Expecting? 9 modern pieces of advice that your bff wants you to hear *with resources*

Ahhhhh!! Congratulations!!!! Picture me doing jazz hands and bouncing up and down with excitement. Yeah, I’m one of those people. A baby fanatic. Baby obsessed. Baby enthusiast extraordinaire. ALL THE BABIESSS! Sorry, now I’m shouting.

Ok I’ll try and calm down so that I don’t scare you away. And I promise you I won’t approach you and try to touch your belly if I see you on public (unless you offer) cause awkward. What an incredibly exciting, terrifying, thrilling, delightful, hysterical, stressful, exhilarating time this is.

You’ve picked an OBGYN, you’re taking care of yourself and that sweet babe, you’ve been on your secret Pinterest board approximately 1,657 times planning (is that just me?) a nursery, baby registry items, and dreaming about when that baby arrives. I’m here to share some of the things that you might not be hearing yet-things you’d hear from a close girlfriend who’s been there.

20 weeks with baby Sawyer-I used the app “Baby Story” to document my pregnancy photos

9 pieces of advice for a modern mama that your bff wants you to know

  1. Information overload. I have to start my list with this: take what you need and leave what you don’t. You can revisit this list as needed and use what you find helpful to you at the time. YOU are the one living with these decisions, this is YOUR life, YOUR baby, and YOUR home. People will try and give you so much unsolicited advice, but at the end of the day, they don’t live in your home-you do. You’re mama bear now. Grrrrr.
  2. Documenting. Document, document, document. Take pictures of yourself and that growing belly. Download a fun app like Baby Story for your pictures and memories. Jot down your cravings, your thoughts, your silly anecdotes. Like the time you slopped some spaghetti onto your plate and the sound of the plop was so hilarious to you that you laughed until you cried while your husband just sat there, aghast and bewildered at your uncontrollable hormones. Oh, just me?
  3. Registry assistance. Ready to register or start shopping? Ask opinions of moms you know or even on an online forum like a Facebook group. Baby products are a market of their own and the fact that all of it is new to you makes it very, very overwhelming. Regulations, safety recalls and recommendations change all of the time too, as do products, so something that your aunt Frankie tells you is a must-have may now be banned in 46 states.
  4. Parents as Teachers. Enroll in Parents as Teachers through your local school district if it is an option where you live. Parents as Teachers is a program that sends a parent educator to your home (or zoom or phone call in the times of COVID) to teach you activities to do with your child that are fun and educational. They may even offer prenatal visits, so look into it sooner than later! I found the prenatal visits immensely helpful when I was expecting Sawyer, my second child, because my parent educator spent a lot of time with my older son, Jackson (who went through the program with her too), preparing him to become a big brother. All the work that she and I put in made bringing home a new sibling as seamless as possible. Thanks, Joy! Your parent educator can also:
    • help you connect with other parents in your area
    • share resources online or around the community
    • check your child for milestones and catch any potential issues that can then be remediated through early intervention
    • be a supportive, listening ear
    • Bonus: you’ll probably get first dibs on preschool classes if you elect to use the district’s public preschool!
  5. Delivery and newborn care education. Take a course for expecting parents on delivery and newborn care through the hospital where you’re planning to deliver if available. Encourage your partner to attend with you. Drag him by his ear if you need to! Even if you consider yourself well versed on delivery and newborn care, you’ll likely find some value in the course. Research and recommendations change and you’ll be up to date on the latest! I’m telling you, your Aunt Frankie is going to come up with some really, realllly weird “facts” about having a baby and/or caring for a baby and you need to be armed with the confidence that you have the latest, most up to date information. I found the tour of the hospital where I was going to deliver extremely helpful too!
    • If the course doesn’t mention the “Purple crying” period, “fourth trimester”, or “5 s’s”, look into those.
  6. Breastfeeding education. If you want to breastfeed, take a course on breastfeeding! I personally took one available through the hospital where I was delivering. Getting an established breastfeeding relationship with baby is much more challenging than just making the decision to breast feed. In fact, I’d say the start of breastfeeding my first baby is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Don’t let that scare you away, though! It was one of the hardest, BEST things I’ve ever done. One of my proudest accomplishments. I personally finished up my master’s degree during my first month postpartum with Jack, and while I’m extremely proud of my degree, my heart feels even more pride looking back on the memories with baby Jackson. Other valuable resources for breastfeeding support include (again, you want to be informed because Aunt Frankie has even weirder “facts” up her sleeve about breastfeeding):
  7. Crucial conversations. It’s time to have some crucial conversations with your partner. Get ready to be vulnerable and honest with your partner and yourself. Consider:
    • Sharing parental responsibilities, for example:
      • visits to the pediatrician
      • night wakings
      • dressing and diapering
      • feedings
    • Visitors at the hospital/at home once baby arrives
    • Announcement of baby’s arrival to family and friends
    • Posting on social media
    • Parenting styles/general parenting philosophy
    • Return or non return to work after maternity/paternity leave?
    • Telling Aunt Frankie to mind her damn business
  8. Car seat education. What’s the bane of my parenting existence? Car seats. They suck not only to install but to buckle properly. Plus there are like 897 safety guidelines you must follow in order for them to be effective and safe both inside the car and out. Look into getting a professional to help you install it in your car before baby arrives. Some things to learn that you’ve probably never considered in your life:
    • Safe sleep in the car seat
    • Buckling your impossibly small, squishy newborn when it’s time to take them home from the hospital
    • Rear facing guidelines
    • Adjusting the straps and chest clip
    • Expiration dates and when to replace the seat
    • coats (or lack thereof) in the seats and how to safely keep baby warm
    • Here are some trusted resources to get you started (hopefully your pediatrician and OB pass on info as well so you can get a local professional to help you install it the first time)
  9. Leak prevention Put a waterproof mattress pad on YOUR bed. Oh, you only thought you’d need one for the crib? I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news but baby’s not the only one going home in diapers. Actually, I have worse news. You’ll want to put the waterproof mattress pad on before baby comes. Like today. A bladder that can’t keep up in the first and third trimester, leaking breasts, your water breaking…trust me. I’m going to get vulnerable with you here-I straight up peed the bed in the middle of the night when I was pregnant with Jack. Not a little leak. A lake. I had to wake up my husband and we had to evacuate the room and sleep in the guest bed. See what I’m saying? You want to protect your mattress. Plus I can guarantee you that baby will spit up, pee, or poop in your bed once that sweet little prince or princess arrives. And you know what? You probably won’t even mind. Now THAT is love.
Sawyer made his appearance two days later!

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I’m a stay at home mom of two little boys, Jackson and Sawyer. I have a degree in Early Childhood Education and a masters degree in the education field as well. I have experience teaching a variety of ages from birth through grade 12! I’m passionate about child development, gentle parenting, and learning through play. I’ve spent the last few months developing a preschool curriculum for my 4 year old son and would love for you to follow along for inspiration in your own home!

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