The Modern Girl's Guide to Motherhood

The Modern Girl's Guide to Motherhood

by Jane Buckingham


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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 married), life throws you a curveball that makes all of your previous ineptitudes in life pale in comparison. With the appearance of one little extra line on a pregnancy test, you're thrown into a world of covering up leaks on shirts and taking a pacifier away from a two-year-old who has the grip of a pit bull.

In this funny, smart, and honest book, Jane Buckingham cuts through the clutter to give you simple information and practical advice for navigating the different stages of motherhood. From how to get your child to sleep and how to wean, to how to get him off the pacifier and how to stop his tantrums, this book will help moms feel in the know and in control! Some of Buckingham's favorite tips:

  • If your baby has a hard time feeding because of a stuffy nose, turn on the shower to steam up the bathroom and feed her there.

  • Put your children's paints in an empty egg carton — it's the perfect size, and there's no mess to clean up when you're done. Use an old raincoat with the arms cut off as a smock.

  • You should buy a new car seat, rather than borrowing a friend's old car seat, as there are constant safety upgrades. Also, be sure you are the person registered to that car seat (send in that registration card!) so that you'll be notified in case of a recall.

  • Keep the three-day rule in mind: Almost any bad habit can be broken in three days. Granted, they may be tough, torturous days, but you can do it!

The Modern Girl's Guide to Motherhood helps modern moms do it all with love, style, and flair!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060885342
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/11/2006
Series: Modern Girl's Guides Series
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 9.12(h) x 0.92(d)

About the Author

Jane Buckingham is the president of Trendera, an innovative marketing and media consulting firm with numerous Fortune 500 companies as clients. She is a contributing editor to Cosmopolitan, a regular guest on Good Morning America and The View, and was recently named by Elle as one of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Hollywood. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, bestselling business author Marcus Buckingham, and their two children, Jack and Lilia.

Read an Excerpt

The Modern Girl's Guide to Motherhood

By Jane Buckingham

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright ©2006 Jane Buckingham
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060885343

Chapter One

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. Nowwhile 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).

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.

  • Make sure the room is well ventilated, with windows and a ceiling 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 snowsuit.

  • You'll be spending a lot of time going back and forth to this room in 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.

  • Invest in a nice, glowing night-light. You can use it to maneuver in 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).

  • Go with fabrics that are washable. You won't believe how much laundry you'll be doing. If it's dry clean only, regift it to your biggest enemy.

  • Avoid hanging anything above your baby's crib that could fall and hurt him, such as picture frames, a shelf with knickknacks, or large pictures. Instead, paint a mural or hang something soft, like a quilt.

  • To save money on wallpaper, paint instead, and then add a wallpaper border to the top of the wall.

  • Have someone else paint well in advance of the baby's arriving. You should avoid the fumes when you're pregnant, and the smell can linger for up to five days, so this is not the activity for the night before the baby arrives.

  • Avoid too much stimulation in the contents of the crib, as it could affect his sleep. Instead, opt for it in other areas. My son loved to stare at the striped curtains above his changing table. This made changes much easier in the first six months.

  • If you don't want to go with a traditional nursery theme, consider:

  • Blowing up photos of your family and framing them in inexpensive frames. It's a cheap way to cover the walls and make the room immediately feel like home.

  • Opt for an astrological theme based on your child's birthday or the solar system.

  • Cover one wall with corkboard (which can be painted so you don't have to leave it brown) and then attach mementos on the wall -- clippings of hair from a first cut, fun family pictures, and postcards.

  • Paint the wall with giant number and alphabet stencils.

  • Use chalk paint on one wall and let your child doodle with chalk when she's old enough.

  • Create a family tree with natural materials such as leaves and branches.

  • Use a travel theme based on places that are important to your family, or post a giant map with pins pointing out where certain family members have visited.

  • Paint a mural with favorite children's book characters.

Cribs, Beds, and Planning Ahead

We tortured ourselves over which crib to buy for our son's room. For some reason we got stuck on the notion that this had to be a functional bed that would last him for years, so we ended up buying the crib that converted into a toddler bed, and then eventually becomes the head and footboard to a twin bed. In reality, we passed the crib to my daughter and bought my son a different bed when he outgrew the crib anyway. . . .


Excerpted from The Modern Girl's Guide to Motherhood by Jane Buckingham Copyright ©2006 by Jane Buckingham. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

1The Mother of All Shopping Sprees5
The Nursery5
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
Other Nursery Essentials
Beyond the Bedroom20
Infant Seats and Swings
High Chairs
Infant Tubs
Bath Products
Heading Out the Door25
Car Seats
Infant Carriers
Playpen/Travel Crib
Packing It In: Diaper Bag
The Home Medicine Cabinet33
Creating a Layette35
Buying Guide
Washing Your Baby's Clothes
The Modern Mom's Guide to Stain Removal
2Experts, Epidurals, and Everything Else Before Baby43
Choosing a Pediatrician44
Bracing for Delivery Day45
Some Great Books on Labor and Delivery
Birthing Methods and Ways to Ease the Pain
While You Still Have Some Time on Your Hands50
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 About63
Pooing on the Table
Tears and Episiotomies
Peeing and Pooing Post Pushing
Pain Pain Pain!#@%#$*^%!!!!!
Bizarre Side Effects
Postpartum Depression
Deciding About Cord Blood Banking71
Help Is on the Way!74
Choosing a Nanny
Choosing Day Care
3The Babymoon: The First Few Weeks Home from the Hospital78
Introducing Your Bundle of Joy (and Screams)79
New Siblings
Furry Friends
Dealing with Wanted (and Unwanted) Visitors84
Drop-by Visitors: At the Hospital and at Home
Friends with Toddlers
Overnight Houseguests
Reality Check: Everything Has Changed, but Your Life Will Come Back90
4Food for Thought (And Little Tummies)92
Your New Bosom Buddy93
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
Hitting the Bottle104
Choosing a Formula
How Much?
Bottle Do's and Don'ts
Burping, Colic, and Crying107
Spit Happens
Burping Your Baby
Everybody Stay Calm! Making the Most of Pacifiers111
Introducing Solid Foods113
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 Beyond123
Healthy Eating Habits
Treats and Desserts
Dealing with a Fussy Eater
Healthful Snack Alternatives to Sweets
How Much?
Family Dinners: You Mean Carryout Doesn't Count?129
Table Manners
Dining Out with Kids in Tow131
5Wake Up! We Need to Talk About Sleep134
Birth to Three Months: From A to Zzz's136
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 Way145
Possible Hiccups
Nine to Twelve Months: Too Good to Be True148
Possible Hiccups
One-Year-Old Sleep Patterns149
Possible Hiccups
Big Boy/Girl Beds151
Staying Until They Sleep
Terrible Twos at Night153
Lights Out!
The Party's Over
What the Experts Say156
6Baby Care 101 (Because Dressing Them in Cute Outfits Isn't Enough)160
Bath Time160
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 Parts166
Umbilical Stump
Cradle Cap
Reliving Teething Pain
That Doesn't Look/Feel/Sound Right!174
Get Help STAT!
Get Help When It's Practical
Ear Infections
Sore Throat
Bumps and Bruises
Bee Stings
What the Heck Are All These Shots For?
Vaccinations Month by Month
Preparing Your Child for Shots
Many Mini-Milestones193
What to Expect Developmentally and When
7Teach Your Children Well ... Or Else It's Hell206
Hi. My Name Is Mommy, and You Are ...?207
Birth to Fifteen Months
Fifteen to Twenty-one Months
Twenty-two to Twenty-seven Months
Twenty-eight to Thirty-six Months207
Communicating with Your Child210
Creating Independence210
Saying "Yes" Instead of "No"
Teaching That Actions Have Consequences
Disciplining Your Child's Friends
Other People Disciplining Your Child
Praise When Praise Is Due214
The Bad and the Ugly: Dealing With ...219
Physical Aggression
Pulling Hair
Spitting Food
Banging Heads
Bad Words
"I Don't Like You"
Baby Talk/Play
Mind Your Manners225
Saying You're Sorry
Excuse Me
Please and Thank You
Hello and Goodbye
Eating Behavior
Nose Picking, Farting, and Burping225
Dealing with the Hard Stuff232
Separation Issues
Ask the Experts235
The RIE Method
The Happiest Toddler on the Block
Books by Louise Bates Ames
Dr. Spock
The What to Expect ... Series235
8Breaking Up* Is Hard to Do (*With Old Habits, That Is)241
Breaking Old Habits241
The Mommy Store Is Closed
Buh-Bye Bottle
Pitching the Pacifier
Thumb Sucking
Security Blankets and Other Comfort Items241
Have a Seat: The Fine Art of Potty Training254
Are We There Yet? Signs Your Child Might Be Ready
Ready, Aim, Pee
At Night
Bathroom Hygiene254
9The Play Dating Game and Beyond261
Best Toys and Activities at Any Age262
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 TV262
Play: Is It All It's Cracked Up to Be?275
Picking the Right Playgroup and Classes
Play Dating
Observational Play
Parallel Play
Imaginary Play
Cooperative Play
Play Date Ideas
Nannies Versus Mommies275
Birthday Parties281
Party Ideas
Some Fun Party Activities
Goodie Bags
Gift Tips281
Picking a Preschool289
Getting Your Child Ready for Preschool289

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Modern Girl's Guide to Motherhood 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Rebecca Simeon More than 1 year ago
Life as a young mother is hard. This book can help those young mothers
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book for my sister when she became pregnant and I think it was a perfect gift. The advice given is practical, down to earth and entertaining. I especially like the surprisingly short and simple lists for stocking a diaper bag and what to take to the hospital. No overflowing diaper bags here!
BettyB2000 More than 1 year ago
I love this book. I give it to all my friends and family members who are having their first baby. It is a very useful and practical book for modern moms to be.