Mama of five? What-the-what? It's true, my friends. I have five children, I'm a former private music teacher, professional story teller, and youth group director. I'm also a "parent and baby focused" business owner and a professional super nanny. I wear many hats. Most of them are related to parenting and children. So I guess you could say I've earned my stars and lived to share a little of my wisdom.
I'm generally not The Funny Writer. Nor am I The One Who Writes Controversial Things. I lean much more toward The One Who's Seen And Done It All side of things. That said, I thought long and hard about what advice I wish to give you, new mama, and here it is:
Be careful about where you get your offspring-related advice from. The internet is a blessing and a curse for new parents and parents-to-be. There is some excellent knowledge easily available to us all to be found on the web. It's also given a megaphone to the crazies. And they WILL find you, I promise. So how do you know what advice is good and what advice isn't so great? Here are my top three recommendations.
http://www.healthychildren.org - this is the parents' website from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Reader friendly, informative, and current in everything from "ages and stages" developmental guidelines to tips and tools, and so much more, this site should be every parent's go-to guide. I highly recommend putting your trust in the AAP over any website's "mommy message boards."
http://www.jpma.org - The Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association website is an excellent resource for everything related to baby safety. Especially useful is its product number search feature. If your cousin's best friend's neighbor has a crib she'd like to give you, you can check its product information at the JPMA site for any recalls or safety issues on more than 90% of the baby products on the market. Pretty nifty, hey?
http://www.seatcheck.org - SeatCheck is a national campaign dedicated to educating parents and caregivers about properly securing little ones in motor vehicles. Particularly useful is the Inspection Locator: enter your zip code to find certified inspectors in your area who can check your carseat and help you ensure your child's safety. Or call 1-866-SEAT-CHECK
There are countless websites at your fingertips but please, please, please don't give yourself the added stress of listening to other people's scare tactics and nonsense. Save your reading time for the fun blogs on the web - there are some excellent ones right here on ChicagoNow (I'm not a "mommy blogger" but they're a pretty tight group of intelligent, funny, and generally awesome ladies).
The very best advice I can give you is this: when it comes to educated, informed information about your child's well-being, stick to websites that end in .org or .edu - for your child's safety and for your own peace of mind. You've got this, new mama. I promise!
Also, Happy First Mother's Day! Welcome to the club!
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