This story appears in ParentMap's November 2017 print edition. Subscribe today!
Expectant and new parents, this section’s for you. From life-saving gear to outings that’ll do the whole family good, Crib Notes is your emergency kit to make it through.
Here’s what labor was like for me
"Around 7:30 a.m., I woke up with cramp-like symptoms. Contractions started at 8:07 a.m., coming every two minutes and getting stronger with each one. By 8:27 a.m., we were in the car heading to the hospital 17 miles away.
"At one point, I realized I was pushing. I reached down and felt that I was progressing a lot quicker than I had ever expected; I was not going to make it [to the hospital] … With two strong pushes, Landon was born, weighing 5 pounds, 15 ounces and [measuring] 18.5 inches long.
"With all the excitement and shock, we continued on to the hospital without stopping. It was there we determined our timeline and that he was born at 8:37 a.m. Big brother Lucas remained calm the entire car ride, asking me if I was okay and if I had an “owie.” He was so excited to become a big brother." — Noelle Valbuena-Paet
"Baby no. 1 was born after 22 hours of sweating with five other laboring women, miserable drug-induced contractions and ultimately a C-section.
"Years later, my doctor lied about supporting a normal birth and scheduled another C-section, but during my 50-hour labor I switched doctors!
"For the third, I sobbed through pulses of agony to pass my silent fetus. I didn’t feel ready, but four months later a rainbow found her way into my womb.
"No. 4 would be different! I prepared with a trusted midwife, a team of friends, Hypnobirth, daily partner massage, Spinning Baby exercises, acupuncture, raspberry leaves, nettles and, most importantly, painting therapy to overcome my fears. During a day of gentle contractions, I danced, nested and baked a birthday cake. As the sun set, I slid into a warm tub, and in 20 minutes, wondrous Samaira reached earth, en caul at home, caught by my own hands." — Grace Lee
Get out of the house
Get an early dose of holiday cheer at the Reindeer Festival at Swansons Nursery. Introduce your baby to Rudolph, pick up some festive swag and snap a few (dozen) photos.
Gear we’re gaga about
- Gadgets and gizmos perfect for that new addition: A coloring book for when your baby’s in the NICU. How do you explain the NICU to your baby’s older siblings? These creative coloring books may help. Also available in Spanish.
- An app that screens for jaundice: Have you heard of BiliCam? It’s a smartphone app developed by the University of Washington back in 2014 that screens for newborn jaundice by simply taking a photo of a baby’s skin. A new study in “Pediatrics” gives us even more reason to love that idea: BiliCam provided accurate estimates for 530 infants.
- A gift that will totally kill at the baby shower: Win that baby shower with the funny new book, “101 Survival Tactics For New And Used Parents.” At a slim 96 pages filled with lighthearted cartoons, this is parenting advice that won’t make you gag.