Category: Expectant & New Parents
Preparing to give birth in the City of Big Shoulders? Get ready. In addition to a generally friendly Midwestern vibe from passers-by, there are a handful of little-known watch-outs and hacks that Chicago moms of yore have discovered along the way. For advice, we asked our Member Discussion Forum and social media channels to weigh in: What would you tell a first-time Chicago mom? Here’s what we learned.
Bundle up, but don’t buy a maternity coat
Given our long winter, chances are you’re...
Becoming a parent is a joyful, exciting time. It is also a stressful, disorienting and exhausting time.
There is cultural messaging that children are a joy and we should be happy throughout their babyhood. However, as a clinical psychologist and mother, I've seen that this is just not reality, and this message creates shame for mothers and partners who struggle with this major life transition. In fact, did you know that, statistically, couples report the lowest rates of marital satisfa...Posted on June 26, 2019 at 2:24 PM
Seven years of marriage has taught me a lot. How communicating with my wife (and really listening) when I would prefer to shut down really helps us solve problems. How saying “I’m sorry” should only be used if I truly mean it, because it could lead to further issues if I don’t. How marriage can be the most rewarding relationship I’ve ever experienced if I put in the work, and how it can be incredibly challenging if I don’t.
Yet no matter how much I’ve learned and how much work I’ve put...Posted on September 21, 2017 at 2:36 PM
Photo credit: Flickr/acheron0
Most expectant parents understand that after their baby is born, she will cry. A lot. But how do you cope with the stress of hearing your baby cry, and how will you know whether your baby's crying is normal?
Nancy Mork, LCSW, of the Erikson Institue's Fussy Baby Network, offers some great insight on infant crying below.
How do you know if your child has colic, rather than a normal baby who cries a lot?
All babies cry, but some certainl...Posted on August 23, 2016 at 1:15 PM
Photo credit: Evelyn/Flickr
While many NICU stays come as a surprise, sometimes parents are told to anticipate their child needing specialized care in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in advance. Leaving the hospital without your baby is never easy, whether you had the opportunity to emotionally prepare for it or not.
For parents anticipating this very stressful and challenging time, l have compiled a list of resources to reduce stress, increase bonding and make the...Posted on July 25, 2016 at 9:28 AM
Photo credit: Donnie Ray Jones/Flickr
*SPONSORED BY LUMIERE CHILDREN'S THERAPY*
Baby sign language is a popular way for families to encourage language at an early age. Babies usually do not say their first word until 12 months old—a full year is a long time to guess what your child wants and/or needs! Teaching your baby sign language allows you and your baby to communicate with each other before verbal language develops.
Benefits o...Posted on June 27, 2016 at 9:25 AM
Photo credit: Serge Melki/Flickr
*SPONSORED BY RAM RACING*
You can put your newborn down for a nap without watching the monitor like it's reality TV, changing a diaper has become as second nature as throwing your hair in a top knot and you can think about something other than your little one for a full 5 minutes. Congrats, you've (sort of) gotten the hang of being a new parent!
Now it's time to devote a little time to yourself, including getting back into shape (assumi...Posted on June 17, 2016 at 10:10 AM
*SPONSORED BY BRIGHT START COLLEGE SAVINGS*
On May 29, my office celebrates 529 Day, named after Section 529 of the IRS Code that created 529 College Savings Plans. As college tuition continues to rise, it’s a good time to highlight the importance of saving for college.
On 529 Day I can’t help but reflect on the proudest moment of my life, the day my daughter Ella was born. I was overwhelmed with joy and excitement—but as a new father I also felt the anxieties and uncert...Posted on May 23, 2016 at 3:27 PM
Photo credit: Maggie Winters/Flickr
*SPONSORED BY CHICAGO FAMILY DOULAS*
When I had my first daughter over six years ago, like most first-time moms, I had no idea what to expect. I was so confidently clueless that I had no idea what I didn’t know or what I should even be asking.
I had been around families and children my entire life. I was the second oldest of five, had over 20 cousins that I helped babysit, was a babysitter since I was 10 years old, and worked as a pre...Posted on May 11, 2016 at 12:20 PM
Photo credit: makelessnoise/Flickr
*SPONSORED BY BRIGHT START COLLEGE SAVINGS*
Being a new parent is thrilling, emotional, exhausting, joyful, frustrating, exhausting and exhausting. Also, exhausting.
Your list of to-dos likely is a mile long and, yes, we are going to add to it. But all of these suggestions, taken from real Chicago parents who have been through this whole newborn thing, is one that will make your life easier. So, new mom or dad, before you fall asleep o...Posted on April 19, 2016 at 12:00 PM