Belly to Belly: Baby (Link) Love

There are so many sites on which to shop and seek advice. I have dozens that I love, but I’ve narrowed it down to my very favorites in the following core categories to take the guess work, and Google work, out of your online time. Like everything else in life once a baby comes into the picture, I say it’s best to keep it simple!

OH, SHE GROWS: Emily updates her readers at 40 weeks.

Baby Names: Nameberry

By far the most engaging (read: time-sucking) baby name site on the Internet. Beyond the usual searches, meanings and popularity charts, Nameberry offers fun, quirky lists like Yupster Names for Girls and Antique Names Ready For Restoration. I almost want to have another child just so I can have a reason to spend time on this site. Because right now, I’m spending way too much time on Nameberry for no good reason at all.

Online Registry: Baby Earth

Austin-based BabyEarth, like its name indicates, incorporates green business practices. But eco-conscious products are only a portion of what they offer to customers, making them both planet-friendly and practical. No Babies-R-Us breakdowns here: their selection has plenty of options, but isn’t anxiety-inducing. Their Ready-to-Go Registries offer a great jumping off point for your own. You can choose one that best fits your lifestyle—Classic Baby, Eco Baby, Posh Baby or Second Child—or find inspiration from a mix of all four! And their customer service? Top notch. Honorable mentions to: Land of Nod, Giggle

Pregnant Bloggers: Emily Malone at Daily Garnish and Caitlin Boyle at Healthy Tipping Point

Emily just had a baby boy, Cullen, six weeks ago, and did an amazing job of documenting her pregnancy experience. The vegetarian chef primarily blogs about food, health and fitness, but has invited us into her life as a new mom as well!

Tagged under BabyHTC and Pregnancy, you can find Operation Beautiful Founder Caitlin Boyle’s belly updates (now at week 13)—a perfect pregnant pause from your busy day! Her pregnancy proves thus far to be just as inspirational as Operation Beautiful.

Both also share(d) their pregnancy experiences on the Babble blog, Being Pregnant (and Emily now contributes to Babble’s Baby’s First Year.)

Online Community: Babble

It was a close call between Babble and BabyCenter. They both offer loads of helpful information from moms and experts, but Babble, as counterintuitive as it may seem, just speaks more clearly to me. While you hear from gobs of contributors who offer all kinds of opinions, the overall site has a unified voice that’s fresh, tangible and entertaining.

What’s your favorite pregnancy or baby-related website? 

Belly to Belly: A “Getting Ready for Baby” Guide

Belly to Belly: Pregnancy pointers from a mom-in-progress.

My best friend is pregnant! She is having a girl, due April 19… one day after my birthday. I am so, so excited for her that I’m already thinking of gift ideas, even though she hasn’t registered. Mothers of boys will understand the tantalizing anticipation of shopping for sugar, spice and everything nice. Girl stuff is just so freakin’ cute!

Pregnant me, right before pumpkin time.

Parenting and pregnancy are like politics. They are touchy topics on  which everyone has an opinion, and unless I’m asked for mine, I keep my mouth shut. Well I happen to know that Emily actually wants my advice. She gets me, she trusts me, and if she thinks I’m totally off-base, she’s not afraid to speak up, or at least smile to my face and then ignore it later as a nice, Southern gal should.

I figured as long as I’m writing these tips out for Em, I might as well share them with you! So I decided to create a guide — a series of posts that I’m going to call “Belly to Belly”, dedicated to imparting my motherly wisdom to Emily and any other expecting parent who cares to take a look. This won’t include anything scientific or biological stuff (“Week 19: Your baby is now the size of a rutabaga and has the cognitive ability to start judging you.”). But I will touch on everything from belly-touching etiquette and registries to swelling solutions.*

For this first installment I’m going to re-post an entry I wrote from a previous blog when I was about as far along as Emily:

May 20, 2009

We found out we’re having a boy! And boy does he love showing off his pee-pee. I was really freaked out because his genitalia looked to be the size of his head (his dad was so proud), but then the technician informed me that she’d blown up that part of the screen so we could see it better. Almost had a circus freak on our hands. So my sex dream was wrong. I just hope the dream where my son ends up in jail is wrong, too.

So far, Jed’s stayed out of prison, although he’s been frequenting the “thinking chair” quite a bit.

Look for Belly to Belly posts from now through April!

She's a natural! Emily holding my baby boy.
*This guide is solely based on my personal experiences as a pregnant woman and new mother. I am not a licensed parent. Please consult your common sense before following any advice.