The Modern Girl s Guide to Motherhood

by Jane Buckingham

Author Jane Buckingham Isbn 978 0060885342 File size 2 Mb Year 2006 Pages 336 Language English File format PDF Category Family and Friendship From the author of the bestselling The Modern Girl s Guide to Life comes a must have book for the young mom including best kept secrets practical advice and multiple solutions for problems from birth to age four Just when you thought you could cook hey one meal counts clean if the queen was coming and seduce a man well long enough to get marr

Publisher :

Author : Jane Buckingham

ISBN : 978 0060885342

Year : 2006

Language: English

File Size : 2 Mb

Category : Family and Friendship


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The Modern Girl’s
Guide to Motherhood
Jane Buckingham
With Jen Furmaniak


To Marcus: Without you, none of this would
matter. I love you.

To Jack and Lilia: I love you. Thank you for giving
me meaning.



1. The Mother of All Shopping Sprees


The Nursery
Decorating Themes • Gear Guide: What You Need,
What You Don’t • Cribs, Beds, and Planning Ahead •
Linens and Things • Moses Baskets, Cosleepers
and Basinettes • Changing Table Basics • Changing
Table Essentials • Monitors • Other Nursery


Beyond the Bedroom
Infant Seats and Swings • Playmats • Exersaucers •
Walkers • Jumpers • Toys • High Chairs • Infant Tubs •
Bath Products • Humidifiers


Heading Out the Door
Car Seats • Infant Carriers • Strollers • Playpen/
Travel Crib • Packing It In: Diaper Bag


The Home Medicine Cabinet




Creating a Layette
Buying Guide • Washing Your Baby’s Clothes •
The Modern Mom’s Guide to Stain Removal


2. Experts, Epidurals, and Everything
Else Before Baby
Choosing a Pediatrician


Bracing for Delivery Day
Some Great Books on Labor and Delivery •
Birthing Methods and Ways to Ease the Pain


While You Still Have Some Time on Your Hands
Ordering Announcements • Preserving Memories •
Writing a Will • Appointing a Legal Guardian •
A Living Trust • Dollars and Sense: Planning For
Your Child’s Financial Future • Compiling a Call List •
Packing for the Hospital


Eight Unpleasant Things You Need to Know About
Pooing on the Table • Tears and Episiotomies •
Peeing and Pooing Post Pushing • Pain Pain
Pain!#@%#$*^%!!!!! • Hemorrhoids • Bizarre Side
Effects • Sex • Postpartum Depression


Deciding About Cord Blood Banking


Help Is on the Way!
Choosing a Nanny • Choosing Day Care


3. The Babymoon: The First Few Weeks Home
from the Hospital
Introducing Your Bundle of Joy (and Screams)
New Siblings • Furry Friends


Dealing with Wanted (and Unwanted) Visitors
Drop-by visitors: At the Hospital and at Home •
Friends with Toddlers • Overnight Houseguests




Reality Check: Everything Has Changed, but Your
Life Will Come Back



4. Food for Thought (And Little Tummies)
Your New Bosom Buddy
Advantages of Breast-feeding • How Long Should
You Breast-feed? • Latching and Learning the Ropes •
Feeding on Demand • Problem Eaters • Your Baby
Is What You Eat • Ouch! Sore Nipples • Pumping



Hitting the Bottle
Choosing a Formula • How Much? • Bottle
Do’s and Don’ts


Burping, Colic, and Crying
Spit Happens • Burping Your Baby • Colic


Everybody Stay Calm! Making the Most of Pacifiers


Introducing Solid Foods
Six to Ten Months • Great Foods • How Much? • Foods
to Avoid • Gas in Children • Making Your Own Food •
Drinks and Things • Ten to Twelve Months • How Much? •
Food Safety


One Year and Beyond
Healthy Eating Habits • Treats and Desserts •
Dealing with a Fussy Eater • Healthful Snack Alternatives
to Sweets • How Much? • Vitamins


Family Dinners: You Mean Carryout Doesn’t Count?
Table Manners


Dining Out with Kids in Tow


5. Wake Up! We Need to Talk About Sleep


Birth to Three Months: From A to Zzz’s
What If He Screams? • Getting on a Schedule •
Response Time • If All Else Fails • SIDS and Flat Heads


Three to Nine Months: Sleep Is on the Way
Possible Hiccups • Bedtimes


Nine to Twelve Months: Too Good to Be True
Possible Hiccups



One-Year-Old Sleep Patterns
Possible Hiccups


Big Boy/Girl Beds
Staying Until They Sleep


Terrible Twos at Night
Lights Out! • The Party’s Over


What the Experts Say


6. Baby Care 101 (Because Dressing Them
in Cute Outfits Isn’t Enough)


Bath Time
Sponge Baths • Bathtub Baths • Best Bath Time •
Switching to a Big Tub • Little Kid Bath Activities •
If Your Child Is Terrified of the Bath


Caring for Those Other 1001 Small Parts
Eyes • Umbilical Stump • Cradle Cap • Hair •
Penis • Ears • Nose • Nails • Teeth


Relieving Teething Pain


That Doesn’t Look/Feel/Sound Right!
Get Help STAT! • Get Help When It’s Practical •
Temperatures • Ear Infections • Sore Throat •
Congestion • Diarrhea • Cuts • Blisters • Burns •
Bumps and Bruises • Nosebleeds • Bee Stings •
Splinters • Hiccups


What the Heck Are All These Shots For? •
Vaccinations Month by Month • Preparing Your
Child for Shots


Many Mini-Milestones
What to Expect Developmentally and When



7. Teach Your Children Well . . . Or Else It’s Hell


Hi, My Name Is Mommy, and You Are . . . ?
Birth to Fifteen Months • Fifteen to Twenty-one
Months • Twenty-two to Twenty-seven Months •
Twenty-eight to Thirty-six Months


Communicating with Your Child
Creating Independence


Saying “Yes” Instead of “No” • Teaching That
Actions Have Consequences • Time-Outs • Disciplining
Your Child’s Friends • Other People Disciplining
Your Child • Praise When Praise Is Due


The Bad and the Ugly: Dealing With . . .
Tantrums • Physical Aggression • Pulling Hair •
Spitting Food • Banging Heads • Whining • Bad Words •
“I Don’t Like You” • Baby Talk/Play • Tattling


Mind Your Manners
Saying You’re Sorry • Excuse Me • Please and
Thank You • Hello and Goodbye • Sharing •
Eating Behavior • Responsibilities • Nose Picking,
Farting, and Burping


Dealing with the Hard Stuff
Separation Issues • Death


Ask the Experts
The RIE Method • The Happiest Toddler on
the Block • Books by Louise Bates Ames • Dr. Spock •
The What to Expect . . . Series


8. Breaking Up* Is Hard to Do
(*With Old Habits, That Is)



Breaking Old Habits
The Mommy Store Is Closed • Buh-Bye
Bottle • Pitching the Pacifier • Thumb
Sucking • Security Blankets and Other
Comfort Items


Have a Seat: The Fine Art of Potty Training
Are We There Yet? Signs Your Child Might Be Ready •
Ready, Aim, Pee • At Night • Bathroom Hygiene


9. The Play Dating Game and Beyond


Best Toys and Activities at Any Age
Birth to Three Months • Baby Massage • Four to
Twelve Months • Twelve to Eighteen Months •
Eighteen to Twenty-four Months • Twenty-four to
Thirty-six Months • To TV or Not TV


Play: Is It All It’s Cracked Up to Be?
Picking the Right Playgroup and Classes •
Play Dating • Observational Play • Parallel Play •
Imaginary Play • Cooperative Play • Play Date Ideas •
Nannies Versus Mommies


Birthday Parties
Party Ideas • Some Fun Party Activities •
Goodie Bags • Gift Tips


Picking a Preschool
Getting Your Child Ready for Preschool




About the Author
Other Books by Jane Buckingham
A bout the Publisher


Okay, just when I started thinking that I could cook (hey, one meal

counts), clean (if the queen were coming), and seduce a man (well,
long enough to get married), I discovered that my previous ineptitude
in life paled in comparison to the task that was awaiting me. With one
simple extra line on a pregnancy test, I realized how little I knew
about the world of motherhood. From when to tell my boss I was pregnant to covering up leaking shirts, to how to take a pacifier away from
a two-year-old who has the grip of a pit bull, it was all beyond a mystery.
Without a mom (man, do I miss her) and as one of the first of my
friends to enter the childbearing stage, I felt a bit rudderless. And
while it’s fine to be indecisive when, say, picking out cribs, it’s less
advised when figuring out what to do with the baby inside the third
crib you finally landed upon. Oh sure, there are books on these
topics—dozens, in fact. But that’s the problem. For every piece of advice there seems to be a conflicting one. And every book requires you
to wade through endless babble before getting to the good stuff (or
warning you about the really really bad stuff). So enter The Modern
Girl’s Guide to Motherhood. From giving birth to raising a toddler, I’m
hoping to cut through the clutter to offer the best advice out there, the
best-kept secrets, and multiple solutions for the hardest-to-deal-



with problems. Like my first book, The Modern Girl’s Guide to Life, this
book will offer simple information and practical advice—how to get
your child to sleep, how to wean, how to get them off the pacifier, how
to get them to stop throwing a tantrum, and so on. My goal is to help
you feel in the know and in control.
But don’t get me wrong. I am not a perfect parent. My children
aren’t perfect. You won’t get a perfect child by reading this book (and
anyone who tells you they can get you that is either lying or delusional
and definitely not to be trusted). I’m not an “expert,” but I have done
a heck of a lot of research in trying to compile the best information
out there. And while I’d like to tell you I’ve covered every situation in
this book, I haven’t. Otherwise, this would be a daunting zillion-page
edition that was too expensive to buy and too intimidating to read. But
I’ve tried to cover the essentials and the toughest issues out there.
To that end, this book was not written alone—and please read the
Acknowledgments, ’cause this ain’t them, but they are important. I
want to mention in particular three incredible women without whom
this book wouldn’t exist.
Jen Furmaniak, my coauthor, is a new mom who truly knows more
than the other mommies on the block (’cause she’s read every darn
book and interviewed all kinds of experts). Her voice, her stories, her
issues, like mine, are within. She is a friend, a pro, and if this had
gone any better we’d have to get married. Betsy Brown Braun is a child
development specialist, parent educator, and multiple-birth parenting consultant. She has a master’s degree in human development and
teaching credentials from all kinds of fancy places. She offered the
sound advice only an expert and mother of triplets could provide. She
knows her stuff. She tells me things, I try them, and they work. She
gave 120 percent at a time when she could have given 50. Rebecca
Whitney, MD, is the essence of a Modern Girl—a pediatrician with
degrees from Harvard and Tulane who not only dispenses the best
medical advice, but does so while looking fabulous. She’s like a CSI
character, but she is a real live person whom little children love and
who knows everything about everything. Between their wise counsel,
the dozens of books I’ve read, the hundreds of moms I’ve spoken to,
and my own day-to-day life, this book is a compilation of what I truly
feel is the best advice out there.


There are people who will disagree adamantly with certain tips or
ideas, and others who will send hate mail for advocating a toy or technique, and to those people, I am sorry. But that’s one of the biggest
lessons I have learned: that you will make mistakes, and you will have
regrets, but that’s just part of being a parent.
And finally, I wanted to pass on the two best pieces of advice I
ever received. The first came from Nancy Schulman. Nancy is a
teacher, friend, mom, and preschool director who told me, as I frenetically listed all of the things I was sure I had done wrong, that children need only two things:
1. Unconditional love
2. Clear limits

And while you’ll tell yourself that that’s easy, you’ll soon find out
that while number one is no problem, number two is a bit of a challenge. So as I tell you about strollers, as you curse me for not answering a pressing question, try to remember the above advice, take a
deep breath, and remember what matters.
The second piece of advice came from my friend Andrea Stanford, a model of motherhood (and fashion, but I suppose that’s less
relevant here), who has three daughters we’d all kill to have. Hers was
that there are no bad habits you can’t break in three painful days. And
while experts will tell you to avoid the bad habits, they’ll happen. So as
you grit your teeth bracing for sleep training, getting rid of the pacifier, or whatever it is, know that there is always an end in sight (even if
three turns into five, but it usually doesn’t), and you haven’t “ruined”
your child if something “bad” develops. Life is long, and there will be
many things to deal with.
I hope you love this book as much as I enjoyed putting it together.
Here’s to modern mothering!


The Mother of All Shopping Sprees

Face it, half the reason you got pregnant was the too-cute comforters

and the to-die-for diaper cozies you saw at your girlfriend’s house
and needed a reason to buy. Okay, maybe it’s not half the reason, but
decorating a whole new room in supercute baby stuff can make a bad
meeting with the doctor’s scale a little better. The problem is that
some of the cutest stuff out there is the least practical (and the most
expensive). I had sterilizers, warmers, things that bounced, things
that vibrated, and every gadget available. If someone had told me that
buying the Brooklyn Bridge might help me get a baby who slept better,
I would probably have handed over a check. I wasted a lot of money
and time on unnecessary stuff.
The reality is there are things you need to have, things that are nice
to have, and those that are not necessary. And chances are, if you are
reading this book in chronological order, you’ve already stocked up
on quite a bit. I can’t blame you; I clearly didn’t resist the urge either.
But the truth is, you don’t need to buy up the store before the baby
comes. Many things you won’t use for several months and you can
swap out if space is tight. Now while I’ve sorted the list into three, you
may feel differently about some items. That’s your choice; I’m a modern mom, not your mom. So I’ve included thoughts on just about
everything (other than feeding-related products, which you’ll find in
chapter 4).

6MThe Modern Girl’s Guide to Motherhood

The Nursery
Decorating Themes
Now before you run out to buy everything, you should figure out where
you will be keeping the baby and when. Someone once told me (as I
stressed about where we would put a baby in our cramped apartment)
that for the first few months a baby could easily sleep in a dresser
drawer. Yes, and women have babies in fields and go right back to
work, but that isn’t my scene either. But the truth is that until your
baby is crawling around, she doesn’t need the space as much as you
do. You may even find it more convenient to have the baby in your
room for the first few months in a bassinet or (as I preferred) a
cosleeper, and discover you barely use the nursery for several
months. But assuming you are going to have a separate room or space,
here are a few things to keep in mind.
I was (and still am) a big
fan of sites like,, and for big
purchases so that I don’t
have to lug them home
myself. And I’ve set up an
account on
for all my supplies (such as
diapers, wipes, and so on)
so that I’m not stuck
juggling a baby in one
hand and an economy-size
fifty diapers in the other.

sure the room is well ventilated, with windows and a ceiling
• Make
fan or air conditioning for the summer, and good insulation and
heat for the winter. While my son’s room was perfect most of the
time, it was an icebox in the winter. We had to move his crib, get insulation, and basically have him spend his first winter sleeping in a
be spending a lot of time going back and forth to this room in
• You’ll
the beginning, so it is helpful if it is near to your room, preferably
on the same floor. Climbing the stairs—while a great way to get back
in shape—isn’t much fun bleary-eyed at 4 A.M.
in a nice, glowing night-light. You can use it to maneuver in
• Invest
the middle of the night while not taking your baby out of “nighttime” mode by switching on overhead lights (and here you thought
a night-light was for the baby).
with fabrics that are washable. You won’t believe how much
• Golaundry
you’ll be doing. If it’s dry clean only, regift it to your
biggest enemy.

The Mother of All Shopping SpreesM7

G E A R G U I D E : W H AT Y O U N E E D ,
W H AT Y O U D O N ’ T
I’ve provided a timeline because I expected that once I had a
baby, I would never leave my house again. Not only is that not
true, but I also didn’t need to have everything piling up in my living room, as I didn’t use much of it for many months.

Before They Arrive
Changing table
Cotton squares
Diaper pail
Changing pad
Blanket for the crib or stroller (avoid using with babies under
six months old due to suffocation risks)
Receiving blankets—smaller blankets used for swaddling
(ideal for newborns and young babies)
Baby audio monitor
Nail clippers
Bulb syringe
Hairbrush and/or comb
Infant car seat
Diaper bag
Laundry detergent

By One Month
Baby shampoo and body wash
Diaper rash ointment

(continued )

8MThe Modern Girl’s Guide to Motherhood

Infant bathtub

By Two Months
Mattress pads

By Six Months
High chair
Toddler car seat

Hold off on buying items
you don’t need right away
until after you’ve received
all of your gifts. When the
presents stop coming,
recalculate your needs and
then go shopping.

Before They Arrive
Cosleeper, Moses basket, or bassinette
Baby carrier/sling
Video monitor
Rocking chair/glider
Wipe warmer
Electric clock with CD player
Activity mat
Bottle warmer
Nipple ointment or cream
Premeasured formula container

By One Month
Portable crib
Stroller weather shield
Stroller toys

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