Monday, February 15, 2010

The Pregnant Lady's Cheat Sheet

A list of everything I would have loved to have when I first found out I was pregnant:

1. What do I do first?

-Contact Anna, Alice, And Laurel (Santa Barbara Midwifery), even if you are not planning on a home birth. They are a great place to start and have volumes of information and resources, and books to lend, and your initial meeting is free. You can find more information on their website at or give them a call at: 805.563.0348 . **Please see my earlier post about my home birth experience.

-Subscribe to Mothering Magazine immediately.

-Find a pre-natal workout class for fun and some exercise. You'll end up meeting the ladies you'll be spending all of your time with for the next couple of years here. I like Tracy Schmidt's class at the SBYMCA. It's kind of jazzercize-y and it takes away morning sickness. Also, Fredda Spirka teaches a great free pre- and postnatal yoga class through adult ed. This may be your most valuable resource. You will learn so much about doctors, midwives, pediatricians, birth, etc. from the women in these classes.

-Make sure you are taking a good pre-natal vitamin

-Grab a book on each of these: pregnancy, baby's first year, breast feeding. The Traveling Pants in Carpinteria usually has used books which are really inexpensive. The thrift store at St. Joseph's is also a great resource, but you have to dig and they are only open Wednesdays and Saturdays until 2 pm.

-Get insurance if you don't already have it. AIM is great for those who qualify. It's worth taking a look:

2. Where do I register?

***I have an older post that is a sample registry that might be helpful, and you can find it by scrolling down.

-Find a site like where you can register at any online store, and have just one list for everything. Some great online stores include,,, and

-It is so important to register at a physical location. Summer for Kids in Montecito has some excellent natural choices and Chicken Little in Santa Barbara has a huge selection as well.

3. Is home birth for me?

-Please look into this, even if you don't think it's for you. We are so lucky in Santa Barbara to have such great choices, and since this is one of the biggest decisions you'll be making in your life, it probably deserves a little research. I was terrified of home birth before I had real information. I watched movies and talked to midwives and women who had given birth at home and decided undoubtedly that it was the safest and best decision for me and my baby.

-Watch some movies! So important. The Baby International Film Festival has some great ones. I recommend The Business of Being Born, with Ricki Lake if you only plan on seeing one, or as a starting point.

Good Books

My new favorite book is Earth Child by Kathryn Sheehan and Mary Waidner, PhD. It seems to be the perfect Earth science resource for a parent or teacher. The sections include "The Circle of Day and Night," "Earth Celebrations," "Wonders in the Garden," "Trees Are Terrific," "Hurt No Living Thing," and "Let There Be Peace on Earth." It's full of "games, stories, activities, experiments, and ideas about living lightly on Planet Earth," as well as songs and crafts.

Yesterday my daughter and I observed rainbows in our kitchen, and watched how they moved when we moved the crystal in the window. She was in awe as we put the rainbows on our hands and feet. Today we took a nature walk and found some ladybugs to inspect and kindly touch. I am thrilled with the possibilities in this book and am literally vibrating with impatience to share them with Isla.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Get Rid of Cradle Cap

The best cure for cradle cap is actually the most natural. I didn't want to use Head and Shoulders on my daughter since I had heard it could burn her scalp. The hot tip was olive oil. Just drizzle olive oil all over baby's head and massage in. I left it on her head for about twenty minutes. Then, exfoliate gently with a comb. I turned the comb on a 45 degree angle and gently scraped off the pieces of crust that came off easily. Then, shampoo as normal with a natural baby shampoo (we like California Baby). Repeat this process the next day if needed, and it should all be gone.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Educational Dolls

MamAmor makes these incredible educational mama dolls. They can be pregnant, and birth babies which not only have detachable cords and placentas, but they also breast feed (Im guessing their snap-mouths snap on to the snap-nipples on the mama doll). Amazing for a child expecting a new sibling, especially if you plan on letting her or him watch the birth.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Yoga for Babies?

Our love of mama and baby yoga is growing along with my toddler. Once she started doing downward dog on her own I really wanted her to have her own yoga mat. She carries her rolled up mat to Emma's class, and spends some of the time practicing moves on it (the rest of the time she plays with the other babies.)
She really likes to use it at home. We put on Kyra Willey and practice sun salutations together.

The Best Anatomically Correct Baby Dolls

My search for the best anatomically correct baby doll for Isla is over. I settled on the Gotz Aquini doll with a potty for a few reasons:
1. the price was pretty reasonable
2. she comes with a potty that looks just like Isla's potty and may help make potty training fun
3. she is recently made and presumably not toxic (the anatomically correct vintage newborn twins I bought for her online smelled like toxic fumes... and they were made decades ago)
4. she's pretty cute, and smells nice
You can find this doll on Amazon, ebay, and at Chicken Little in Santa Barbara.