What To Expect During Your Baby's First Year
Authors Sandy Jones and Marcie Jones help navigate the highs - and the difficulties - of your baby's first year.
Commitment: Great Expectations: Baby’s First Year is an inclusive resource to help parents through a child’s exciting, wonderful - and often challenging first year of life. When should moms consult this book?
Sandy Jones and Marcie Jones: It’s a great resource to use anytime during the first year, and we’ve arranged it chronologically so parents can dip in and get a quick read about where their baby is at any particular stage. Or if you like to think ahead, you can read it while you’re pregnant! We wanted it to work as a book that could be read front to back, or as separate sections.
Commitment: Great Expectations: Baby’s First Year is very thorough. In addition to informative and easy to read information about what to expect during a baby’s first twelve months, it includes information about pumping breastmilk, baby gear and possible side effects from vaccinations. How much research went into this book?
Sandy and Marcie: It took two years of research and our computers were loaded with literally thousands of files. We really wanted to give parents original, evidence-based research, the kind of stuff we had wanted to know.
Commitment: Your book does not dictate one particular philosophy, but instead offers many options from which parents can choose. How can parents benefit from being offered different ways to deal with each situation?
Sandy and Marcie: When you’re expecting or a new parent, there’s no lack of people out there with opinions of you what you should or shouldn’t do—the world doesn’t need any more! And sometimes people will have parenting philosophies before they’re even expecting only to find themselves doing exactly what they said they’d never do once the baby arrives and then feeling terribly guilty about it. We want to help inform parents and encourage them, not make them feel like there’s some gold standard of perfect parenting that they have to try to attain.
Commitment: Great Expectations: Baby’s First Year is carefully divided month by month so that new moms will know exactly where to look for the answers to their questions. The first week is even divided up day by day! Why did you structure the book this way?
Sandy and Marcie: Parents loved the week-by-week and month-by-month descriptions of pregnancy in our book Great Expectations: Your All-in-One Resource for Pregnancy & Childbirth, and we decided to continue that format so that parents could discover what their babies would be doing as weeks and months pass. Of course, every baby is different, so we needed to always keep that in mind.
Commitment: What is the most important thing a new mom needs to know?
Sandy and Marcie: You can’t have too much help during that first year. As magical of a time as it is, it can also be very difficult. Parents need to have the courage to ask for support from their families and others to help them through.
Commitment: Both of you are moms. What do you know now that you wish you had known during your children’s first year of life?
Sandy: When you’re “in the trenches” with your baby, time seems to slow down, and it feels as though this phase will last forever, but the truth is, babyhood is a very brief moment in a child’s life, and those issues that seem to huge—breast or bottle, cloth diapers or disposable-- it should be savored before it’s gone forever. The second thing is that many of the crises of that first year are temporary, so the often repeated adage among moms should be remembered: “This, too, will pass.”
Marcie: You really will get a full night’s sleep someday. And you can’t take too many pictures. You think you’ll remember everything, but it’s amazing how quickly you can forget, especially if you’re chronically sleep-deprived.
Commitment: In your book, you include commentary from Michael Crocetti, M.D., F.A.A.P., Assistant Professor and Director of Clinical Pediatrics at John Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. What should a woman expect from a pediatrician during her baby' first year?
Sandy: You shouldn’t have to wait long hours for return calls if you’re concerned about your baby, nor should you and your baby have to wait endlessly in your pediatrician’s waiting room to see the doctor. You need to feel that your questions and concerns are being taken seriously, and, ideally, your healthcare provider should not only have up-to-date medical information, but also serve as a storehouse of sensible information and support for you as your raise your child.
Marcie: The best pediatricians are your partners in your child’s health. You shouldn’t feel intimidated to ask any question, no matter how silly.
Commitment: Where can new moms find more information on issues relating to their baby's first year of life?
Sandy and Marcie: Numerous books can help with specific baby care issues, whether it’s medical care, rearing a preemie, buying baby products, or even dealing with the financial issues that plague lots of new parents. The Internet is a valuable resource for parenting information, though you always have to make sure that the site has reliable information and isn’t pushing a particular philosophy. www.babycenter.com is one of the most popular online sites. There are also very informative sites that cover a variety of topics of interest to parents, including www.zerotothree.org, which focuses on baby psychology, www.babyparenting.about.com, a general interest parenting site, www.lalecheleague.org, a wonderful breastfeeding information site, and the infant and toddler section on www.mayoclinic.com, for up-to-date and impartial medical information.
Sandy Jones, MA, is the author of ten books on parenting which have collectively sold over half a million copies worldwide, including Great Expectations: Your All-in-One Resource for Pregnancy & Childbirth and Great Expectations Pregnancy Journal & Organizer. Both books were co-authored with her daughter, Marcie Jones. She has been a featured guest on the Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, Fox, CNN, NPR, The Discovery Channel, and over a hundred other network and local television and radio programs.
Marcie Jones, MA, is a freelance writer and editor. She has written for magazines and newspapers, and has taught writing at the University of Baltimore.
To purchase Great Expectations: Baby's First Year, click here.