My husband commented that I’m on my smartphone a lot more these days, and he’s right. I think I check my online forums at least three times a day. You never know when you’ll read a tidbit of wisdom. So for those of you out there who feel a little lost right now about something going on with your baby or something happening postpartum…. I have to share my mommyhood lifelines. There is so much support out there is you find the right places!
My go-to online resources are:
My Birth Club on babycenter.com: I’ve heard that my birthclub (March 2012) is full of expecially helpful FTMs and BTDT moms. Sometimes, people from other birthclubs/forums will actually post to mine because we are such a responsive, supportive group of parents. I can’t even say moms because there are actually a number of dads on the forum as well. I follow my birthclub because 1) I can see when new milestones, sleep hurdles, etc. are coming soon from watching the moms with older “Marchies” posting in a panic. For example, around 4-6 months of age, sleep starts changing for a lot of babies, and sure enough, during June-July, the forum was flooded with “help! my baby won’t nap anymore…” threads. The current thread du jour is about solids and constipation. I read those avidly to learn tips like give your baby foods that begin with “p”‘ cuz those foods help them poo…pears, prunes, peaches, etc. Learn something new every day 🙂 Doesn’t matter what you’re dealing with, if you post on my birthclub, someone else has experienced it too. Anything from baby questions, pregnancy questions, postpartum questions and even OT (off-topic) stuff like sex and job interviews (typically not in the same thread mind you! We’re not that kind of club!)
www.babywhisperforums.com is my next favorite online resources. These ladies are serious devotees of Tracy Hogg, the Baby Whisperer. I’ll be honest. I read her book a few times and it didn’t sink in or help me out much, but this forum is awesome! There are several different boards including breastfeeding, bottle feeding, EASY sleep schedules, Naps, Night Wakings, etc. And what I love about this forum is that you can post your baby’s schedule or issue and there are moderators who will respond with suggestions on how to tweak your schedule to solve whatever issue you are dealing with. You do need to know what an EASY schedule is, but once you’ve figured that out, these ladies are very responsive and supportive. It’s also a great website to search although the actual search function on the site is broken, so you have to do google searchs. Just type in the phrase you are thinking of and add babywhisperforums to the phrase.
My go-to books:
Healthy sleep habits, Healthy Child by Mark Weissbluth. I read parts of this book at least once month. It’s amazing how quickly a baby’s sleep schedule changes in the first year of life. We’ve gone from napping on demand/on the go to napping three times a day to now two. And at some point in the next three months we’ll probably be down to one nap! We’ve also gone from a 10:30 bedtime to 8pm to currently 6-6:30. Crazy right? But it’s all in the hopes of maintaining the “perfect night”. What we mommies calling SSTN (sleeping through the night). We are obsessed with this idea and personally, I will do whatever it takes to get as many of those nights as possible. Cuz hell, even when we have those nights, I’m still getting up at 6 or 7 in the morning. And I used to get up at 9-10. Sigh. Anyway, I’ve read Ferber, Hogg, the sleep shuffle lady, the no cry sleep solution lady and in the end Weissbluth is my dude.
The Wonder Weeks: You can also get a decent amount of information online about the Wonder Weeks. This little gem helps predict when your baby will go through developmental milestones and how to help them develop these new skills more quickly. Here’s a tantalizing excerpt: It’s not your imagination– all babies go through a difficult period around the same age. Research has shown that babies make 10 major, predictable, age-linked changes – or leaps – during their first 20 months of their lives. During this time, they will learn more than in any other time. With each leap comes a drastic change in your baby’s mental development, which affects not only his mood, but also his health, intelligence, sleeping patterns and the “three C’s” (crying, clinging and crankiness). Read more. It’s real people. I’m a believer!