First Years Lessons - Vol. 1, No. 3
Using Your Resources
As a new parent, your instinct is to do everything you possibly can to provide the best outcome for your baby. You’ve probably found yourself glued to your phone researching everything from safe sleep, to the dangers of thirdhand smoke, and all the topics in between. Not to mention the endless book recommendations, all will conflicting information!
Most families don’t plan for a preemie. When you’re having to make sudden adjustments, it can be a very scary and overwhelming experience. It’s even more overwhelming when you’re trying to sift through the entire internet to find the best information about how to care for your extra special newborn. This lesson is intended to help you cut through some of the informational overload by providing a few tried and true (and science based) resources to help answer some questions and provide insight on your journey.
Communication is key!
One of the most important things to consider when seeking out information related to your baby’s care is the credibility of your source. Credible sources are unbiased, evidence based, and do not align with any specific agenda or opinion. These can be published as podcasts, websites, articles, books, etc. Regardless of the media source, the common quality of credible sources is that the information has been proven to be factual on a wide scale, and is not based on isolated cases or experiences.
Mommy blogs and social media groups provide an excellent opportunity for fellowship, compassion, and support, and I encourage you to seek these out in whatever capacity is right for you. What’s important to remember is that these groups are formed based on people’s individual thoughts and opinions. They are designed to provide moms a platform to share their anecdotal experiences, but are not science-based. What works for one mom may not work for another, and it is important to keep this in perspective, so you do not get discouraged if things don’t go the same way for you as they did for some influencer-mom on Instagram.
1) ALWAYS consult your doctor about any of the following:
- Appropriate sleeping arrangements for your baby
- If you suspect your baby is sick
- If you have concerns about your baby’s sleeping or eating patterns
- When and what types of foods your baby should be eating
- Appropriate medication usage or acceptable alternative treatments
- If you suspect your baby is not on track with their developmental benchmarks
- If you are having trouble connecting with your baby, or are experiencing feelings of depression or anxiety
2) Feel free to consult the internet about any of the following:
- The best “blowout proof” diaper brands
- Up and coming baby fashion
- The latest diaper bag “go to” items
- Wipe warmer or no wipe warmer?
- What to do when you are sleep deprived and everything your partner says and does drives you crazy
Websites, Podcasts, and Apps…Oh My!
(RMHC of Arkoma is in no way affiliated with any of the following links.)
- The American Academy of Pediatrics is on of the leading authorities on all things related to baby and child development. I would be willing to bet money that this website is bookmarked on your pediatrician’s internet browser, and it should be on yours as well.
- Center for Effective Parenting is a local resource, providing educational resources to parents about services in the state of Arkansas. The website includes links to agencies, programs, and services affiliated with the Arkansas Department of Human Services, which provide support specifically to preterm infants and their families.
- Hand To Hold – NICU Now Podcast
- Hand To Hold – NICU Dad Discussions – A podcast for NICU Dads, By NICU Dads
- The Birthful Podcast
- BabySparks Development App This app allows you to track your baby’s developmental milestones, and includes over 1,300 developmental activities, complete with instructional videos.
- Glow App: Baby’s First Year This app allows you to track your baby’s development, as well as log feedings, diaper changes, sleep, medications, growth and more.
- CDC Milestone Tracker App This app allows you to track your baby’s milestones from 2 months to 5 years of age. It includes checklists, tips, and information about what to do if you are ever concerned about your child’s development.
The First Years program is made possible by a grant from AbbVie through RMHC Global. Classes are currently being taught via e-Newsletter while our Ronald McDonald House remains under restrictions because of COVID-19. We encourage you to share this post with anyone you feel might benefit, as we continue doing our part in helping families make the most of the medical care their children are receiving.