#AD – this is a collaborative post
When you’re pregnant and waiting on the baby or a new mom surviving on snacks, smoothies and zero sleep, you’ll take all the help you can get! Sure, babysitters and family members can make a big impact, but they won’t always be there when you need them. Whether you’re up in the middle of the night or could use some positive affirmations during an afternoon nap, all you need to do is grab your smartphone or tablet for some big sister advice. A variety of trusted and helpful resources can be accessed through an audiobook, app or podcast.
There is a wealth of educational, entertaining and uplifting content out there, but we’ve chosen a few of our favourites. Decide which type of media you prefer or pick a few different options. After learning from fellow moms, paediatricians and midwives, you’ll feel better about your perfectly imperfect world and more confident about your role as a new parent.
- Ovia Pregnancy (App) – Being pregnant is joyful and exciting, but it can also be overwhelming! The Ovia Pregnancy app by Ovia Health is here to help you track your baby’s growth and answer all your questions. Learn about your child’s development week by week and then track your pregnancy symptoms. Everything from moods to morning sickness can be logged and then discussed with your doctor. Explore medication and food interactions so you’re not worried about what you’re putting in your body. There’s even a library full of educational articles and pregnancy facts. If you want to connect with expecting moms like you, head for their anonymous online community. Receive support, share a few laughs and get practical answers.
- What to Expect the First Year (Book) – The What to Expect series is arguably the most popular book collection for pregnant women and new parents. While What to Expect When You’re Expecting tops the list, one of the best books for expecting moms is actually What to Expect the First Year. A timeless gift choice for baby showers, this title offers invaluable tips and advice for 52 whole weeks. While the resources on baby safety, breastfeeding and infant care are enough to make this book a lifesaver, you’ll also love its illustrations. You’ll learn from and enjoy the clear, vivid pictures that show everything from how to hold your baby while nursing to how to make their crib safer and more comfortable for sleeping.
- The Birth Hour (Podcast) – There are thousands of podcasts for new moms out there. Instead of sifting through the huge lists, choose one of the best pregnancy podcasts to get started. The Birth Hour is a treasure trove of birth stories from all walks of life. Listen to women talk about natural births, C-sections and water births. You’ll even be able to hear accounts of wildly unique stories–from a quick delivery in a moving vehicle to an all-women birth. While these stories will help you pass the time, you may also discover the type of birthing experience you prefer. You’ll also better appreciate the miracle that is having a baby.
- Caring for Your Baby and Young Child (Book) – This is another popular book series known by moms of all ages. The best book for new parents is the Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5 edition. It’s written by the American Academy of Pediatrics, so you know you’re reading something you can trust. Inside, you’ll receive a breakdown of the most important health topics from birth to kindergarten. Subjects include developmental milestones, when to call a doctor and how to solve behavioural issues. It’s like having a paediatrician and a savvy mom in the comfort of your home.
- The Wonder Weeks (App) – The Wonder Weeks app for your smartphone is based on scientific research. Two doctors discovered that all babies go through 10 challenging periods throughout the first 20 months of their lives. Each period is referred to as a leap, which propels your child’s mental development. While these leaps are necessary for their healthy growth, they can also cause mood swings and trouble sleeping. Instead of wondering if the baby is going through a phase, refer to the app. After putting in a few simple details about your little one, you’ll receive a week by week update about what he or she is going through and how you can help. In addition to coping skills, you’ll also discover how to support them in their growth. Many moms call it an empowering tool for some of the most challenging moments.
- The Mom Hour (Podcast) – Once the newborn phase passes, new moms can easily feel more lonely than before. Most family members and friends have gone back home—and you may also be back to work. The Mom Hour podcast is the perfect solution for these challenging moments. You’ll get to know Meagan and Sarah, two real-life moms who candidly discuss everything from the most helpful working mom strategies to cultivating our female friendships when we have much less time than before. Each episode is about an hour-long so you can go in-depth about the topics that mean the most to you. When the baby wakes up from a nap, put it on pause and continue later. If you like what Meagan and Sarah have to offer, they also have a blog on their website. Skim through their most recent posts when you don’t have time to listen.
- Huckleberry (App) – During the first few months of baby’s life, it can be hard to keep track of all of the diaper changes, naps and feedings. Make it easier on yourself with the Huckleberry app available on both Apple and Android smartphones. Huckleberry was created by pediatric sleep experts whose mission is to use your baby’s unique data to create a healthy and effective sleep plan. While you can pay to receive their expert advice, many moms use their free service. The more you log your little one’s habits, the more information you will have about how often they like to sleep, how many soiled diapers they average each day and how much formula or breast milk they’re drinking. Take the data with you to your paediatrician visit—or glean new insights about your child’s habits without sacrificing much brainpower.
- The Fourth Trimester (Book) – New moms spend so much time preparing for baby’s arrival, they often forget about readying themselves for the postpartum period. Since this time can be challenging for so many women, it helps to have some insight into how to cope. The Fourth Trimester is a guide to healing your body and mind while you take care of your bundle of joy. With the help of author Kimberly Ann Johnson’s advice, you’ll gain holistic solutions for keeping your emotions in check. You’ll also discover practical ways to rejuvenate yourself physically. While this advice is invaluable in the months following birth, you’ll be able to use the strategies for years to come.
Empowering Yourself Through Baby’s First Year –
While you’re busy stocking up on baby clothes, readying the nursery and planning the baby shower, consider taking the time to bookmark a few of these resources. When your little one is sleeping or spending quality time with your partner, you can make yourself a cup of hot tea and choose one of your favourites. Other helpful ways to make time for yourself include purchasing the audio version of the above books, listening to podcasts in the car and scheduling time to update your apps once per day when you have plenty of free time.
Everyone needs help during baby’s first year. Instead of feeling bashful or guilty, embrace the advice, pointers and tips! Learning from the top infant experts and moms just like you will help you feel supported, informed and even more enthusiastic about your big new role!
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