Episodes
Published 01/11/23
Host Jessica Rolph breastfed all three of her children, but weaning the last has been an emotional experience. It’s hard to say how many mothers breastfeed beyond that first year or two, but often those mothers feel judged for choosing to continue.   Lyndsey Hookway joins us to help demystify “extended” breastfeeding and offer tips on weaning for those who are ready. She is an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant for The Maternity Collective, based out of the UK.   ...
Published 01/11/23
Switching your child from a crib to bed can be a big milestone! Most sleep experts recommend waiting until your child is around three years old.    Jessica Rolph, your host,  is joined by Dana Obleman to discuss what factors might go into that timing. Dana is an Infant and Child Sleep Consultant and the creator of The Sleep Sense Program.   Highlights: [1:08] What are the signs that your child is ready to make the switch from a crib to a bed?  [1:50] What should parents do when their...
Published 12/28/22
Navigating the ups and downs of divorce looks different in each situation, but there are some universal ways to make it easier on our children. These start with better communication — rules around communicating that put your child first.   Here to help us establish some of these best practices is Dr. Tamara Afifi, a professor in Interpersonal Health Communication at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her TedX Talk The impact of divorce on children has been viewed some 700,000...
Published 12/14/22
Birthing is a topic we all want to weigh in on, but death? Not so much. We tend to avoid the subject, and when it comes to talking to our child about death, choosing the right words is hard. Of course, there’s no “right” way to talk about death except to lead with honesty and love.   Jessica Rolph, your host, welcomes Michele Benyo to the show. She is the founder of Good Grief Parenting. Michele came to this work in the wake of losing her child 20 years ago and helping his sibling through...
Published 11/30/22
Pacifiers are so convenient… until they’re not. At some point, there can be concerns about developing teeth and interference with speech, and weaning a child off a pacifier can be challenging.   The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and speech and language therapists recommend starting that weaning process between 6 to 12 months, and weaning entirely before a child’s third birthday.    To guide us through that transition, My New Life host Jessica...
Published 11/16/22
The stress of separation is real — it can be upsetting for both you and your child. Whether it be a child sobbing for you to stay when the babysitter shows up or clinging to your leg at drop-off, it’s easy to feel like you’re doing it all wrong when these raw emotions take over.   My New Life’s Jessica Rolph welcomes Family Psychologist Ashleigh Warner to help parents navigate this tricky terrain. Ashleigh reassures us that these feelings are normal, and shares ways to make separations...
Published 11/02/22
Screens are hard to avoid in today’s world, and when our children do have access, turning them off can bring on some big emotions! Have you ever wondered why they have these oversized reactions? Or how to avoid them?   My New Life host Jessica Rolph is joined by  Dr. Martha Deiros Collado, a psychologist specializing in family therapy who has her own podcast called Talking Sense, and an Instagram presence at @dr.martha.psychologist. Listen to today’s episode for simple tips to bring more...
Published 10/19/22
Is your child refusing to sit on the toilet? Or waiting until the pull-up is on to go poop? You’re not alone. For a lot of parents, the potty learning process is more drawn out than we anticipate. For some, it takes months or even years.   In previous episodes, you heard some common potty-training scenarios. We shared the advice of the author of Oh Crap Potty Training and Nicole Kavanaugh’s Montessori approach. In today’s episode, Host Jessica Rolph welcomes Quiara Smith, an occupational...
Published 10/05/22
This week we are revisiting our most-downloaded episode from Dec. 1, 2021, as we prepare for our upcoming season: Transitions. In the new season of the podcast, we will take a look at transitions from diapers to potty, crib to bed, saying goodby to pacifiers, and lots more.   Language milestones are a hot topic. When should my baby be speaking? And how many words? So much is tied up in our ability to communicate with our little people. On today’s episode of My New Life, we call in the...
Published 09/21/22
The first years of a baby’s life can feel anything but simple. While their needs are few, namely love, food, sleep, and play, parents often feel pressure to provide the absolute best on these fronts. The best food. The best sleep. The best play.    We are told that to accomplish this by doing more: more playdates, more lessons, more outings, and more variety on the table. Jessica Rolph is joined by Kim John Payne on today’s episode to help us question this approach. He is the author of the...
Published 09/07/22
Sibling rivalry is normal. The kids usually move on quickly, but it often leaves us adults unhinged. What can we do to help diffuse those tense moments, and maybe even build some mutual respect?   In the spring we shared an episode about bringing home a new baby sibling. In today’s episode, we are following up with Lovevery expert Gabrielle Felman on sibling dynamics. We look at how to handle jealousy, possessiveness, fighting, as well as best practices around intervening, modeling...
Published 08/24/22
We hear a lot about the first 3 years of a baby’s life — how critical those years are to brain development. But today’s guest, the author of The Baby and the Biome, would argue that the same window is just as critical for our gut. Probiotics may have a role in keeping that system healthy. But are probiotics helpful to babies? And what about when you’re pregnant? Jessica Rolph, your host, welcomes Meenal Lele, founder of Lil’ Mixins.   Highlights: [1:39] When do babies pick up their first...
Published 08/10/22
Screens are so effective at distraction, but equally effective at causing parents angst! In today’s interview, Jessica Rolph is joined by Lovevery expert, Dr. Zach Stuckelman, to get to the bottom of the research on screens and young brains.    They examine which content is better than others, and whether those learning apps are really teaching our kids anything. They also explore the value of video chatting and looking at family pictures or videos together on a phone.   Highlights: ...
Published 07/27/22
Usually when we consider having another baby, personal preferences factor heavily into decisions around timing — things like budget or sibling dynamics. But it’s rare to consider the health impacts, and it’s even less common to discuss birth spacing with your doctor.   Jessica Rolph, your host, welcomes Dr. Alison Gemmill to today’s episode. Alison is an Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins, in the Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health. She shares the biological benefits...
Published 07/13/22
With everything we have to worry about in today’s world, it’s easy to lose sight of how our children can have their own big worries too. Things like getting nails clipped, night-time noises, strangers, doctors, even entering a pool can feel overwhelming to our children.   How do we help them push through their fears? Which are normal, and which are extreme? And how do we validate their feelings without making their fears worse? Jessica Rolph, your host, welcomes Pediatric Psychologist Dr....
Published 06/29/22
Young children are naturally egocentric. This is a normal part of their development, as they must first make sense of the world around them through their own eyes, before they can see it through someone else’s. In fact, until they approach preschool age, they have little reason to believe that others might have feelings or thoughts different from their own. But getting them to eventually understand that everyone’s got their own perspective, is how we teach kindness.   Empathy — the ability...
Published 06/15/22
Independence, freedom, order, beauty. These are all elements of the Montessori play space, and who doesn’t want these things for their child? However, sometimes adopting a Montessori approach can feel like a high bar.   Jessica Rolph, your host, is joined by Simone Davies, author of The Montessori Baby and The Montessori Toddler. She can also be found online at The Montessori Notebook, where she gives tips, answers questions, and provides workshops to parents.   Simone would argue that...
Published 06/01/22
Play has so much to teach us, children and parents alike. Sometimes parents can get a little too involved in their child’s play, particularly with the extra cool toys. When does our guidance become interference? And what amount of direction is appropriate?   Dave Neale joins Jessica Rolph on this episode to help us strike the right balance. Dave is a researcher in the psychology of play at the Centre for Research on Play in Education, Development and Learning at the University of...
Published 05/18/22
Any pregnant mom will tell you: Their body goes through a major transformation! And with each passing month, nutritional needs change. We hear lots about omega-3s, but did you know that protein and choline play critical roles in the baby’s development in utero? Host Jessica Rolph speaks with Registered Dietitian Ryann Kipping, founder of The Prenatal Nutritionist.   Key Takeaways: [1:40] What is the role of protein in a pregnant person’s diet? [5:05] In what ways should our diet shift...
Published 05/04/22
The so-called “Mozart effect” first entered the public conscience in the early 90s. The theory states that listening to classical music while pregnant, will make your baby smarter. We talk a lot about how babies become smarter on My New Life, so host Jessica Rolph figured she better dig into this theory. Here to give us a straight answer is Dr. Thomas Dardarian. He is an OB-GYN at Axia Women's Health and past president of the American College of Osteopathic Obstetricians and Gynecologists.   ...
Published 04/20/22
Children, like adults, lie and they can learn to do so from the young age of 2 years old, according to the researchers. In this episode, Jessica Rolph is joined by Dr. Kang Lee, a University of Toronto professor who has been examining lying and what it tells us about human cognition for over two decades. Kang is so dedicated to this field of study, he has convinced some 5,000 children to lie to him!   While many parents despair when in the face of these little lies, evidence suggests it is...
Published 04/06/22
Jessica Rolph is joined by Dr. Kate Barret and Dr. Terry Jo Bichell to bring listeners the story behind “Uncle Rob’s Pizza Party,” a Lovevery book about a toddler’s relationship with a man with Angelman Syndrome.   Lovevery’s Senior Advisor of Equity and Inclusion, Nicole Stamp, guides the conversation. This episode challenges some of the norms around how we discuss neurodiversity, particularly with our children.   Key Takeaways: [2:15] Jessica explains why Uncle Rob’s Pizza Party has a...
Published 03/23/22
Choline is a nutrient proven to have a lasting link to a baby’s brain development when taken in pregnancy, but many prenatal vitamins don’t have much choline. The recommended amount is 450 mg/day, and studies show only 10 percent of all pregnant women get enough.   A recent study at Cornell University looked at the benefits of doubling the recommended choline consumption. It showed a link between sustained attention in 7-year-olds and 930 mg of choline during pregnancy. There is also some...
Published 03/09/22
Parent-child interaction is crucial to brain development. An important part of that interaction is what is said while we’re engaging with our child — not just the words we use, but the frequency of those words and the way in which they are offered up.   Jessica Rolph welcomes Dr. Dana Suskind to today’s episode to talk about the reasons why a language-rich environment is so important and to best achieve one. Dr. Suskind is the author of Thirty Million Words: Building a Child's Brain and...
Published 02/23/22