Apparently, not everyone is as forgetful as yours truly. A few weeks ago I received an email from a very nice woman at NYK asking if I was still interested. Now You Know Media produces audio courses featuring top experts in areas such as health and finance, designed to be portable, accessible, schedule-friendly answers for a variety of questions. They offered to send me two of their courses in my area of interest: Preparing for a Healthy Pregnancy and Caring for Your Baby from Birth to Age One. In other words, Mom Stuff, which is right up my alley. I told them to send it my way, and I would do my best to give it a fair shake on the ol' blog.
I listened to Caring for your Baby from Birth to Age One first, since my three children are already ex-utero, and preparing for a healthy pregnancy seemed a little horse-has-already-left-the-barn at this point. There may be more horses in the future, but none ready to hoof it out right now (how is that for a twisted metaphor for pregnancy?!)
Each CD begins with the substantial credentials of the presenter, a disclaimer about not using this course as a substitute for a real, live health care provider, and an overview of the topics to be presented. Caring for Your Baby is divided into four disks with three topics on each disk. The information is presented by Dr. Dennis Kuo, a Pediatrics Fellow with Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and a third generation pediatrician. Dr. Kuo has an affable, easy manner, and he comes across as a kind and interested person. The topics he presents are:
- The newborn nursery and arriving home
- early infancy feeding
- starting solid food
- understanding your baby's personality and behavior
- key milestones in the first year
- interacting with your baby
- protecting your baby's safety
- family relationships in raising your baby
- managing fevers and infections
- when to call your doctor
To be completely honest, I did not learn anything new from these topics, but I am also on my third child. I do wish that I had been able to hear this about eight years ago when I was poised to enter the Mom Arena for the first time. It may have lessened the pressure I felt as a new mother. When I was pregnant with Older Girl, I knew quite a bit about the medical facts, thanks to my husband's profession, but that knowledge was a double-edged sword. Because Rob is a doctor, many people, my health care professionals included, assumed that I didn't really have any questions. I admit to being a capable person, but there is nothing like bringing a baby home to make you feel like the idiot gone astray from her village. Dr. Kuo touches on many of the common questions of new parenting; the questions that (ahem) some people may be afraid to ask for fear of looking like they don't know what they're doing. Guess what? Nobody knows what they're doing when they bring home their first baby! Welcome to being a parent.
Dr. Kuo reminds listeners that babies don't come with instructions, but that parenting in those early years is really more about stamina than anything else. Once you're out of the thick of that heady newborn phase, you'll look back and realize that the mechanics of caring for a newborn aren't necessarily that hard - it's the exhaustion that makes it feel that way. He exhorts parents to take any help where they can get it, use common sense, and rest with your new baby as much as possible - all good advice.
Anther good thing about this course? Instead of just devolving into an interminable list of do's and don'ts, Dr. Kuo gives the medical reasons behind the rules from your doctor. Now you can confidently answer Aunt Myra when she visits and asks why you aren't giving the baby a bottle of water when all of her children had water from the start and her doctor told her that water was good for a baby and all of her children grew up just fine and, and, and . . . It's those kinds of things that can wear a new parent down to a nub, so it's good to be prepared. Either that or you can sit in the corner and hum like I did.
Overall, I think this course is well done. I think it's probably most effective for a first time parent, preferably before the baby even makes his/her entrance. Dr. Kuo is easy to follow and engaging, and I found it very convenient to pop one of the disks into the car as I ran my errands. Now You Know Media has this course listed on their website at $39.95 for four disks, and I will give it a Mother Load rating of Four Baskets:
Coming soon: A review of Now You Know Media's Preparing for a Healthy Pregnancy