A few weeks ago, I brought Tommy to the Boston Children’s Museum for the first time. I thought he was too young but a friend shared with me the magic that is the room dedicated to children under 3.
As a first time parent, I’m learning something new every day and one that has been reoccurring is that it’s not too early to try many things with a baby under 1 year old, like foods or activities.
I’m so cautious when feeding Tommy new foods. Most of his new foods come from being around other children who are a little older, eating solids like Cheerios or string cheese and their mother asks if Tommy wants some.
“Isn’t he too young?” I usually ask.
“I gave them to my kid at 8 months,” they respond.
Friend sees my hesitation…
“Well, OK, let’s try it out and see.”
This is how Tommy first tried string cheese the other day and now it’s his favorite food. I just assumed he was too young, but I was wrong.
I thought it would be too old for him but the Children’s Museum was amazing. They have this entire section that is dedicated to children under 3 years old. There is a crawling only section with what felt like a circle water bed. There was an area for him to practice crawling down stairs as well as many of other sensory activities. His favorites were the “kitchen” area and fish tank.
There was even a room for nursing and snack time with high chairs and little people chairs. Tommy and his friend both sat at the table and enjoyed a little snack like big kids. There was also a family friendly bathroom. We didn’t explore the rest of the museum but I’m planning to buy a yearly pass so we will have plenty of time to further explore and get out of the house this winter.
Nick and I disagree on if it’s too early to bring Tommy to an apple picking farm. I obviously want to go. He does not. We also disagree on whether it’s too early to bring him to a baseball game. He needs to see the Red Sox. Come on, Nick! I guess we are waiting until next season at least.
One thing we do agree on however is that it’s never too early to start saving for his college education. We have set up a MEFA U.Fund, the Massachusetts 529 college savings plan through Fidelity for him to begin saving money for tuition. We want to be prepared and 529 plans are flexible, tax-advantaged accounts designed specifically for college savings. An account can be opened up for as little as $50 and family members can also gift contributions, which I love in lieu of toys or clothes – when you live in the city, less stuff is more, really.
If you are curious how much you need to start saving to have enough by the time your kid goes to college, check out this calculator from the Fidelity website. My favorite however is the slinger which allows you to see how much you’ll have saved by the time your little one goes off to college. I entered in that I had already saved $2K and would put in $100 a month. At that rate, I’d have $36,723 to give towards his tuition, not really enough but a good nest egg if that’s all I can do. What is scarier is that the average cost of a 4-year degree is just under $200K by 2033! I think this total averages tuition from private universities to in state colleges.
If you’re interested in learning more, visit the MEFA or Fidelity website or stop by the U.Fund Dreams Tour booth at the Topsfield Fair!
I partnered with Fidelity and MEFA in support of the U.Fund Dreams Tour. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Take him Apple Picking and to the game! We have 5 ages 7, 6, 3, 2 and 1. They have all been going to ball games and anywhere else we wanted to go since infancy! The only way they learn how to socialize and behave in different situations is to keep taking them. Just plan on baby wearing and walking him around the ballgame every other inning or so and maybe having to leave early if he gets cranky. Passes to museums and zoos/aquariums are great gifts for you or his grandparents to give him yearly for Christmas/Birthdays. Studies have shown that kids remember experiences/vacations more than toys.
I know times are different but I was less than a month old when my parents took me to my first baseball game! Nothing harmful resulted except a lifelong love of the game!