Bringing a baby into the world is one of the most profound, life-changing events we can experience as humans. When you welcome a child, miracles happen daily. (And often craziness ensues, too, for about 18-plus years!)
When I was pregnant with my first daughter, I thought I was prepared: I read a thick stack of all the recommended childbirth and parenting books; I spent hours researching baby sleep habits and potty training; I read so many stroller reviews, I could recite them in my sleep. I was yogi calm, cool and collected. I knew what I was doing.
Then, lying in bed next to my husband after a long day of work, two weeks and five days before my due date, my water broke with a life-quaking “pop!” I wailed to my partner in panic: “We’re not ready!”
And with the arrival of our little bundle, all the certainty of parenthood (short-lived as it was) went out the window. I worried over colic, tossed and turned over sleep, and over the next four years, tested out 14 different strollers on our first daughter and then on our next, always in search of the perfect one (a fact my bemused husband never lets me forget). I also marveled at how unbelievably lucky I was to have become a mom.
From the mantras of pregnancy to adventures in breast-feeding, from the challenges of newborns’ sleep to the never-ending search for the absolute best baby gear, we are here to help you on this mind-blowing journey to parenthood. Beyond this print version of our annual baby issue, you’ll find new content daily at ParentMap.com, including parenting news and advice, brain development and child health, food and fun, family travel and parent stories. Receive regular updates on the issues you care about as well as inspiration for your growing family by signing up for our newsletter, and stay connected with us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Welcome to the wonderful playground of parenthood — we can’t wait to hang out with you.
— Natalie Singer-Velush, managing editor