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Help! I’m overwhelmed! Where do I start?

confused.jpgWith all of the products on the market new moms have an overwhelming amount of choices to make. As if the baby itself and the lifestyle adjustment isn’t enough to stress us out, we are immersed up to our necks in products that claim that they are the best for your baby. Manufacturers of baby-brands are as competitive as they come and even offer you coupons to get discounts off of their brands if you happen to buy a competitors’ in the grocery store. Being myself the sole offspring from a set of two only child parents, my baby experience was and still is in vein of a deer in the headlights of a car. To only further complicate my lack of baby know-how, I was also caught unaware of my pregnancy until the night I delivered the baby. While it is my hope that most of you readers have a little bit more time to prepare for your little miracle than I did, this is where I started; online.

wo thumbs up for you! By becoming a member to, you are already ahead of the game. Sign up for as many new parent online email newsletters and pregnancy topic sites as you can possibly manage. These websites are a priceless-treasure trove of information that relate to all aspects of the baby experience. Some of these sites even offer personalized emails that correspond with the week that you are currently pregnant with and what you should be expecting in the upcoming weeks. You can find information about nutrition, family planning, products, news, you name it, it’s out there.

Whether or not you have decided to breast feed your baby or supplement with formula, sign up for the formula family planning clubs to get information about the different kinds of formula that are available on the market and what the advantages of each brand is. These companies will also send you free samples, nutritional information for your baby, meal planning and troubleshooting for common feeding problems. After your baby is born, these companies will continue to email you updates in products as well as coupons and other special offers. If you are planning to participate in the government program W.I.C. (Womens Infants and Children), be advised that you will more than likely be given allowances for Similac formula and it is wise to start your baby on this brand to avoid later tummy grievances.

Another great place to start is mom-centered networking sites and groups. These websites are valuable for new moms that are looking to connect with other parents in their area, or just to discuss experiences and tips from other moms just like you! You can find these type of groups on most of the main networking sites, Myspace, Yahoo, AOL, MSN, as well as countless others targeted for your specific demographic or location. These websites are also a great way to vent your frustrations and calm your fears with the help of other moms that have experienced the same circumstances. You can also call your local social services society and connect with social clubs at your local recreation centers and community centers.

Yet another great source for information is the non-traditional source of printed materials, such as books, magazines, or pamphlets. Parenting focused magazines have reviews of current products, activity ideas and current event news that may impact you or your child. While these magazines are stuffed full of information, you may find that they have more of a broad focus than you are looking for. That’s where books come in.

If you have ever visited the family section of a book store you know exactly what I am talking about. There are books for every topic, issue, technique and stage from pregnancy all the way through adolescence. While it is important to remember to take these ideas and theories with a grain of salt, they are helpful in broadening your knowledge and preparing you mentally for the upcoming new family. When you are reading these books, just remember that there is no absolute right way to raise a child and your child will have his or her own needs and ideas that may not fit into the thoughts and experiences of the author! Nevertheless, the library is a great place to find all kinds of material and only further help to make your mommy experience a more well rounded one.

The last but certainly not least resource that you should look for information and support in is your family and friends. Again, take advice and ideas with a grain of salt and do not let your relatives frighten you! I don’t know what it is about having a baby that makes all the women in the surrounding zip code need to tell you their horror stories and mistakes they have made with their children, but be prepared to listen to more recitations and how-tos than an IKEA catalog. It is important to keep in mind that the women around you mean well by sharing their stories with you, but that your experience will be completely unique and will require it’s own personal stamp of troubleshooting and problem solving. Take a deep breath; relax. Women have been having babies for thousands of years, and lucky you to be having yours in the twenty-forth century where you have the most and the best technology and information there is available anywhere right at your fingertips. Believe in yourself and your instincts and try not to stress about every insignificant detail, and I guarantee you that you will be a great mom!

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