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Mom Spotlight: Jennifer Barnes

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Today, we are spotlighting the lovely Jennifer Barnes, devoted mother to adorable one-year-old Jackson. Just look at the cheeks on that boy!!

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from, when did you start your family, etc…?
I grew up in Iowa City, IA. I am the youngest of 3 and the only girl! I moved to LA in 2005 and met my husband, Jonas, in 2007. We were married in 2009 and got our first “baby” dog Bella in 2010. On January 5, 2013 we welcomed our son Jackson and became a family of 4! We currently live in Brentwood. In addition to staying home and caring for my son, I also work as an Instructor at The Bar Method.

2. What are your new mom must-haves?
1. The Happiest Baby on the Block DVD. It saved our life!! When Jackson was 10 days old a friend of Jonas’ suggested we watch it because we were having trouble consoling him when he would get upset. The DVD teaches you 5 techniques that work wonders in calming your baby during the early months. It works like MAGIC! Harvey Karp (the Dr. on the DVD) helps teach you how to appropriately swaddle your baby which newborns need to help them feel safe and secure.

2. Aden and Anais swaddle blankets. They are lightweight, breathable and have really cute patterns. They are a great size to not only swaddle your baby but use as a cover over their stroller or bassinet/carseat while they are sleeping and/or need some shade form the sun.

3. The Sleep Sheep from Cloud B. This adorable little lamb makes 4 different white noises that we used everyday during naps or times when Jackson needed help calming down. Babies love white noise!

3. What was the best part about being a new mom, for you?
I like being challenged in becoming a better person and becoming a mom takes that to a whole other level! Your son/daughter is completely dependent on you and you don’t have time to not be on you’re A game. I have really surprised myself this year. I’m much stronger and more confident than I have ever been before and I find it such a blessing to have my beautiful, healthy son to care for every day.

4. What was the hardest part about being a new mom?
Because my son is still so small, he can’t always communicate to me what is wrong if he is upset or how he is feeling. So there is a lot of guessing! Especially during the early months before I knew his cries and he could point to things…The not knowing is really hard because you see your son/daughter who you love so dearly in distress and all you want to do is help them. There is a lot of trial and error.

5. What is your most trusted resource?
My gut. We have excellent doctors, friends, family and acquaintances that my husband and I talk to and turn to for advice on raising Jackson but at the end of the day, we do what feels right to us in our gut for our son.

6. Are there any key pieces of advice you would pass on to new moms?
Learn to breathe! It’s a wild ride, especially the first year. There will be days that are better than others and I would encourage you to learn to embrace both! I would also encourage new moms to not compare yourself to other moms and not compare your child to other babies. Every baby is different. Love your child for the wonderful, amazing little person they are and love yourself for trying to be the best mom you can be for your child.

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