Parenting is a lot of things – magical, confusing, awe-inspiring, hard, funny, lonely, joyful, a non-stop rollercoaster, and pretty much every other emotion under the sun. Luckily, there are so many fantastic resources out there to make parenting life easier. This Valentine’s Day, we want to showcase the parenting picks that we are currently crushing on.
- Find out what our season 2 guests wish they would have known as a new parent.
- I often say, “I wish I learned about X sooner.” Like the time I got a yoga ball to try and induce at 37 weeks, and I discovered a birthing ball is a great tool for stretching and strengthening throughout pregnancy. Or, at the nine-month breastfeeding mark: I treated myself to a massage, and the therapist told me about these game-changing neck, pec, and shoulder stretches for nursing mamas.
- Facebook Groups: No one has all of the answers (especially around 3 am). That’s when we turn to these Facebook groups for parenting tips: Confident Parenting, Postpartum Adjustment Group, West Chester PA Moms, and MomAdvice for answers navigating new parenthood. For medical advice, always consult your doctor or pediatrician.
- Your Hospital’s Lactation Line: Breastfeeding may be magical, but it is also confusing! Luckily, new mamas can ask your hospital’s lactation counselors endless breastfeeding questions until the cows come home.
- What to Expect App: I loved this app when I was pregnant. It provided me with the right amount of information about the baby’s development, symptoms, and advice without sending me down a Google black hole. On the postpartum side, you get weekly and monthly updates about your baby’s development.
Motherhood changes you, and not just physically. You also give birth to a whole new identity, and it takes awhile to feel “like yourself” again.
- BlogHer: BlogHer hosts free virtual conferences with star-studded speakers talking about everything from health to work-life balance, professional development to book recommendations.
- The Lazy Genius Collective: Her tagline should be every mama’s mantra: be a genius about stuff that matters and lazy about everything else. Her blog, book, and podcast episodes are a blend of a pep talk, a therapy session, and recommendations from a mom friend.
- KatFit: My daughter’s push present was bruising my tailbone nearly two years ago. After she was born, I tried to walk as much and work out like I did pre-baby and injury. I often pushed myself too far, being in pain, depressed, and cooped up on the couch. As an active person, this cycle was infuriating. Last fall, I decided to turn to Kathrine Bright, a local postpartum health coach and mom for advice. Katfit Studios helps moms achieve their health, exercise, and fitness goals through practical and easy to implement lifestyle changes. Her words from my day one call constantly ring around my head, “Don’t think of an activity as something you can’t do. It is just something you can’t do right now.”
- The Libby App brings your local library to your phone, iPad, or Kindle! It’s perfect for 2 a.m. nursing sessions, waiting room entertainment, postpartum insomnia, or anytime the babe is in dreamland. Not sure what to read next? The two book-loving mamas at Beyond the Bookends can help with that!
- The Shine App: This app delivers daily mantras, mediations, articles, and discussions to help you reflect, unwind, check in with yourself, practice self-care, or just own your feelings. Plus, it is one of the few mediation apps with a diverse lineup of speakers and owned by two women of color.
- Yoga Girl Daily: Unfortunately, an hour of meditation is not in the cards for a lot of us right now. Lucky, this podcast offers 5-10 minute episodes to jumpstart your growth, reflection, and self-care.
- Epsom Salt. It turns out babies will leave you sore, especially in the beginning. Sink into a tub with a quarry’s worth of Epsom salt to give your tired muscles a well-deserved break.
- Yoga with Adriene: Want a quick practice? ☑️ Had a stressful day? ☑️. Have a sore back from too much Zoom? ☑️. Yoga With Adriene’s laid-back YouTube has whatever you need to fill your cup.
For Your Registry
- This easy-to clean, portable high chair: Back in the day when we could go places, this thing was a lifesaver. You didn’t have to worry about unstable car seat hacks or what kind of germs were hanging out on a restaurant’s high chair. Now, it is perfect for distanced hangs and makeshift tailgates.
- Buy Nothing Project: These hyper-local Facebook groups have one goal: give used items in good condition a new home instead of sending them to the landfill. From toddler shoes to dozens of board books, items to pamper a parent to tons of toys, we have saved so much money on items for our daughter. Plus, it brings you closer to your neighbors and is another resource for parenting advice.
- I knew having a baby would change my body, but I was not expecting to be in a different climate than everyone else. Frog Toggs Cooling Towel will actually help you sleep like a baby. You’ll feel swaddled in an Arctic breeze. After soaking it in cold water, its hyper-evaporative material will cool you up to 30 degrees below ambient air temp, while keeping you dry. It is great for babywearing (something else I discovered at the end of summer) and postpartum night sweats.
- Crystal Murphy Music: Each Tuesday at 1 p.m. on Facebook, kids and kids-at-heart can shake their sillies during Crystal Murphy’s jam-packed music classes. These half-hour sessions include singing, dancing, stories, puppets, instruments, and more!
- Even during a pandemic and closed store, Children’s Book World offered an incredible, personalized shopping experience. They made recommendations based on my daughter’s age, current collection, interests, and what subjects we wanted to teach her. Their curated collection has become our family’s favorite books. We can’t wait to aimlessly explore this cozy shop in person!
- The Great, Socially-Distanced Outdoors: While we couldn’t do a lot of things in 2020, we did discover a lot of toddler-friendly parks and playgrounds around the county.
- Shaded Stroller Walks: Everhart Park and Struble Trail, Unionville Community Park + Foxy Loxy
- Swimming: Swimming at Stroud Preserve and Shaw Park
- Visiting Animals: Baily’s Daily, Highland Orchards, and Springton Manor
- Toddler-Friendly Playgrounds and Swings: Shadyside Park, East Bradford Park, and East Goshen Park, Ashbridge Park
- General Exploring: ChesLen Preserve + Barnard’s Orchards, Exton Park
Need a way to preserve those awesome memories? Try Lazy Genius’s process for actually taking, deleting, and using your photos. After I pare down my photos, I send the keepers to my Google photo album shared with family and Chatbooks for printing.