Welcome to Mogul's new interview featuring Nanny Connie!
Connie Simpson - affectionately referred to as Nanny Connie - has worked with celebrity clients including George and Amal Clooney, Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake and Emily Blunt and John Krasinski. She has poured more than 30 years of experience caring for newborns into a new book titled "The Nanny Connie Way: Secrets to Mastering the First Four Months of Parenthood."
In this interview, we discuss how to prepare for your child's arrival, what to expect at the hospital and how to handle your first weeks at home after giving birth. What do you need to buy for your home and what's extraneous? Is there such a thing as the perfect stroller? How can you manage stress? What's Nanny Connie's best piece of advice? Learn all of this and so much more! Also, Nanny Connie shares a funny story about her first poker game with Matt Damon:
Here are Nanny Connie's #Takeaways:
Jessica Lipps (Interviewer): Let’s start at the beginning! Where were you born?
Nanny Connie (Guest): I was born in Mobile, AL.
-My mother was a nurse. On my father’s side, my great-great grandmother was a midwife. So I have that DNA in me!
-As a child, I played with dolls and loved being with my cousins and younger sister (I’m one of three children.)
-I went to school for early childhood and became the director of a daycare center.
Jessica: How did you move from working at a daycare to caring for families at their homes?
Nanny Connie: One summer, my cousin overbooked her schedule and needed help. I took a week and worked with a family. This led to other jobs and more work.
Jessica: You’ve just released a book on parenting newborns. Can you give an introduction to your book?
Nanny Connie: The book provides a breakdown of what parents really need. For example, how to engage your partner along the way so that they aren’t left out, how to get what you want from your partner (it’s with more sugar than salt!) and how to take care of yourself.
-The book contains augmented reality, which is similar to virtual reality. When you aim your camera on certain pages of the book, I pop up as a hologram to share information. So when you read something but don’t understand it, I’m there to be an angel on your shoulder and help you along.
Jessica: The first part of your book focuses on pregnancy. What do people need to know?
Nanny Connie: You must have a conversation with your family. Bring them in and be point blank. Tell them your needs, the do’s and dont’s and what you expect.
-Get your house ready.
Jessica: What’s actually needed?
Nanny Connie: When setting up the room, 3/4 of the stuff that most people buy isn’t needed!
-You do need: bassinet, diapers, burp cloth, sleep outfits and a rubber pad. That’s it!
-Don’t overthink this! Don’t stress because you don’t have it. Less is best!
Jessica: I see parents going nuts over strollers. It’s almost like shopping for a car! (laughter) Can you share what you need and what you don’t?
Nanny Connie: We give the stroller way too much power. There is no perfect stroller. I’m sorry - there is none.
-Go shopping with your partner for two strollers: one with which you can go really quick and one for the long haul. To find one stroller that can accommodate it all sets you up for disaster.
Jessica: I had no idea until reading your book that you can go to the local police or fire station to learn how to install a car seat!
Nanny Connie: It’s so important because many people don’t know about tethering or the best place for a child to sit in the car.
-Go to the local emergency center and they’ll be happy to show you. Also, learning how to re-adjust the straps as the child grows makes life much easier!
-Grandparents should go. Everyone active in the family’s life should have a carseat in their car.
Jessica: How can you prepare for the hospital?
Nanny Connie: Have a game plan! Know what to take (only bring what you really need) and pack your clothes.
-If you have a pet, bring your clothes to the hospital so that the dog can smell the baby.
-If this is your second child, bring your first child to the hospital. It’s all about easing into the situation.
-Know what to expect when you get to the hospital. You’ll be on an adrenaline rush.
-Also to be ready for the fact that the best made plan can go up in smoke.
Jessica: What happens when your plan falls apart - what do you do?
Nanny Connie: Don’t stress!
Jessica: How do you not stress?
Nanny Connie: Remember that you’re not in control. There’s a higher power in charge of all of this. As much as you read, as much as your friends tell you - when your water breaks, you literally have to go with the flow.
-Just be on point. Be ready. And partners, be very patient with the mother!
Jessica: What happens when you arrive at the hospital? What can you expect, and what should you know?
Nanny Connie: All the family needs to get in where they fit in (that’s in the waiting room!) and leave things alone.
-Let the mom and her partner have this moment. No one is on center stage but that baby and mother!
-Soon, the lactation consultant will come in and show you how to breastfeed. Don’t feel pressure to do it or not do it. If that’s not you - don’t worry! Whether feeding by breast milk or formula, all that matters is that your child gets the proper nutrients to grow.
-The hospital won’t release you until all of your plumbing is working. So make sure that it’s working! Get up and walk around. Say what problems you’re having and whatever you’re feeling. If something - anything! - is bothering you, let them know so that they can help you. This is your opportunity to speak up.
-Your partner has to start schlepping stuff home so that you have little to take when mom and baby are ready to leave the hospital. Your partner must also make sure that the car seat is in place when mom is ready to leave.
-If you get a lot of flowers, leave them for the NICU. A young mother coming in the door and seeing that someone has brought love by bringing flowers really appreciates it. You’re going to get a lot of stuff at your home - if you can donate it, donate it!
Jessica: When you arrive home from the hospital, what happens? What do you do?
Nanny Connie: It’s over. You’re home. You made it!
-Put yellow tape across the door, add a quarantine sign and keep all germy people outside.
-You want to be comfortable when you come home. You don’t want a lot of people coming in and feeling like you have to entertain.
-Friends and family: leave the new parents alone. Let them settle in with their new little one. Don’t put pressure on them. Stay away for first week or first two weeks. Then slowly come around.
-If you come around, you’re coming around to help. You’re not going to sit on the sofa and ask for something - oh no!
-New parents: give time limits for people coming over. Then close the door and shut it down. Do that process over and over. When you’re comfortable and ready, open the flood gates and let them in. They aren’t going away once they get there! (laughter)
-Also, if you have a cousin who wears too much makeup or perfume or smokes - or is around anything that you don’t want coming into your house - then don’t let them in! Those are irritants for an infant and you don’t want them around your child.
Jessica: Before you have visitors, what do you do when it’s just you and your baby?
Nanny Connie: You’re going to be hungry and tired and your adrenaline is coming down.
-Make sure the you eat well and stock up the fridge. We’re lucky that now it’s convenient to order online.
-Sleep when that BABY sleeps! Your old routine is out the window! Now the baby dictates when you’re up and down.
-Your partner needs to be right there with you. It’s important that you stick close together. When your partner sees that you're tired, they need to offer to take over. It’s important for each of you to key in on how the other person is feeling.
-Also, review your game plan.
Jessica: You talk about the importance of not getting stressed. How do you not get stressed when you have an infant?
Nanny Connie: You’re not not going to get stressed. But it’s important to have someone helping you who can see your stress. Knowing that someone cares about you helps you take that extra breath.
-As a new parent, you have to be willing to share responsibility. You simply can't carry your emotional rollercoaster and new infant at the same time. So have your family or a friend help in the very beginning. If you don’t have one friend who is reliable, have two or three. Sign them up!
-When someone sees your stress and encourages you to take a nap or get your nails done, that’s like winning the lottery!
-So many mothers dredge through every day and say: "I can do it!” Doing that doesn’t make you beneficial to anyone. If you’re not a whole person, you’re not giving 100% to your infant.
-Your mental health is so important! Having a date night and getting your hair done is just as important as putting that baby on your breast or giving a baby a bottle because you have to be 100% to be a parent.
Jessica: In closing, what’s the overarching advice that you want to share with parents?
Nanny Connie: Don’t believe the hype! Trust in your instinct and child and I promise that you’re going to get further down the road than you think!!
Find & Follow:
Facebook: @IAmNannyConnie, @JessLipps
Instagram: @NannyConnie, @Jess_Lipps
Twitter: @NannyConnie, @JessLipps