you had one best piece of advice to give to a new/expectant parent,
what would it be?" We posed this question to our staff of moms and came
up with a wealth of tips for our BabyMap readers. Happy reading!
"Take lots of photos because it goes so fast!!!"
-- Nicole Wehl, classified account manager
"Make sure to have an exercise ball on hand before you bring baby home. With both our kids, we found that sitting and bouncing on the ball was the one thing that worked to soothe and quiet them when all else failed. The ball is magic. Just make sure to get one that's appropriate for your height or it can be hard on the back."
-- Allison Dworkin, special projects editor
"I found it very important to remember that though my husband was doing something differently than I did (like the way we change diapers), "Daddy's way" is as good as "Mommy's way." It helped me to stay out of his way so he could develop his caretaking skills and feel good about them."
-- Kathy Gerke, advertising sales manager
"Purchase tickets now to a play, concert or event of some sort -- on a date six to eight weeks after your baby's due date -- for just you and your partner to attend together. (Of course, you will talk about the baby the whole time you are gone.)"
-- Toddy Dyer, advertising production manager
"Stock up on the basics, such as diapers and baby blankets, but wait until your baby is born to buy extras. Your ideas about what you need, or don't need, may change once your baby is born."
-- Kris Collingridge, calendar and Out & About editor
"Laugh a lot with your child and enjoy every moment, or at least as many as you can."
-- Laura Glass, senior account manager, national sales
"Start early, start young -- get a babysitter every Saturday night so you don't have to talk about or think about when you will get alone time."
-- Alayne Sulkin, editor and publisher
"If I could do it all over again, I'd keep a journal of my pregnancy, birth and the first few years of my child's milestones and funny moments. Because now it's all a blur!"
-- Cindy Ness, display advertising
"It's OK to NOT be productive and just BE with your babe for as long as you need to -- and to realize that life is going to slow down so much, but before you know it, you'll be up and running again and almost wishing for those slower days."
-- Colleen Butler, Family Directory coordinator
"Being a new mom, home with a baby, can be isolating at times. I would make an effort to go somewhere each day, whether for a walk around the block or out to do a quick errand. At least it gets you out of pajamas."
-- Kim Schmidt, display advertising
"Know that other parents have different values, ethics, priorities and rules than you do. Don't be shocked/upset/outraged at the way they raise their children -- be ready for just about anything."
-- Linda Morgan, contributing editor
"Join a PEPS (Program for Early Parenthood Support) group. It can be disconcerting to realize that many of your professional friends won't relate to you in the same way, and will start to have different interests. PEPS allows a new mom to cope not just with the changes at home that a baby brings, but helps cope with losing what was previously a way of life."
-- Tracy Sigmon, distribution coordinator
"Relax...take a deep breath and enjoy every moment with your newborn. Enjoy every cry, every burp, every smile and every little movement. Remind yourself that these moments are fleeting and a new 'stage' of development is around the corner. You will never have this 'stage' back again."
-- Suzanne Goren, marketing and distribution manager
"Document the life of your second child (and subsequent children) as thoroughly as your first. My daughter, who is four years younger than my son, feels a bit slighted because there are fewer photos and journal entries regarding basic milestones (losing teeth, height at certain ages, etc.) compared to what we had for her brother."
-- Teresa Wippel, managing editor
"Don't assume your child will:
- sleep more than 2 hours in a row the first month;
- not be the toddler who bites others at preschool;
- will stay dry at night before the age of 6;
- always tell the truth;
- never call you a combination of swear words (to your face);
- stay 'stuck' in any of the above behaviors forever."
-- Emily Johnson, production manager
Originally published in the May, 2005 print edition of ParentMap.