Hi! I'm Loryn, and like most parents-to-be, I had a lot of ideas about how I would be as a parent. I always thought I'd be a laid-back mom who didn't really worry about "milestones" and all of that, and who would just try to enjoy watching my kid develop at their own pace.
Well, fast-forward to actual parenthood, and of course, EVERYTHING — including my laid-back ideals — FLEW OUT THE WINDOW. My beautiful newborn baby was having serious feeding issues, which led us to seek the help of a geneticist to get a diagnosis.
She started early intervention quickly after, meaning she began therapy two or three times every day. And when she's not in therapy, I've had to become very familiar with all the various areas I can work on with her to make sure she gets the head start she deserves.
Since then, I have basically become a baby milestone and development expert (yay?), and have to make sure almost everything I'm doing as a mom is benefiting my daughter in some way (especially in her first few years). Which leads me to SCREEN TIME.
At some point during the pandemic – while doing full time work and therapy for my daughter, and, erm, trying to just survive, I realized I was going to need to start letting her watch some screens. So I went down a little rabbit-hole of research.
But then, in came my discovery of Songs for Littles on YouTube. When I watched the videos, I realized they were exactly like my daughter's speech therapy classes!
Since then, we've been watching Songs for Littles during convenient and helpful times, like during physical therapy, while I'm cooking or very busy, and when my daughter is doing something not-so-fun, like nebulizing herself.
My daughter has started talking way more since watching the channel, and I was so enamored with it, I reached out to the creator, Rachel Arccurso — who is also a preschool music teacher — to ask about the whole production!
"For a long time, I’ve wanted to make free music education videos for little ones who don’t have access to that. Then when the pandemic hit, I saw other needs being unmet due to children being home from school, such as preschool videos and speech practice videos," Rachel tells BuzzFeed.
The feedback Songs for Littles has received, Rachel says, has been amazing. "It’s been so incredible and beyond anything we imagined. So many emails from parents have brought me to tears! I can’t think of anything more rewarding than making children smile and helping them grow and learn," she tells BuzzFeed.
And since I had an expert on the line, I asked her what parents could do to keep their own littles growing and learning during this pandemic.
Rachel understands, though, that it’s a very challenging time, and some parents need to work full days from home, she says. So her advice to those parents is simple: "Most importantly I’d say to parents, be kind to yourself during this difficult time," she says.