As a first time mom, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the resources available to help you prepare for this new role. From books to blogs to apps, it’s hard to know where to start and how to narrow it down. While I’m typically one to over study and over prepare, when it came to motherhood, I knew no resource could fully prepare me for everything that came with this overwhelmingly, amazing role.
Rather than stressing myself out by trying to consume all the information out there about pregnancy, labor, and baby, I decided to take it one step and one resource at at time. With this approach, I only used 8 resources from the moment I found out I was pregnant up until now (Andrew is six months).
Of course, there were multiple times I leaned heavily on my mom, friends, doula, and pediatrician. However, I am happy with the approach I took in regards to the books and apps I utilized. So whether you are a mom-to-be or a new mom, these are the only 8 resources you need (in my opinion) to prepare to take on the best job of your life. Keep reading to find out what they are and why I love them!
- What to Expect When You’re Expecting: I did not read this book cover to cover. Instead, I used this book whenever I had a question or concern during my pregnancy. Rather then turning to Google, I would look it up in this book.
- My Medela app: In those first few days and early weeks, you will want to track all of baby’s feedings, diapers, and sleep habits. At first I was jotting these down on a notepad that I could never keep up with and then I was typing it in my notes on my iPhone which wasn’t easy either. Then one day I stumbled on this app that categorized everything I was trying to track and allowed me to do it with just a click of a button, hardly any typing required! I especially loved it for tracking how long and often Andrew breastfed in those first few weeks as I tried to figure out and understand his schedule. It has a stopwatch built into the app for just this reason! Oh, and it helps you remember which breast you last fed on so that you can be sure to alternate at each feedingl
- Natural Hospital Birth: Before you skip over this one if you’re not planning on having a natural birth, hear me out. This book has so much great information on what you can expect during labor, which I think we should all be educated on as women whether we get an epidural or not, as well as what to expect once baby is born – with baby and your body. And if you are planning a natural birth, then this book was my favorite 😉
- The Bump app: There are a number of apps out there like the Bump that give you weekly updates on your pregnancy – how big is baby, how he or she is developing, and what symptoms you may be having. I personally used and like the Bump but don’t feel like this one is the bible of the pregnancy apps. I just don’t think you need more than one as they’re all so similar.
- Moms on Call: While I’ve had mixed feelings on this book due to my lack of success with their sleep training recommendations, I do like it for how comprehensively yet concisely they cover anything and everything in regards to baby from birth to six months. From sicknesses to bath time to what a typical day looks like, this is a great quick reference guide for all those questions you’ll have as a new mom.
- The Big Book of Organic Baby Food: Andrew started solids right at six months but some baby’s start as early as four. This book provides a recommended introduction schedule for each week and corresponding recipes. It’s like the baby food bible!
- What to Expect the First Year: Since I loved using What to Expect When You’re Expecting as my tangible Google, I knew I needed What to Expect the First Year. It breaks down each month from birth to twelve months and covers everything from sleep habits to breastfeeding and when to go to the doctor to when baby will hit certain developmental milestones.
- The Wonder Weeks app: When I first downloaded this app, I didn’t understand it. It talked about these things called “leaps” and had a calendar showing when Andrew would supposedly go through these leaps. After some digging through the app, I found out that “leaps” are mental leaps or bounds in baby’s development and this app claims to know exactly when they will happen, how your baby will behave during these leaps (mostly fussy), and what skills they’ll learn from these leaps. At first I thought there was no way it could be as accurate as it claimed to be. Well after the first, second, and third leap were scarily accurate, I became a believer in this app and am constantly referencing it. Andrew is currently in the fifth leap – the world of relationships. Get the app and you’ll understand what it all means. Trust me, it’s worth it!
I’d love to know, are there any other resources you would add to this list?