By John Sacco

First-time moms face important – and sometimes tough – decisions for their newborns.

The key, however, for new moms, seems to revolve around being prepared, making decisions before the baby is born and to trust their own thoughts and choices.

Dr. Sarah Springer, a pediatrician with Kids Plus Pediatrics, 810 Clairton Boulevard, Jefferson Hills, said it is important for first-time moms to have a plan for three main issues: feeding, health and safety for the newborn.

“Thinking before the birth is important,” Springer said. “What do you want to do in terms of feeding the child? We recommend breast feeding. Sometimes that doesn’t always work out, but deciding how to the feed the baby is essential. Also, safety must be considered. You want a safe crib or bassinette, car seat and other things at home to keep it safe for the baby.

“Picking a pediatrician and a personal care physician is also vital to build a relationship and trust, really a partnership in the development and health of the child.”

Springer added it is helpful to know what you as a parent want for your child. She said reading to children every day from early childhood can be a major factor in a child’s development.

“The operation and tone of the house also are important in the development of a child,” Springer said.

“New moms also must know they’ll get a lot of suggestions. But a lot of what they need to know comes naturally and what feels right will be OK. There are a lot of ways to do things and moms will find what works for them.”

According to www.whattoexpect.com, the following are some truths every new mom should know:

• It does not go by so fast. People who tell you “it goes by so fast” do not have babies at home;

• Hold your baby as much as you want;

• Don’t sweat the small stuff;

• Breast is best but;

• The phrase “maternal instinct” stinks;

• Newborns – they’re just like stars;

• Take care of yourself;

• Sleep deprivation is the worst.

In addition to caring and nurturing the child at home, new moms also have to make other decisions – including how to outfit the child.

“When first-time moms come into my store, I try to guide them to purchasing items that are practical for newborns, but also quality fabrics,” said Stefanie Whitworth, owner of Lullabye Landing, 1746 N. Highland Road, in Bethel Park. “I educate them on the pros and cons of baby clothing, accessories and toys. I am personally very particular with how the garments feel and what they are made out of for the baby section.

“I stock mostly premium fabrics, pima cotton, bamboo cotton and muslin type fabrics. I want to make sure every customer is leaving feeling good and knowledgeable about the items they purchase, so they come back when the baby grows. Example zippers over snaps is key for some parent.”

Merchants want the business of all new moms. Whitworth said there are ways to gain the attention and trust.

“My main advertising right now is through social media, including Instagram and Facebook,” Whitworth said. “We post every day, sometimes twice a day and upload to our stories every 24 hours. We offer new items weekly and preorder items, so they always are waiting for the next new arrival.

“I find this is typically 50-50. We have expecting moms who come in with no clue what they need or want and then the moms who have been searching and planning for months. I find both has its benefits.”

What’s the most important thing first-time moms need to know about the things they should be shopping for?

“Buy clothing that you would want to feel on your own skin,” Whitworth said. “Keep it soft, cozy and practical. They will have plenty of time to dress them up later.

“I am a true believer in quality items over a quantity of items. Think of the clothing as an investment in comfort and practicality for the baby, if the baby is comfortable, it will sleep better, or if the garments have a zipper rather than snaps or buttons diaper changes will be way quicker. It’s the little things.”

Kids Plus Pediatrics can be reached at 412.466.5004 or by visiting www.kidspluspgh.com and on Facebook. Lullabye Landing can be reached by calling 412.851.6633 or emailing lullabyelanding@aol.com, www.lullabyelanding.com and on Facebook.

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