Book Review: Bringing Up Bébé

book club

Book Review: Bringing Up Bébé

This New York Times Bestseller has had a lot of parents talking over the years. Can it really deliver on its promise to guide you to raise bright, well-mannered children while maintaining a full adult life? Well we’ve read the book and had a Book Club Live on Facebook discussing it. Watch the video below after Nina’s notes to learn more.

If you’d like to read the book Bringing Up Bébé but don’t have the time to, read Nina’s Notes below to get the full scoop on each chapter. 🙂

book club


Nina’s Notes: Bringing Up Bébé

At the beginning of the book, Pamela Druckerman (the author), gives us a glossary of French parenting terms. After reading a few of them, I was curious to open the next couple of pages and see what it was all about. My favorite ones were:

  • autonomie (oh-toh-no-mee)–autonomy. The blend of independence and self-reliance that French parents encourage in their children from an early age.
  • complicité (kohm-plee-see-tay)–complicity. The mutual understanding that French parents and caregivers try to develop with children, beginning from birth. Complicité implies that even small babies are rational beings, with whom adults can have reciprocal, respectful relationships.
  • équilibre (eh-key-lee-bruh)–balance. Not letting any one part of life–including being a parent–overwhelm the other parts.
  • sage (sah-je)–wise and calm. This describes a child who is in control of himself or absorbed in an activity. Instead of saying “be good,” French parents say “be sage.”

“french children don’t throw food”

In her introduction, Pamela Druckerman is at a French restaurant with her 18 month-old daughter who was running round making a mess and lots of noise. She looked, around an notched that the other French children were  “sitting contentedly in their high chairs, waiting for their food, or eating fish and even vegetables. There’s no shrieking or whining. Everyone is having one course at a time. And there’s no debris around their tables.” She wondered, “Are French kids just genetically calmer than ours?” This set her on an exploration of French parenting.  After years of investigative work, she thinks she’s discovered what French parents are doing differently. She finds out that to be a different kind of parent, you don’t just need a different parenting philosophy. You need a very different view of what a child actually is.

Chapter 1: “are you waiting for a child?”

  • After leaving New York City, Pamela moves to Paris to live with her boyfriend. They soon get married and conceive, and Pamela starts to notice the difference between American and French ways of parenting.
  • Americans are neurotic about pregnant people.  The Parisians are not. The French will light up a cigarette right next to you and ask, “are you waiting for a child?” Which means “are your pregnant” in French.

Chapter 2: “Paris is burping”

  • Frenchwomen don’t treat pregnancy like an independent research project. While French parenting resources are abundant, they don’t seem to be required reading.
  • One Parisian mother tells Pamela, ” I don’t think you can raise a child while reading a book. You have to go with your feeling.”
  • American women typically demonstrate commitment by worrying and showing how much they’re willing to sacrifice, even while pregnant. Frenchwomen signal their commitment by projecting calm and flaunting the fact that they haven’t renounced pleasure.
  • The French are calmer about sex. They are calmer about food. The point in France isn’t that anything goes, it’s that women should be calm and sensible.
  • The main reason that pregnant Frenchwomen don’t get fat is that they are very careful not to eat too much. Frenchwomen don’t see pregnancy as a free pass to overeat, in part because they haven’t been denying themselves the foods they love (or secretly binging on those foods) for most of their adult lives. Instead they are very mindful of what they eat.
  • Despite being the birthplace of Dr. Fernand Lamaze, epidurals are now extremely common in France.
  • In France, the way you give birth doesn’t situate you within a value system or define the sort of parent you’ll be. It is, for the most part, a way of “getting your baby safely from your uterus into your arms.”
  • Each newborn is issued a white softcover book called a carnet de santé, which will follow the child through the age of eighteen. Doctors record every checkup and vaccination in this book, and plot the child’s height, weight, and head size. It also has commonsense basics on what to feed babies, how to bathe them, when to go for checkups, and how to spot medical problems.

Chapter 3: “doing her nights”

  • Pamela is confused by the question, “Is she doing her nights?”
  • The French use this expression to mean sleeping through the night
  • It is normal for French babies to sleep through the night at 6 weeks or 8 weeks old. The French expect their babies to be sleeping through the night between 3 months and 6 months old.
  • The French keep their babies in the sunlight during the day and put them to bed in the dar at night.
  • Almost all French parents can articulate how they observed their babies, following the rhythms they observe.  “French parents talk so much about rhythm, you’d think they were starting rock bands, not raising kids.”
  • While speaking with a French pediatrician living in New York, Pamela learns the secret of “The Pause.”
    • “Give your baby a chance to self-soothe, don’t automatically respond, even from birth.” This pause is crucial. “The parents who were a little less responsive to late-night fussing always had a kids who were good sleepers, while the jumpy folks had kids who would wake up repeatedly at night until it became unbearable.” And whether they are breastfed or bottle-fed doesn’t matter.
    • Young babies move and make noise while they’re sleeping. This is normal , and if parents rush in and pick the baby up every time he makes a peep, they’ll sometimes wake him up.
    • Babies wake up between their sleep cycles, which last about two hours. It’s normal for them to cry a bit when they’re first learning to connect these cycles. If a parent automatically interprets this cry as a demand for food or a sign of distress and rushes in to soothe the baby, the baby will have a hard time learning to connect the cycles on his own. That is, he’ll need an adult to come in and soothe him back to sleep at the end of each cycle.
    • The Pause doesn’t have the brutal feeling of sleep training. It’s more like sleep teaching. But the window for it is pretty small, only until around 4 months.
  • There’s another reason for The Pause: “to teach them patience.”
  • French parents believe it’s their job to gently teach babies how to sleep well, the same way they’ll later teach them to have good hygiene, eat balanced meals, and ride a bike.
  • A meta-study of dozens of peer-reviewed sleep papers concludes that what’s critical is something called “Parent education/prevention.” This involves teaching pregnant women and parents of newborns about the science of sleep and giving them a few basic sleep rules. Parents are supposed to start following these rules from birth to when their babies are just a few weeks old. What are the rules?
    • The authors of the meta-study point to a paper that tracked pregnant women who planned to breastfeed. Researchers gave some of the women a two-page handout with instructions. One rule on the handout was that parents should not hold, rock, or nurse a baby to sleep in the evenings, in order to help him learn the difference between day and night. Another instruction for week-old babies was that if they cried between midnight and five a.m., parents should re-swaddle, pat, rediaper, or walk the baby around, but that the mother should offer the beast only if the baby continued crying after that.
    • An additional instruction was that, from the child’s birth, the mothers should distinguish between when their babies were crying and when they were just whimpering in their sleep. In other words, before picking up a noisy baby, the mother should pause to make sure he’s awake.
  • The researchers explained the scientific basis for these instructions. A “control group” of breastfeeding mothers had gotten no instruction. The results were remarkable: From birth to three weeks old, babies in the treatment and control groups had nearly identical sleep patterns. But at four weeks old, 38% of the treatment-group babies were sleeping through the night, versus 7% of the control-group babies. At eight weeks, all the treatment babies were sleeping through the night, compared with 23% of the control babies. The authors’ conclusion is resounding: “The results of this study show that breastfeeding need not be associated with night waking.”
  • The researchers say that if you miss the fourth-month window, they believe in cry it out.
  • To the common worry that a four-month-old is hungry at night: “She is hungry. But she does not need to eat. You’re hungry in the middle of the night too; it’s just that you learn not to eat because it’s good for your belly to take a rest. Well, it’s good for hers, too.”

Chapter 4: “wait!”

  • French babies all eat at roughly the same times. With slight variations, mothers tell Pamela that their babies eat at about 8am, 12pm, 4pm, and 8pm. In other words, by about four months old, French babies are already on the same eating schedule that they’ll be on for the rest of their lives (grown-ups usually ditch the 4pm snack).
  • The French seem collectively to have achieved the miracle of getting babies and toddlers not just to wait, but to do so happily.
  • Walter Mischel is the world’s expert on how children delay gratification. He is famous for devising the “marshmallow test” in the late 1960s, testing children’s ability to wait, delaying gratification.
    • In the mid-1980’s, Mischel revisited the kids from the original experiment, to see if there was a difference between how good and bad delayers were faring as teenagers. The longer the children had resisted eating the marshmallow as four-year-olds, the higher Mischel and his colleagues assessed later on. Among other skills, the good delayers were better at concentrating and reasoning. They “do not tend to go to pieces under stress.”
    • Could it be that making children delay gratification–as middle-class French parents do–actually makes them calmer and more resilient? Whereas middle-class American kids, who are in general more used to getting what they want right away, fall apart under stress?
  • Instead of saying “quiet” or “stop” to rowdy kids, French parents often just issue a sharp attend, which means “wait.”
  • French parents don’t expect their kids to be mute, joyless, and compliant. Parents just don’t see how their kids can enjoy themselves if they can’t control themselves.
  • Having the willpower to wait isn’t about being stoic. It’s about learning techniques that make waiting less frustrating. “There are many many ways of doing that, of which the most direct and the simplest . . . is to self-distract,” Mischel says.
  • Parents don’t have to specifically teach their kids “distraction strategies.” Kids learn this skill on their own if parents just allow them to practice waiting.
  • French parents don’t worry that they’re going to damage their kids by frustrating them. To the contrary, they think their kids will be managed if they can’t cope with frustration. They also treat coping with frustration as a core life skill. Their kids simply have to learn it.
  • The French have a belief that even babies are rational people who can learn things.
  • We shouldn’t mistake angering a child for bad parenting, Caroline Thompson, a family psychologist says.
  • French principles:
    • The first is that, after the first few months, a baby should eat at roughly the same times each day.
    • The second is that babies should have a few big feeds rather than a lot of small ones.
    • And the third is that the baby should fit into the rhythm of the family.

Chapter 5: “tiny little humans”

  • American parents think that the better we are at parenting, the faster our kids will develop. French parents just don’t seem so anxious for their kids to get head starts. They don’t push them to reach milestones ahead of schedule.
  • “Awakening” is about introducing a child to sensory experiences, including tastes. It doesn’t always require the parent’s active involvement. It can come from observation and play as the child’s senses are sharpened. It’s the first step toward teaching him to be a cultivated adult who knows how to enjoy himself. Awakening is a kind of training for children in how to soak up the pleasure and richness of the moment.
  • Dolt thought that parents should listen carefully to their kids and explain the world to the them. But she thought that this world would of course include many limits, and that the child, being rational, could absorb and hands these limits.
  • The parents I see in Paris today really do seem to have found a balance between listening to their kids and being clear that it’s the parents who are in charge (even if they sometimes have to remind themselves of this).

Chapter 6: “day care?”

  • American parents tend to voice daycare if they can afford to by hiring nannies, staying at home, or utilizing family connections. But upper-middle class parents are fighting to get their children into public, neighborhood daycares or “crèche”
  • French mothers are convinced that the crèche is good for their kids. In Paris, about a third of kids under the age of three go to the crèche, and half are in some kind of collective care. They think kids are safer in settings with lots of trained adults looking after them, rather than being “alone with a stranger,” (like a nanny).
  • An in-house cook at each crèche prepares a four course lunch from scratch each day. A truck arrives several times a week with seasonal, fresh, sometimes even organic ingredients.
  • In France, working in day care is a very competitive career.

Chapter 7: “bébé au lait”

  • In France, long term breastfeeding is very rare, and almost everyone abandons it shortly after leaving the hospital.
  • Some locals report that breastfeeding still has a peasant image, from the days when babies were farmed out to rural wet nurses. Others say that artificial-milk companies pay off hospitals, give away free samples in maternity wards, and advertise mercilessly.
  • Pierre Bitoun, a French pediatrician and longtime proponent of breastfeeding in France, says many Frenchwomen think they just don’t have enough milk. Dr. Bitoun says the real problem is that French maternity hospitals often don’t encourage mothers to feed their newborns every few hours. That’s critical in the beginning to stimulate mothers to produce enough milk. Otherwise, a recourse to formula starts to seem inevitable.
  • Even though French children consume enormous amounts of formula, they beat American kids on nearly all measures of health. France ranks about six points above the developed-country average in UNICEF’s overall health-and-safety ranking, which includes infant mortality, immunization rates until age two, and deaths from accidents and injury up to age nineteen. The United States ranks about eighteen points below the average.
  • In Paris, three months seems to be the magic number for regaining the pre-baby body.
  • There is an assumption that even good mothers aren’t at the constant service of their children, and that there’s no reason to feel bad about that.
  • French women don’t just permit themselves physical time off; they also allow themselves to mentally detach from their kids. In France, the dominant social message is that while being a parent is very important, it shouldn’t subsume one’s other roles. Mothers shouldn’t become “enslaved” to their children.
  • American women think of their identities as “mom” and “woman” as very separate. Mom clothes vs. sexy clothes. In France, these roles are fused and at any given time you can see them both.

Chapter 8: “the perfect mother doesn’t exist”

  • In a 2010 survey by the Pew Research Center, 91% of French adults said the most satisfying kind of marriage is one in which both husband and wife have jobs. (Just 71% of Americans and Britons said this.)
  • For American mothers, guilt is an emotional tax we pay for not being perfect.
  • The French consider guilt unhealthy and unpleasant, and they try to banish it. “Guilt is a trap,” says Pamela’s friend Sharon, a literary agent. When she and her Francophone girlfriends meet for drinks, they remind one another that “the perfect mother doesn’t exist . . . we say this to reassure each other.”
  • The Perfect Mother Is You
  • Frenchwomen have a conviction that it’s unhealthy for mothers and children to spend all their time together. They believe there’s a risk of smothering kids with attention and anxiety, or of developing a situation where a mothers’ and a child’s needs are too intertwined.
  • When Americans talk about work-life balance, we’re describing a kind of juggling, where we’re trying to keep all parts of our lives in motion without screwing up any of them too badly. The French also talk about l’equilibre. But they mean it differently. For them, it’s about not letting any one part of life–including parenting–overwhelm the rest.

Chapter 9: “caca boudin”

  • Caca boudin means “poop sausage.” Their three-year-old uses it to mean “whatever,” “leave me alone,” and “none of your business.” It’s an all-purpose retort.
  • Learning to read isn’t part of the French curriculum until the equivalent of first grade, the year that kids turn seven. They believe that before age seven it is much more important for children to learn social skills, how to organize their thoughts, and how to speak well.
  • While reading isn’t taught, speaking definitely is. In fact, it turns out that the main goal of maternelle (French preschool) is for kids of all backgrounds to perfect their spoken French.
  • French logic is that if children can speak clearly, they can also think clearly
  • A French child learns to “observe, ask questions, and make his interrogations increasingly rational. He learns to adopt  point of view other than his own, and this confrontation with logical thinking gives him a taste of reasoning. He becomes capable of counting, of classifying, ordering, and describing . . . “
  • It’s very important in France to say s’il vous plait (please), merci (thank you), bonjour, (hello), and au revoir (good-bye). Saying bonjour is super important to the French because it acknowledges the other person’s humanity. Children must do the same.
  • This helps kids learn that they’re not the only ones with feelings and needs.
  • Pamela finally decides to ask some French adults about this mysterious word, “caca boudin.” It turns out that it is a curse word, but one that’s just for little kids. They pick it up from one another around the time they start learning to use the toilet. The adults I speak to recognize that since children have so many rules and limits, they need some freedom, too. The word gives kids power and autonomy.

Chapter 10: “double entrendre”

  • Pamela talks about her desire for a second child and how this time it is much harder to get pregnant. She is taking med and seeing an acupuncturist; nothing is working. Then after taking a shot of medicine and a night of love in Brussels, she becomes pregnant. With twins! Twin boys. 🙂
  • She has a vaginal birth and discovers how difficult life becomes with three children under three. She begins to have a lot of doubt about everything: if she named the boys the right names and if she has had too many children. But there are also moments of delight when things are good.

Chapter 11: “i adore this baguette”

  • Research shows that martial satisfaction has fallen and the mothers find it more pleasant to do housework than to take care of their kids. American social scientists now pretty much take for granted that today’s parents are less happy than non parents. Studies show that parents have higher rates of depression and that their unhappiness increases with each additional child.
  • In France, they are much more concerned about a woman’s pelvic floor after childbirth. Pam describes her “perineal reeducation” visits with her reeducator, Monica, a slim Spanish woman. She was prescribed by her doctor 10 reeducation visits.
  • Sacrificing your sex life for your kids is considered wildly unhealthy and out of balance.
  • The couple is the most important. It’s the only thing that you chose in your life. Your children, you didn’t choose. You chose your husband. So, you’re going to make your life with him. So you have an interest in it going well. Especially when the children leave, you want to get along with him.
  • There are structural reasons why Frenchwomen seem calmer than American women. They take about twenty-one more vacation days each year. France has less feminist rhetoric, but is has many more institutions that enable women to work. There’s the national paid maternity leave (the United States has none), the subsidized nannies, and crèches, the free universal preschool from age three, and a myriad of tax credits and payments for having kids. All this doesn’t ensure that there’s equality between men and women. But it does ensure that Frenchwomen can have both a career and kids.
  • Pamela tells the story of how her friend, Helene, said a very simple, sweet, and honest thing to her husband. When he went to shop to pick up a few things, he also picked up a crusty baguette. Helene exclaims, “J’adore cette baguette!” (I adore this baguette!) to her husband, William. Pam can’t imagine saying anything like that to Simon. She usually would say that he’s bought the wrong baguette or worry that he’s left a mess that she’ll have to clean up. That sheer girlish pleasure sadly doesn’t exist between them anymore. She tells Simon this baguette story and he says, “we need that j’adore settee baguette,” and she agrees that they absolutely do.

Chapter 12: “you just have to taste it”

  • Dominique, a French mother who lives in New York, says at first she was shocked to learn that her daughter’s preschool feeds the kids every hour all day long. She was also surprised to see parents giving their kids snacks all throughout the day at the playground. “If a toddler starts having a tantrum, they will give food to calm hi down. They use food to distract them from whatever crisis,” she says.
  • French kids are so used to fresh food that processed food tastes strange to them. There aren’t very many “kid’s menus” in France. At most restaurants, children are expected to order from the regular menu.
  • French kids eat only at mealtimes and at the afternoon gouter (snack).
  • The French government campaign reminding people to eat at least “five fruits and vegetables per day” has become a national catchphrase.
  • There are not French children who will eat just one type of food; their parents will simply not allow this. Of course, they like certain foods more than others. And there are plenty of finicky French three-year-olds. But these childcare don’t get to exclude whole categories of textures, colors, and nutrients just because they want to. The extreme pickiness that’s come to seem normal in America and Britain looks to French parents like a dangerous eating disorder or, at best, a wildly bad habit.
  • Just 3.1% of French five- and six-year-olds are obese. In America, 10.4% of kids between two and five are obese. This gap is much wider for older French and American kids.
  • French parents don’t start their babies off on rice cereal. From the first bite, they serve babies flavor-packed vegetables. The first foods that French babes typically eat are steamed and pureed green beans, spinach, carrots, peeled zucchini, and the white part of leeks.
  • Parents see it as their job to bring the child around to appreciating fruits and vegetables. they believe that just as they must teach the child how to sleep, how to wait, and how to say bonjour, they must teach her how to eat.
  • “There’s not such thing as ‘kids’ food.'”
  • For a French kid, candy has its place. It’s a regular-enough part of their lives that they don’t gorge on it like freed prisoners the moment they get their hands on it. Mostly, children seem to eat it at birthday parties, school events, and as the occasional treat. At these occasions, they’re usually free to eat all they want. Kids, too, need moments when the regular rules don’t apply. But parents decide when these moments are.
  • French parents aren’t afraid of sugary foods. In general, they will serve cake or cookies at lunch or at the gouter. But they don’t give kids chocolate or rich desserts with dinner. “What you eat in the evening just stays with you for years,” Pamela’s friend Fanny explains.
  • At lunch and dinner they serve vegetables first, when the kids are the hungriest.

Chapter 13: “it’s me who decides”

  • Many French parents have an easy, calm authority with their children. Their kids actually listen to them. French children aren’t constantly dashing off, talking back, or engaging in prolonged negotiations. But how exactly do French parents pull this off?
  • Pamela reflects, “The French way sometimes is too harsh. They could be little more gentle and friendly with kids, I think. But I think the American way takes it way to the extreme, of raising kids as if they are ruling the world.”
  • “We have a saying in French: it’s easier to loosen the screw than to tighten the screw, meaning that you have to be very tough. If you’re too tough, you loosen. But if you’re too lenient… afterward to tighten, forget about it.”
  • The kids need to understand that they’re not the center of attention, They need to understand that the world doesn’t revolve around them.
  • In defining limits for kids, French parents often invoke the language of rights. Rather than saying “Don’t hit Jules,” they typically say, “You don’t have the right to hit Jules.” This is more than a semantic difference. It feels different to say it this way.
  • Another phrase that adults use a lot with children is “I don’t agree,” as in, “I don’t agree with you pitching your peas on the floor.” Parents say this in a serious tone, while looking directly at the child. It establishes the adult as another mind, which the child must consider. And it credits the child with having his own view about the peas, even if this view is being over-ruled.
  • The more spoiled a child is, the more unhappy he is.
  • Madeleine says that she’s not just trying to frighten children into submission. She says “the big eyes” work best when she has a strong connection withe the child, and when there’s mutual respect. She says the most satisfying part of her job is developing “complicity” with a child, as if they’re seeing the world the same way, and when she almost knows what the child is about to do before he does it.
  • You must listen to the child, but it’s up to you to fix the limits.
  • French parents mean something different than American parents do when they call themselves “Strict.” They mean that they’re very strict about a few things and pretty relaxed about everything else. That’s the cadre model: a firm frame, surrounding a lot of freedom.
  • “We should leave the child as free as possible, without imposing useless rules on him,” Francoise Dolto says in The Major Stages of Childhood. “We should leave him only the cadre of rules that are essential for his security. And he’ll understand from experience, when he tries to transgress, that they are essential, and that we don’t do anything just to bother him.” In other words, being strict about a few key things makes parents seem more reasonable and thus amens it more likely that children will obey.

Chapter 14: “let him live his life”

  • The French give children as much autonomie (autonomy) as they can handle.
  • The French believe that kids feel confident when they’re able to do things for themselves, and do those things well. After children have learned to talk, adults don’t praise them for saying just anything. They praise them for saying interesting things, and for speaking well.
  • French parents want to teach their children to verbally “defend themselves well.” Pamela quotes an informant who says, “In France, if the child has something to say, others listen to him. But the child can’t take too much time and still retain his audience; if he delays, the family finishes his sentences for him. This gets him in the habit of formulating his ideas better before he speaks. Children learn to speak quickly, and to be interesting.” Even when French kids do say interesting things–or just give the correct answer–French adults are decidedly understated in praise. They don’t act like every job well done is an occasion to say “good job.”
  • This focus on the negative, rather than on trying to boost kids’–and parents’–morales with positive reinforcement, is a well-know (and often criticized) feature of French schools. What you’re taught in high school is to learn to reason. You’re not supposed to be creative. You’re supposed to be articulate.
  • Pamela suspects that French parents may be right in giving less praise. After a while, children will need someone else’s approval to feel good about themselves. And if kids are assured of praise for whatever they do, then they won’t need to try very hard. They’ll be praised anyway.
  • New research shows the “excessive praise distorts children’s motivations; they begin doing things merely to hear the praise, losing sight of the intrinsic enjoyment.”
  • Research shows that when heavily praised students get to college, they “become risk-averse and lack perceived autonomy.” These students “commonly drop out of classes rather than suffer a mediocre grade, and they have a hard time picking a major. They’re afraid to commit to something because they’re afraid of not succeeding.” This research also refutes that conventional American wisdom that when kids fail at something, parents should cushion the blow with positive feedback. A better tack is to gently delve into what went wrong, giving kids the confidence and the tools to improve.

“the future in french”

  • What has really connected Pam to France is discovering the wisdom of French parenting. She’s learned that children are capable of feats of self-reliance and mindful behaviors that, as an American parent, she might never have imagined.

Book Club: Bringing Up Bébé

Join us on Facebook Live as we discuss the controversial book Bringing Up Bébé and French parenting. We're wine-ding down the evening with a delicious box from Wine Down Box and discussing all the hot topics from the book. Grab a glass and join us in the conversation!

Posted by Baby Chick on Monday, January 30, 2017

We want to thank Wine Down Box for the delicious bottles of wine and treats from their subscription boxes. We loved them! It was the perfect way to “wine-d down” the evening and discuss an interesting book. Two thumbs up!

About the Author /

Nina is The Baby Chick® & CEO of Baby Chick®. She is a baby planner, birth doula, postpartum doula, childbirth educator, newborn care specialist, and a mother. With over eight years of experience, she has supported hundreds of families during their pregnancies, births, and postpartum journeys.

#FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM
We learn as we go. It's okay to make mistakes. Ack We learn as we go. It's okay to make mistakes. Acknowledge them, and once you know better, do better. ❤️⁠
(quote via Karen Kleiman from "This Isn't What I Expected")
What Color Eyes Will Your Baby Have? 👁️⁠
.⁠
Expecting parents often wonder what their baby will look like once he's born. 🤔 Will she have light or dark hair? Will she inherit your freckles? What color eyes will your baby have? When I was pregnant with my son, my husband and I had fun wondering these same things. Would he have a round face? Would he have my nose? My husband’s cheeks? The only thing we knew for sure was that he would have deep brown eyes and dark brown hair, just like his mom and dad. Or so we thought.⁠ 😮 {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
.⁠
Article by: Jennifer Hill Robenault⁠
⁠📷: @amymelissaphoto
My Favorite Cloth Diapering Systems 👶⁠ .⁠ T My Favorite Cloth Diapering Systems 👶⁠
.⁠
Think diaper changing is straight forward and simple? Not so fast for the cloth diapering mamas. While cloth diapers generally save us quite a bit of cash after that initial investment 💰, it does require a bit of a process, and a good cloth diapering system, to make it less time-consuming. The good news? Once you have it down and have the right tools on hand, it doesn’t have to be all that difficult at all. 🙌 Here are some favorite cloth diapering systems (and tips) that make diaper changes (and cleaning) way more manageable.⁠ {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
.⁠
Article by: Rebecca Jacobs⁠
📷: @thetuckertribe5⁠
Yes, Yes, YES!!! ❤️ Yes, Yes, YES!!! ❤️
Sometimes a good soak in the tub with some bath sa Sometimes a good soak in the tub with some bath salts, a face scrub, and some cucumber slices can make your day. 😍⁠
📷: @jhonnycurran
First of all, we think all moms are incredible. 💕 Today’s shoutout goes to the career moms. We know the struggles because we are you. May this weekend bring you all rest, peace, and joy. 🥰 Sending out all of the love and respect! 🙇‍♀️
(quote via @beyonce)
You Can't Spoil a Baby, Here's Why 👶💕⁠
.⁠
The battle of opinions regarding whether or not you can spoil a baby has been raging for decades, especially among grandparents and those born during the time of little affection. Our children's great-grandparents were most likely raised with the idea that love and affection and responding to a baby's cries will spoil them and make them even fussier. While that idea might seem ludicrous to us, there's a reason such an approach was widely believed. Here's what parenting has looked like over the decades and how present-day science says you cannot spoil a baby. ❤️ {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
.⁠
Article by: Rachel MacPherson⁠
📷: @trinitysierra
They repeat what we do. Show them love. Love for o They repeat what we do. Show them love. Love for others and for yourself. ❤️⁠
📷: @fleurdelisspeaks⁠
Her stuff is great. Check out her page!
What Happens to a Woman's Brain When She Becomes a What Happens to a Woman's Brain When She Becomes a Mother? 🧠❤️⁠
.⁠
Most women who have had children are fully aware of the hormonal and emotional changes that they experience. However, science is only just starting to understand how these changes occur in human mothers’ brains. While mothers know what it feels like to experience these changes, most of us don't know exactly what happens to a woman's brain when she becomes a mother. Turns out, a lot is happening! 😲 {Click 🔗 in bio to read more about it!⁠}⁠
.⁠
Article by: Rachel MacPherson⁠
📷: @emfillerup
You may think that you are helping them by doing e You may think that you are helping them by doing everything for them. But there comes a time when they need to learn how to do things for themselves. ⁠
"Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime." The same rule applies.⁠
We want our kids to be strong, independent, self-reliant, and successful. They learn quickly what they can get away with. Teaching them kindness and a good work ethic from the beginning goes a long way. ❤️⁠ Put the hard work in now and watch them bloom into a strong and independent adult later. 💪
(Quote via @relaxingmommy)
However you choose to feed your baby, your baby an However you choose to feed your baby, your baby and your opinion are all that matter. If you choose and are able to breastfeed, feed your baby anywhere and everywhere HOWEVER you want to . . . with or without a cover. You have rights, mama. No need to explain or cover yourself for anybody if you don't want to. 💕⁠
📷: @phoenixandtheocean
5 Things I Wish I Had Known About Potty Training⁠ 🚽⁠
.⁠
Let’s talk about potty training! It’s one of those monumental milestones we mamas walk through with our toddlers that make them suddenly seem like they went from babies to tiny little humans overnight. And, while it can be an exciting time (and a time to save some serious cash by ditching diapers), it can also come with lots of stress. 🙃 From cleaning up potty accidents for what may seem like days (or even weeks) to wondering if you’ll ever be able to drive further than down the block without having to stop for a potty break 🤦‍♀️, potty training can be daunting.⁠
⁠
But, what many moms agree on is that once it’s done, you kinda forget about all the stress that came along with it. Kinda like pregnancy and giving birth —you just sort of forget about it all until you do it all over again.⁠ 🤪⁠
⁠
Here are five things I wish I had known about potty training before I jumped into it with my then two-and-a-half-year-old daughter. Because, if I had known these things, I think I would have been a bit more laid back about the whole thing! {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
.⁠
Article by: Rebecca Jacobs⁠
📷: @reesetriplets
How Much Does IVF Cost?⁠ 💉⁠ .⁠ In the Uni How Much Does IVF Cost?⁠ 💉⁠
.⁠
In the United States, 16.2% of married women aged 15-49 struggle with infertility. It is no surprise, then, that fertility treatments are becoming more of a necessity for couples who are faced with infertility and wish to have children. While there are many types of fertility treatments, IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) is one of the most commonly known options. However, the high cost of IVF is often cited as the primary obstacle to undergoing treatment. 💸 Let's take a look at what IVF entails, and how much IVF costs. {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
.⁠
Article by: @kristen_vhmiddleton⁠
📷: @lizbrownfitness
She isn't as cheerful as usual? She is being a bit She isn't as cheerful as usual? She is being a bit short with her replies back? Don't be hard on her. It more than likely has nothing to do with you. You never how many times her kids got her up last night. 😴 #bekindalways
🖌: @growupbrite
You're the reason that I breathe but also the reas You're the reason that I breathe but also the reason that I am out of breath. 😉🤪😂 #momlife
You're My Baby Forever, But My Newborn for Now⁠ You're My Baby Forever, But My Newborn for Now⁠ 💕⁠
.⁠
When I had my first baby, everyone told me to enjoy the newborn stage because it goes fast, and I would miss it. But I was so exhausted and overwhelmed I didn’t believe them. 😴 While I was living through it, it felt like it took forever!⁠
⁠
If you are there now or about to enter this stage, it’s a yummy, delicious, snuggly stage. But for me, it has always been one of the harder ones, every time I go through it. So I see and feel you, mama! It’s physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausting. Hold tight, though, because it doesn’t last forever.⁠
⁠
So, while you are struggling to keep your eyes open, and your mental state together, here are a few things to try to savor while your baby is still a newborn. {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
.⁠
Article by: Rebecca Guez⁠
📷: unknown
Daddy Chronicles: Breastfeeding 💙⁠ by @chroni Daddy Chronicles: Breastfeeding 💙⁠
by @chroniclesofdaddy⁠
⁠
I've been asked so many questions by men about fatherhood. So I figured I'd drop some knowledge on my fellow Dads and soon-to-be-Dads. Here's what it looks like for the first few weeks or months after your child is born. Yup. If mom breastfeeds they pretty much are tucked like this and at times you'll wonder "what is there for me to do?" Here are my top 5 tips for any Dad after your child is born.⁠
⁠
1️⃣ For night feedings. When mom wakes up in the middle of the night, you get up and ask if she needs any help or water. The truth is most of the time she will say no but just the fact that you offered will go far.⁠
⁠
2️⃣ Ask mom if she can pump and then pick 1 feeding that you will always do. Mom will take on almost everything and will burn herself out if you let her. At times you may have to force her to rest without worrying about the baby. This is an easy way to do that without a fight.⁠
⁠
3️⃣ Don't put a time limit on how long mom breastfeeds the baby. It's not just about feeding your child it's about them bonding as well. I know everyone has a different length of time they will breastfeed and as a Dad, it's hard to fully understand. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT try and rush this process. It's not our place and it's not safe. You will open yourself up to a fight you can't win.⁠
⁠
4️⃣ Be patient. I know as a Dad the first few weeks we are equally excited and yet not as important. Your time will come faster than you know. Babies grow fast and the stronger and bigger they get the more Daddy Time will be coming your way.⁠
⁠
5️⃣ Paternity leave! If you have it TAKE IT. The early stages of a child's life are not just for moms to enjoy. I know as men making the money especially after having a baby it's hard, but trust me. You can always make money but there are no instant replays in life. It doesn't make you more of a man to not take the leave. It's equally as important that you as a Dad get to be a part of the early development of your child. ⁠
If someone needs this info tag them ❤️⁠
...⁠
Absolutely love these tips from @chroniclesofdaddy. 🙌
7 Postpartum Yoga Poses That Strengthen Your Body 7 Postpartum Yoga Poses That Strengthen Your Body After Baby 🧘‍♀️⁠
.⁠
The postpartum period, or period of recovery that takes place after a mother gives birth, is an important time for mothers to take care of themselves. 🥰 Typically, if you’re less than 6 weeks postpartum you don’t want to put any pressure on your core muscles. Also, your body’s levels of relaxin, the hormone that loosens joints to prepare for childbirth, is elevated for 3-6 months after childbirth, and longer if you are breastfeeding. All this means is: take these postpartum yoga poses slowly and stretch yourself gently. No gymnastics here or pushing beyond what is comfortable.⁠
⁠
Remember, every mama’s body is different, so listen to how you feel and seek advice from a medical professional if you have questions about how and when to begin your personal exercise plan. Note: Try to do the following yoga poses in the order they are listed. {Click 🔗 in bio to see the 7 yoga poses to strengthen your body after baby!⁠}⁠
.⁠
Article by: @kristen_vhmiddleton⁠
📷 taken by: @allisonermon_photography
It's been one of those days. 😑⁠ 📷: @kristy It's been one of those days. 😑⁠
📷: @kristyndingman
🙋‍♀️😂😂😂⁠ 🚜 What are some st 🙋‍♀️😂😂😂⁠ 🚜
What are some strange things you do as a #boymom or #girlmom?
It doesn't happen often but when it does, it's mag It doesn't happen often but when it does, it's magic.⁠ ✨🤩
📷: @realtoughdad
All I want is a slumber party with my mom squad. 💁‍♀️ These gorgeous mamas from @influencingincolor (Nikki, Meghan, Shay & Brandy) are #momgoals 🔥🔥🔥❤️⁠
📷: @influencingincolor
Holy summer . . . it's hot already. Any pregnant m Holy summer . . . it's hot already. Any pregnant mamas relate?! ⁠
📷: @mamastillgotit_
Potty Training Tips! A step-by-step guide 🚽⁠ Potty Training Tips! A step-by-step guide 🚽⁠
.⁠
1️⃣ Look for signs of readiness:⁠
- Diaper dry for at least 1-2 hours.⁠
- Pulling at their diaper when its wet or soiled.⁠
- Hiding or fidgeting when going pee or poo in diaper.⁠
- Interest in others using the potty.⁠
- Waking up with a dry diaper after naps.⁠
- Telling you when they have gone pee or poo.⁠
⁠
Potty training is much quicker if your child is showing the above signs, but you can start before this.⁠
⁠
2️⃣ What you will need to buy:⁠
- Toilet seat insert to place on your toilet⁠
- Steps⁠
- Underwear (at least 10 pairs)⁠
- Foldable toilet seat (for when you are out of the house)⁠
- Piddle pad (for car journeys)⁠
- Waterproof shoes such as crocs, sliders, etc. (they can be rinsed and dried)⁠
- Not necessary but helpful: flushable wipes⁠
⁠
3️⃣ Getting yourself and your child prepared:⁠
- Talk to your child about using the potty, maybe take them into the bathroom when you go and talk them through the process (e.g. wiping, flushing, and washing hands, etc.)⁠
- Practice pulling pants or shorts up and down.⁠
- Look on YouTube with your child at some potty training stories (e.g. 'I Want My Potty' and 'Pirate Pete's Potty')⁠
- Involve your child in choosing and buying everything you need - choosing character-themed underwear is usually very exciting!⁠
- Sit your child on the potty at every diaper change, first thing in the morning and just before bed to get them used to sitting on the toilet.⁠
- Teach your child the correct vocabulary or signs needed to communicate when they need to go potty.⁠
- Make sure you have plenty of spare clothes.⁠
⁠
4️⃣ Let's get toilet trained:⁠
- Get your child to choose a pair of underwear and put them on.⁠
- Talk to them about using the toilet and communicating when they need to pee or poo. You can sit them on the toilet at this point if you wish.⁠
- Take your child to the toilet every 15/20 minutes. Say "let's go to the potty" rather than asking "do you want to go to the toilet" - if you ask, they are likely to say no! Also, look for signs like moving from side-to-side or hiding. These are normal signs that they might need to go potty.⁠
⁠
(Continue reading in the comments!)
The Not-So-Easy Baby: Why Some Parents Have It Har The Not-So-Easy Baby: Why Some Parents Have It Harder Than Others⁠ 😢⁠
.⁠
Why are the parents of some infants relaxed and at ease while other parents are exhausted, guilty, and frustrated with raising their new infant? 😞 Is it because of their parenting skills or is it due to something else? Why do some parents have not-so-easy babies? {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
.⁠
Article by: Dr. Robert J. Hudson, M.D.
We haven't been in a restaurant in a long time but We haven't been in a restaurant in a long time but I know that whenever we all get through this time and can gather together with our friends again, a lot of love and laughter will be happening. 😬🤣🤣🤣⁠
📷: @maryfairyboberry
Helpful Parenting Tips for Enneagram Type 3 Moms: Helpful Parenting Tips for Enneagram Type 3 Moms: The Achievers ⭐⁠
.⁠
Last month, we learned all about Enneagram Type 2 — Helper Moms. 💕 Today we are going to explore the world of Enneagram Type 3 moms. These Achiever Moms are the performers of the group and work hard at seeking approval in their lives. Here are some ways Achiever Moms can use their unique personalities to become the best versions of themselves as parents. Threes are known to be driven, ambitious, and image-conscious. They live for success. They fear of being worthless or failing. Here are some helpful parenting tips for enneagram type 3s. {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
.⁠
Article by: Lauren Flake @loveofdixie⁠
📷: @ashton.creates
“You are my reason.⁠ ⁠ You are the reason I “You are my reason.⁠
⁠
You are the reason I get up each morning.⁠
Even though my eyelids are as heavy as a five-ton truck.⁠
Even though all I want is to sleep in, a coffee and breakfast in bed.⁠
You are more important.⁠
You need me.⁠
For you, I would do anything.⁠
⁠
You are the reason I am finally comfortable in my own skin.⁠
Even though I am a size bigger than I used to be.⁠
Even though my boobs cannot be described as 'perky'⁠
You relied on my body.⁠
You gave it purpose.⁠
For you, I will always love it.⁠
⁠
You are the reason I now know the importance of patience.⁠
Even though I sometimes miss the fast-paced life.⁠
Even though I still get frustrated when I feel inefficient.⁠
You need me to go at your pace.⁠
You are the priority right now.⁠
For you, I slow down.⁠
⁠
You are the reason I worry more than ever.⁠
Even though I know it won't change anything.⁠
Even though it's not your fault.⁠
You are precious.⁠
You are vulnerable.⁠
For you, I will worry forever.⁠
⁠
You are the reason I am now filled with gratitude.⁠
Even though I get sad when things do not go my way.⁠
Even though I sometimes lose sight of what I have.⁠
You are my constant reminder that I am blessed.⁠
You are the light at the end of every tunnel.⁠
For you, everything is worth it.⁠
⁠
You are the reason that my heart is full.⁠
Even though I am grateful for our life before you.⁠
You have shown me a love like no other.⁠
You are remarkable.⁠
For you, my heart explodes.⁠
⁠
You are my reason." ❤️ Words by @hangingwiththeheaphys 💕⁠
We love birth stories and hearing all the details We love birth stories and hearing all the details about how each baby was born. What’s your baby’s birth story? 👶❤️
📷: @she_plusfive
Your Child's Stomach Pain and Headaches Could Be A Your Child's Stomach Pain and Headaches Could Be Anxiety⁠ 💔
.⁠
Have you noticed that your child is complaining of stomach pain and headaches? Or perhaps they seem tired and irritable despite getting the correct amount of sleep? Perhaps these things are simply coincidental, but maybe they’re not. Did you know that even children suffer from anxiety disorder? In fact, the most common mental health condition in children is anxiety disorder. If you are sensing that there may be something else going on, keep reading. {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading this mom's personal journey with child anxiety disorder.⁠}⁠
.⁠
Article by: Katie Gibbons⁠
📷: @lisa.boettcher