Friday, May 11, 2012

Planners for new Moms

Becoming a first-time mom is an enormous life change, maybe the biggest change a woman will face in her life. Physically, emotionally and socially, suddenly everything is different. And any major life change usually requires a change in planners.

There are many brands of "mom planners" out there with a grid format or other types of space to track what each person is doing each day, but most of those will be more useful for you when your kids are older and doing activities.

In my experience, there are a few main types of planners that are essential for new moms.

The first is a pocket size day per page planner. As all you mothers out there will already know, when your baby is born you have to carefully record his or her eating and diaper production, to make sure the baby is eating enough and that everything is working properly. My A6 size day per page diary never left my side during this time to record all these details.

Even beyond the first few days, a pocket size day per page diary is handy to keep in your pocket to jot down all those little things, before you forget. Sleep deprivation and taking care of a baby mean it's easy to get distracted and forget what it was you were supposed to be doing. And, your baby changes so quickly in the early months, it's fun to record those "firsts."  Your pocket diary is a convenient place to write these things down since it is with you all the time. I noted all of these details in my handy daily pocket diary.

I recommend the Moleskine Pocket size daily planner and the Quo Vadis Exacompta Daily Pocket planner. Both of these are small enough to actually fit in your pocket, and they both lie flat easily for easy writing (which is important when you're juggling a baby, diapers and whatever else!).

Another planner format that I recommend to help you keep it all straight is a weekly planner with the days as columns. Especially during those first couple of months there are a lot of appointments for vaccines and checkups, and it's easiest to schedule those in a vertical weekly format.

I highly recommend the Quo Vadis Executive weekly planner. The square 6 1/4 x 6 1/4 inch book is small enough to fit easily in your bag and go everywhere with you, the vertical timed format will keep you organized, and the weekly notes boxes will remind you of those other things you still need to keep going like phone calls and paying bills.  And the paper is so nice to write on it will be one of those little pleasures in your day.

If you need a larger weekly format you can't go wrong with the Quo Vadis Minister or Trinote.

An alternative for keeping it all together is using a Filofax, either as your planner or even just to keep all your notes, contacts and reference info all in one place. This is a great place to keep that confusing vaccine schedule for easy reference, record your baby's weight at each doctor's visit to notice trends (hopefully upward!), and keep all your lists in one place.

Especially if you are traveling with your baby, use a Filofax to hold your contact information, doctor's phone numbers, emergency information for your destination, packing lists etc. I've learned the hard way never to get on a plane without my Filofax!

Whatever planner you use during your baby's first year, make sure you keep it!!  It will be fun to look back in years to come at your baby's milestones and remember all the new fun experiences that first year.

Moms, what planner did you use when your kids were babies?

2 comments:

  1. I didn't have one of these (and they aren't actually planners), but there are some specialized Mom journals which I would have found very helpful when my daughter was a bit younger! I haven't looked at the inside of a Moleskine Baby Journal, but there's that one. I've seen baby journals at Target and Barnes and Noble, too - they have space for recording feedings and diaper changes and any milestones. I use a 5 year journal to record such things, but I wish I'd had one of the baby journals for that first year.

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  2. I had a no-brand top-spiral bound 8.5x5.5" calendar with one week per page. It was big enough to make notes of where to be and cute things kids did. I was semi-permanently sleep-deprived, so on letter size graph paper I made a rotating checklist of household chores by season, month, week and day and kept that on the front of the refrigerator.

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