered with knowledge about how your baby develops and how you can support that development,
You feel more confident as a parent,
And you are able to connect in more ways with your baby.
Susan daly, mother to 11-month old
"When our daughter was born, my partner and I both wanted to be informed & knowledgeable, but that's a hard job when the internet is full of conflicting and sometimes bad advice (and you don't want to spend your first weeks and months with your child searching for trustworthy information)! The Heart Of It was exactly what we needed to feel confident and up-to-date in our new parenting adventure. The research-based, concise explanations were great, but even better were the recommendations of what we can do with our daughter to encourage her own new discoveries and have fun along the way."
when i became a mother...
I was 10 weeks pregnant with my first baby when my husband and I moved across the world. Surrounded by new people, customs, systems, and struck by the newness of the journey toward parenthood, I was very focused on creating connections.
When my baby was born, I decided to combine my skills and my desire to create a safe, social learning space for myself and my baby along with other caregiver-baby pairs. I started to devise a curriculum that was based on my own developmental knowledge, that of my friends and colleagues in early learning, a ton of developmental research, as well as information and experiences I integrated as a mother along the way.
I learned to become more confident as a mother, I learned to listen to myself / my baby / other caregivers, to distill information that was pertinent to me and to the other caregivers around me, and I learned just how powerful knowledge is...
There are so many divisive topics in the world of parenthood. In the beginning, I really fixated on these issues, because the choices we make about how to nourish and support our babies matters. I searched for information - and often, I was met with "experts" and "solutions..." when really, what I needed was knowledge. When I stepped back and remembered how much I understood about how babies learn, I began to feel more connected to my baby - and more empowered as a mother. When I shared that information with other caregivers, they felt the same way.
Now, I want to share with you.
alexandra nicoletti, mother to 2-year old & 9-week old
"Even though this is my second time moving through the baby months, I am learning all the time through our weekly enrichment course and as a result, finding infancy less daunting and more enjoyable this time around - if only we had access to it when Marco was little! . The Heart Of It answers my early development questions before I have asked them and is a great source of reassurance. Ayelet distills the complex science behind how our babies develop in a wonderfully accessible way, and offers practical ideas and games to play to help families along their developmental journey."
THE HEART OF IT
AN INFANT ENRICHMENT CURRICULUM FOR FAMILIES
What aspects of development is your infant working on, and how can you support that development?
What is "The Heart Of It?"
A CURRICULUM FOR CAREGIVERS
- Provides an easily digestible "module" each week Includes concise "nuggets" of developmental information & practical ideas
- Addresses major areas of development: including: cognitive, communicative, motor, and social/emotional development
- A weekly "check-in" Not simply a list of developmental milestones! Based on developmental research & guidelines for early learning Useful for ALL families - those whose infants are moving along a typical progression of development, and those experiencing developmental delays.
DIGITALLY DELIVERED ONLINE COURSES
- These sets of curriculum can be purchased separately or in a bundle, depending on your needs:
the FULL YEAR (0 - 12 months), OR
0 - 3 months
3 - 6 months
6 - 12 months
A COMMUNITY OF CAREGIVERS Along with the curriculum, you also receive access to a live, supportive community by way of a private Facebook group of other parents/caregivers, a sounding board to share experiences and information, and moderated to ensure a respectful environment.
Learn more about how to play with your infant.
Learn how you can read your baby's signals to maximize the quality of your interaction.
Molly & Owen, parents to 7-month old
Before we started The Heart Of It, we were always wondering about our daughter's development, and what we could do to support it. Receiving the email every week has become something we look forward to and get to discuss, together! It provides us with ideas for new ways to interact with her, and we love comparing notes on what each of us has been doing throughout the week. The content is in-depth, but concise enough to remember.
frequently asked questions
+ What's the difference between other Strength In Words resources and The Heart Of It?
The Strength In Words podcast and DIY blog are resources that address development and provide activity ideas to support and encourage your family's interaction in all developmental areas, for infants, toddlers, and even preschoolers - much of the information and ideas presented within the podcast and DIY blog can be applied to all of these ages with some variety.
The Heart Of It is on a timeline, and provides week by week information about where your baby is. It is a curriculum that guides you through information and activities to support your baby's development. All of the Strength In Words resources complement each other, and can be used in conjunction with each other. If you have (or know a family with) an infant between the ages of 0 - 8 months, The Heart Of It is a great resource for you!
+ What's the difference between The Heart Of It and other resources that talk about developmental leaps?
Although as a new mother I found the information in other resources about specifically researched leaps in my baby's first year of development to be very useful, I found myself wishing for more information in each particular developmental area (cognitive, communicative, motor, social/emotional) that I could apply more often and in more specific ways. There is so much that happens between those "leaps," so many shifts that change not only our baby's experience of being a baby, but also our experience of parenting that baby.
What The Heart Of It does differently is provide you with a very manageably sized weekly morsel of information, and highly actionable ways to support that developmental information. Families who've experienced The Heart Of It have described this as similar to receiving simple and creative ideas, as well as confirmation and reassurance that what you may have already thought of doing to play and interact with your infant has a developmental basis - The Heart Of It brings out "what you already have within you," helping to guide your instincts and reassure you that you're "doing right" for your baby. Much of that developmental knowledge and many of those activities are further described in podcast episodes and blog posts on Strength In Words. All are very easy to implement with materials that are likely already in your home.
+ When does this curriculum start and finish?
As soon as you sign up, I'll send you an email that will welcome you to The Heart Of It. You'll fill out a quick survey about your family, and once that's completed, you'll start receiving your weekly enrichment modules. Since they arrive straight to your inbox, you have lifetime access to the information. All you have to do is read and enjoy the content!
+ How much time do I have to commit to this?
You're looking for distilled, concise, digestible information. You can expect to spend less than 5 minutes reading each week's module. If you choose to participate in the community forum (a private Facebook group) available as part of your purchase, you might spend a few minutes asking questions, making comments, or responding to others.
+ Is this better for stay-at-home parents or working-parents?
Again, you're looking for distilled information about your baby. Regardless of whether you're with your infant or in the office for the majority of the day, The Heart Of It gives you information that allows you to understand the way your baby learns and develops, and how you might best support that development - to maximize the quality of your time together!
+ What if I'm still pregnant, or I want to buy it as a gift for a friend who's expecting?
No problem! You can purchase The Heart Of It before the baby has been born - when you fill out the survey about your family, you'll tell me your expected due date. We'll stay in contact and you will let me know you're ready to start within the first few weeks of your baby's birth (I'll send you a reminder email 2 weeks after your due date if I still haven't heard from you!)
If you've purchased The Heart Of It as a gift, you'll provide the recipient's email address with your purchase. That way, I have direct access to the family receiving the curriculum!
+ What if my baby is not exactly 0-months / 3-months / 6-months? Do I get some kind of discount?
Your first week's "enrichment module" will start you at your baby's age, but you'll receive all the previous modules that you missed within that email, as well! Also, although you may find that each week's content speaks to something you've JUST noticed about your baby, all babies develop at their own pace. Therefore, you will very likely find that the content covered in previous weeks is still applicable and extremely useful!
+ What if I'm unhappy with my purchase?
Due to the instant access nature of this digital curriculum, there are no refunds and all purchases are final.
+ What if my baby was born premature or is experiencing developmental delays?
You are always welcome to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss specific questions or concerns, but in general, I'd advise that we start your curriculum based on your baby's expected due date in the case that he/she was born premature. If your baby is experiencing delays, you will be able to integrate nearly all the modules into your experience of parenting.
+ How do I know this will speak to "me" as a parent?
If you are a fan of the other Strength In Words resources (check out our podcast and blog!), you can be sure that The Heart Of It will also speak to you. You'll be presented with information about the way infants all over the world learn and develop, and simple ideas about what you might do to support your baby's development - this is not a "how-to-parent" step-by-step guide; rather, it's a resource to help you feel like you know the road to travel to make your own decisions as an informed parent.
Get to the heart of becoming a parent.
feel empowered & confident, and connect with your baby.
The Heart Of It is now available!
get started now!
See examples of four different modules (representing one from each developmental domain as well as one from each age group) - time stamps can be found by clicking through to view it on YouTube