Monday, February 10, 2014

Useful Resources for New Moms

Can I sing the praises of my friend, Kayla, for a minute? We've been having some major struggles with illness in our household so Kayla came over on Thursday with her insanely smiley six-month-old, Lucy, kept us company, folded my laundry, and put a whole chicken in our crock pot.  When she left, I felt a little disoriented, kind of a like a "Did this really happen?" feeling.  Because, man, I felt like I hit the friend jackpot.  And while you can't all benefit from Kayla's friendship, you can get a little taste of it with her guest post today where she's offering some advice to new moms. 

As a new mom, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. It feels like there is at once too much information and yet not enough. Where can you go to get the answers to your questions? What resources are the best? I’ve been a mom for 6 months now and let me tell you, I’m still finding resources to add to my “favorites”! But there are some that I frequent more than others, and I’d love to share them with you here now.

The first three of my favorite resources are about breastfeeding. I’m fairly certain that for at least the first month or two all we did was breastfeed! And if it weren’t for these next resources, we might not have survived, at the very least, we wouldn’t still be breastfeeding 6 months later, with no intention of weaning anytime soon.

I think every mom who wants to breastfeed would greatly benefit from meeting with an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant – the crème de la crème). Lucy and I met with two LC’s in the hospital and then 2 more at the Women’s Health and Wellness Center before meeting with an IBCLC at her own home. The LC’s that I saw were very helpful but it was our IBCLC (whom I now consider a good friend) that was able to give us very personalized help. She has been so helpful to us over the past six months that I consider her invaluable. Lucky you, she does skype consults too!

It just so happens that I met our IBCLC at a local La Leche League meeting. Not only has the LLL been helpful in our breastfeeding, but it has also been great as a social tool to meet other moms. Every mother needs her tribe! Go to to find a group near you. As a bonus, La Leche League leaders will also come to your home (for free!) if you cannot make a meeting for any reason, or need help before the next meeting time. and the Kellymom breastfeeding facebook group. Kellymom seems to be the encyclopedia of breastfeeding. If you have a question about ANYTHING, Kellymom has the answer!

When I was pregnant, my mom gave me a copy of Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care, and my friend Lyra gave me a copy of Dr. Sear’s Baby Book. Both books have been helpful whenever I’ve had a question about Lucy’s health. When should a rash be taken to a doctor? Is this behavior normal? What milestones can we look forward to this month? WHY ISN’T SHE SLEEPING??? I’m the type of person who likes to have multiple options so it has been nice to have both resources, especially as our parenting style has evolved. The Happiest Baby on the Block was possibly the best video resource I watched before Lucy was born. She’d be crying and so fussy and with Dr. Kemp’s advice we’d be able to calm her almost instantly. There is a book too which we have, but it was best to see the advice in action in the movie. 

A car seat is one of the most important and yet one of the most frustrating tools a parent has. How long are you supposed to rear face for? What’s the best way to secure a car seat?  I can’t even count how many times we’ve gotten Lucy in the seat only to find the straps completely twisted. We’d fight with them and fight with them, but then I learned a super simple trick that has eliminated our twisted strap frustration. The Car Seat Lady to the rescue! 

What are your favorite resources to recommend to new mothers?

Kayla is a professional procrastinator, semi-professional Googler, and amateur hippie. She thought that being the oldest of her mother’s 8 (going on 9!) children would have prepared her adequately for motherhood, until she burst into tears when she couldn’t remember what went in a diaper bag. She is very grateful that her daughter Lucy and husband Ryan are very, very patient. She blogs when she feels like it at


  1. Mine far and away would be following Nancy Holtzman @nancyholtzman on twitter. You can your insanest poop-filled (or anything else) questions and she will tweet you back with answers and webinars to assist you in your problems.

  2. I love love love that you mentioned those two books for knowing when to worry about your baby's health. As a peds nurse, we get phone calls every day about all kinds of teeny tiny insignificant issues. One of my colleagues makes a habit of asking the question, What book are you using? or What's your favorite resource? to kind of remind parents that a great resource like one of those books should be their best friend with a new baby. We frequently joke that babies don't come with an instruction manual, but honestly, many are available for purchase on Amazon. My favorite resource as a nurse is Barton D. Schmitt's Instructions for Pediatric Patients ( It's a little too expensive for a parent to buy for themselves, but if I'm unsure of how to answer a parent's question, it's the first place I look. I really like the relaxed and simple approach to everything (you don't need a lot of "stuff" for your baby to be happy and healthy, breastfeeding is best, but your baby will be absolutely fine if you aren't able to, etc.)

    1. That's awesome that she encourages parents to read up for themselves!

      Now it's on my wishlist :) Thanks!

  3. Have you read 10 Habits of Happy Mothers by Meg Meeker? The part I was reading last night talked about the importance of this kind of friend (one who will come take over with your laundry & cooking when you need it) - you and Kayla are blessed to have each other :)

  4. Good to know about The Happiest Baby video; my mom got that for us early on and I had no clue what it was about so it kind of just got pushed aside. We'll definitely watch that this week!

    1. We watched it in my prenatal group, I don't know that I would have watched it on my own. I'm really glad the nurse brought it in and showed it to us!

  5. Mandi, you are too sweet! Lucy and I had a great time, and I'm glad you liked the chicken!


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