Whoever said pregnancy was a journey wasn’t kidding! When carrying your baby (or babies), your body changes in ways you may not have ever thought possible. With each trimester as your little one grows, you can expect change to occur in your body as well. Here are a few pregnancy milestones to help you prepare for whatever may be coming your way.
The First Trimester
During the first trimester, you can bank on feeling more tired than usual. While not all women are graced with this symptom, there are many who are getting ready for bed at dinner time. Nausea may also set in and will have you either running for the garbage can or make you want to avoid eating altogether. While the latter isn’t an option there are some remedies that may ease this feeling. Drinking peppermint tea can help to settle your stomach, as well as keeping a handful of saltine crackers by your bedside before you get out of bed each day. Keeping hydrated and food in your stomach can sometimes make all the difference in your nausea symptoms. Spotting is also common in the first trimester but should be reported to your doctor regardless to determine if you need to be examined.
The Second Trimester
By week 12 or 13, you may still feel a little sluggish, but nothing like you felt in the first few weeks of your pregnancy. Toward the middle of the trimester you’ll start to get a little pep back in your step and feel like your old self again. You may notice that your clothes are starting to get tighter, so its most likely time to invest in some maternity clothes or a belly band which will expand with your pants as you grow. Many women will begin to have food cravings and an increased appetite. You may also notice some stretch marks beginning to form, so stock up on the stretch mark cream. It will help keep your skin’s elasticity in check and heal any dry itchy skin.
The Third Trimester
Hang in there, it is almost time to meet your new addition! By the third trimester, you are starting to feel tired again and rightfully so-you are carrying a lot of extra weight and your baby is undergoing his or her most rapid growth. At this time, many women complain about sciatic pain due to where the baby is sitting in your body. You may also feel ligament pain as they stretch to get ready for your delivery. Heartburn is common during the third trimester as space for your stomach diminishes. Smaller, more frequent meals can help prevent this. Discharge is also more noticeable and should be watched closely. If at any time you notice bloody mucus, you should call your healthcare provider quickly. This is called bloody show and may be a sign that your baby is close to making his entrance.
While bringing a baby into the world is a beautiful experience, moms truly go through a lot physically and emotionally doing so. Look out for some of these key characteristics each month as you prepare for the big day when every change or uncomfortable moment fades away in an instant as you hold your precious baby for the first time.
As you already know, it is extremely important to read to your child. The earlier you expose them to literature and concepts of print; the more likely they are to develop a love for reading and acquire a large vocabulary. This is a wonderful concept, however, as most moms with toddlers can agree, finding books that keep your busy guy or gal interested is not always easy. Here are some tips to keep your little one engaged while you read, as well as our Top 10 Books for Toddlers.
During your child’s early development, reading should be exciting. The books you expose your toddler to should have large, colorful pictures and simple words and phrases. Books should begin to rhyme or repeat phrases to entertain your child and expose them to patterns and an author’s unique voice. Less is more, is a good rule to follow when starting your youngster off. Snuggling up on the couch with a book is a mom’s dream, however, if your little one would rather stand, go outside or even sit and eat a snack while you read, be open and flexible. They will work up to sitting for longer stretches. Choosing a time when they can settle down is always helpful. Naptime and bedtime are ideal times to read and will help you get into a routine.
Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown
A classical favorite; Goodnight Moon will become your toddler’s go to bedtime story!
Guess How Much I Love You, by Sam McBratney
This adorable story follows a baby and a parent who challenge one another to see who loves who more!
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle
One of the first books your child will be able to recite by heart; its repetitive phrases and colorful pictures will inspire your child to sit on their own and try to read it themselves.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle
This book features unique illustrations that toddlers can’t get enough of and introduces them to sequential order.
Green Eggs and Ham, by Dr. Seuss
Your toddler will love the silly, repeated phrases and will enjoy viewing the highly imaginative illustrations that only Dr. Seuss can dream up.
Corduroy, by Don Freeman
This story will awaken your toddler’s emotions and make them fall in love with its cuddly main character.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, by Bill Martin, Jr.
This rhyming story introduces the alphabet in a fun way to your little learner!
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, by Laura Numeroff
This story focuses on cause and effect relationships between a mouse and his home environment.
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, by Dr. Seuss
The infamous counting book; your toddler will be in awe of the bright, imaginary artwork and will begin to make connections between numbers and objects.
Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak
Full of monsters and taking place in an imaginary land; your little one will love hearing about a boy named Max who decides to sail off to a land faraway and become the leader of the wild things!
If you’ve never introduced these stories to your toddler, don’t delay! They are sure to help them develop a love for reading and expose them to a variety of words, skills, and pictures. Most of all, enjoy your time together. Reading is a fun, sweet time with your kiddos and a wonderful habit to develop.
The day has finally arrived. Your little baby is going to kindergarten. You knew it was bound to happen and you even felt prepared for it after registration. But, with the days quickly approaching, you feel like you aren’t going to be as calm and collected as you think (which is totally normal). Not to worry! Here are a few tips to help you make it through that inevitable first day of kinder.
Visit the Classroom
A few days before your little one walks into that seemingly huge building, take them into the school to visit their classroom. Not only will it remind them where they have to go; but it will bring you some peace of mind since many school districts do not allow parents to walk their children into their classroom on the first day (due to security issues).
Email the Teacher
Once you know who your child’s teacher is, you can send them a brief email to introduce yourself and make them aware of anything you want them to know about your child and any concerns you may have. Even provide them with your cell phone number and give them permission to text a photo or call anytime. Kindergarten teachers are pros at putting parents at ease and they will most likely give you an update on your child’s first day.
You may think you won’t get emotional as the bus pulls up or as you drop them off at the front doors, but you never know. It’s wise to wear sunglasses to cover your eyes in case a few tears slip out and keep your child from seeing that you are upset.
Send a Note
You can let your child know that you are thinking about them by tucking a note into their lunch bag or folder. It can be something as simple as a heart and the word mom on it, or a picture that will make them giggle.
Practice the Basics
The week before school starts, don’t assume anything. Your child might need assistance with opening their lunch box, juice cartons, snack packages, etc. Run through the day at your house like it’s an actual day at school. Encourage them to independently do these things and discuss when they should ask for help. Also, start each morning out by singing the days of the week and months of the year song. You can even discuss how to say the date and have your child sit and do some letter and number work. It’s difficult for children to stay focused for a long period of time, but if you require them to stay on task for at least 20-30 minutes at a time, you are helping them prepare for this challenge on the first day.
Praying with and for your little sweet pea the night before school, the morning of and of course all throughout the day will bring peace to your child as well as yourself. There is nothing better than recognizing your precious baby is in good hands.
Sending your child to school may be one of the hardest things you’ve had to do as a parent. And maybe you decide homeschooling is a better option for your and your family. But, like most hard things in life, you’ll look back and realize it all worked out great. From all of us here at Promise Prenatal, we wish you and your kindergartner all the very best this school year!