Welcome fellow parents and caregivers!
I’m so happy you found us. We’re excited to support you as you journey through the crazy and amazing world of parenting.
Here’s our first blog post! It shares a little more about me (Lindsay, babycito founder), babycito, our blog purpose, and ways to get involved and stay in touch.
about me, Lindsay
This is my first blog experience/blog post, so thank you in advance for bearing with me as I figure it out! :)
So, hello! I’m Lindsay, a mother of two (Millie, almost 4-years-old, and Ruben, almost 2-years-old). I have lived in Northern Virginia for the past 15 years and in Annandale for the past 2 years. For the past 10 years I worked as an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teacher for Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), and I just ended my tenure there to dedicate my full time and attention to building babycito!
I want to share a bit more about my family, and more specifically my pregnancy and parenting experiences. I’d like you to get to know me better, as well as understand how my experiences have developed my passion to help other parents and caregivers reach the services they need. I started writing everything out and quickly realized that it would become a doctorate thesis if I continued. As such, I’ll share a quick overview of my parenting experiences and services I have used to support me and my growing family. I’ll also create a separate and more detailed blog post to share more of my pregnancy and parenting experiences.
Where to begin?! I guess where it all started… pregnancy! During both of my pregnancies, I had morning sickness my first trimester (luckily, just intense nausea but no vomiting) and struggled with painful varicose veins. I participated in prenatal yoga classes to help me stay active as well as connect with other expectant mothers. During labor with our first, we used a doula through Doulas of Capitol Hill and it was the best decision we made. While my labor wasn’t traumatic or super eventful, there were things we needed support with and Amy, our doula, was fantastic. We also invested in cord blood banking (Alphacord) with Millie. These services (prenatal yoga, doula, cord blood banking) each gave me peace of mind in different ways. Yoga helped me stay active and feel connected with other mothers going through the same experience. Our doula helped us to feel prepared for birth, regardless of the outcome, and served as an effective advocate during labor. While we haven’t had to access Millie’s cord blood, it’s reassuring to know it’s there if there is ever a scenario in the future where it could be helpful.
As for both my babies as infants, we had trouble with feeding. Both breastfeeding and formula selection proved problematic. Breastfeeding was painful and Millie struggled to latch well and transfer enough milk. She also seemed to be allergic to my breastmilk (I eliminated dairy and soy but no improvement). It took about 5-6 weeks with both babes to learn they had milk protein intolerance (MPI) and mild tongue/lip ties. We decided not to go forward with the procedure to correct the lip and tongue ties. Both children were able to drink perfectly well from a bottle so we felt comfortable proceeding as is. Millie transitioned to Nutramigen, a hypoallergenic formula, and did great. Ruben didn’t have the same luck. We tried 6 different formulas before learning, against doctor’s recommendations, that soy formula was the best option for him. These experiences were certainly stressful. You just want your baby to be able to comfortably eat and this critical part of their new life wasn’t always easy for them! We leveraged a number of services and providers to help us along this feeding journey: lactation consultant (Susan Howard, Arlington Lactation), pediatric GI (Pediatric Specialists of Virginia), pediatric dentist for lip and tongue tie evaluation (Dr. Dang, Smile Wonders) and craniosacral therapy (Keri Smith, Nurturing Touch and Wellness).
Throughout my experiences, I was lucky to make random connections that led me to the services I needed and used… my cousin used a doula, so I looked into that… I learned about the breastfeeding group through my prenatal yoga class… I learned about tongue ties and Dr. Dang through the breastfeeding group. I happened to know the “right people” or be in the right place at the right time. On the other hand, there were other services I was not aware of that I would have liked to use, such as a cloth diaper service.
We all have different connections, different personalities, and different comfort levels which may mean varying awareness of or exposure to available resources. I want to ensure that with babycito, all parents who are expecting to grow their families can be empowered with the knowledge around available services. There is nothing worse than finding yourself in a time of need and not knowing where to go. While you may not need any of the services listed here, knowing what they are, when you can use them, why you would use them, and how to connect to providers is a powerful tool. I hope this tool will help you feel more confident as you embark upon or continue on your parenting journey!
get to know babycito, my third baby :)
babycito is an inclusive, online community designed to connect parents and caregivers with family support service providers in Northern Virginia. We educate parents about essential family support services and provide them with referrals to trusted, local providers.
At babycito, we believe that all constellations of families should be empowered with knowledge and resources to access the services they need.
Our core values are:
- Inclusion: We serve all constellations of families and include a variety of providers to meet each family's unique needs.
- Education: We provide a service guide as well as service planning consultations so families are aware of what's available and are prepared when they need support.
- Access: Our cash fund registry offers families the option to register for services, providing them with greater access to services thanks to contributions from friends and family.
babycito: The Why
When Ruben was 2-months-old, we were struggling with his sleep. We were lucky to get a 3-hour stretch and the lack of sleep was catching up with us. We had long past the adrenaline rush of the first few weeks and we were struggling to function. In addition to having a newborn, we were also caring for Millie who was 2 at that point. This, as you can imagine, only added to our exhaustion. We knew we needed help, but we weren’t sure where to look. None of our friends in the area had used a night nurse so we didn’t have any immediate referrals. Plus, we wanted to find help fast! And so began our internet search. We essentially trusted Google to find us a person to come into our home, while our whole family was sleeping, and take care of our 8-week-old son. Eeek! Sounds bad writing it down! Everything turned out fine, of course, and we were lucky to find a wonderful night nanny service (Let Mommy Sleep). We worked with them for a couple weeks until Ruben’s sleep started improving.
This experience was transformative, and is one of the main reasons I decided to start babycito. If there had been somewhere to go to find a local, trusted night nurse, it would have saved us time and uncertainty. We could have moved forward sooner and with a greater sense of confident about the provider we chose.
Additionally, an experience from way back in 2017 contributed to the start of babycito. My husband and I got engaged and bought our first home in the matter of one month! As you can imagine, we had a lot to do and prepare for (a wedding and a move!). I really wanted to have a home cleaning service come to our new home about once a month, but it just wasn’t in our budget. I said to my husband, “I wish we could add house cleaning services to our wedding registry!” And this started my “service registry” idea. I worked here and there on trying to build out the idea (create a name, made a Wix site, etc.) but then life happened and I lost traction. In the summer of 2021, I was discussing these ideas with friends and was motivated into action… and here we are!
babycito blog: The Why
While the thought of a blog is slightly overwhelming for me at this point (because it is so new and unknown!), I am hopeful that through the blog I will be able to further support families in Northern Virginia. My goals are to build positive relationships with our babycito community members, like you, by sharing more about myself, my experiences as a parent (both successes and flops!) and any worthwhile insights. Additionally, I will be sharing essential family-service-related information, updates pertinent to our area and occasional parenting tips or tricks. Guest bloggers, such as babycito service providers, will also share their expertise in order to support you!
What else do YOU think would be helpful for us to share or highlight through our blog? Let us know in the comments!
Get Involved & Stay in Touch!
We’d love to hear from you so that we can continue to best support you. We’d also love to stay in touch (we promise not to inundate your inbox!). Check out the following ways to get involved, ask questions and share your opinions. Your voice matters!
- Subscribe to our mailing list (scroll down to the bottom of this page!)
- Read more on our About Us page
- Leave a comment on this post! Let us know what types of service providers you would like us to include on the site and/or what blog topics you would find most helpful
- Contact us with any questions or suggestions!