We all have our favorite resources for expecting parents – here are my top 3!
Here’s the thing about the journey into parenthood: everybody has an opinion about what’s “best.” The best foods to eat, the best way to birth, best way to feed, best way to put your baby to sleep, best way to parent… And on and on.
I’d like to insert my opinion here and offer this little tidbit of my own personal wisdom: the best way to do any of these things is the way that works for you and your family.
The most important part of that is twofold: first, that you feel well informed about the decisions you’re making; and second, that you feel supported in those decisions.
We can argue until the cows come home (where did they go, in the first place?) about any of the rest, because there are plenty of divisive topics in parenting.
I’m interested in the spaces that unite us, connect us, and lift us up. I’ll focus on those for the moment.
Many of the links below are affiliate links. This means that if you purchase, I may receive a small kickback (at no additional cost to you) – this helps us keep Strength In Words running!
1. Parenting books
For many new parents, reading is a thing of the past – unless they’re scrambling for information at 2am about how to get their baby to sleep. As a parent educator, I teach families about the ways young children learn, and offer ideas and resources to help support infant and toddler development. I also acknowledge that I was absolutely desperately scanning the contents of my books on sleep as a new, sleep-deprived mom. If I’d spent a bit more time learning about the science of and expectations about infant sleep before my baby arrived, I might have felt a bit more prepared. Even if you only read a few chapters or pages that apply to you right now or in the immediate days, weeks or months ahead, here are a few of my favorites:
2. Activity Ideas
We know that infant and toddler learning is holistic. This means that even if we think we’re focusing on a movement activity, they’re also learning about problem-solving, communication, and social interaction). Once we learn a bit more about how our tiny people learn, we need some ideas about how to play with them!
As adults, we tend to think of skill-building as a very linear process: a + b = c… but infants and toddlers use simple items (such as household objects or natural materials) to explore and learn about them through the senses, by exploring how they work, and by putting them into some kind of social context (e.g., handing you an object or playing peek-a-boo) far before they use those items in the “traditional sense.” Although most of us go straight to the toy store to fill a baby registry with or find play materials, there are a few resources that give some less traditional, definitely money-saving, and developmentally supportive ideas about how to maximize learning using very basic materials.
Looking for activity ideas for your newborn?
LOOKING FOR ACTIVITIES FOR A 0-3 MONTH OLD INFANT?
3. Communities or membership
Having a baby is expensive. It’s time-consuming. It’s most definitely exhausting. As a new mom, the idea of consolidating information or community might be very, very appealing. Finding a few communities of support that speak to you and your unique needs is one of the most important resources for a new parent. Here are a few ideas for specific communities, as well as some suggestions for looking locally:
Additional Ideas for local groups
- Local hospital groups
- Local parenting or family spaces (offering indoor play spaces, music, yoga, or other classes)
- Local playgrounds or libraries!
What about you?
What are your favorite resources for expecting parents? What has someone recommended to you that you feel you couldn’t have started parenthood without?
Tell us in the comments below!
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Infants and toddlers learn through observation, imitation and interaction.
That means that once your child's physical needs are met, he/she needs:
- To be able to watch you and hear you
- Space to move around
- Someone with whom he/she can interact
That's it. The specific ways you decide to do all of that are up to you, but I'll be in your inbox each week to offer you new ideas to integrate into your daily activity through music, early literacy, sensory experiences, and visual supports.
I promise to deliver useful information on a weekly basis, based on your child's age!
Why? Because we all need this information, and we all need access to resources we can trust. You've got a community of support at your fingertips.
You're already much closer than you think to doing everything you can to support your infant or toddler.
Life throws curveballs all the time, and so do our children. The minute we feel like we "figured it out," they change.
Here's the thing... everything you need and all the ways you can support your child most are already right in front of you. They don't cost anything. They don't require you to purchase the most expensive, newfangled toys.