UPDATED 2024: Baby Know: Bodies, Hearts & Minds: Unit 4; 10-12 months

Engaging our whole selves during the first year of life

The first twelve months of a baby’s life are a crucial period for learning and brain development. It is often said that “Parents are a child’s first and most important teachers.” Yet, access to information, tools, and strategies for baby’s first year of life is not always readily available or utilized. New parents want the best for their child including all of the tools available, especially when they may not know how to promote or enhance their baby’s development.
The BABY KNOW: BODIES, HEARTS & MINDS program provides new parents with a holistic approach to their child’s development. Our program includes information, tools, and strategies to create strong parent-child relationships, incorporating developmental milestones and nurturing the emotional well-being of all family members. Parents will learn through video lectures, demonstrations, and activities, covering all aspects of development.

Units are organized by developmental period:

  • Unit 1: 0-3 Months
  • Unit 2: 4-6 Months
  • Unit 3: 7-9 Months
  • Unit 4: 10-12 Months

The following topics are covered within each unit:

  • Fine Motor/Sensory
  • Gross Motor
  • Speech, Language and Play
  • Vision
  • Curriculum Based Learning/School Readiness
  • General New Parent Advice

Additional benefits of this course:

  • Course modules can be accessed at any time
  • You will receive a full year of instruction from experts in child development
  • You will receive a full year of developmentally appropriate activities for your baby
  • Self paced learning - go at a pace that works for you and your family

Your Instructor

Caitlin Raaz, PhD, CCC-SLP
Caitlin Raaz, PhD, CCC-SLP

Hi! I’m Dr. Caitlin Raaz. I’m a pediatric speech-language pathologist and assistant professor at the University of Northern Colorado. Over the years, the most rewarding part of my job has been the relationships I’ve developed with children and their families. I work alongside families as a partner, and I believe the most effective way to enhance a child’s development is to make sure therapy techniques are being implemented in the home. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said to parents, “I am the expert in speech and language, but you are the expert on your child!”. And I truly believe that because of this, parents can take the lead on their child’s speech and language development. I also believe in open communication with parents. Therapy should be transparent. Parents should never have to wonder what we are doing or why. It is my drive to provide effective and efficient treatment through accessible parent education that lead to the creation of this course.

Additional Instructor Bios:

Andrea Castillo: Andrea is a research professional working to advance interventions for children with disabilities and their families. She provides naturalistic developmental behavioral interventions to children with autism and their families in the modality of parent coaching through telehealth in the University of Minnesota Institute on Community Integration’s study to bridging barriers to early intervention access. This study aims to learn about the efficacy of the intervention and improve equitable access to early interventions. She combines her experience of several years serving families as an early childhood parent educator and child’s therapeutic skills trainer to provide equitable and diverse lends to current needs in the Latine community. She advocates to improve culturally responsive services in early childhood as a parent connector for the Help Me Grow referral system in MN, outreaching and providing training to improve outcomes and engagement of Latine families in Minnesota. She enjoys being part of the BABY KNOW program as an instructor since she is passionate about equitable access to services and education for families with children with disabilities that she continues to strive for higher education by currently studying Special Education M.A at the University of Minnesota.

Bethany DeJarnatt, MOT, OTR/L: Bethany is a pediatric occupational therapist, parent educator and children’s yoga instructor. She has many years of experience working with families with children in the areas of sensory modulation, functional visual skills, and supporting developmental skills. She has completed additional training in children’s yoga, mindfulness based stress reduction, infant massage and visual processing interventions. She is passionate about educating parents with tangible information to empower them. Bethany encourages mindfulness as a tool to support co-regulation; supporting families to feel empowered and engaged to build a collaborative relationship with their children.

Brandon Jones, MA, CPPM: Brandon, serving as the Executive Director of the Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health, brings a wealth of expertise in consulting and therapy. His focus areas encompass Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), Historical and Intergenerational trauma, Social/Emotional Intelligence (EQ), Leadership, and the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI). Brandon wanted to be involved with the BABY KNOW program because he believes that early childhood education is crucial for a child's development and overall success. He enjoys leading the "learning through play lessons" since through play, parents teach their children problem-solving, creativity, and social skills, which are all important for school readiness. Brandon's academic journey boasts a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Minnesota, a master's in Community Psychology from Metropolitan State University, and a master's in Psychotherapy (MFT) from Adler Graduate School. His distinction as a 2013 Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow also speaks to his dedication to leadership excellence. His life ethos is encapsulated in the motto: "Live life with Purpose on Purpose."

Candi (Walz) Seil, MPP: Candi has a broad career of working as a college professor, in the healthcare industry, working with families and running the Let’s Talk Kids business. She is passionate about supporting learners of all ages. As the parent of two kids, she has found great joy in practicing mindfulness while raising her children. She believes in the power of positive affirmations and spending time with family. Most recently, she has taken “The Science of WellBeing” course through Yale University to learn more about the positive effects we can have on our minds and hearts. She is eager to share this with other families and uplift adults to bond with and love the children in their lives.

Mary Vang Her, LICSW: Mary is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and a Senior Clinical Supervisor for the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation’s School-Based Mental Health program. Since 2010, Mary has developed and grown a culturally specific school-based mental health program called “Hlub Zoo” (love well, grow well) that supports the mental health needs of Hmong and Southeast Asian children in St. Paul schools. Mary is now recognized as a thought leader in the field of Hmong mental health both regionally and nationally. She has presented at several local, regional, and national conferences on Hmong mental health, and she is committed to educating other social service professionals about the benefits of providing culturally responsive services to the community. Mary's enthusiasm for being a wellness instructor in the BABY KNOW course stems from her deep understanding of the significance of connection, attunement, and engagement in fostering strong and meaningful relationships. In her role, Mary recognizes that establishing a strong bond between caregivers and babies is foundational to the overall well-being and development of both parties. By emphasizing these principles, Mary aims to empower caregivers with the tools and knowledge needed to nurture healthy relationships with their babies, laying the groundwork for a lifetime of positive interaction and growth. She recently started her private practice; Mary Vang Her Counseling and Consultation Services and hopes to provide therapeutic services throughout Minnesota.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends. It is a self-paced online course available any hour of the day and even in the wee hours of the morning - you and your family decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
After enrolling, you and your family will have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all of the devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy. If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, please contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund of the course or seek to make it right. Our goal is to support parents and their babies.
When should I enroll in the course?
We recommend you enroll in the unit that is right for the age of your child. For instance, if you have a newborn, we recommend you purchase unit 1 or the whole course. If your child is 4 months old, we recommend you start with Unit 2 since the instructors are including content specific to your baby's age (0-3 months, 4-6 months, 7-9 months and 10-12 months).
What if my child is not a newborn? Is this course still appropriate?
Absolutely! Please see the response above.
How long is each module? Unit?
Each module contains a video lesson, approximately 10-15 minutes in length, and will also include suggestions for activities that can be completed throughout each period of development. We recommend that learners in this course complete one module per week, so that each unit will take 12 weeks to complete (as each has 12 modules).
Do I need to purchase the “Brain Builder Learning Kit” or the “ABCs for Grown Ups: Affirmations for Well-Being” card deck?
This is completely up to you! The course can be completed with or without this supplemental material. If you are interested in purchasing the learning kit or card deck, please go to: https://letstalkkids.info/.
How much does the “Brain Builder Learning Kit” or the “ABCs for Grown Ups: Affirmations for Well-Being” card deck cost?
The Let’s Talk Kids “Brain Builder Learning Kit” is $34.99 + tax and shipping The ABCs for Grown Ups are $12 + tax and shipping
Do I need anything specific (i.e., supplies) to complete the course?
No, the course can be completed by yourself, with your baby and/or with your family. You decide. Throughout the course, the instructors will give you tips to teach your baby in your home (for instance, use a mirror to look at your baby’s face, read a book, or hold a rattle). Rest assured you do not need to have all of these items to have a successful course.
If I love the course, how do I tell my friends and family or other new parents?
Please refer anyone who is interested in the course to our website at babyknow.org for more information. And thank you for spreading the word!
I work for an organization that supports the brain development of babies or the wellbeing of families. Who should my organization contact about enrolling many
Please contact Candi Seil at [email protected].

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