Celebrities and their babies can bring out the best in us. Who can resist those adorable Instagram snaps of precious celebrity newborns cuddled with their famous mamas? But it’s not all glamour: Just like us, famous parents go through trials and tribulations as new parents, like scrambling to soothe their crying baby, frantically nesting before the baby arrives, and experiencing the same joys and fears we all have when a tiny human becomes part of your life. Lucky for us, nanny to the stars Connie Simpson shares the secrets behind her longtime success as a baby whisperer for clients like Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, Amal and George Clooney, and Matt and Lucy Damon.
Her debut book, The Nanny Connie Way, is a must-read for expecting and new parents seeking a trusted guide. Simpson has helped raise 250 (and counting!) babies for more than 30 years, and her book is packed with gems, real truths, and fantastic stories from Emily Blunt, Jessica Biel, and more. Scroll on for some of her best tips for managing those first four months of infanthood. (You can also meet Nanny Connie on her book tour!)
Nanny Connie’s Baby-Wise Tips
(Photo via Jeff Nelson)
1. Communication is key. In her book, Simpson suggests that new parents establish boundaries early on, because everyone in your life will have an opinion on how best to raise your child. “Shouting, cold shoulders, and ignoring the elephant in the room don’t count as communication,” she says. “Work on having open conversations where everyone listens more than they speak.” Try to establish boundaries pre-baby: Post-baby, sleep-deprived minds aren’t always the best at being calm.
2. Set aside time for yourself. This can be tough for new moms, but Simpson suggests ensuring there’s at least one day a week that you have time for yourself. “This is vitally important!” she encourages. “This is going to help with you not feeling so overwhelmed and with being prepared for what being a mom requires.” Sure, it might seem easier for parents who can afford a live-in nanny, but the reality is that every parent needs some time away from baby. “I know firsthand the trials and tribulations parents face with a newborn. I’ve learned how to talk both parents off numerous ledges without judgment. Make sure you have at least one day a week for sure to have time to yourself.”
3. Get help during the day. Managing mom stress is real. Between a lack of sleep, breastfeeding, and changing diapers, there’s always something to do for your little one. Simpson knows that not everyone can afford or wants a night nanny, so she recommends hiring or asking for daytime backup: “Have help in the day so you can take a nap. This will help to make sure you are at the top of your game at night. If you can get some help in the daytime, that’s worth its weight in gold too.”
4. Prep a game plan. Simpson has worked with a lot of different types of families — from celebs to parents who “barely had a roof over their heads” — and what she’s seen time and time again is that parents “are all always amazed at the work it takes to care for someone so small and innocent.” Every new parent has fears, worries, and anxiety; Simpson encourages new parents to combat those concerns by having a game plan and some sort of help in place.
5. Don’t sweat the little things. There’s a lot of noise out there about being a parent, and what to do, and all the things you should buy. Simpson’s book is like one big hug to reassure anyone who is overwhelmed. She writes that parents should trust themselves completely: “I say this over and over not to sweat the little things!” In the big picture, you’ve got this!
6. Every day is a different challenge. The Nanny Connie Way is about mastering pregnancy and the first four months of parenthood (and frankly, her advice can go well into beyond those first four months!). When you feel like you have no clue what you’re doing as a new mom, Simpson shares this tidbit to keep things in perspective: “Know that every day will come with its own challenges.” Your baby is constantly growing, changing, and learning, so it’s natural that your new job as a parent will change too.
7. Every parent makes mistakes. Throughout her book, Simpson shares stories from her celeb clients — some even write about valuable lessons they’ve learned from her. (Jessica Biel gushes about her son’s vast vocabulary after Simpson taught her and Justin about the importance of talking to your infant.) But everyone makes mistakes. One of Simpson’s fave stories in her book comes from a dad who was alone with his baby for the first time while his wife went to a meeting. “He thought he could go to the gas station with just the baby monitor while the baby was sleeping,” shares Simpson. (Don’t worry. The baby was fine.) Like Simpson says in her book, trust yourself and accept that parenthood is challenging and rewarding.
Tweet us your best tips for crushing it as a new mom @BritandCo.
(Photos via Connie Simpson)