Preparing for Baby: Pregnancy Resources
Photo credit: The very talented Malena who took maternity photos for us
Throughout my first pregnancy, I was overwhelmed with the amount of information out there as well as with what items to choose for baby. These are some things I found helpful. Looking back, I wish I had read less about pregnancy and more about baby sleep, ha! However, I do wonder if reading about sleep problems had to be something I did in the moment as I was experiencing it. Either way, at least read something about baby sleep before your baby is born! Babies need a lot of sleep and it is helpful to know what to expect.
On a side note, our hospital for our first son had amazing lactation consultants, and really focused on teaching us how to breastfeed while we were there. I’m not sure how standard this is (my second birth experience had mediocre lactation support – the consultant herself was knowledgeable and helpful but didn’t show up until I was about to be discharged) but I found it absolutely essential. If your hospital does not have this kind of support, I would definitely recommend taking a breastfeeding class and hiring your own lactation consultant. I found breastfeeding to be difficult and frustrating at first, and was so glad to have great support at the hospital. My third birth experience had zero lactation support, but it was a unique situation being in the middle of the pandemic in NYC.
I also highly recommend creating an Amazon Baby Registry, as it makes it really easy for friends and family to contribute to your new little nugget and/or keep track of what you want/need for your baby!
My Favorite Resources
- My Baby Stuff List: I will tell you all about all of the baby stuff you will need! See my updates What do I really Need? for an overview of the necessities, and Save, Spend, Splurge! to understand more about the different options for different budgets!
- YouTube Childbirth Class (3 parts): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7YucfJuziU We didn’t go to a traditional class at the hospital, but watched these YouTube videos instead and read a ton of stuff. I also watched other birth videos and read hundreds of birth stories. We also took a hospital tour. I don’t feel that a traditional class would have necessarily made me more prepared. Also, this short video gives an interesting analogy of what the process is like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URyEZusnjBI
- Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong–and What You Really Need to Know – Every pregnant woman should read this! An economics Professor dispels conventional pregnancy ‘wisdom’ in this uniquely informative book. Also checkout her book Cribsheet and subscribe to her newsletter!
- BabyCenter birth month club – Online forum for support of other mothers giving birth in the same month.
- Facebook groups – See if there are any local moms groups you can join for support and camaraderie. There may be opportunities for meet-ups with local moms and this can be a great way to meet other moms and meet friends for your baby! Join my group Naptime Deals for product recommendations and updates on what’s on sale!
- Pinterest – there is so much out there to explore and read. Don’t get too crazy, but it is useful to learn from other moms and use their experiences to help you understand what having a baby will be like and to get ideas for how you will raise your child.
- Instagram – the parenting world has taken over Instagram. These are some of my favorites to follow for pregnancy/parenting:
- The Secret to Sleeping through the Night (written by me 😊)
- Baby Sleep Trainer blog – another helpful sleep resource blog. I used her book as inspiration (though didn’t follow it exactly) for how I sleep trained my second baby and it worked like a charm! She’s got some great tips.
- The Good Sleeper, Jane Kennedy – discusses importance of avoiding overtiredness, which I think is key to having a happy baby all day, in my experience. I read this book when I was getting close to my wit’s end with my first baby’s sleep and it really helped me.
- Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child,Weissbluth – discusses basics of infant sleep needs and gives good suggestions for creating an appropriate schedule.
- The Baby Whisperer, Tracy Hogg – discusses infant temperaments and how to create a routine to keep you and baby happy.
- Babywise, Ezzo – Babywise was recommended to me by a friend, so I read it and planned to follow it. However, The EASY routine from the Baby Whisperer (link above) worked better for me. I really struggled to implement the Babywise schedules in the beginning, but I do agree with the overall philosophy of parent-led sleep schedules and think the book has some good ideas despite the fact that the schedules were too difficult for me to implement.
- 12 Hours Sleep by 12 Weeks Old – This book gives you directions on how to get your baby to sleep 12 hours by 12 weeks old. Overall, it is very similar to Babywise, but it goes into more detail on how to eliminate night feedings. It encourages stretched feedings throughout the day (which was what was difficult about Babywise for me.)
- BabyCenter Teaching your Baby and Toddler to Sleep Board – this forum has useful schedules and info and also support if you want to ask questions, although they are kind of rigid in their advice.
- Wee Bee Dreaming blog – this blog explains how to help your baby sleep and how to make an appropriate schedule for your baby
- AAP Safe Sleep Recommendations: I think every parent should familiarize themselves with these recommendations!
(If you are interested in reading these types of books, you could read these during pregnancy or wait until during the first year and beyond)
- How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk If you are going to read only one parenting book, I recommend this one. There are so many different parenting perspectives and philosophies, and the tools from this book can apply to almost anything!
- Toddler Rules I liked this book for preparing to raise a toddler! She gives practical and sound advice about how to care for toddlers and attempt to avoid unwanted behaviors!
- Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting (now with Bébé Day by Day: 100 Keys to French Parenting) – This book describes the unique parenting philosophy from an American who lived in France.
- All Joy and No Fun Discusses the challenges of being a parent in today’s world.
- Parenting Without Borders Parenting around the world!
- I found this article very relatable and real regarding the postpartum struggle.