It's been quiet on the blog lately! I have been busy preparing for the baby and trying to get things done before she arrives. I can't believe she'll be joining us in less than a month inshaAllah! Time has passed by so quickly Alhamdulilah and we can't wait to meet our precious little girl. I've surprisingly been far more calm than I thought I would be during the pregnancy and I hope that continues until it's time for the delivery! Having everything bought and organized in advance makes me feel so much better. We've also been doing our research about the basics of taking care of our newborn to make sure we're as prepared as we can be for this new journey. But as most moms have told me: "Prepare all you want, there will still be many surprises!"
Thankfully, I have my mom and sister (both mothers of 3 kids) nearby to help with any baby-related questions or concerns, but I still like learning about how I can be better equipped as a new mom. Afroz and I always do thorough research before making any huge decisions, whether it's buying something expensive or discussing our plans for the future, so why shouldn't we take the time to read up on caring for a little human that we'll love so much and will be responsible for? It's a huge responsibility and while I know we'll make mistakes and learn as we go, I'm enjoying learning new tips and tricks of caring for a baby, so when she arrives, I have some basic knowledge to test out.
I thought I'd share somethings I've found useful during my first pregnancy so far and those that are helping me prepare for the arrival of our little one. Through these resources I'm learning new things I didn't know before, so I hope this helps any other new moms like me:
1. Baby Center Mobile App
This was the first resource I turned to when I found out I was pregnant. The Baby Center App is loaded with useful information at my fingertips and has guided me throughout the pregnancy. It asked me when my expected due date is and sends me notifications every week to let me know how far along I am, what the approximate size of the baby is (i.e. size of a poppyseed, lemon, etc.), updates on the baby's development, suggestions of what to eat, frequently asked questions, links to the Baby Center forum where moms and moms-to-be ask and answer questions, and so much more. It's free and Afroz and I enjoy reading the updates every week to learn more about the baby's development.
2. Common Sense Pregnancy: Navigating a Healthy Pregnancy and Birth for Mother and Baby
This book is straightforward and perfect for any new mom who wants to read a book filled with useful information without being bored to death. The author, Jeanne Faulkner, wrote the book in such a way that makes you feel like you're getting advice from one of your girlfriends who knows everything about pregnancy, delivering a baby, and how to survive it all. Faulkner shares the facts, her own experiences as a mom, and her experience as a nurse who has helped deliver thousands of healthy babies. The book answered many of my questions about the pregnancy, the medical tests that I had to take, and what I'll be experiencing when it's time for the delivery. She also talks about how to survive after coming home with the baby, how to overcome feeling exhausted, and so much more.
3. The Expectant Father: The Ultimate Guide for Dads-to-Be
Afroz and I were hanging out in the parenting section at Barnes and Noble one day (yeah, we actually hang out at B&N for fun sometimes) early on in the pregnancy and we came across this book. Just by skimming through it, we found that it was packed with straightforward advice mainly addressing the dads-to-be. It contains information about being involved in the pregnancy, advice from top practitioners in their fields, from obstetricians and birth-class instructors to psychologists and sociologists, balancing work and family, finances, and a lot more. The author, Armin A. Brott, also incorporates some humor, which makes the book even better. Afroz hasn't read it cover to cover, but he skips through chapters to get answers for specific questions he's had since he found out we were expecting. It's a useful resource for new dads and we'd definitely recommend it!
4. What to Expect the First Year
I just started reading this book and I know I'll continue referring to it in between my baby's naps. As a new mom, I know I'll have numerous questions about feeding, sleeping, crying, and so much more. The table of contents is organized in such a clear way that allows me to to flip through and read about any specific questions I have about caring for my baby.
5. Taking Classes at the Hospital
Afroz and I recently took a class at the hospital called "Baby Care 101" and I also registered to take a breastfeeding class as well. The Baby Care 101 class was very useful. The instructor discussed key questions new parents have and also demonstrated how to swaddle a baby, change her diaper, perform CPR, and so much more. They had baby mannequins, so we could practice as well. While experienced people who are aunts or uncles to baby nieces and nephews might feel like they're pros with simple things like swaddling and diaper changing, it's nice to have a refresher and learn any new tips and tricks you may not know. I would definitely recommend looking up what classes your hospital offers. You may come out of the class learning something that will turn out to be very useful when you're taking care of your baby.
Disclaimer: By no means am I a pro at being pregnant or preparing for a baby. Honestly, I don't think anyone is. No one is ever completely prepared from what I hear. But I thought I'd share a few things that are helping me (a clueless/nervous/excited prego) learn more about my pregnancy and are making preparations a little simpler. I won't have any idea of what knowledge came in handy and what didn't until my baby arrives, but I hope this benefits anyone looking for resources, because I love seeing suggestions from other expectant and experienced mommy bloggers!
Have a great resource that I didn't mention above? Share it in a comment below!