Tuesday, October 22, 2013

New Mom Reading List

As a first time Mom, I felt inundated with reading materials, advice, and baby info!  I've narrowed down the best books/resources for New Moms to a list of FIVE.  Here are my favorites...

I started reading this book when I was about 35 weeks pregnant.  It helped me anticipate what was forthcoming, and I really felt prepared for Reed's "fussiness" because of this famous book!  Dr. Karp's book is easy to read and makes sense!  (No medical gibberish!)  Throughout the first few months of Reed's life, I found myself rereading portions of the book and looking things up to help my new baby.  This book has been called "the most important parenting book of the decade," and it is a MUST READ for all FTMs.  

2.  Baby 411
I love this book because it is divided into sections that are easy to navigate.  The question and answer format makes the book manageable and easy to digest in small bits.  When Reed was around two months, I sat down and read the "Sleep" section of the book in one sitting.  Baby boy made huge strides in his sleep patterns after I read the information in this book.  Bonus: The 6th edition of this book was just released!

When I was in Labor & Delivery, the nurse that was taking care of me suggested reading this book.  My pediatrician also recommended this book at Reed's 3-month well visit.  I think the perfect time to read this book is when baby is 3 or 4 months old.  Most pediatricians and sleep experts don't recommend any kind of "sleep training" before this time.  The book is BIG and wordy.  In fact, I had to read it twice to really take it all in.  However, this book has contributed to Reed's healthy sleep patterns (10-13 hours per night).  Prepare yourself for an overwhelming amount of information, but I'm positive it will make a difference in baby's sleep habits.  

The Wonder Weeks is a book, but I would recommend the smart phone app!  The Wonder Weeks explains "mental leaps" that babies go through at certain periods in their development.  It's like a mental growth spurt.  The app explains these mental leaps in short snippets and helps new Moms know what to expect and anticipate.  Awesome app!  

5.  KellyMom website
KellyMom provides evidence-based research on breastfeeding and parenting.  The website and Facebook group have helped me successfully breastfeed baby boy for 6+ months (and still going!).  There are articles, Q&As, and most importantly, advice from experienced Mamas.  You can post questions to the secret Facebook group and get instant feedback from Moms, nurses, and lactation consultants around the world.  Free, fast, and convenient!  

I hope these five resources will help new Mamas out there!  
Happy 6 months to my baby bear!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Reed...The Sleep Expert!

What's New:  Last month I posted about the struggles we were having with Reed's sleep.  We were so blessed to meet Melissa from Newborn Nightingales.  Melissa is an RN, mommy to two, and sleep consultant.  I found Melissa around 3 a.m. on a particularly rough sleep night.  {Thanks, Google!}  Last week, Fox News came out to film a segment on infant sleep.  Fox filmed for almost 90 minutes, but the clip is pretty short.  Check it out below!
Melissa gave us lots of wonderful advice on helping Reed sleep more consistently at night and how to lengthen his cat naps.  She gave me a copy of a book called "Moms on Call" that has been a huge help.  Here is some of the advice I got from our consult...
--Close the blinds for naps.  
--Turn the white noise machine all the way up.  Use an adult white noise machine.  No waves or lullabies.  
--Lay baby down in crib drowsy but not asleep.  Otherwise, baby is relying on you to help fall asleep.  When they wake up , they expect to see you or be rocking/bouncing.  
--All of the aforementioned are helping baby develop sleep associations.  Babies like routine and consistency so the dark room, white noise, and crib are associated with sleep.
--Let baby stay in crib after they wake up from a nap to see if they will put themselves back to sleep.  (I'm guilty of running in to pick him up because he's so cute and happy after a nap.)   Let baby play in crib independently and/or put himself back to sleep.  
--The Moms on Call book has sample schedules for babies 4-6 months, 6-7 months, 8-10 months, 11 months, and 12-15 months.  It's helpful to see what a typical day should look like for most babes.  

I feel so blessed to have met Melissa from Newborn Nightingales.  God sent her to our family at just the right time!  If you need sleep advice, shoot Melissa an e-mail.  You won't regret it!  

Reed likes:  Playing at the park, being outside, going for jogs in the Bob, and practicing his rolls!
Happy Moment:  This week, cousins Greg and Rory were visiting from Wyoming, and Grandma is in town from Florida.  We took Reed to the Dallas World Aquarium, and he was in HEAVEN.  He didn't make a peep the whole two hours we were there.  He just enjoyed seeing all of the animals and exploring the rain forest and underwater adventure!

Struggles/Challenges:  Dare I say it...NONE.  We are totally in a sweet spot right now.  If you haven't read this blog post called "The Sweet Spot," please take a few minutes and read it.  Life is good.  Reed is so happy and so fun.  His days are filled with learning, love, milk, and hugs/kisses!  We are so very blessed.  I saw this on Pinterest the other day, and it really spoke to me...
Looking forward to:  Cooler weather...Seriously...Reed loves to be outside, but Mama hates the heat and humidity.  Come on fall!  I'm also looking forward to introducing solid foods to Reed sometime soon!  I'll post updates (and pictures) of the excitement!  :)