This is a list of resources for anyone who is about to have a baby or already have young children. We’ve found that it has helped us a lot and it may help you as well.
Search for baby list for list of things to buy for your babies. The list is usually long and contains a lot of essential items. My advice is don’t do this yourself, ask your friend who recently has had a child what they think about a specific list and compile a shopping list that works for you. If you’re thinking “We don’t need all this cotton” trust me you do. Our list is considered short and we have over 100 items on it. The best place to buy baby stuff in Thailand we’ve found (roughly in order) is:
- Ikea is probably the safest bet. If an item is available it has probably has the best value for money you can find.
- Kaidee (2nd hand) we discovered some pretty good stuff here
- Baby Best Buy fair
Also, don’t wait until last minute. Between the hormones, extra weight and other risks and complications from pregnancy, you should get it done right away. The same goes for packing bags for the hospital. My lovely wife did all the packing for me, informing me that “This is my bag, this is your bag, if we go to the hospital, grab these two” I was thankful for this as the delivery schedule was moved up by 10 days and we literally had 4 hours notice.
Prepare money, lots of it, especially if you’re not insured. Talk to the doctor, the hospital and ask them what is the expense for the worse case scenario. I had saved almost $20,000 as a buffer (living in Bangkok, Thailand) and was thankful to have that amount handy as many miscellaneous expenses would come up while I was on paternity leave. We also saved lots of money by being able to buy things such as milk and diapers in bulk and where possible directly from the suppliers.
Books and Other Resources
Subscribe to Babycenter you will receive updates about the status of your pregnancy (and later, your baby), does and dont’s and how to handle what is potentially a fast changing and confusing situation. This is as good an operating manual as it gets. Funny rash or mood swings while pregnant? Babycenter gives warnings and coping methods. Kid’s brains recently started developing the part that realizes gravity is cool and likes to throw stuff just to see it fall? You’re informed about that as well.
Freakonomics Podcast on parenting is probably one of the single best things you can listen to as well. Being a parent you’re bombarded everyday by people offering products and services to help your child get ahead. This looks through all the evidence available and gives a nice conclusion as to what works and what does not.
Zero to Five: 70 Essential Parenting Tips Based on Science (and What I’ve Learned So Far) is a must read, touches upon many of the topics covered in the books below and much more, this has become my favorite book for recommending to new parents.
Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child is a great book that helps guides you on how to sleep train your children. This is one of the most important things you can do as it frees you up to get rest and makes sure you’re not confusing your child’s grumpiness due to lack of sleep for something else.
Your Child’s Growing Mind talks about child’s brain development well into their teenage years. It is good to know what’s going on inside their heads so that you can help guide it to the right direction. Remember, it can be confusing in there both for them and for you.
If you’re having twins, triplets or more, the Thai book ครอบครัวแฝดสาม was a light hearted but informative read about what to expect and how to deal with various situations.
Teach your baby sign language by letting them watch Signing Times. We don’t watch any TV or use the iPad at our house but this is the only exception. It was extremely useful as we speak many languages in our household and the sign language acted as a common language. Our children could communicate effectively when only a few months old and would sign for what they want rather than cry out of frustration.
Baby monitors are expensive, if you have android phones lying around you can get a copy of Intercom which works pretty well as a replacement (note that it’s not certified in any way for this use and as far that it works for me, I will not be responsible if anything happens to your baby). Make sure you enable the speaker option and push to talk option on your device so that you can hear the babies while at the same time they won’t hear you. This software has the advantage of working without an internet connection, making it resistant to connectivity issues.
edit: added growth mindset
edit #2: added word geeks in title, added section on baby monitor
edit #3: added Zero To Five