New DVD Gives First-Time Parents First-Hand Advice

11/04/2010 at 10:00 AM ET

When Claudia and Sven Bodin brought their baby girl home, they weren’t quite sure what to do with her.

“We had tons of questions, and were surprised at how unprepared we felt,” Claudia tells PEOPLE Moms & Babies.

“For the first three months you’re in this bubble together, and though it’s a really beautiful time, it’s scary, too.”

Perplexed by parenthood, the Bodins decided to film some of their first-time experiences, and as baby Paulina grew, they realized an instructional DVD was in the works.

“We couldn’t find anything helpful out there, so we decided to do it on our own,” Claudia says.

“A lot of books have conflicting messages, a lot of DVDs were grim, showing frazzled parents. We decided to do something else.”

The Bodin’s labor of love, Baby’s Home … What Now? ($25) is a comprehensive, calm-inducing DVD divided into segments about breastfeeding, swaddling, diapering and more.

The film splices footage of the Bodins and their friends with expert advice from a postpartum consultant, a nurse practitioner, pediatrician, obstetrician and sex therapist.

“It’s a lot of our basic questions,” Claudia explains. “We asked friends to submit questions and answers, too, because we found that we often got the best advice from other parents.”

The film mainly focuses on those first three months of parenthood, when “you’re getting to know your baby, but you’re in shock, don’t sleep, your hormones are going crazy,” Claudia laughs. “It’s about finding your way and trusting your instincts. There are no recipes or straight answers, but instead guidance.”

Though Paulina is now 4 years old, the Bodins know there’s still lots to learn — so they’re planning some follow-up videos for other age groups.

“This is just the start,” Claudia says. “When we began filming four years ago, we never thought this would happen. But I’m glad it did.”

Kate Hogan

 

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Showing 11 comments

Sarah S. on

I wish I had this DVD when my firstborn came along 13 years ago!! I had no one to help me figure things out (except for a few books); and all the other VHS/DVD’s on the market at the time seemed so outdated. This looks very informative and real.

Lacey on

Do we really need another baby how-to? It’s not rocket science, it’s parenting. If you really don’t have natural instiction to how to sooth a baby, or need help on the diapers velcro, should you really be have a child? I’m sorry. I’m just tired of this “oh it’s SOOO hard!” They didn’t have this books and DVD when your parents, grandparents and ancient Egyptian had babies, and guess what? They turned out fine. ;)

Another person trying to make a buck.

steph on

Yes Lacey but our parents, grandparents and the ancient Egyptians didn’t have the society or lifestyle we have now. No-one is saying its ‘soooo’ hard, but quite frankly I’d rather a book/DVD to give me tips than struggling to work it out by myself. And to say that a person shouldn’t have kids unless they instictively ‘know’ all the answers is an ignorant and plain stupid thing to say. I wasn’t born a mother you know…

MiB on

@Lacey, but our parents, grandparents and the ancient Egyptians also had a quite different social network, where there was really a village helping raise a child.

Besides, there are many texts outlining how hard motherhood is from as far back as the 16th century, and the majority come from women, who have married and are raising their children far away from their own mothers. And many of these women had help (they were all middle class or above, because they were the ones who had the means and time to write and complain). I am quite sure that if you’d have asked an ancient Egyptian woman, she too would have told you that having a child is quite overwhelming, and that she received advice from her mother, her grandmother, her best friend, her best friends mother, her mother in law, the village midwife and so forth.

Communication today is different from that time, and conflicting ideas about childrearing were not as prevalent as they are today, not to mention that there are constantly new practices to take into account (your mother would have put you to sleep on your stomach, so you wouldn’t choke should you spit up, and she would have turned you forward facing in the car at 6-9 months, if you were even in a car seat). So, yes, I see the need for child rearing books.

Child rearing is largely a learned skill, we learn it from our mothers, and by watching other mothers in our surroundings, we practice it playing with dolls. You learn tips and tricks (would you instinctively put your crying child in the car or on the washing machine to soothe them?), you learn the basic skills like diapering (yes, I have seen diapers put in back to front, too loose, too tight, lopsided, not fastened at all, totally forgotten, you name it) or feeding an infant. Some comes instinctively, but most things are learned from a young age.

If you don’t feel the need for child rearing books or dvd:s, then don’t get them. If you feel you do, then do.

Janna on

I think the real problem is that people no longer look to their family and friends for guidance. My kids aren’t that old (22 and 25), but when they were born, my mother, father, mother-in-law, sisters, sister-in-law, etc. were all there to answer questions and show me the way.

I’m not saying that there’s no place for books, but I absolutely agree with “… do we REALLY need another”. Does anyone really believe that there is some parenting secret out there, that’s not already out there?!

TM on

I agree with all the women that say a little bit of parenting help is nothing to be ashamed of. I have an 18 month old daughter and have zero help from friends and family (my mom lives across the county and my mother in law is just not the “helpful” type). I had so many questions when I brought my daughter home from the hospital. I often relied on books, internet research, and other sources for help and I’m so glad that I did!

When my daughter gets older, I will teach her the virtues of asking for help when she neede it!

Love to all of the new moms out there! It does get easier!

Claudia Bodin on

Thanks for your comments! The topic of our DVD actually is not how hard mothering or being a new dad is. It honestly never felt to us that way.

Like many others we just had tons of questions, felt insecure (which I did not expect) and it took us a while to figure things out. Most of our friends experienced the same. Yes, I had never heard of velcro swaddles or swaddling at all and for sure was clueless how to do it! Like many others it took me a while to figure out how to breastfeed. I do not think there is any reason to be ashamed of this.

We were the first ones in our group of friends to have a baby and we do not have luxury of having our family close by. I think guidance from experienced parents and experts like a postpartum doula really helps a lot. Our goal was not to reveal parenting secrets but to create a hands-on, comprehensive and reassuring guide for moms and dads as well. A guide that does not only talk about newborn baby care but about what is going on with your body, your hormones, and your relationship. In the first time it really feels good to hear that you are not alone with your concerns. That others have been there and it is all going to be fine!

Claudia Bodin

Jacqui on

There is nothing wrong with saying that parenting is hard. OF COURSE IT’S HARD! it’s also enormously rewarding, exciting, important, fun, interesting, enlightening, exhausting, hilarious, magical, and on and on. But it IS HARD. If you think it’s easy, I’m not sure you’re doing it right.

I plan to get this DVD for my brother and his wife who are expecting!

Janna, this isn’t “another book” it’s a DVD! I think that sets it apart.

Claudia Bodin on

True, parenting could be all this and it feels different all the time. And this is exactly the reason why we have parents talking on the DVD about their experience (and their honest feelings) and not only experts giving you their professional advice.

Good luck to your brother and his wife!

Claudia

simi on

I would just like to say that this isn’t another how to be a perfect parent video. But a very nicely put together movie about little and big things that are happening when you bring your baby home. They never say this is how you should do it, but these are the question we and our friends had and this is what we found out, and what worked for us.

There is nothing wrong with asking for help when it comes to your baby. Yes people have done this for many years without books or movies but also we lived in closer communities where you could get help from another mom. And not living countries apart from your loved ones that could help. So books help, movies help even more in my opinion, and to say that you should not have a child cause you need some help is just rude.

I became a mom at 14 (i lived in a country that had a civil war at the time and my parents could not take care of my youngest brother who was 6 months at the time so I became his mom and have been his mom for past 15 years)I would have loved to have something like this to help me out. And not feeling like an idiot half of the time cause I truly had not clue what I was doing. Lacey you do not know everyone situation and how they came about becoming a parent so to tell them they shouldn’t be one is rude, and uncalled for. You are allowed you opinion but talk to people before you judge them it may shock you the things you may learn from them.

I love that this was done by every day people you can relate to and not another doctor who has read many book but doesn’t have really experience with babies. I always hated that about other books and movies, it never seemed really, like the people in the videos were just there to act but really know nothing about children. This is an amazing DVD i wish it was out when I had my kid, but I learned from from this DVD even after having a child and plan on giving this to everyone of my friends that is expecting. Thank you Bodin family for sharing your experiences with us and letting us have a look into your family and your beautiful baby girl. Wishing you all the best in the future.

Rachel on

This DVD is very informative and actually enjoyable to watch. It sticks to the basics and doesn’t assume that new Moms and Dads know it all. It’s a great guideline. It’s good to watch while you are pregnant too, before baby comes home, as it helps to demystify some things you may be apprehensive about. Friends I have given this to as a gift love it as I did.

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