22 Weeks and Advice for First Time Moms


Well it's pregnancy update time...yes, I am still pregnant. 

My Joy-Filled Life

And that's about it.

We are in the nothing-has-changed-since-last-week-or-the-week-before-that-or-the-week-before-that stage of pregnancy. Let's just say we have a long 18 weeks ahead of us!

Since I have very little to add to my pregnancy journal (expect a few pounds here and there), I think I'll take a stab at this week's discussion topic: advice for first time moms. 

Being a first time mom currently, I actually have a lot to say on this topic. 

1. Evaluate parenting advice based on results. Take a peak around you at church and watch how other moms handle their kids. Chances are there will be some families you want to emulate and other you want to stay far away from! Gravitate toward the families you want to be like. Ask them advice, spend time at their house, figure out what they do that makes them successful. Evaluate parenting philosophies based on their outcomes. Some bits of advice sound good, but turn out to leave you with a bigger mess than you started with. 

2. Begin as you mean to go. This is the mantra of the Growing Families International parenting literature, and it's something I wished I'd been aware of when we first had Rooster. It's pretty simple.  If you rock or nurse your baby to sleep at 2 months old, expect to be doing the same thing at 12 months old. If you want your child to destroy everything they can get their hands on, then don't correct your 8 month old when he gets into things he shouldn't. Trust me it won't be so cute in a few months.  I am speaking from experience here people! 

I do remember bringing Rooster home from the hospital and being so excited to teach him and train him to serve the Lord. I had just always heard that you can't do that with infants. I thought that the point of the first year was just to make it, and then we would pick up with obedience training when he was 18 months or so. I WAS SO WRONG! No, an infant can't be trained to obey, but you can even at 5 months of age be proactive in setting your child up to be successful later in life. You know those helpful little skills like self-soothing, sleeping through the night, and independent play.  

At least, that's what I've heard. We didn't do it, but I wish we had! I would highly recommend the Growing Families Parenting literature. I can't vouch for it personally because we haven't used it, but I can say that the ideas presented in the baby and pre-toddler books really make sense and seem very practical for growing healthy and happy families. 

3. This is more of a word of caution that advice: attachment parenting is all that it claims to be. From the beginning I thought that nursing on demand, co-sleeping, and baby wearing sounded like the way to go. And it worked. I have a well-adjusted, happy 11 month old little boy...who is very much attached. The problem with attachment parenting is that they don't tell you how to unattach when you are ready to have your own bed back again or when you need to get your family ready to welcome another baby. I'm not saying that attachment parenting isn't the way to go for some people, but it's a road I will not walk down again. Surely there has to be a way to raise well-adjusted children that don't need to nurse 3 times a night at 10 months old! 

4. Just cry it out. Really, everybody always says to sleep when the baby sleeps, but I say why stop there? You can cry when the baby cries, and eat when the baby eats! Okay, maybe this is the pregnant side of me talking, but my one year old and I have pretty much the same schedule these days.  We both cry when we're tired and hungry, and we both like to snuggle after nap time. It's like we were made for each other!  Except his idea of free time is wandering around the house and putting toys in the toilet, while I prefer to fold laundry and check facebook. Oh well, life can't be too perfect :)

Any of you have suggestions for first time moms you'd like to share?


  1. Definitely don't be afraid to start obedience training/discipline. So much of the "parenting advise" out there says that discipline is wasted on babies, but I strongly disagree. We started to discipline our little Bear from about the time he started sitting up. You'd be amazed how early on kids can understand the concept of something that is okay to do and something that isn't.
    Also, I'm not a fan of most parenting how-to books. Whether it be sleep training, discipline books, or what have you. I'm all about trusting my instincts and adjusting to my baby. That's what I did with the first and what I plan to do with the second.
    Most importantly, don't forget to make time for the hubby in the midst of baby. This may sound like more marriage advise but it really will benefit your child in the end by showing him/her that your relationship with your husband is important. I did this by setting a fairly regular 8 p.m. bedtime from the time he was 2 months old. Even though I knew he would be up 2 hrs later this still gave me 2 hours with my husband before we settled in to bed.

  2. Great advice Katherine! And I completely agree with your thoughts on attachment parenting.




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