I am so excited for my brother Jacob and his lovely wife Allison; they're having a baby! The wee one is due at the end of May and they have asked me to make her a blessing dress. I bet you can't guess what it's going to look like?! Yep, just like the wedding dress I made for Allison. (check out the link to be reminded what the dress looked like). I even saved the scraps of fabric for this purpose.
I haven't started the dress yet but I am getting ready to as soon as I get the "for sale" sign up on the house. In the mean time I'm figuring out the pattern in my head and coming up with a few extra touches to throw in to make it perfect.
While dreaming about the dress I am also dreaming up the answers I will give to Jacob and Alli when they call asking for advice in caring for their little angel. I know I am assuming a lot that they would call me for advice because that would mean that they trust me and that they think I am a good mom. Lets just assume they would call me (insert smiley face here).
My first bit of advice would be to spend your free time before baby comes reading instead of spending money. Babies don't require all the bells and whistles that are out there. They don't need a changing table and a crib and a bassinet and a pack and play. People will give you lots of cute clothes and blankets and burp cloths and diapers. Your family and friends will give you hand-me-downs and special occasion items and gift cards. Instead of worrying about all the stuff spend your time researching what to expect and how to cope because when the baby comes it is too late. At that point you will want to spend your free time sleeping, not reading.
I suggest you start by reading Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. This is hands down the best book I ever read on getting your baby and child into good sleep habits. I didn't have this book when my first two were babies but after reading it when Afton was born I changed everyone's schedules and it changed our life! Children behave better when they have a routine and sleeping routines are the most important. You can use the information in this book to start training your child from the very first days home. Nothing can guarantee that they'll be sleeping through the night by 6 weeks but by applying what is taught in this book you can make sure that you and baby both get the sleep you need.
The second book you should read is The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. This book is full of helpful nursing tips and tricks for moms and is a valuable resource when you have questions and concerns. Whether you plan on nursing for a few months or for a year or more this will be a worthwhile read.
One last book I highly recommend (though I do have more that I recommend over in the sidebar) Is The Baby Book by Dr. Sears. This was always my go-to resource for everyday questions like: "what is baby poop supposed to look like?", "How to calm my baby's aching tummy", and "Are the bumps on her face normal?" This book has everything including sections on discipline, co-sleeping and wearing your baby.
I hope these suggestions help out and look forward to talking to you soon Jacob and Alli; I'm full of good advice (I think).