Metropolitan Sitters

July 10, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:45 pm

Preparing for Baby

 

So you’re having a baby? Congratulations! Time to sit back
and relax for the next nine (actually more like ten) months, right? Well, you should certainly relax and be sure to
take extra good care of yourself during your pregnancy, but many moms-to-be
feel overwhelmed with all there is to do to prepare for the arrival of their
little bundle of joy.

 

To help you navigate the overwhelming world of baby, I got
together with some of the industry’s most well known experts to talk about what
you really need to do to prepare. Here is our list of seven things to consider:

 

1. Think about where
your baby will sleep and play.
For those of us in New York, the nursery may
be a section of the living room or our own room, or it may be a full bedroom with
windows and all! Whether it’s a closet or entire wing of a home, the experts
offer the same advice: stick with the basics and make sure to invest in
attractive storage, because you will inevitably acquire more toys and trinkets
than you could ever imagine. For ideas and inspiration, I turn to my favorite
blog,
Nursery Notations.
Interior Designer Andrika King has impeccable taste!

 

2. Enjoy a little
shopping.
Babies need a lot of stuff. Stroller, car seat, carrier, monitor,
onesies, pjs, tiny little socks, and the list goes on and on. Luckily you are
not the first person who needs to shop for a new baby, and the stores who sell
all these baby things have registry lists ready and waiting, and they’ve pasted
the tests of thousands of new moms before you. Allison O’Neill, owner of
Bundle in New York stresses the importance
of asking for help when shopping:  “Our
store associates are trained to fully understand every product in the store, so
take advantage of that and ask questions. They can help you chose what makes
most sense for your situation and end up saving you hundreds of dollars.”

 

3. Consider how you’d
like to document baby’s arrival (and the first few months):
Time and time
again, I hear new moms comment how quickly the first few months go by, so I
always encourage them to keep a baby book and take LOTS of pictures. As you
think about documenting this time, you might want to consider a professional
photographer. “Many moms find one important thing missing when they take their
own photos – themselves!” says photographer
Alice
Garik
. “By working with a professional, you’ll be sure to get beautiful
pictures that also include you and capture how you feel during this amazing
time.” Photographer
Emily DeWan agrees,
“I love documenting the relationships between family members. The little
details can tell such amazing stories: holding a parent’s hand, cuddling the
family pet, playing with siblings, and exploring the world around them”. Both
Alice and Emily are available for sessions in the New York City area and I
highly recommend them both!

 

4. Start thinking
about childcare.  
Finding reliable and
qualified childcare can be overwhelming, especially in a big city.  If you are returning to work, you will need
solid childcare in place whether that is in the form of a daycare or nanny, and
most stay-at-home moms, or those who work from home, also find they need
regular childcare to stay on top of their personal lives (and maintain their
sanity). It’s also a great idea to consider a regular sitter for a “date night”
with your partner. Brooke Woodward, founder of New York City-based
Metropolitan Sitters recommends, “Having
a babysitter for a consistent ‘date night’ will help you keep a good balance
and will give you both a few hours to enjoy the company of one another”.  In my experience, whether you need a
full-time nanny, or just want to have a great person “on call” for emergencies,
using a reputable babysitting service, like Metropolitan Sitters, helps take
the stress out of this process. They are experts in matching you with a sitter
whose availability, experience and values will match that of your family.

 

5. Begin planning
your child’s education.
Parents are a child’s most important teacher and
reading to your child is an easy habit that not only builds vocabulary but can
also help you establish a strong bond and comforting routine that will help
your child go to sleep at night. Sharon Thompson, founder of
Dream Workshop notes “Sharing a
favorite book with your child will create many cherished memories of time
together.” Talking to your child during all the small moments of the day is another
way to increase his or her vocabulary. For example, while walking down the
street with your little one, name the signs you pass or introduce your child to
neighbors in the elevator.

 

Lastly, to relieve anxiety about your child’s education, it
may also be help to officially join an organization that has a nursery school
while you are pregnant.  Many religious
organizations, community centers, and arts organizations have a nursery school,
which gives preferential admission to members. 
If you’re not religious, some community art centers, like Third Street
Music in NYC, have nursery schools. 

 

 

6. Speak with your
partner about your financial situation and its security.
In mid-June, the
USDA reported that a middle class family could incur up to $300,000 in costs to
raise a child from birth to age 17 (and this does not include college).  This
statistic was certainly a wake-up call fore me, so I called Audrey Schwartz, a
financial services professional with
New
York Life
. She gave me some good food-for-thought:  “I ask each of my clients ‘if some unforeseen
tragedy were to happen, is your income, family and college savings protected?’
 My website has easy-to-use calculators
that can help a new parent determine the amount of life insurance needed as
well as forecast the cost of your alma mater when your baby is ready to attend.”
 Audrey also offered to give any of our
readers a free consultation, so please give her feel free to
contact
her
. It will help you sleep better (when baby allows!).

 

7. Don’t forget to take
care of yourself.
 Nurturing the
cocoon of wellness and nutrition you carefully sustained for your baby (and
yourself) is even more essential post-birth.  Mindful and healthy
nutrition habits help not only your body recover faster, but also fuel
sustained energy even as you may feel drained from the baby’s ever-changing schedule.
 Even though your days and evenings may go by in a whirl, take restorative
breaths often, pay attention to the way your body feels, and proactively
recruit help when you need a rest.  If you are breast-feeding, continue to
replenish your body with proper hydration and nutrient dense foods.  Sara
Dan, a fitness and nutrition expert with
ZippyT
Fit
 recommends, “Shop and chop fresh vegetables in batches, and
keep them in a clear glass container, so they are ready to be tossed into
stir-fry, salads, couscous, and late night omelets!”  She also encourages
her clients to prepare to reconnect your freezer with frozen vegetables and
frozen fruits, and healthy leftovers.  By implementing a proactive
nutrition strategy, you and your baby will start your new chapter healthy
together.  

 

I hope these tips are helpful for you. It’s completely
normal to feel overwhelmed. Just remember, “It takes a village!” and be sure to
ask for help from yours.

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