Former Miss Houston, Thamer Favor, shares her parenting tips, baby must-haves, and what she wishes she would’ve known about pregnancy and motherhood.

What were your thoughts and emotions when you first learned that you were expecting?
 I was nervous because having a baby was a whole new world I knew nothing about, but very excited to be expanding my family!

You have participated in beauty pageants having successfully won the titles of Miss Houston and Miss Texas, and I remember last I saw you pregnant you were still in heels. How did you feel about the body changes that come with being pregnant?
(I won Miss Houston, Miss Austin, and Miss Bay Area and made top 5 at Miss Texas USA but unfortunately was never able to capture that title!) It was all exciting! I was in awe of how your body can grow and provide the perfect environment to grow a baby. I remember asking the doctor early on when was I going to start to show and she told me that one night you would wake up and boom! There would be a bump and she was right! Throughout my pregnancy, I wanted to dress up my bump and continue to wear heels because I love wearing heels. I also knew that once the baby was here they wouldn’t get much use and I am so glad I did! Brooks is a very active baby so I’ve had to hang up my heels and stick to tennis shoes and flats since they’re safer. But he’s worth i

You took some classes to help you prepare for you baby, Brooks. Based on your experience, what did you learn and do you have any helpful tips for moms?
Once they release you from the hospital with the baby you get home and are like, “OK, so now what?!” It’s very scary to be home with a newborn and not surrounded by nurses, but because we had taken classes we both felt assured it was going to be ok. Since Brooks was a preemie, it was important for me to breastfeed him and give him all the right nutrients. Before taking the classes I was so nervous to do so because everyone told me how painful it could be. Because of the classes, I knew exactly what to do and I am happy to say I have been able to breastfeed successfully for 8 months so far!

Is there anything you wish someone would have told you about pregnancy?
Growing pains!… I know it’s one of those obvious things, but I never actually gave much thought to it until I started to have them. The first time I had a really sharp one I freaked out because I thought something bad had happened, but I then read that it was normal and just part of it!

What would you like to share with our readers, expecting, and new mothers?
I was so worried that being maternal wouldn’t kick in naturally for me, but don’t worry, it does!

Your baby, Brooks, arrived earlier than expected. Can you describe that experience and what it was like having a preemie?
It was very overwhelming. I like to plan and be overly prepared for everything, but you never plan for your baby to be early. During that time I had so much going on with work, friends’ weddings and events that I hadn’t mentally gotten to the point that I was ready to have the baby here. My life was turned upside down and everything was brought to a screeching halt when the nurse told me I had to leave work early and be admitted into the hospital. I am so beyond blessed that I had such a great support system, worked for such a great company and took the classes at the Motherhood Center so once this little tiny 4 pound baby was ready to come home, my husband and I were just like all other newborn parents bringing a baby home — ours was just a little bit smaller!

I know your family has very strong morals and a solid family foundation. How does this influence your plans for raising baby Brooks?
It takes a village to raise a child and we are lucky because both of our parents live close. I think it’s important for our son to grow up being surrounded by both sides of our families because I know that there will be some things that we can’t teach him and they can. Also, I feel like parenting is just really faking it like you know what you’re doing, but since both of our parents have done it before, they can teach us a lot.

Is there anything you would like to share with expecting mothers in regards to the postpartum experience and the overall adjustment to motherhood?
Sleep when the baby sleeps! At first, I was trying to keep up with making the house perfect and doing a million chores, but I was a zombie. I also felt like I when I was with Brooks I wasn’t really all there. I started to sleep when he slept and I was able to take it all in and enjoy that small period of time that he was a newborn. Also, even if it’s for just one night, get a night nanny. It is life changing!! Even if you’re lucky and your baby sleeps long periods through the night, you still never get a good deep sleep like before baby. It’s almost like you half sleep now with one ear open, ready at any given moment to wake up for the baby. But, with the night nanny, you can sleep like a baby knowing someone very qualified is there taking care of the baby’s needs and you get a good night’s sleep to recharge.

What items did you find most useful from your baby registry?
NailFrida, WubbaNub pacifier, and the Baby Delight Snuggle Nest. It’s so scary trying to clip your baby’s tiny fingernails, but with the NailFrida it’s a little less scary because there’s a little hole in the middle you can use to make sure you’re getting just the nail. The WubbaNub pacifier because the stuffed animals that are attached act like an anchor that keeps the pacifier from falling out of their mouth. And the Baby Delight Snuggle Nest because there were some days that I was so tired and couldn’t get Brooks to sleep in his crib, so it was a safe way for us to co-sleep.

How would you describe your parenting style? Is it different compared to what you had expected it to be?
My husband says I really baby Brooks and I am guilty as charged. I didn’t think I would be such a helicopter parent! I am working on letting him fuss and work for things he wants, not just handing them to him at the first sight of him getting frustrated.