Resources for new mums - Part 2

 After Part 1 of Resources for new mums in Munich, I have finally found the time to write the second part. I am not a new mum anymore but I remember when I was and I would like to share with you my top 6 tips for new mums in Munich:

1. Sign up for DM and Rossman baby programs: Glückskind and Babywelt. You will get: 

  • a very useful welcome-to-the-world package (with products you will really use!)

  • very cool birthday presents

  • the magazine with surprisingly revealing and ey-opening tips and testimonies that helped me to manage my expectations, for example, around sleep schedules during the first year.

2. Run a search for Hebammen who speak your native language. Trust me, regardless of how well you speak German or English, in those first few weeks/months, there are feelings you would need to say in your own voice and can get lost in translation.

3. Join Facebook Groups! I joined a number of parent groups that are close to where I live, speak my native language or have similar interests (bilingual kids, etc.). As an example of what Facebook has given me: I found our current pediatrician; I also found good tips about Baby Led Weaning when we started solids and I hired our first babysitter.

4. Research and visit the hospitals in Munich. There are a number of hospitals in Munich where your child could be born. I visited 4 of them and attended their Info Sessions before making a decision to register with them. Why? Because sometimes being close to where you live is not the criteria that should reign when making the decision. Some people may want a less “medical” approach to birth; some other people may not want to share a room with 3 strangers and their crying babies in those first few days as parents; some others may need their partner to stay with them overnight; or they may need the most experienced place to treat conditions if the baby needs it, etc.. Do your research, decide what’s important for you, what you need for the birth of your child and then look for a hospital in Munich and attend the info sessions, to identify which one can give it to you. By the way, Info Sessions are usually in German so if you do not speak the language, it is time for you to ask a favor to that friend who does.

Somewhere to start:

5. Educate yourself. My two favorite courses that I have found the most useful in my life as a mum are: 

6. Go shopping! Nobody told me when I got pregnant that I would be spending so much time and money buying clothes and shoes for my children… well I do. 8 of the stores I buy from:

  1. Zara and Mango have regular, nice and beautiful outfits for the weekends or special occasions. Nicer than the typical “Kindergarten & Kita” outfits.

  1. Hessnatur: I found this store in Munich 5 years ago and immediately fell in love. They have the best outfits for the very cold German winter: my favorite are the soft warm wool onesies and socks and overalls.

  1. DM: here I used to buy regular cotton onesies in bulk. The ones you throw away without feeling guilty when they get full with vomit and poop. Winter hats, gloves and pyjamas are also great deal here. They have an outstanding bio cotton quality.

  1. Auryn: this tiny store in the city center of Munich sells all the cool nordic brands you find on Instagram. I ordered our Sebra baby beds through them and also bought some useless-but-I-don’t-care-because-they-are-really cute onesies, blankets and t-shirts. 

  1. Next. This is a British brand. It is kind of like the UK Zara. It is not cheap but the quality and design are worth the price. When I had no clue where to buy, for example, my children’s first rain boots, I bought Next rain boots. My children loved the design. They were comfortable, kept their feet dry and they were lightweight.

  1. Uniclo: for underwear, pyjamas and rain coats. 

  1. And then Tchibo for Matchhosen and anything rain-related.

And that is all for today. I think we need a Part 3 where I can share tips around equipment, books, nannies, kitas and traveling with babies and children in general. But for now, I am leaving you these 6 tips that I hope are useful.

World’s top cities to live in!

... and Munich ranked 4th place!

Mercer is a worldwide consulting firm based out of NYC that is known for its services in the human resource area. They are also known for their research around the quality of living worldwide. And in 2019 I like their findings very much:

Here the link to read more

Vienna is the best place to live worldwide!!!!  Zürich is number two. Then you have Vancouver and...  Munich is next!. Yes! Munich is number four in the worldwide ranking of places where you get the highest quality of life!! 

You can read more details in their website and about how you determine quality of living! Hire the link.

Screen shot of Mercer Quality of Life Ranking

Mercer also publishes a worldwide ranking about cities and its level of personal safety. Vienna, Zürich, Vancouver and Munich remain in their top 4 as well. But if you go down the list you may like or NOT what you see. For example: I was shocked to see Barcelona ranking #43 and Madrid #46, which is below cities that I have always considered more dangerous. I always thought these cities were more dangerous than Madrid (#46) and Barcelona (#43)...

- Berlin (#13)
- Singapore (#25)
- San Francisco (#34)
- Lisbon (#37)
- NYC (#44)

Screen shot of Mercer Quality of Life Ranking

After reading the Mercer study I wanted to know if this was a one-study thing or if it was true that we live pretty good in Germany / Munich. Here the result:

- US News ranks Germany as the #10 country worldwide for living

- The CEOWorldMagazine ranks germany as #8 after countries like Finland, Australia or Iceland

- Time Out says NYC, Melbourne, Chicago and London

- Forbes says Vienna, Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary and Adelaide 

In brief: we who live in Munich are lucky. If you are a new parent in Munich, you are probably enjoying a year with your baby! A year is 12 months of time when your company and the German government supports you as a mother to take a break from your career and focus on your children. That is amazing! If I were to live in Spain, I would only have four months.

Questions, comments, corrections... just let me know what you think!

Resources for new mums in Munich - part 1

I have been wanting to write a post about this topic for a while and today is the day. When you learn that you are going to become a parent, or when you have just become one, you experience a sudden need to be informed about 1000 different new areas, for which nor school nor life have (unfortunately) prepared you. For example: sudden infant death syndrome, first-aid techniques, early- stimulation for babies, how to function without sleep, how to make your baby sleep more, breast-feed vs bottle-feed, BLW, etc.

You can always buy books (and I will recommend you a few at the end of this post) but in my experience, what really works is taking to other mums. Yes! people talking to other humans is actually better than reading blog posts alone... so read this one and go talk to  other mums! 

And that's why I think this post can be useful: I am listing my favorite resources for (new or not) mums in Munich.

Resources for (new or not) mums in Munich:

Momunity App - (only German) free and easy to use app. This is like the Tinder for mums. You can find mums in your area, post questions, infos, requests, plans, you can search for topics to learn about what the community have been talking about or advising about a specific topic. If you travel, you can always find mums in the new city (German city) that get together in the park.

Facebook mum groups - (in every language) I am part of a few Facebook parent groups (in Spanish and German) and I totally recommend to find one that fits you (single parent, Spanish/French/Italian-speaking in Munich, in the outskirts of Munich, parents of twins, parents of toddlers, etc.). The main advantage of the good-old Facebook is (for me) that one day you have a question about BLW, you post it and you get answers. The following day you need to sell your Kinderwagen or a wonderful, fluffy, wool coat from X brand, you post it and you sell it. Somehow the parent groups in Facebook work better than eBay itself!

Meetup Munich Moms Club - (in English) they meet in the Cafeteria of Oberpollinger which is called Le Buffet and it is a self-service cafeteria/restaurant, where the coffee is very bad but they have cake (and salads if you are on a diet...) and hot and cold different meals. But the important part is that they have a playground area for children, lost of space for mums with child stuff, it is full with children, so loud and many Munich mum groups meet there. Including the one from Meetup.

If you can only read three books before becoming a parent (and you have nine months, so it should give you time enough... ejem..), then I recommend you read these three: 

And this all from me today. I hope this post was useful and as always if you have recommendations or questions, let me know! :-)