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(Fark)   Subby found out his wife was pregnant this morning. (Expected and planned.) Breeders: What's the one piece of advice you WISH you could have had on day one regarding your impending crotchfruit?   ( divider line
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4810 clicks; posted to Main » on 08 Oct 2012 at 11:34 AM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2012-10-08 11:53:03 AM  
Some good advice up above. I'll add a couple more regarding discipline:

1. Never lose your composure in front of your kid.
2. Say what you mean and mean what you say. There is no worse disciplinary measure than the idle threat.
3. Show respect for others at all times, so you have the moral authority to expect respect from them later on.


However much money you are saving, it isn't enough for college. Save more, starting now.
2012-10-08 11:53:10 AM  

naughtyrev: Get a paternity test.

Done in 4.
2012-10-08 11:53:11 AM  
Here is the advice I give to every new father at work (Whether they want it or not)

1) You must be watchful for postpartum depression and take action immediately if you think she has it. It will destroy your relationship or worse.
2) When you aren't training the kid, they are training you. You are their parent not their buddy.
3) Communicate! After months of trying, the trying well is either going to overflow or dry up completely. The overflow will only last until the last month, the dry up could be YEARS. Learn to communicate your needs now so you can come up with new ways of meeting your needs with her being on the PUP list.

/Had to use the "I'm not from Havana, baby" line once during the first pregnancy, didn't know how to communicate during the second and the relationship almost burned.
//During the actual birth, just get through one hour at a time.
///Physically Unable to Perform
2012-10-08 11:53:16 AM  
Take my advice: None of the advice you are given, solicited or unsolicited, will apply to your own situation.
2012-10-08 11:53:23 AM  
If your wife plans on breastfeeding, she will spend a lot of time topless, which will not be as cool as you imagine it will be.
2012-10-08 11:53:27 AM  
Don't overthink the pregnancy, the actual birth, or the child raising. As my wife says, don't borrow trouble. Don't start analyzing minute details, e.g., -- "should I have probiotics and play Mozart to the womb?" Just be normal.
2012-10-08 11:53:47 AM  
First, if you don't have a four-door car, you have a few months to save up and get one. Seriously. My wife and I had a two-door hatchback when we had our first. He's almost three now, and we just upgraded to a four-door crossover/SUV type a month ago. It's a damn lifesaver. Especially if you keep them rear-facing for a while; we had to crawl into the backseat of our tiny car to buckle him in. It made car trips of any kind extremely undesirable.

Second, go ahead and start discussing sleep schedules and night feedings now. We screwed ours up pretty bad with our first, and let me tell you, any disagreement or argument is ten times worse when coupled with sleep deprivation. Here's our plan for our second: Mom takes last feeding of the evening, around 9 or so. Goes to bed immediately afterward. Dad takes next feeding, around 12. Goes to bed. Mom wakes up for next feeding at three. Dad gets up at 6. This way, everyone gets around 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep, which, for new parents, is an eternity. (This works for nursing as well. Your wife just has to pump at least once throughout the day so you have a bottle for the midnight feeding.)
2012-10-08 11:54:12 AM  
Three pieces:
1) Get any/all purchases that are JUST for you and the mom out of the way. You won't have money for that ATV/jetski/awesome stereo/etc once the baby's born
2) Don't take anybody's unsolicited advice, outside of the pediatrician. Everybody on earth will start giving you advice that in many cases is 100% wrong or contrary to your own beliefs. Even strangers on the street will start telling you you're doing things wrong, or could be doing things better, etc. Ignore them. If your Dr says you can do it, and you feel ok with it, do it that way.
3) Make up your minds about breastfeeding NOW, and stick to your guns about it. My wife was made to feel completely inferior about her decision to pump and bottlefeed our kids, when she was actually forced to (tiny babies and huge boobies don't work together).

#2 and #3 are more for the mother's sanity than anything else...and trust me when I say, that first year, the mother's brain is going to be really friggin nuts. Do the most you can to minimize the insanity.
2012-10-08 11:54:18 AM  
Keep your babby's long form birth certificate in a very safe place.
2012-10-08 11:54:30 AM  

Honest Bender: Don't let the hospital give your wife pitocin unless it's absolutely necessary. It speeds up birth so that you have the baby on their schedule. Unfortunately, it also depresses respiration. So now they need to do a C section... More money for them, major surgery for her.

I had pitocin with my last 4. High blood pressure. Get 'em out now situations. Actually helped me avoid a repeat section. My 1st was my only c-section, and she was a natural labor.
Not everyone reacts the same way to drugs.

Pick a doctor you trust.
2012-10-08 11:54:31 AM  

marcre3363: Write stuff down. Even if it's just a Word document where you ocassionally open it up and write a blurb about something interesting or funny the kid did, write it down.

My son turned two this June and my daughter turns one on Halloween. The last year has been a blur and there's so much I can't remember.

Oh, my God. I can relate to how special it is to find something your parent wrote about you while you were a baby. My mom died in December, 2010, and in cleaning out her house after my dad died last year, I found a steno book with her handwriting in it. I was intrigued to find grocery lists, notes, and things like that. Then I noticed a half-written letter to a relative where she describes my latest achievements/annoyances when I was about 10 months old. To sit and read about myself through her eyes was very, very touching. I kept that steno pad and will place it in my safety deposit box so nothing happens to it.
2012-10-08 11:54:46 AM
2012-10-08 11:54:59 AM  
Relax and enjoy raising kids. Don't fight it and think you're going to be that ONE couple who remains young, hip, available for all your squirrely outings with friends, and never bickers.

You'll age and become overprotective of your kids.
You'll no longer be as hip as you think you are right now.
You need to accept you'll see your friends a lot less than you do now.
You WILL bicker. If you have a hatred of divorce you'll be fine. If you think it's an option for when the times get rough, just divorce now and get it overwith.

/Raising kids is stressful, tiring, and the most fun you'll ever have.
2012-10-08 11:55:19 AM  
I agree with a lot of the advice so far. Not sure about the spearfishing stuff, but whatever.

Take a childbirthing class, and remember that everyone's experience is different. Amazing that with all the babies born in the world, you will never meet anyone whose birth is exactly like yours (unless it's a C-section).

I know someone said wait to announce due to the risk of miscarriage, but announcing early also allows you the necessary support if something tragic happens during the pregnancy. Tough call, your call.

Cloth diapers are a joke. God invented disposables for a reason. Use them.

Sleep when the baby sleeps.

Stick with breastfeeding if you can. The first few weeks can be torturously painful and emotionally upsetting (if the baby doesn't latch or if the milk supply isn't adequate), but it's the best possible start you can give your baby.

Rock him. Burp him. Use skin-to-skin contact as often as possible so the baby bonds with you and your wife.

Blow people off when they say, "Oh, wait until he's 5 months/2 years/a teenager." Enjoy every moment right then, because the moments are fleeting and they will move by quicker than you can imagine.

Take lots of pictures. My niece has documented the growth of her babies by putting them on the same spot on the couch each month and making a sign that says, "I'm 1 month today/2 months today," etc. It's a great way to get perspective on the growth of your little one.

Trust your instincts. You'll need them to make the best possible decisions. If your baby seems ready for solids at five months, fark it. Give the baby solids at five months. You know your child better than anyone.

Strangers may come up and want to pat your wife's belly, and people will suddenly think it's okay to ask obscenely personal questions. Everyone loves a pregnant woman. Take pride and comfort in the way they celebrate your pregnancy, and be as tolerant as you can when the questions start coming. Most people don't mean to offend--they just don't know how to work the filter that runs between their brain and their mouth.

Come up with nicknames, have fun and give your heart over to your new addition without reservation. It will be the most intense love you have ever felt.

Remember all the reasons that your parents were awesome, and do those things. Remember all the reasons that your parents sucked ass, and don't do those things. Emulate every good parenting practice you've seen, and write things down in a journal so you'll remember what works and what doesn't.

Chart milestones. You'll forget much more than you'll remember.

Keep plastic bags and baby wipes in every vehicle.

Don't go crazy buying 0-3 month outfits. Babies outgrow them seemingly overnight. Invest in some good onesies and pj's.

Enjoy every moment, and God bless. I hope all your dreams come true, sincerely.
2012-10-08 11:55:25 AM  
I echo all the sincere advice above. My little addition is this:

BOSE Noise Cancelling Headphones

They are a lifesaver. You can still hear the baby screaming its little head off, but it's not nearly as annoying.

/I have a 21-month-old son and a 3-month-old son
2012-10-08 11:55:40 AM  
Don't get rip-roaringly drunk in front of your kid... Save that shiat for Vegas or somewhere your kid won't be.
2012-10-08 11:55:40 AM  
First and foremost, relax. Both you and your wife, by virtue of your existence in the first place, come from a long and unbroken line of ancestors who were able to successfully procreate and also to produce children who successfully procreated, and so on and so on. So, the ability to have and raise children is what you have both been bred to do, if looked at from that perspective.

Second, get ready for the world to instantly become a different place. We here on FARK like to joke and say 'Think of the children!", but now you will lose 20%-40% of your brainpower doing exactly that, all the time. From now until they are established and independent (and even then, to a certain degree), you will begin to assess all aspects of the world from the perspective of how they can benefit/harm your child, and take steps to maximize the benefits while reducing the harm.

Third, there is no greater emotion than the love you feel for you children, and no greater joy than the love you get from them.

Get ready for an exhilarating, painful, funny, sad, joyful, frustrating, wild ride...
2012-10-08 11:56:22 AM  
2012-10-08 11:56:28 AM  

officespacejk: Heraclitus: No matter what she says, you do NOT need to be there for her to have that kid.

OH, I got trickfarked on that said "your son is crowning, do you want to see your son being born?" stupidly i looked...there is no amount of eye bleach that will disassociate that mental image from her hooha

I guess that is one plus of my daughter not wanting to turn around, C-sections don't leave that much of a scar.
2012-10-08 11:56:42 AM  
Don't panic.

The number one best thing I can tell you, the secret. Mylanta. Not for you, but for your kid. Mylanta = no diaper rash. (Rash is caused by acid in the feces. Mylanta kills the acid. No acid, no rash.)

Kids are disgusting. You go from hygienic to biological warfare, zero-to-sixty. It gets better over time. But you will instantly need to get past having pee, poo, vomit, snot, blood and other unknown substances just everywhere on you.

Take any and all time you can get from work in the first three months after the birth.

Take all help offered. If someone says, "If there's anything I can do..." Stop them, and say, "YES. Please come over on Xday and cook dinner for us. Or vacuum the house. Or clean the bathroom for us. We truly appreciate the help! Thank you!" Don't let them off the hook.

Most of the fancy gadgety shiate in the stores are useless. You need a cloth diapers, they make great burp-rags, impromptu changing pads, general usage baby-cloths. All diaper sizes. Ziplocks. Wet-wipes. Spare formula. This is what *you* keep, Daddy. In your car, at the office, everywhere. You want your own baby-emergency pack.

Lastly, figure out what changes in your life you want to make so that you are a good example for your kid. Remember, they will not do what you say, they will do what you do.
2012-10-08 11:57:06 AM  
This is just reminding me of my wife's impending c-section in two days for kid #2. Ugh. I can't believe this thread showed up today of all days.
2012-10-08 11:57:15 AM  
Also - remember that this take a toll on your wife. She's going to have all sorts of problems, and all you get to do as a husband is watch and maybe rub her feet/back. So she may go a little cookoo, just roll with it. Especially after the birth. Not saying that she will, just be ready
2012-10-08 11:57:16 AM  
Get used to the smell of baby poop and sour milk.
2012-10-08 11:57:28 AM  
You. Poor. Bastard.
2012-10-08 11:57:30 AM  
Take the family leave. You can take up to 6 weeks off for childbirth, take all of it. Volunteer to do everything you can. Your wife needs you more now than she ever thought possible. Failing to suit up and show up at this time can still being a burning resentment when they go to college.

Get your partner some sex. If you aren't up for it, have a friend blow him a few times a week. It is really easy to lose track of your husband in all the hubbub and the lack of sex is similar to having stoney silence, despite the circumstances.

If breast feeding, pump and let your partner get up and feed the kid in the middle of the night. Sleep deprivation is a biatch. BTW, breast feeding isn't the be all and end of your kids development (yes, I am a nurse). If it doesn't work for you, tell the rabid titfans to pound sand.

Budget for luxuries even if they are small. Kids are a long haul and if you aren't having fun, you won't stay married.
Kiz [BareFark]
2012-10-08 11:57:40 AM  
Sleep whenever the kid sleeps.

Amazon Mom delivers diapers on a regular schedule.

Buy wipes and diapers in bulk.

Buy the next size of diaper too, so you already have some.

They will outgrow everything rapidly.

Let them sleep in a crib unless you want to co sleep for years to come.
2012-10-08 11:58:21 AM  

WalMartian: marcre3363: Write stuff down. Even if it's just a Word document where you ocassionally open it up and write a blurb about something interesting or funny the kid did, write it down.

My son turned two this June and my daughter turns one on Halloween. The last year has been a blur and there's so much I can't remember.

Oh, my God. I can relate to how special it is to find something your parent wrote about you while you were a baby. My mom died in December, 2010, and in cleaning out her house after my dad died last year, I found a steno book with her handwriting in it. I was intrigued to find grocery lists, notes, and things like that. Then I noticed a half-written letter to a relative where she describes my latest achievements/annoyances when I was about 10 months old. To sit and read about myself through her eyes was very, very touching. I kept that steno pad and will place it in my safety deposit box so nothing happens to it.

When cleaning out after my mom died, we found an old cassette of her singing songs with my older brother. You can hear me, a baby, cooing and babbling.


That was so neat to find.
2012-10-08 11:58:23 AM  
1. Some hospitals allow the father to sleep in the same room as the mother as she recovers from birth. DON'T!!!!! Go home, get some sleep, let your wife sleep.

2. The baby can sleep in your wife's room or in the nursery. Go with nursery. You see the baby when it's awake and need feed and you will have time to recover while it's being taken care of.

3. It's going to kind of suck for the first 6 months. The baby eats, poops and cries. The personality really comes out after 6 months.

4. Watch the documentary "Babies." It's from National Geographic and is available on Netflix. Lots of insight into early behavior.

5. Changing a diaper is easy. Start early.
2012-10-08 11:58:30 AM  
Make sure you have good life insurance and a will. Not the most exciting or happy subject, I know.
2012-10-08 11:58:52 AM  

mekki: Enjoy the moments of having the little one asleep in your arms or against your chest, with his/her face snuggled against your neck. You will never ever have someone trust you that completely in your life ever again. (Unless you have another child.) It is one of the best feelings in the world. Relish it. You will miss it once the baby grows into a kid a no long does it.

This, times eleventy brazillian.
2012-10-08 11:58:53 AM  
Run out to buy cigarettes and never come back before the kid remembers who you are.
2012-10-08 11:58:53 AM
"On one hand, every single one of my ancestors going back billions of years has managed to figure it out. On the other hand, that's the mother of all sampling biases."
Kids are genetic experiments. We're just experimenting responsibly! 

I'm sure there are others....these just popped into mind.
2012-10-08 11:58:54 AM  
Get testing. Get all kinds of testing.

If you are religious, you say, "well, we're not going to abort the baby, so what's the point?"

Get testing.

My daughter was found to have a potentially fatal problem at 22 weeks in-utero. She had 2 surgeries before she was a week old. She is now a thriving 2.5 year old who loves R2-D2 and Minnie Mouse.

Even if there's a problem that can't be fixed like trisomy, get testing. It will let you and your family be better prepared when the baby arrives.

When the baby does arrive, please, ask or DEMAND for a pulse oximetry (pulse ox) test. It's a relatively simple, quick, non-invasive test that can be an excellent indicator if the baby has cardiac issues that may be unseen. New Jersey made it into law last year and it's already saved a couple of kids' lives.

I love my daughter and I enjoy every day I see her discover something new. Watching her clap her hands watching a sporting event with me. Hearing her cheer watching the Medal Cermony in A New Hope. Having her ask her mother to see Cars for the 200th time. I can't imagine how it would have been if the doctors at CHOP didn't save her life.

I don't give a lot of parenting advice because my experience was so different. That's all I can offer.
2012-10-08 11:59:04 AM  
If you are having a girl, be prepared to figure out how to get liquid poop out of a teeny tiny vagina. WHY DOES NO ONE TELL YOU THAT?
2012-10-08 11:59:20 AM  
Realize that your life is now over, and you exist purely to care for the mother and child. During the pregnancy, you are nothing more than a heavy-lifter and a gopher. Once the child is born, you are a paycheck and a cleaning service. The mother will eventually realize that she needs to go back to work to pay the bills, but only if you are lucky. Sex will not exist except when she wants to have the next one, and there will be a next one.
2012-10-08 11:59:23 AM  
I bonded with our first right away. I'm sure it was imagination, but I felt a psychic bond with her long before she was born. I had long conversations with her in my mind when she was just a fetus. From day 1 of the pregnancy, I knew it was going to be a girl (and, of course, you've got a 50-50 chance at that, so it's not exactly voodoo).

When she was born, she was awake for a long time. My wife went to sleep, and my little girl stayed wide awake. I held her & stared into her little eyes until she finally slept.

The eyes. I guess that's the memory. The concept of a little life, I understood. When she came out, aware as she was of her little universe, that's what struck me. Her own universe, her own eyes, her own consciousness. You can think about a little person in theory, but her newborn awareness of the world was what made her intensely real as a little person & not just a lump of cells.
2012-10-08 11:59:45 AM  
Stock up on sleep now, you'll miss it for the next few years. *yawn*
2012-10-08 12:00:17 PM  
Sell your bed. There really isn't any point, as you won't get to use it anymore.
2012-10-08 12:00:19 PM  


Cloth diapers are a joke. God invented disposables for a reason. Use them.

They suck as diapers, but they make great burp rags. I always kept a pile near the changing table for burpies and general cleanup. They actually"spills"... rather than just smear them around. And they're super easy to launder.

I'm not gonna lie to you. I occasionally used them as hazmat face masks.
2012-10-08 12:00:27 PM  
Speaking of Breeders, I really like this song (Canonball).

Oh, and congrats dude!
2012-10-08 12:00:43 PM  

Vertdang: Start stocking up on diapers RIGHT NOW. Buy a pack or 2 every paycheck. You'll be glad you have that out of the way, when you need money for other things.

I wouldn't go crazy on stocking up diapers now. After newborn sizes (PAMPERS SWADDLERS!) try out several brands of diapers to see what fit your child the best. Our kids leaked like crazy in some brands and did great in others.

Also, your child will grow out of size 1 and 2 diapers really quickly so if you do stock up now, don't stock up on too many of those, size 3 and 4 diapers take longer, but is still feels like the blink of an eye.
2012-10-08 12:00:52 PM  

Fuggin Bizzy: You won't bond with your child right away; it takes time.

Too right. About three seconds or so, and that was because I was blinking away tears for the first two.
2012-10-08 12:01:07 PM  
Don't call your significant other "Baby Mama"
2012-10-08 12:01:08 PM  

2. The baby can sleep in your wife's room or in the nursery. Go with nursery. You see the baby when it's awake and need feed and you will have time to recover while it's being taken care of.

Some hospitals don't have nurseries anymore.
I was too psyched to sleep much when in the hospital. I snoozed when the baby slept. When I was home, and the exhaustion set in, my husband was there to care for the kids.
2012-10-08 12:01:17 PM  
You do NOT need the $400 high end stroller, or the leather trimmed Eddie Bauer car seat. Pretty much any one will do.
2012-10-08 12:01:19 PM  
Sadly there is no amount of advice that will help you. I read everything I could, listened to my friends with kids, paid rapt attention to my parents and in laws, and did everything I could to feel like I was prepared.

The first time I changed him, took off his diaper, and he started peeing in his face, I still freaked out and wanted to take him to the emergency room. Being a parent isn't something you can learn from a book or on Fark...definitely not on Fark.

/he's 4 now, and now I'm trying to get him to not pee on the seat or the floor
//congrats Subby, enjoy it!
2012-10-08 12:01:31 PM  
The Happiest Baby on the Block - Dr. Karp buy that book and read it or get the DVD.

Best advise ever on soothing a fussy baby for the first three months of their life.
2012-10-08 12:01:43 PM  
Don't coddle your kids, they learn more from failure than success.

Your kid is a part of the family, not the center of it

Your parenting doesn't have as much to do with how your kids turn out as you think it does. Don't overthink it.

Diaper genie. It works.
2012-10-08 12:01:47 PM  
I was never told that babies have strange breathing patterns. Apparently it is normal that while sleeping they will sometimes go several (10-12) seconds between breaths. This will scare the crap out of you.

Get the breathing monitor. This was the best money I ever spent. Knowing the breathing monitor was on was the only way I was able to get what little sleep was available. It will go off several times because the kid has moved to the edge of the crib but a false alarm is better than not knowing if something is wrong.
2012-10-08 12:01:52 PM  
Learn when you need to ask for help/advice.

/Hint: Now is not that time.
//Oh, and sunscreen.
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