The Mama Sutra | Soothe Babies with Allie Kingsley Baker
The Mama Sutra is a super-helpful and funny book for new parents, all about how to soothe your baby AND take care of yourself. Our interview with author Allie Kingsley Baker is below.
The Mama Sutra Author Talks Soothing Babies, Writing Books, and More…
Jen: Okay. Hey, okay. We’re live on Facebook. Cool. We’ll see. Hey Facebook, this is MomCave live, and we’re here with a special guest to talk to us about something that all new moms need to know about, which is how to soothe a baby that won’t be soothed. Are you magic?
Allie: I was, if I was, I would’ve slept a lot more last night.
Jen: Totally. So our guest for this episode is Allie Kingsley Baker, and she just came out with a new book while having a new baby. So, first of all, congrats on that. That’s super mom status right there.
Allie: An accident in all honesty, but you know, a happy accident
Jen: Like many babies are! So she has a book out called, “The Mama Sutra.” You can see a picture of it there and you can buy it in all of the places. And we’ll tell you all about that. And we’re going to give away a copy, a signed copy to somebody watching this broadcast. They’ll get a signed copy and of “The Mama Sutra.” So Allie, let’s start from the beginning. I’m going to ask you lots of questions. All right. All right. It’s really a miracle right now that the two of us are in front of these computers and there aren’t any children behind us. They could appear at any moment.
Allie: (indicted the back of her hair) This is party. (indicates from of her hair.) This is business in the front. Yeah.
Jen: Yeah. I didn’t do the back of my hair, either.
Allie: Nice. Back here. Like my hair is curled in the front and it’s a rat’s nest in the back. Everything’s put away back here and behind the camera. I have my tornado of a house that my children completely destroyed already, even though it’s only 8:33. And they’re just going bananas back there. But my husband bless him is holding it down.
Jen: Thank God for husbands that can hold it down. Okay. All right. So we have some people joining us over on Instagram, too. Normal moms club. Well, we’re not normal, so I hope you like us too. Okay. So Allie, how did you get into the book writing business? I see that you’re a novelist and a screenwriter. Can you tell me a little bit about that?
Allie: Yeah. So I actually went to school to study photography and it was my dream to work for this one photographer, a very famous person. And I put all my hopes and dreams and education into working for him. And I got a job with him right out the gate. Right after I graduated, it’s a crazy story. And I thought that was going to be my life, but it was very “Devil Wears Prada.” He was a super monster. He was terrible. And he just, he just ruined every part of my being. And I was very sad about that. I was really depressed. And so I went to visit a friend in Austin and I wrote sort of an extensive journal about my experience.
Jen: You’re very self-aware. Let me just point that out like that you wrote a journal. You thought about what else to do. You journaled about it.
Allie: It involved a lot of super famous people and I was scared to talk about them to anyone else. So I, I kept it to myself and I wrote it down and I ended up taking this when I was done. I sort of wrote it in book form because it was just part of my healing process to write it about somebody else. And when I was done, I meant to give it to my parents and my sister, and some of my closest friends. It was like a holiday present, but I wanted it to read well.
So I contacted my friends on MySpace back in the day, MySpace, yeah. I wrote something and I just wanted for like 200 bucks for somebody to clean it up. And I sent it to this friend of a friend of a friend in New York. And he said, “You know what?”
You can’t give this away. This is really good.” I said, “Well, you know, I’m not a writer.” And he goes, “No, you are a writer. This is a really good book. You should get an agent. ” And so I went to Google and I hit top 10 literary agents, New York City. And I sent it to some of the ones that sounded the nicest, the names that I liked the most as, you know, the best type of research is. (laughs). And I got a couple of agents interested and then I signed with one. And that book, that book was purchased by Penguin in 2011. And it came out 2012 and it’s called the “The Liar, the Bitch, and the Wardrobe.” And it did exceptionally well. And that kind of started the whole thing.
And then from there, actually I was living in New York and I got a tweet one day.And it was from this girl who said, “Hey, a friend of mine is looking for a ghostwriter. Would you be interested in that?” And at that time, I didn’t know if I was going to go back to photography. Was this book thing going to go somewhere? I didn’t really know what I was going to do with my life. I was in my early 20s, very lost.
And I said, “Sure, I’ll do a ghostwriting job.” And she goes, “Great. Where are you located?” I said, “New York.”, “Where in New York.?” And I lived on 77th and Lexington and the girls were having lunch on, I think it was 76th and Madison like one avenue away. I went down there right away, like five minutes from getting the tweet.
And it was Nikki Hilton! And Nikki was lovely and sweet and amazing. And we wrote a book together. And from there it just like really became a thing. I’ve been writing two books a year on average, ever since I do a lot of ghostwriting for celebrities, I work on their memoirs or how-to guides. And then my husband, I met my husband and he is a screenwriter. And so I was like, “Teach me that.” And then we started working on projects together and sold a couple of those. And so it writing has just like become my thing. It was a complete, happy accident like so many things are.
Jen: Oh, that’s awesome. And we should do an entire other interview another time about working with one’s husband or wife, because I’ve done that too. And it’s, it’s its own thing.
Allie: If you can work with your husband, like, you’re going to be okay.
Jen: Or I decided I’m not going to work with my husband so that we are doing our own thing.
So what we’re going to talk about today is your new book, The Mama Sutra, and it is, let’s see, I love the tagline. It’s “ancient positions to soothe the modern baby.” Yes. (baby noise in background) So I think everyone, I hear a cutie!
Allie: Oh, Hey Rocco.
Jen: We, we love him. So I think everybody pretty much knows what that Kama Sutra is. Hopefully, hopefully, I mean, if you had a baby, you probably utilized some of the positions of the Kama Sutra. It’s true. At least a couple. Yeah. A couple. But for those of you that don’t know, Allie, tell them what is the Kama Sutra?
Allie: The Kama Sutra is an ancient book of sexual positions. So, you know, gets you in the mood and get things, right. Not for babies, for adults.
Jen: No, it’s for adult enjoyment and there’s all positions of how to have great sex, but once you’ve done that and then you’re pregnant and then you have this baby, especially your first baby, right. It’s like I speak from my experience. I don’t know if everyone has this experience. I think they might. You are desperate to find ways to soothe this baby.
Allie: Yeah. It’s not just soothing. It’s, you know, I didn’t know about the gas problems of babies. I didn’t know that gas was going to ruin our lives, but it did. And it’s the gassing, it’s the constipation. When your baby is constipated, when it’s just like right there, turtling out and the baby’s screaming in pain there’s no worse feeling. You’re like, do it to me. I can take it. I’ve done this before. Right.
But yeah, the colic, all the things that the babies have to deal with that just break your heart. That’s really what inspired our book, The Mama Sutra.
Jen: What I love about your book, there are many books about these kinds of topics, but when you’re in the thick of it, you don’t really have time to read a book, you buy a bunch of books and they sit there and you might thumb through them and like, oh, that’s what I do. But you’re in the thing and you’re sleep-deprived. You don’t have a lot of time. What’s great about Allie’s book is that it has pictures you can flip through and you can say, “My baby’s having this problem” and there are words describing the pictures, but maybe you could show us some pictures?
Allie: Super easy. If your baby is having, let’s say gas,flip to the gas section and there’s a little blip about our experience with gas. And then here’s steps 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. And here’s even a picture to help you real quick in the moment, because when your baby’s crying and you’re having problems and you’re like, you know, “I’ve got to solve this right now.” You don’t want to read a book about how gas is made. You want to help your baby right then and there. And you want to just like be their superhero immediately right away.
There are great massages. This is one of our favorites. And again, you might recognize some of these, these are ancient things. We did not reinvent the wheel here. We didn’t make some of them. Our original concepts from experts, which we’re not–we’re writers, but we consulted with experts. Then a lot of these are things that you can find online. But again, the problem we had is, is in the moment we were doing this research online and everything’s out there, but it’s all over the place. There’s not one. There’s no one place you can go to for everything. And it’s really scattered across the internet. So, you know, this just gives you like a quick hit answer and you don’t have to do all that digging. Yeah.
Jen: That’s great. It’s funny! So everybody watching, Allie’s going to give away a signed copy to somebody who comments on this video or shares this video. So go ahead, get out there. And she will sign a copy for you. And as we’re talking, if anybody has any questions about specific things about soothing, baby, whatever, pop them in the comments, we’re watching the comments and we will answer them. We’re live on Facebook with Allie Kingsley baker who wrote The Mama Sutra I almost said you wrote the Kama Sutra. And that would be interesting.
Jen: You mentioned that you had experts write the book with you, which is one of my favorite parts because in the end of the book, you have the list of experts and they’re are all different kinds of experts. So this isn’t just anecdotal old wives’ tales, moms’ stuff. This is doctor-approved stuff.
Allie: Yeah. Before we even handed The Mama Sutra book into our publisher, we sent it to a list of top pediatricians and some of the best in the business. And we said, “Can anything in here harm a baby.?” You know, first of all, that’s the most, yeah. Everything in here will work for the baby. And yes, and they signed off. There are quotes on the back. There are quotes online. You know, everything in here is safe and will work for different babies.
Jen: Awesome. And you have different kinds of experts. I don’t have it memorized, but there’s like the doctor… There’s who else?
Allie: We have some really cool experts in here. One of them you might’ve seen, if you watched Goop Lab on Netflix, Dr. John Ameral, he’s an energy healer to some very, very high net worth people in the world. You can’t just get a session with him. He works with Gwenyth Paltrow. I met him through Julianne Hough. He’s like the guy to see and never before has he shared his soothing tips for infants. He’s really only shared his tips for these celebrities and VIPs. And so in The Mama Sutra, it is really his first time giving this awesome soothing advice for babies. And we use it every night. I mean, it’s really great. And then also for the nutrition stuff, we consulted with a dietician, Lisa Mastella, who is the founder of Bumpin Blends, which a lot of people on here probably have tried these awesome cubes. You know, we’ve worked with different doctors, different massage therapists. We have a list of about 10 different people that we worked on each and every section with.
Jen: Yeah. So it’s very holistic. You’ve got like the, the MD doctors, science people, you’ve got the energy healers, the chiropractor, all that stuff.
Allie: Cool to cover all bases we wanted because when we were looking to heal our daughter, yes, we went to our medical doctor, but we also wanted something holistic because our medical doctor was saying, “Give her this medicine. Stick this plastic tool up her butt.” Do you know all these aggressive things? And we were like, there’s gotta be another way and the holistic route and it worked better.
Jen: I know there’s the whole gas section because babies are very gassy and that’s a lot of their discomfort, but can you describe a couple of the other sections in the book and other problems that it’s for?
Allie: We break down gas into farting and burping gas. They go up and down. We’ve got the sleeping section, which is, we call the Holy Grail. We’ve got a lot of stuff for colic. We’ve got constipation. And for constipation, we have a lot of massages that actually really work. It’s called the “Shitting Shaman.”. I love it. Number two right there. And yeah, burping, soothing, pooping. I mean, some of the positions work for adults!
Stimulation is another one that is really important because I think when it comes to putting your baby to sleep, something that a lot of people don’t think about, especially with the new babies, is how important it is to stimulate them during the day and stimulate all of their senses. You know, because then they’re tired, they’ll sleep longer. It’s like a no-brainer, but you don’t think about that. Like, oh my baby actually needs to be stimulated visually.
They may be stimulated by, you know, sounds. They need to crunch different papers. Like that really helps.
And then lastly, actually there’s a section for the parents called the “Achy Creator. ” And we worked with a chiropractor in LA, Matthew Bernstein, and he created a series of stretches and exercises for parents that are that will heal common things. Like you don’t think about it, but when you’re holding your baby, you’re looking down. When you’re breastfeeding your baby, you hunch your back and your jaw, like all the things, right? There are exercises in The Mama Sutra for that. And we also, he told us, he taught us that when you hold your baby, you’re usually favoring one side. Totally.
Jen: I’m a right-sided…
Allie: So you become kind of like elongated on one side and crunched on the other. Right. And it’s important to balance that out. And so there’s a series of exercises to kind of realign yourself. There’s a lot of, a lot of good stuff in there for parents that we do all the time. Yes, ourselves.
Jen: Awesome. and you’re giving away a copy signed of The Mama Sutra because you’re a celeb, to somebody who watches this video and shares it or comments. So you guys, get in those comments and say something and also let us know if you have any questions. I just want to show you one of my favorite graphics in the book. It’s very adorable. What’s up with this lady?
Allie: (Laughs) I think she’s me. This is called the “Ten Chin Tension.” And this is one of the exercises for when you’re looking down at your baby all the time. And it’s like the ugliest exercise you can do, but you’re basically like making yourself, have ten chins, go back and you go back and the more, and you do that and you can feel it, little micro muscles that you pull when you’re looking down at your baby. Yeah.
Jen: So for anyone who’s listening to this only and not getting the visual, it’s an awesome cartoon of a stylish mama, who is giving herself three chins to stretch out and holding a martini. And the martini helps. It helps a lot. It really does.
Allie: We’re big fans of the martini or the glass of wine. Like whatever it takes, whatever helps. It goes, hand in hand with the stretching.
Jen: Totally. We’re going long because it’s fun talking with you and you have so many great answers. I feel like I need to ask you a few more questions and if anybody else has any questions, pop them in the comments. And the Instagram people are, oh, somebody is saying on Instagram, they love your book, The Mama Sutra, and it helped them so much. Yay, Jen, thank you. Yeah, it would have been nice to have that when I had newborns because I could do the thumbing through like huge books in the middle of the night thing and it wasn’t, it wasn’t doing it for me. So let’s just chat a little bit more about you being a mama. (Baby Coos in background.) Perfect timing kiddo! Um, when you, did you write this book while you were expecting?
Allie: No. So my husband and I wrote the book together and it was in the middle of, I mean, talking about crazy. Our daughter was only a couple of months old and we were just complete zombies as all parents are in the beginning. And we were really struggling with her gas. She had gas and it was just leaving her in intense pain. And we were at the point where our doctor was having us give her gas drops before and after every bottle, every feeding, breast milk, regular milk, everything was giving her problems. And we even had to resort to those, those plastic tubes that you put in their butt for the release of the gas and it worked, but you can only use it three times a day and it felt so invasive. She hated it. We had, so at that point we were just like, there’s gotta be something else. And we started researching online and there were all these different holds and all these different positions that you can put your baby into.
Jen: For a minute, I thought you said holes. And I was like, wait, there’s just two, I’m very confused. Go on, go on.
Allie: You can put your baby into that hold that will relieve their gas. And we started using them and they worked and we aren’t having to use these medications anymore. And we were like, this is amazing. I wonder if there are other holds and positions for other things.
And so we started researching that and we started reaching out to this energy healer that I knew through work and you know, all these different people. And they were like, well, yeah, obviously there’s this and there’s that. And like I said, all this information was just scattered all over the internet. It was scattered information. Nobody had compiled it.
So we’re, you know, we’re exhausted. We haven’t slept in like a month and we’re laying on the couch like this. And we were like, you know, how cool would it be if there was a book that was just like quick hits of all of these positions and all of these holds that help your baby holistically and it’s. And I was like, yeah, it could be like, like the Kama Sutra. And my husband actually said, “The Mama Sutra!”.
And I was like, That was the moment we’re writing a book. That’s what it is. And as new parents on zero sleep with, like, I don’t even know, we shouldn’t have even been driving cars. We were so tired. We started writing this book and it took us about a year of compiling information and working with all the experts. And we had great editors at Penguin Random House and you know, it, it, we’re so proud of it and what it became. And you know, like I said, another happy accident and it’s really helped a lot of people. It certainly helped us with our second baby. It’s been a much smoother ride. Even last night. He was a little bit constipated. I froggy his legs. I put them into froggy style and helped him get that little poop out. And I was like, dang, we…
Jen: So much easier. I love it. I just had an idea for a sequel. I hesitate to say this on the internet. So no one steal my idea! Okay, nobody’s stealing this idea. I’m saying it now copyright me, MomCave, all the things the book is. So you know how there’s like there’s ancient positions, all these things. I bet there are also ancient remedies that, that work that are concoctions, but it’s not just the remedies for the baby. There’s also, each chapter has a cocktail recipe for the right drink to help you through that moment. Here’s what you can feed your baby. And here’s what you can drink. Let’s write it together!
Allie: Okay. Watch for that in 2022 people, if we can get that together!
Jen: Ashley just commented, “I love this book, such a great baby shower present.” And that is a good idea. This is a very good baby shower present.
Allie: Thank you so much. And that was really my goal. I wanted to help more parents and you know, and my husband too. A lot of the books for new parents are geared toward moms. And, you know, my husband wrote The Mama Sutra as well. And his voice is, you know, it’s a 50/50 effort and it has a lot of stuff for dads. A lot of pictures of fathers. It’s a great, you know, because dads are doing it too. We have, we have a great year doing, picking up the pieces, you know and that, you know, we wanted it to be the best baby shower gift ever.
Jen: Lifetime nanny service would be the best baby shower gift ever! But if you can’t afford that, if…
Allie: You can’t afford the lifetime nanny service, yes. This book is awesome. This book is second-best.
Jen: You can get this book in all the places you get books. I think I put in my description to this an Amazon link and I noticed on Amazon, they also have it in paperback, audio, and Kindle.
Allie: Yeah, we have an awesome audiobook version of The Mama Sutra. We got to pick out the woman who did the voiceovers and she has such a buttery voice. I just, I loved her. We both loved her. We heard her. And we were like, that’s our girl. The audio is fantastic. But yeah, you can download it. Kindle, you can buy it from Amazon, Target, Walmart, all, all of the places where you buy books. Amazing. Or support your local bookstore.
Jen: So go up there and get that. If you need it, leave us a comment on this video. If you’re watching us later when it’s not live, somebody’s gonna win a signed copy. So this will be available this video to rewatch on Facebook and YouTube and all that. And yeah, I’m loving talking to you. I could do it all day. You are funny and you have wealth of information.
Allie: We’ll just log off, keep talking, we’ll get the cocktails.
Jen: I’m afraid if I do that, the house will get burned down because this is the longest they’ve been silent in a while, which is scary. Yeah. It could be bad. Okay. Well, thank you so much for being with us. Thank you guys for watching Instagram people for being behind the scenes. I’m logging off Instagram and okay. Thanks, Facebook! Bye Facebook!
Get YOUR copy of The Mama Sutra here:
Listen to this live episode about Allie Kingsley Baker’s new book, The Mama Sutra, as a Podcast:
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