Follow the Giggles

February 8th, 2011 by Dionna | 34 Comments
Posted in Carnival and Special Series, Carnival of Natural Parenting, Just for Fun/Miscellaneous, My Family, natural parenting, Strive for Balance, Video/Interactive Posts

Welcome to the February Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting Essentials

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared the parenting essentials that they could not live without. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


For this month’s Carnival of Natural Parenting, we asked our writers what the one thing is that they could not live without – their “parenting essential.” I pondered this question for weeks – heck, I’m the one who came up with the the prompt. What I wanted to write about was laughter. Humor. An ability to laugh at oneself, the situation, with your partner and child.

2009-11-09 06

I love this laugh!

But as I started to write about the importance of my own laughter, I found myself smiling. Why? Because in the next room, Kieran was giggling like a madman. And I decided that his smiles, his laughter, his happiness, those are my parenting essentials.

I could not live without Kieran’s laughter.

When I take time to lose myself in Kieran’s laughter, I can choose to nurture instead of to punish. When I focus on his giggles, I can turn a potential meltdown into a positive moment of connection. When I concentrate on Kieran’s joy, I can lose sight of my frustrations.

When is the last time you’ve laughed with your child?

In the meantime, enjoy the laughter of the light of my life – three years’ worth!


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be live and updated by afternoon February 8 with all the carnival links.)

  • Not Without Him — The love Starr at Taking Time shares with her husband is the foundation of her parenting.
  • I Cannot Imagine Parenting Without B(.)(.)bs — From an uneducated dreamer to a breastfeeding mother of a toddler, nursing has forever changed Kristy at Strings to Things’s relationship with her daughter and her outlook on life.
  • Raising a Child in the Internet Village — When Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction has a question or concern about parenting, she turns to the Internet. What did parents do before Google?
  • Partner in Crime and ParentingBethy at Bounce Me to the Moon can’t imagine parenting without her husband’s sense of humor – he brings her laughter and love every day.)
  • I Make MilkPatti at Jazzy Mama can’t imagine trying to mother her babies without her breasts, but she could do it if she had to.
  • New Perspectives Bring New BeginningsMJ at Wander Wonder Discover, who is a former authoritarian mamma, has gained perspective via parenting.
  • Time Out!Mrs. Green at Little Green Blog explores how time apart can increase your capacity to give unconditionally.
  • Unimaginable Without HimKristina at heyred designs is celebrating her amazing partner, without whom none of her parenting experience would be possible.
  • My Parenting NecessityClaire at The Adventures of Lactating Girl needs “me time” in order to be the Mama she wants to be.
  • Babywearing As a Way of LifeDarcel at The Mahogany Way talks about the benefits of babywearing in everyday life.
  • Parenting Partnership — Sometimes Abbie at Farmer’s Daughter doesn’t appreciate her husband enough, but she definitely couldn’t imagine parenting without his help.
  • Parenting EssentialsMomma Jorje loves her parenting products, but she needs you even more.
  • My Parenting Must-Have: SupportJoella at Fine and Fair wrote a letter to her daughter about the role that support from friends and family plays in her mothering.
  • It’s More Than Just Hair — Think doing hair is full of fluff? Too girly? Useless? Karli from Curly Hairdo Ideas used to think so too.
  • The Minimalist Parent — The parents at Living Peacefully with Children embrace a minimalist perspective when it comes to baby gear. A good sling is all they need.
  • Without My BreastsCharise at I Thought I Knew Mama can’t imagine parenting without her breasts; here’s why.
  • Loves Books, Loves PeopleSeonaid at the Practical Dilettante discovers that the library is a perfect fit for her family’s needs.
  • An Ode to the Maya WrapRevMama’s next child might be named Maya, because of her fondness for the sling.
  • Avoiding the Padded RoomPecky at Benny and Bex is here to testify that it takes a village to raise a child.
  • My parenting essentials, from Tivo to battery-operated monstrositiesLauren at Hobo Mama presents a list of parenting essentials you didn’t even know you needed (and probably don’t…).
  • Attachment Parenting Through Separation: It Makes It a Little BetterJessica at This Is Worthwhile talks about how she couldn’t survive her separation without attachment parenting and the bond it’s afforded her with her 3 year old son.
  • Parenting EssentialsDeb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares the principles she used to parent her children from infants to adults.
  • My Parenting Essentials — The things that are truly essential to Kim at In Desperate Need of Entertainment aren’t things at all.
  • I’m No One Without My Sling — How baby carrying is essential to the parenting of Jessica Claire at Crunchy-Chewy Mama.
  • I Cannot Imagine Parenting Without…Isil at Smiling Like Sunshine talks about what she needs to raise her children.
  • February Carnival of Natural Parenting — Through her experiences over the last five and a half years, Casey at Love What Is has discovered her most important tool for parenting is using her instincts.
  • CNP: I Cannot Imagine Parenting Without __________.The Artsymama discloses the one thing that gave her back control of herself as a parent.
  • Laugh Until I Cry — Laughing with her sons keeps Acacia at Fingerpaint & Superheroes connected and grounded.
  • I Cannot Imagine Parenting WithoutLuschka at Diary of a First Child realizes what the one thing she can’t imagine parenting without is, and it turns out it’s not a thing after all.
  • It Takes Two — Here are a few of the reasons why Jenn at Adventures Down Under cannot imagine parenting without her fabulous husband.
  • Stopping to Listen — Though it wasn’t easy at first, Knocked Up – Knocked Over cannot imagine parenting her daughter without listening first to what she is telling her.
  • The Essence of Parenting — There are many wonderful resources that make life easier for Michelle at the Parent Vortex to parent, but the essence is the relationship between parent and child.
  • What I Cannot Live WithoutSybil at Musings of a Milk Maker considers her computer to be a parenting lifeline.
  • True Blessings: White Noise and GrandparentsKat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment can’t live without her white noise machine and the support of her parents.
  • The Necessities! — What “stuff” does a natural parent like Lily, aka Witch Mom really need? Not much, it turns out.
  • Mama Showed MeMama Mo at Attached at the Nip writes about how parenting wisdom is passed on by example.
  • Ode to the Loo — For Joni Rae at Tales of a Kitchen Witch, the bathroom is her safe place, where she can take a minute to calm down if she is feeling touched out.
  • Go, Mama. Go!Andrea!!! at Ella-Bean & Co. has been able to integrate her many roles through her get-up-and-go parenting essential, exercise!
  • My Other HalfBecky at Old New Legacy realizes what a relief it is to have her husband parent alongside her.
  • Grace, Love, and CoffeeMrsH at Fleeting Moments realizes that lifelines can take the form of the profound, or the mundane. Both are ok.
  • Supportive Spouse, Check! — There are so many parenting tools and gadgets that are superfluous, but the one essential, for Danielle at, has been her supportive spouse.
  • Why I’m a BabywearerMeredith at Becoming Mamas reflects on the ways babywearing has enhanced her mama baby relationship…and made life easier to boot.
  • It’s Marvelous Out Here, Kiddo!Rachael at The Variegated Life can’t imagine parenting in the big city without the marvels of Prospect Park to share with her Critter.
  • Yes, Thank YouAmy at Anktangle offers tips on how to ask for and accept help, an essential for successful parenting.
  • Parenting Essentials Checklist: Mom’s Inner Rebel and Her Kids’ VoicesOlivia at Write About Birth reflects on raising global citizens and saying no to societal norms.
  • Eco-Mama Online! — An Eco-Mama living in the mountains of a nature island, Terri at Child of the Nature Isle finds it essential to connect to nature and to connect online.
  • Sorry, We Just Sold the Last OneNev at The Adventures of Lime confesses she missed out the day they handed out patience.
  • LaughTashmica at The Mother Flippin’ Blog reveals her super power, her talisman agains mean mommy.
  • My Priceless Parenting Resource — What do books, a magazine community, my mother and the local playgroup have in common? Lucy at Dreaming Aloud tells us…
  • The Gift of Shared TimeTree at Mom Grooves strives to experience the world from her daughter’s perspective.
  • Follow the GigglesDionna at Code Name: Mama can’t live without the sound of her child’s giggles – come watch her video and you’ll agree!
  • Can I Mommy Without Boob?Emily at Crunchy(ish) Mama shares her fears about weaning and losing part of that the mother/child bond.

34 Responses to:
"Follow the Giggles"

  1. Melissa @ The New Mommy Files   vibreantwanderer

    I love it! The giggles are definitely an essential for me as well. Thank goodness they’re easy to come by at this age, too! Whenever I’m feeling my patience slip away, I just make that face that always brings on the giggles in my little miss, and suddenly I forget why I was in such a fuss :) Thanks for this, Dionna!

  2. MJ

    Thanks so much for letting us enjoy his giggles too!! That was awesome and so so precious! Great post :).

  3. Seonaid   seonaid_lee

    You are right on the dot, here. Snuggles, giggles, and moments of brilliant insight. That’s what we get back for all that effort. It is the thing that defuses, nourishes, and makes it all worthwhile. Thanks for the reminder.

  4. Kate

    We use the giggles to head off or break up a tantrum all the time, the most recent being this morning when I was changing my son’s diaper. Usually this is part of a calm routine but this morning he was really upset for some reason so cue the tickles!

  5. Isil   smilinglikesuns

    Oh those lovely giggles. Right now I’m reading Playful Parenting and learning to be more playful and making the most of those giggles.

  6. It’s all about the JOY, isn’t it? The picture of your son in the leaves says it all.

  7. Losing yourself in your child’s laughter is the best medicine for a frustrating moment. Makes you forget why you were upset in the first place. Sometimes ;)

  8. I Thought I Knew Mama   ithoughtiknewma

    What a fun video! My favorite is the shower scene. I was laughing out loud watching it.
    Isn’t it great how your child makes you feel like the funniest person ever? ;-)

  9. Danielle   borninjp

    Those sincere little person giggles are just the best. Something changes from where they are now through adulthood. As adults we learn to force laughter, fake laughter. Kids can’t do it. I love that about them. I love that they are so genuine and, with your little reminder, I’m going to do my very best to join in as much as I can.

  10. Darcel @ The Mahogany Way   mahoganywaymama

    Love it! I recorded video of the kids last night to show to Charles in the hospital today. We were talking about the sound of their laughter and how wonderful it is. That is one precious sound I never tire of hearing.

  11. Wonderful. What a precious record. Thank you for sharing. Laughed along! Am going to share it with my kids as they LOVE videos of laughing babies.

    Love the pic in the leaves too. gorgeous.

  12. Amy

    Just BAWLING with joy at your video! I’m a sucker for montages of family memories – they get me every time!

  13. abbie   farmdaughter

    That video is fantastic! I found myself CRACKING UP right along with you all!

    Isn’t it hilarious what parents will do to get a laugh from our little ones?

  14. Ruth Ann

    What a wonderful walk down memory lane…I love Kierans giggles too!!!

  15. Meredith   becomingmamas

    So true!! It’s not a surprise that one of the most looked for milestones are those first baby giggles – there’s something magical about hearing that small sound, and it’s impossible to ignore the joy and wonder in the world that come along with it!

  16. Oh indeed, I can not imagine life without my LO’s giggles! I have had a thing for baby giggles forever, even other babies’ giggles! It is so easy to get lost in her giggles and I think that makes for great bonding time, laughing with her while I “don’t drop the baby” or hold her upside down for kisses. Sigh. Love those giggles!

  17. Oh goodness! I finally went and got my headphones… your video had me cracking up! Sounds a LOT like Sasha! Awesome compilation!

  18. MomAgain@40   karentoittoit

    That is a great “essential” to always remember!

  19. Mrs Green @   littlegreenblog

    Ah yes, the laughter of our kids. Now my daughter is big into books and I can hear her chuckling away. before long I’m joining in too and I don’t even know what she is reading. Just hearing her joy in the moment is enough to brighten my day.

  20. Brynn   babyinbliss

    I think I need to keep this in my own mind: “When I focus on his giggles, I can turn a potential meltdown into a positive moment of connection.”

    Sometimes, I forget much of parenting really is quite counter-intuitive. When the meltdowns turn into continual tantrums, I find I quickly jump into the time-out ‘solution.’ But, one step down the time-out path typically does lead to another and another. Obviously, there is something (or some need) I am missing. And, then I imagine that there is a complex root system of toddler-needs underneath the tree of misbehavior. There is a child, wanting to connect and wanting to be understood. And, then, there is peace.

    The most counter-intuitive piece of parenting I’ve stumbled upon is that so misbehavior (hitting, yelling, biting, throwing objects) is actually a demonstration of a real desire to connect.

    Thanks for posting today, I took the experience you shared in another direction, but it direction I needed reminding of this morning!

    • Dionna   CodeNameMama

      You are SO right that “misbehavior” comes from a need – whether that need is to connect, or that need is hunger or sleep or some other thing that’s not immediately apparent. That one truth is why I try to always use gentleness and respect with Kieran. Thank you for your insight!

  21. Lauren @ Hobo Mama   Hobo_Mama

    I finally had a chance to watch your video, and that laugh really is infectious. So glad you took the time (and sleeplessness) to put it together! :)

    I’m going to keep in mind today that advice to follow the giggles — to find ways to make potential conflict into a laughing situation. Thank you!

  22. teresa   momgrooves

    oh my gosh that is the cutest thing EVER! I thought the picture in the leaves was already too precious, but that video is perfect! Now I have to capture more of that around my own house.
    Kieran does have the most joyful laugh.
    so glad you shared this.

  23. Awesome, adorable video – what a great idea! I totally agree about a child’s laughter being a parenting essential. My 25-year-old son could always laugh freely, too, and that’s one of the things as an empty nester I miss most about him. It’s just never the same watching a comedy without his laughter – that laugh makes every comedy better. Of course, our favorite activities when we get together include watching comedies and going to comedy clubs. And Skype helps meet my need for that laugh, too!

  24. Rachael   RachaelNevins

    You know, it’s been one of those winters when just everything seems to be going WRONG, WRONG, WRONG … and then reading your post and your question, When is the last time you’ve laughed with your child? I realized, Why, every morning! However the rest of these days have been going … at least I begin them all with giggles! Thank you for helping me to see that something’s going right!

    Your video is a treasure, and Kieran’s laugh so infectious!

  25. Casey   CBerbs

    What a fun video!

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