Parenting Advice – Courtesy of the Year 1935

1940's Parenting BooksMy mom visited this past week and brought with her some awesome vintage booklets ranging in date from the 1930s to the 1950s. These sage parenting and pregnancy books reveal such tidbits as, “If the breasts become large and heavy, the should be supported with an uplift type of brassiere.”, and “Today, liver soup is recommended by many doctors for babies three months or less, because of it’s valuable iron content”. That last gem was from the booklet Meat in Your Baby’s Diet, published in 1941. Of course, I have been feeding my infant son liver soup for the past two months – it’s what modern mothers do.

So here for your reading pleasure are some tips you, as an expectant or new mother, should take under consideration:

  • On traveling when pregnant: Many times women wish to know whether or not they may travel to various out-of-town places. The answer is no, and if you go you must be entirely responsible. If an emergency requires that you travel, a trip by train is preferable to one by bus or automobile. Automobile rides on smooth streets and roads are permissible, but you should not make long tours even under the best conditions. (From Instructions for Expectant Mothers)
  • On general habits while pregnant: Drinking alcoholic liquors during pregnancy is not advisable. I suggest you ask me (presumably the doctor) about smoking. Plan to be as quiet as possible during the week which corresponds to each menstrual period (this was obviously written by a man). (From Instructions for Expectant Mothers)
  • Hooey is the Main Ingredient in Infant Food. The old time baby specialists started it. By dint of much algebra and trickonometry they contrived to throw a forbidding mantle of mystery over the business of fixing up the baby’s bottle, and the dumb nineties let them get away with it. Probably the family doctors were so busy attending to their practice in those days that they didn’t give the carryings-on of the pediatrics much attention. (From The Brady Baby Book - in which the front cover quotes, “Babies today are 25% happier than when you and I were younger, Maggie. There are reasons.”)
  • Colic is a quaint concept. Maybe you old timers should renounce your faith in my teachings, if any. I don’t believe cutting teeth ever makes a baby ill; I don’t believe “growing pains” are due to growing; and I don’t believe in “colic”. (From The Brady Baby Book)
  • Dedicated to Modern Mothers…mothers who are alert to new discoveries…mothers who welcome developments in infant feeding that will help them bring up stronger, healthier children. (From Meat in Your Baby’s Diet )
  • Don’t – Feed the baby too often or too much
    Don’t – Urge him to stand on his feet too young, for if you do he will become bow-legged
    Don’t – Give him team and coffee, beer, whiskey, gin, or any drink containing alcohol
    Don’t – Let him stay up all hours of the night, undress and put him to bed promptly at six every night
    Don’t – Handle him too much, it is bad for him
    Don’t – Pin band or diaper around him too tight, as it may cause deformity and often is the cause of vomiting (From The Care of Babies)
  • The Mother’s Clothing: Your own good common sense, dear mother-to-be, will suggest that the essentials of correct clothing during pregnancy are comfort, warmth, looseness and ease of movement. Surely you can not hope to be comfortable and dress in the height of fashion at the same time. (From Motherhood and the Coming Baby)


Tick Tock… Tick Tock…

I have to admit I am starting to get a bit nervous. With only 2 weeks left until the official due date – April 21st – my mindset has changed from “Not yet! I need more time!” to “Get this baby outta me!”. Everything seems to be getting harder to accomplish – from doing laundry to getting to work in the morning – and my body is definitely letting me know when I am doing too much (which is most of the time). I had a few things I wanted to accomplish before the big day, and after getting everything done this past weekend it seems odd to not have a full schedule of events coming up. It’s WIDE OPEN. And I never ever have a wide open schedule. There is always a friend to have dinner with, a movie to see with the hubby, or a bike to be ridden somewhere.

This whole sit and wait situation is starting to take it’s toll mentally. I can only watch so much Netflix and feel like a big puffy, water-retaining version of myself. I am trying to relax, take it all in – these are our last few weeks alone as a couple – but I am starting to get ants in my pants about the big day. I find myself sitting in the nursery trying to imagine, just wrap my head around it, that sometime soon, very very soon, there will be another person in our lives. It’s like trying to imagine the ends of the universe – I have no benchmark to measure what our lives will look like on the other side of pregnancy.

So, for now, I sit. I wait. I imagine.

Spring, and, if it were a girl…

Well, it’s almost spring. It was 60 yesterday here in Chicago and today is supposed to get to 65! While there is no official sign of spring yet – no color ANYWHERE – it was still awesome to wear a dress with no tights and flats today to work! Heaven for a pregnant lady. I came home yesterday and did some major nursery organizing and mounted a shelf I have had sitting around since our trip to IKEA. I opened the windows and back porch door and let some much needed fresh air into the house. I had such a burst of energy! I attribute it to the warmer weather, the 1 hour of extra daylight after I get off work and the impending baby boy about to come into our lives. Yesterday was the first time I had actually felt good for a while – i.e. I didn’t just come home and lay on the couch until bed time.

I also started working on a little board over at Pinterest yesterday called “If it were a girl…”. It’s still in progress, but I wanted to challenge myself to figure out a little girl’s nursery that wasn’t over the top girly, but still feminine. In other words, a place that didn’t look like an American Doll vomited everywhere.

Here are a couple pieces (I’ll post the whole board once it’s done!):

Smart Phone Pregnancy & Baby Apps

I remember, not a mere two years ago, when faced with the option to upgrade from my old flip phone to a shiny new iPhone, I thought to myself, “Why do I need a smart phone? I don’t need to be that connected all the time“. Well, fast forward 2 years later and you just try prying my iPhone 4 out of my hands. You might get bit.

When I got my first smart phone (the iPhone 3G) I quickly filled it up with apps (mostly free) to entertain myself with. Since then I have definitely pared it down to what I need (shazam, facebook, the weather channel) and what I like to spend my free time doing (words with friends, plants vs. zombies, tiny wings).

After getting pregnant I quickly sought out some good pregnancy tracking apps. Hey, I need to know what sized fruit my baby is this week – ok!? (FYI – he’s a pineapple this week…)

So here are my top pics for preggo/baby apps – all free (click to view full sized pics):

  1. What to Expect – Pregnancy – yup, this is an app from the people that brought you the really annoying “What to Expect When Your Expecting”. Honestly I use it mostly for the size tracking and the weekly “where are you at” feature. There is also a way to view the forums and get a daily tip (warning – these can be extremely annoying).
  2. What To Expect Pregnancy Tracker

    What To Expect Pregnancy Tracker - Home Screen

    What To Expect Pregnancy Weekly View

    What To Expect Pregnancy Weekly View

    What To Expect Pregnancy Weekly View #2

    What To Expect Pregnancy Weekly View #2

  3. Baby Center – My Pregnancy Today – I really like this one for one reason – the “See How Your Baby’s Growing” screen. Fascinating.
  4. Baby Center - Main Screens

    Baby Center - Main Screens

    Baby Center - Size Screen

    Baby Center - Size Screen

  5. Contraction (yup, that’s the name) – now, I haven’t officially had the chance to use this one yet, but from what I can tell it’s a reallllly simple interface to time your contractions once you go into labor. The cool thing is, if you are super diligent about timing each one you can look back and see all your contractions. So you know how many, and how long exactly, it took to get that baby outta your vagina!
  6. Contraction App - Main Screen

    Contraction App - Main Screen

    Contraction App - Email Results

    Contraction App - Email Results

  7. What To Expect Baby Tracker – no this isn’t a microchip for your baby’s brain. It’s yet another app from the “What To Expect” people and it helps track things like feedings, nap times and diaper changes. Again, haven’t had a chance to use this one either, but from what actual parents tell me you should really be keeping track of these things.
  8. What To Expect - Baby Tracker Welcome Screen

    What To Expect - Baby Tracker Welcome Screen

    What To Expect - Baby Tracker Main Screen

    What To Expect - Baby Tracker Main Screen

    What To Expect - Baby Tracker Feeding Screen

    What To Expect - Baby Tracker Feeding Screen

So there you have it! Do you guys have any fav apps that you have used in pregnancy or child-rearing?

Book Relief

After months of reading such fear inducing books as “What to Expect When Your Expecting”, “The Mayo Clinic’s Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy” and “The Birth Partner”, I took a much need baby book break and picked up “Exploiting My Baby (because it’s exploiting me)”. A friend gave me this book for my baby shower, and while the beautiful, glowing, photoshopped woman on the cover made me put off reading it for a good month I am glad I finally got into it.

Exploiting My Baby Book

Is she pretty?? Yes. But nature still gives her hemorrhoids and stretch marks. Well, to be fair, ONE stretch mark.

Anyway, it’s hilarious and I loved every word of it. I ready Jenny McCarthy’s book, “Belly Laughs”, (the title is enough to make me puke a little), and I have to admin it was a bit schmaltzy for me. This on the other hand was flat out honesty without all the fluffiness.