by Jennie Bernstein
We love our babies and sometimes we love a shower in peace and quiet.
We love our babies and sometimes we love a shower in peace and quiet.
When my first baby was born I was overwhelmed with the amount of information I needed to learn when it came to caring for my baby. Initially I thought it wouldn’t be too difficult but then I learned I had to be careful how I laid her down, that car seat installation should be checked by a professional (and that there are professionals for that!), that there was a right and wrong way to introduce foods, and that there were products that would help me parent but could potentially harm my baby so Jeremy and I agonized over picking out a bouncy seat, carrier, swing, stroller, and even crib sheets. Let alone how we were going to raise our child.
So when baby number two came along I was relieved I wouldn’t have that anxiety to deal with, I had figured everything out, right? Wrong. Recommendations had changed, even laws had been updated, and some of the products I had for my first I learned had been recalled! Not to mention the things it turns out I never knew and did “wrong” with my first. Then she was born and was such a completely different little person she hated the carrier that my first had loved, our breastfeeding journey was filled with challenges and I needed a better pump, her sleep needs completely upended what we thought we did and had us scrambling for a different solution beyond “more coffee.”
With the third I wondered what could be next and the only thing I was really confident about was that I only kind of knew what I was doing and that everything could be drastically different territory. I needed a different way of figuring out my options depending on what was thrown my way.
Now, mom to 6 kids, I’ve learned that there are few silver bullet products out there (almost none) and lots of different favorites, nor is there one specific method that will make everything just so for parents. Every child, every parent, every situation is different. Sometimes we can’t get or do the “best” because the “best” changes depending on circumstances. The three most valuable acquisitions I’ve made for my parenting are information, community, and confidence. The last two of which can be very challenging to come by as a new parent.
For years I was uncomfortable with the idea of mom-targeted events. The idea of hanging out with a bunch of moms talking about pregnancy, birth, and parenting, just sounded kind of terrifying. I wasn’t sure how much there could possibly be to say on those matters and it sounded potentially very emotional, competitive, and expensive. But I was wrong. Though I shied away from such events for a long time, eventually I realized I needed to connect with other parents on the parenting journey and hear from those not only more experienced but also more informed as well as those just figuring things out along the way. Information within the context of community was so much easier to absorb, I discovered. Even better when that community was fun and a mix of people with different backgrounds, areas of interests, and access to various professional experts from health care to product functionality.
Which is why now I love events targeted at helping build community amongst parents with information sharing, education, and connecting with brands that prioritize education for parents to be confident in their decision making. As I’ve experienced and learned more of such events, I get excited when I see more and more parents having access to these opportunities. The online support community is incredible and needed but I can’t deny that there is something about being able to touch each other, get hands on help, hear the voices of those on a similar journey, and look into the eyes of someone that understands. Being in a room buzzing with people excited to grow for their children is a bit intoxicating, awakening the power we all already hold within ourselves as the right parents for our children.
Not all events are created equal and not all events are the right fit for every parent but venturing out into the unknown for a real live connection is worth the risk that it won’t be what you’re really looking for as part of your journey. Even if you’re not sure, taking time to explore your options and figure out how to get to them can be energizing, the actual experience even revitalizing.
I talk often about different events happening in the States because that’s where I am but today I’m excited to share with you an event taking place in Toronto, Canada in just a week, September 27th and 28th. The Baby Show, Toronto, brings together the parenting community, speakers and workshop teachers, and brands with products and services that support families focusing on the prenatal and baby and toddler stages of parenting. We tried to work it out for me to be there this time but it’s just not able to happen so I’ve teamed up with The Baby Show to send SIX pairs of Toronto Leakies (value of $30 each prize) to the show to go and give me the scoop. I want to hear all about this event so grab your partner or a friend and head over there and let me know what you think. The Baby Show features workshops and seminars covering a range of topics from sleep, infant massage, prenatal yoga, starting solids, birth and beyond, breastfeeding, mommy baby dance workout, first aid basics for parents, and more as well as entertainment, contests, giveaways, and shopping.
For those that don’t win, there’s a discount code for Leakies as well for $3 off online tickets using the code: LB14
To be entered, use the widget below and for once, this giveaway is open to Canadian Leakies only! Please note that all winners will be responsible for their own transportation and the winners will be announced on Wednesday, September 24, 2014. Good luck!
Ergobaby knows the importance of those first few days, weeks, and months with a new baby and that taking good care of mom is part of taking good care of baby. That’s why they are sponsoring a live chat on The Leaky Boob Facebook page with postpartum doula and IBCLC Marcy Sauter. That’s also why they are giving away some carriers and their new Ergobaby swaddlers (designed to allow freedom of movement while still providing a safe, snuggly swaddle), because supporting families from day one is what they’re all about.
To check out our chat and the wealth of information and support shared there, check out these links:
To be entered into the giveaways, click on the widgets below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
For my last 2 babies, my midwife had a piece of paper she taped to my front door before she left after the birth. Announcing to visitors that there was a new baby in the house, it shared birth facts such as weight, length, name, date, etc. That part was nice but what I really loved was the part about what visitors could do. Informing them that a new baby means help is needed and that their visit should be brief, this little piece of paper taped to my front door encouraged those that loved us and wanted to celebrate with us to keep their voices low, limit their time, understand if we needed to be alone, and give them ideas of how to help such as offering to do the dishes, sweep a floor, run the vacuum, or take the bigger kids to the park. In short, it helped our visitors figure out how to be the best kind of visitors and I discovered that I didn’t mind having people stop by as much as I did with my older kids simply because they helped more and were more understanding of our needs. Knowing they already saw a notice of sorts on the front door before they came in made it easier for me to respect my own boundaries, excusing myself to rest or not feeling awkward about them asking if they could help with something around the house.
There are far too many expectations on families when they have a new baby. Respecting the postpartum recovery and the important bonding that needs to happen with the new family member sets up families to continue on well for the long haul. If you’re breastfeeding, this time is crucial to establishing your breastfeeding relationship and focusing on that will have a long term pay off. Pushing for too much too soon, other people interfering with the bonding, can leave moms feeling burnt out and unwell months, maybe even years later. Having true support and help to take the time to really heal leads to endurance in the parenting journey. That, and knowing we’re not alone along the way.
So my gift to you is my version of this life-saving piece of paper. Ask your care provider to sign it complete with the appropriate initials behind their name then stick it on your front door when your little one arrives and leave it there for at least 6 weeks (8 if you birth via c-section). Be a good friend and print it off to give others that are expecting for them to put on their front door. Don’t hesitate to point out the note, referring to it by asking if they saw how much baby weighed or how long she was and if they didn’t notice, encourage them to go check out the info posted on the front door. It can be hard to ask for help yet not allowing others to help ends up creating isolation and robbing others of the joy of offering support and encouragement by helping. This little bit of guidance can help not only the new mom and family but the friends and family that want to offer quality support but just aren’t sure what is needed. Take the guess work out of the picture and everyone wins.
new baby help sign for front door
I’m a simple kind of gal. There is very little I feel we need for a new baby and then some things I want for a new baby. Really it comes down to something for the pee/poop, boobs, and something to keep the newbie tied to me. But there are somethings beyond that we get to help care for our newest little person. Some are our basics, others make it easier, and still others are a luxury. Most of this can be found at yard sales, thrift stores, craigslist, consignment shops, and hand-me-downs from friends, we rarely buy brand new. Everyone’s list will look a bit different, what works for one family won’t for another. Here’s our breakdown.
diapers- we cloth diaper, here’s what we find essential
travel- leaving the house
Travel- leaving the house
As Sugarbaby is expected any day now I find myself checking to be sure everything is ready for having a new baby, even things I know won’t be used right away. “Stuff” doesn’t make a home ready for a new baby but there is a lot of “stuff” that helps a family care for their new arrival including helping with the transition of adding a family member. The tangible preparations can go a long way in helping with the mental and emotional preparations for a new baby. Sugarbaby won’t be interested in playing with the new wood rattle waiting on the shelf in our room but every time I look at it I look forward a little bit more to my sweet babe being in my arms. Coming up I’ll be sharing my lists for me and for the family because having a baby isn’t just about the baby, you have to take care of everyone.
What does your list look like? Basic, nice to have, and luxury, what would you put on your list of baby gear to have?