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(Fark)   Subby just found out he is going to be a father today. What sage advice/snark do you have for the future dad?   (fark.com) divider line 572
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2294 clicks; posted to Main » on 07 Jan 2013 at 9:28 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-08 12:02:01 AM
Good news: Most days it's really not as bad as what people say there are.

Bad news: Some days are actually worst than what people say they are.

Also for the first time ever in your life you will actually know that there is someone whom you value more than your very own life and more than everything or anything in this world... that my friend changes EVERYTHING!
 
2013-01-08 12:02:55 AM
Oh yeah, When she yacks during delivery, buckle up daddy...babby is imminent.

I was not informed of the Transition Phase.

Lots of shaking and the ONLY time I vomited during the entire pregnancy.
 
2013-01-08 12:06:13 AM

erewhon: blueyd1:


5. Read, sing, talk to the baby. They love to hear your voices.


And dance. Don't forget dancing. Pick 'em up, hold 'em close, sing and dance around like an idiot.


This... very importantly this.
 
2013-01-08 12:07:08 AM
You are likely going to see your wife shiat for (probably) the first time.
 
2013-01-08 12:07:46 AM
I have 5 kids in various stages of maturity/psychosis

1. You're going to make mistakes. It's ok. Humans are resilient. The fact that you're asking for help means you care enough to succeed. There are millions of people out there that don't have the resources, intelligence, or investment that you do and the vast majority of those kids get along just fine.

2. Nothing is more important than time. "Quality Time" is horse shiat. Quantity. You can't spend too much time with them at any age.

3. Let them make mistakes that don't have permanent consequences. It's going to hurt you a whole lot more than it hurts them, and it's the best and fastest way for them to learn.

4. Need help? These are as good as it gets:

http://www.amazon.com/Power-Positive-Parenting-Wonderful-Children/dp/ 1 567131751

http://www.loveandlogic.com/

5. Set the example. If you want them to serve others, let them see you serve. If you want them to work hard, let them work with you. They WILL mimic you, sooner or later. Be prepared to see the uncomfortable truths about yourself revealed in their behavior as they grow up. If you sit in front of the computer all day playing video games be prepared for them to do the same, etc.
 
2013-01-08 12:08:53 AM
Always bear in mind that it's not as easy as you'd hoped, but it's not as hard as you think.
 
2013-01-08 12:10:21 AM
Go to bed now and don't wake up until she goes into labor. You're not going to sleep for the first year, so stock up now.
/Became father in March 2011, didn't get a full night's sleep until Feb 2012
//Congrats! It's the best thing that will ever happen to you.
 
2013-01-08 12:15:10 AM

bilgemaster: gunsmack: When changing a boy, put a washcloth on it or he will pee all over you and everything else.

/Or don't, 'cause it's hilarious, and you'll maybe be needing that memory when he dents up your Dodge.


In fact, videotape it. It will come in useful later. Like when all his buddies are visiting and you want to get him back for denting up your Dodge.

My dad was kinder, he just beat me.
 
2013-01-08 12:15:32 AM
Congrats. Soon, the 18 month sleep depravation experiment will begin....

I'll second the advice about getting the kid out of bed with you sooner than later. Basically, your wife will want to have your little one there between you forever. When you finally get them to a crib, they'll start bawling their eyes out. DON'T LISTEN. Your wife will cave first and try to calm the kid, and it will make it worse. You need to let the kid cry themselves out of it - oh, and the longer you wait to separate you from them the worse it will be.

When they get older you'll have a ton of stuff to do and they'll seem like an interruption - make time for them. Go over homework, read with them, etc. Make sure they KNOW they're important to you.

Key: Make sure you prioritize your wife first (and she to you as well). Make sure the kids know that Mom gets first dibs. Otherwise, your kids will come first to both of you, and your marriage will suffer.

Diaper stuff is messy as everyone above says - but you'll get through it. Just go to the Army surplus store and buy a gas mask.

Lastly, watch this: Bill Cosby on Childbirth
 
2013-01-08 12:18:24 AM

FozzyNOK: Just as all my children the second they were cleaned up and handed to me, I told them that I would do everything in my power to protect them and I would love them forever... I wrote them a letter of the times that they were born, Sadly, I predicted the end of my first born. He was a protector, a hater of bullies and was a lover of history... RIP SPC Micheal "Pokey" Phillips.. the world someday may see you again, may you live in peace in the next one.


I am so sorry. God bless you and your son.
 
2013-01-08 12:18:41 AM

Zelron: Well, unless you're practicing attachment parenting. Yah, it'll be hard to get them out of bed, but my kids always have friends and seem to be the kids that everyone in the class likes.


I loved having my son in the bed when he was smaller. He's two now and still gets up in the night to come sleep in our bed and the rest of the night I'm getting kicked and assed in the face. Some mornings I feel completely beat up. It took months to get him into his own room to sleep and he's still not entirely there. Last night he slept on the couch and then crawled in with us at four. Tonight he's sleeping on his little sofa bed on the living room floor. I put him in his bed tonight and he got up ten minutes later and went back on the couch, fell off onto his sofa bed and stayed there. Someday, I hope he sleeps in his own bed all night.
 
2013-01-08 12:20:11 AM
regarding sleep

awake newbies at night? once dry, fed? i had good luck sitting and rocking quietly outside, yes, in the dark. no lights, no tv, etc - worked well and didn't bother my husband.

then, later? they will sleep 10-15 hours a day - usually starting when they have to be in class by 7 am but have been on line until 2 am

you will sleep again. really
 
2013-01-08 12:20:24 AM
Remember, every kid is different, any advice you get is based on one person's experience, and may not work at all with your child.
 
2013-01-08 12:23:33 AM
Oh, yeah. Start teaching them languages early while they can still learn them correctly.

I recommend Mandarin, maybe a couple of the more common African languages.

When he gets about six, start teaching him how to climb and rappel, get him a little ALICE and make him run a lot, teach him to land nav without gps.

He'll have a great career later.

/this is a fuze. Some people call them blasting caps. This one's a 250ms delayed electric fuze. You can tell by the markings. Why would we use delayed fuzing?
 
2013-01-08 12:24:56 AM

parasol: regarding sleep

awake newbies at night? once dry, fed? i had good luck sitting and rocking quietly outside, yes, in the dark. no lights, no tv, etc - worked well and didn't bother my husband.

then, later? they will sleep 10-15 hours a day - usually starting when they have to be in class by 7 am but have been on line until 2 am

you will sleep again. really


the sleep issues for us were really just the first 6 months, and only occasionally. Teeth have been the biggest culprit so far for preventing sleep.
 
2013-01-08 12:25:25 AM

skullkrusher: You are likely going to see your wife shiat for (probably) the first time.


My husband got to see my intestines laying on my stomach. He never lets me forget it.
 
HBK
2013-01-08 12:28:22 AM

phuquetarde: Fatherhood is the best thing in the world. You will forever be loved and love another.


Haha, no.
 
2013-01-08 12:29:36 AM
Have an abortion Subby
 
2013-01-08 12:30:48 AM
mistakes will be made. dont sweat it
as long as he knows you're on his side , you'll be ok
 
2013-01-08 12:32:52 AM

katerbug72: Last night he slept on the couch and then crawled in with us at four. Tonight he's sleeping on his little sofa bed on the living room floor. I put him in his bed tonight and he got up ten minutes later and went back on the couch, fell off onto his sofa bed and stayed there. Someday, I hope he sleeps in his own bed all night.


Our son did the same stuff. Right about the time he started hating naps, actually. We tried a few things, but the only thing that worked was really physical play to exhaust him. It got us over the sleep hump, anyway. Maybe it's a boy thing, but he sleeps like a champ when we run him ragged every evening. I schedule at least a half hour for light saber battles every evening. The kid is getting pretty good.
 
2013-01-08 12:34:35 AM

SilentStrider: gunsmack: When changing a boy, put a washcloth on it or he will pee all over you and everything else.

word is my father found this out the hard way.


one of many educational advantages of AFV
 
2013-01-08 12:36:41 AM
The F*ck?
 
2013-01-08 12:38:04 AM
I have two kids - my daughter is 4, my son is 3. Daughter was planned (IVF) and son arrived 15.5 months later (natural). They're about the same size, same eyes, quite different otherwise. It's a fantastic feeling to have em yell "Daddy" and give me the leg-hug when I pick them up from daycare. Congratulations on joining the party!

Advice (trying not to repeat here)

1. Sleep while you can.
2. Take care of yourself and wife/gf/so during pregnancy.
3. Birth plans can occasionally go out the window. My wife didn't want an epidural when giving birth to our daughter, but she was induced and when her water broke, it was like going from 0-200 MPH. She asked for the epidural, actually fell asleep during a lot of active labor, woke up and 30 mins later we were parents. At first she thought she'd failed somehow, but realized that the epidural probably helped her relax and avoid the emergency c-section. However, when our son came along, wife had pre-eclampsia bad enough to threaten the baby, so son was born at 28 weeks and spent two months in the NICU. Not the way we wanted him to come into the world, but now he's doing fine and weighs more than his sister does.
4. You can never have too many burp cloths.
5. Take pictures and video, back them up, but live in the moment too. Example - we got our daughter's first roll-over on video. I had the camera on and pointed at her, but I was watching her rather than the viewfinder. Much better experience, and we have it on video, too.
6. Baby gas-x, teething tablets, baby tylenol. If you use these, buy more before you run out to avoid those 3 am trips to CVS, Walgreen's, etc. Same goes for diapers and wipes.
7. Breastfeeding is awesome. Some moms can do it, some can't, don't judge. Formula farts suck. Son was on a special brand due to the premature birth. You would not believe the eye-watering, room-clearing farts that came out of that boy.
8. When it's solid food time, make your own if you can. There are books on the subject and as long as you have a blender, food processor or food mill, it's easy to pulverize food, then either serve or freeze for later Costs less and is much more nutritious than the jarred stuff.
9. Be firm, be fair, and don't be afraid to change activities and do something silly if everybody's crabby. There aren't a lot of sounds that are more fun than giggling toddlers.
10. Read to your kids every day. There are plenty of good book suggestions by others in this thread.
11. My daughter was a pee fountain during diaper changes. My son never peed on me, probably because I followed the maxim of positioning the baby and myself to avoid such things, then treating him as if he was loaded and ready to go off at any second. In other words, duck, change fast, breathe easy.
12. Enjoy being a parent. Best job ever.
 
2013-01-08 12:38:10 AM

ZombieApocalypseKitten: Know the signs of autism and get screened. The smallest little things wrong can be warnings for something huge.

//early intervention helps a lot.


And in all seriousness, please please please please do not let the doctor prescribe your child antibiotics until they are at least in primary school. Unless it's for something quite obviously fatal.
 
2013-01-08 12:40:28 AM

discgolfguru: katerbug72: Last night he slept on the couch and then crawled in with us at four. Tonight he's sleeping on his little sofa bed on the living room floor. I put him in his bed tonight and he got up ten minutes later and went back on the couch, fell off onto his sofa bed and stayed there. Someday, I hope he sleeps in his own bed all night.

Our son did the same stuff. Right about the time he started hating naps, actually. We tried a few things, but the only thing that worked was really physical play to exhaust him. It got us over the sleep hump, anyway. Maybe it's a boy thing, but he sleeps like a champ when we run him ragged every evening. I schedule at least a half hour for light saber battles every evening. The kid is getting pretty good.


Light saber battles. Awesome! My kid has energy to spare and I have no idea where he gets it as he lives off goldfish crackers and air. He runs and runs all day, doesn't nap too often and still goes to bed after 8pm.
 
2013-01-08 12:44:23 AM
Don't listen to all those people who are telling you to sleep now. Take this opportunity to become accustomed to lack of sleep, prior to the new stressor being added to your environment.
 
2013-01-08 12:44:31 AM
Teach him by example, provide him with the tools he needs to obtain the best education he can get, teach him the value of hard work,that he is responsible for his own way thru life, be caring of others and humble in nature, grant everyone the respect that all men should give each other until that person shows you they are not worthy of respect.

Honor and integrity before anything else.

Always try to do the right thing, it is self evident most of the time.

Congrats to you subby.


\Unless subby is Corvus, they pray for us all.
 
2013-01-08 12:44:37 AM
Don't be selfish. As a parent, you're going to have to go without... a lot of things.
 
2013-01-08 12:44:44 AM
Fill what's empty
Empty what's full
And if you have time, scratch where it itches.
 
2013-01-08 12:46:12 AM

katerbug72: skullkrusher: You are likely going to see your wife shiat for (probably) the first time.

My husband got to see my intestines laying on my stomach. He never lets me forget it.


whoa - friend of mine watched his wife's c-section. Has not forgotten it.
 
2013-01-08 12:46:26 AM
Here's my list in no particular order.

Growth Spurts: They happen in cycles. You can tell because you kids suddenly eats you out of house and home and is constantly tired. Just go with it. Feed them as much nutritious food as you can (esp protein!) and keep things calm and easy at home while they are going through what is basically constant sleep deprivation. This happens until the leave home so just be aware.

Sleep: Even into elementary school kids need between 10-12hrs. Everyone is different though. If your kid is happy and handles disappointment well, they're probably getting enough sleep. If they're easily frustrated, prone to tears, and can't handle basic stuff (No, you can't watch tv until 10pm.) they need more sleep.

Apologize: Kids can figure out pretty quickly if you just got after them for something dumb. You're tired, you misunderstood something, whatever. It happens from time to time. Don't be afraid to say you're sorry. It's not weakness, it's called not being an asshole.

Become a behaviorologist: I scared the every loving heck out of my parents as a baby. I had been playing quietly that day. A little more low key than usual, but still up and about and having fun. Until they felt my forehead and realized I had a raging fever and was actually very sick. If your kid suddenly starts acting different than normal, check into it, regardless of how innocent it seems.

Keep them alive: Seems silly until you realize kids have a knack for trying to kill themselves. Whether it's sticking things in electrical outlets, eating pretty colored things, suddenly and completely inexplicable dashing in front of a car, or chugging a bottle of nyquil because hey why not? There is no end to the amount of life threatening activities kids will suddenly decide to engage in for no particular reason. This happens all the way into their 20's. Try to head them off at the pass as best you can.

Light speed has nothing on baby speed: More than one parent has had a heart attack because junior was suddenly "just here a second ago!" If you're not in a place where you can safely leave them to go to the bathroom, keep your eye on them! If you're in public, hold hands.

Become a Prepper: Well, for kids that is. Keep all necessary medication, tools and other items in the house at all times. Kids have a knack for getting hurt or coming down with the sick once all the stores and doctors are closed. Having a thermometer, infant tylenol, pedialyte, ace bandage, bandaids and such on hand is a huge help. Save your sick days, you'll need them for your kids...and then yourself after your kids are well. Keep extra food on hand for those evenings where your kid can suddenly eat more than you can. And...yes it sounds silly, extra large clothes on hand as well. One day they'll be getting dressed and all of a sudden their clothes don't fit. Literally, they can't move their arms or button their pants. Having some pjs and a day outfit or two on hand will get you to the next shopping trip.

And last but not least...

Results matter: If your kid is developing into a nice and decent human being, you're doing it right. If your kid is developing into a self-centered unfeeling asshole, you're doing it wrong. It doesn't matter if you're following every "child raising" book out there. It doesn't matter if you're doing everything that worked for *you* as a kid. If your kid isn't developing into a decent human being, you need to change what you're doing. And you need to keep doing it until you find what works for this particular child (everyone is different, if you have a second child you are right back at square one.)

And don't let your personal beliefs on what constitutes "proper discipline" get in the way of effectively parenting your child. If you need to, change those beliefs.

If you've exhausted your repertoire and still haven't had any luck, don't be afraid to get professional help. Hopefully your kid doesn't have a mental disorder, but who knows?

********************************************************************* * ********************************************************************** ****

Enjoy it! You are about to have one of the most fun, insane, drive you crazy (in both good and bad ways) time of your life! ;)

/best wishes to you and the new family! :)
 
2013-01-08 12:46:55 AM
Being Grandpa is more fun than being Dad.

/much more
 
2013-01-08 12:49:13 AM

erewhon: Oh, yeah. Start teaching them languages early while they can still learn them correctly.

I recommend Mandarin, maybe a couple of the more common African languages.

When he gets about six, start teaching him how to climb and rappel, get him a little ALICE and make him run a lot, teach him to land nav without gps.

He'll have a great career later.

/this is a fuze. Some people call them blasting caps. This one's a 250ms delayed electric fuze. You can tell by the markings. Why would we use delayed fuzing?


You forgot to include lessons on stockpiling gold and MREs.
 
2013-01-08 12:49:24 AM
Best advice was from my younger brother, who had kids first.

MISTAKES WILL BE MADE. And the kid will probably live.
 
2013-01-08 12:50:49 AM
Learn some DIY home renovation skills.

newsimg.bbc.co.uk
 
2013-01-08 12:51:17 AM
Foam earplugs. They're comfortable, and you can lovingly cuddle and care for a screaming infant at night, while remaining calm and patient yourself. It's much easier to do the things you need to do if you're not under sonic attack. Likewise, you can take turns with your wife wearing them at night, so at least one of you gets some sleep each night. Don't forget to keep some in the car, for those car trips where a screaming kid can be dangerously distracting.

Some kids cry more than others, but they all cry.
 
2013-01-08 12:52:18 AM

skullkrusher: katerbug72: skullkrusher: You are likely going to see your wife shiat for (probably) the first time.

My husband got to see my intestines laying on my stomach. He never lets me forget it.

whoa - friend of mine watched his wife's c-section. Has not forgotten it.


My wife was a C section, but I only saw her from the chest up. The rest was curtained off. The thing they don't tell you about C sections is that the docs have to really muscle the baby out. When the delivery moment came, I had one thought... it's like my wife's lower extremities are being ravaged by wolves. It's pretty violent. Her whole body was being jerked around. They had a plastic sheet that I could see hung over a partition, and it had a whole lot of pockets that were filled with little bloody things. I didn't ask about those.Probably best not to.
 
2013-01-08 01:02:58 AM
Put your kid's interests ahead of your's. And before he leaves the nest, make sure he has an idea what he wants to be and what he wants to do with his life.

My mom took zero interest in me as a kid. She couldn't be bothered to leave her couch and sober up to help me out as a kid. And instead of helping me academically, she kept mum on all the help I could've gotten in getting ahead in this world.

I'm 55 now. No family, no career, no future. And all because my mom wanted a lifelong bar stool buddy to keep her company.
 
2013-01-08 01:03:48 AM
Read to the little one. Even when he's in the womb, read to him, talk to him.
 
2013-01-08 01:04:30 AM
Change your name, wipe out all your financial accounts and move to Europe and become one with the gypsies.
 
2013-01-08 01:04:35 AM

discgolfguru: My wife was a C section, but I only saw her from the chest up. The rest was curtained off. The thing they don't tell you about C sections is that the docs have to really muscle the baby out. When the delivery moment came, I had one thought... it's like my wife's lower extremities are being ravaged by wolves. It's pretty violent. Her whole body was being jerked around. They had a plastic sheet that I could see hung over a partition, and it had a whole lot of pockets that were filled with little bloody things. I didn't ask about those.Probably best not to.


Weird. Pockets of bloody things. I didn't see a thing but it sure felt weird and I couldn't stop shivering because of the morphine. I couldn't really feel anything but a little pressure and I felt much lighter after they took him out. Everyone had a face mask except the anesthesiologist. He was a weird guy with no personality. Why wasn't he wearing a mask?!!?
 
2013-01-08 01:07:14 AM
I've raised three an the oldest is 18.

Dad is the anchor, the security, the defender, the provider, the teacher, and the lawgiver.


First of all, let me congratulate you on sticking around to BE a father. This is not the given situation which previous generations expected of any real man. Children who grow up without a strong father figure grow up with lots of problems and have a much harder time in life. Statistically, they are much more likely to end up dead or in prison at an earlier age without a male elder role model. We learn best from a 2-parent family, I feel. A single parent, as good and hard as they work at doing their job, still lacks the second perspective to give a child, as well as early examples of how a couple should live in harmony and with respect and love for each other. I think that works for gay OR straight couples. These things are best taught by day to day examples, like letting a kid see you two hug and kiss and call each other pet names and show affection and talk out problems and console each other in sadness and sharing joy. So I thank and salute you for just showing the hell UP. You're unfortunately the minority these days, But it is good news for your kid that they have a mom AND a dad.


The kids are yours, but not forever: your first duty is not to be their "bro", but to raise good human beings who can function in the world and make their own way without you, because some day you will be dead and no longer there to handle problems. You are trying to work your way out of this job as soon as practical. That means sometimes they will hate you or be angry or resentful. Don't let that get to you, and don't cave on principles: they will come around eventually and understand and appreciate what you've done when they are older. Consistent love and discipline is your gift to them. More on this later.

First, in the caveman/ bring home the bacon department:

Before the birth, bank a lot of prepared food away so all you need to do is reheat and serve. You will both be dead-ass tired all the time the first month or two. Arrange easy-care clothing and laundry. Arrange the bills and put as much of your "outside" life as possible on auto-pilot.

If you can take advantage of the family leave act, take at least a month off, then slowly taper off with short work weeks or half-days for another 2 weeks. More if a c-section birth. She's going to need it.

In-laws can be a huge help. We couldn't have made it without my MIL helping out a bit.

Take the lamaze class with her, even if you're doing a regular hospital delivery: the same breathing and pain control techniques they teach in LaMaze will help if she ends up having a c-section and being in pain every time she gets up, lies down, or moves.

YOU will let her sleeping and recover as much as possible, YOU do the late night bottle feedings and bring the baby from the crib to mom for breast feeding and YOU wlll take the baby back to the crib when feeding is over. You will do your share of diaper changing and never complain. These maintenance tasks are humble but very important for proper bonding and building trust with the kid. Promote breastfeeding for six months up to a year old if you can; stats show it makes the baby healthier and smarter.

Rub her feet, good and hard, every day; pregnancy is murder on women's feet. Start the rubs by mid-pregnancy and never stop. Do it while you watch TV together. Back rubs are good too, but keep them non-sexual, without expectations. This will keep some physical intimacy going between you, as well, until she's ready for something more. That, BTW, has to happen on HER time table, not yours. So what else is new? However, you can hasten the happy return to normal sex by being very encouraging every day regarding affirming your love for her and telling her she's still beautiful to you and desirable. Use the foot rub or back rub time to just talk things over. Later, try going to workouts together to help her get back into shape sooner.


The crying is very hard to deal with for first-timers: there were times the first week where I could start to understand how some parents snap and hurt their kids, and I'm not living in a trailer on food stamps or nothing: I was a mature, well-educated, employed 30-year-old man and it nearly broke me from the sleep deprivation and pure ennervation a baby's cries can cause. You were genetically programmed to respond to this noise. You can survive it, take a time-out outside or go sit in the car for a while if you have to, or call a relative to come spell you for the mental health break. After about 2 weeks, you will be over the hump and so will the baby start toning it down on their own. You will become expert at discerning a feed me cry from a change me cry from a I'm too hot or cold or bored or jazzed up/over-stimulated and need my sleepy time cry.

We didn't do much baby talking to our kids: we always spoke proper english and used good grammar around the kids from infancy, and my kids were all 3rd-grade readers with 5th grade vocabularies by pre-school or kindergarten. We did do a lot of singing and had music every day of some sort. A dad thing can be gathering and curating these materials. Have reading materials around all over the place, make sure the kids get physical little books from an early age, and let them see and hear you reading all the time. Reading aloud to the kids, doing the voices of characters, was one of mine and their most favorite activities, and we always made a big deal out of it with special lighting (candles) and rituals like where to sit and etc. Your kids today with your fancy gadgets and screens, sure, let the kids get familiar with these tech toys but don't skimp on old-fashioned cardboard and felt picture books and etc. and keep their exposure to the idiot box low and highly controlled for quality content. Openly and verbally critique what you watch together; discuss what you see and ask about what they think of the character's behavior and actions, use the TV examples to explain and teach your values... explain the lies and traps of commercials, teach them to be critical viewers. Same with gaming.

Along with literacy and numeracy teaching of your kids, it would be nice to instill in them healthy habits and attitudes about fun and exercise and even sports. They can help jeep YOU in shape, as they grow, you can lay on the floor and use them as free weights and later, run/chase/play tag/play catch/ wrestle/ticklefight, etc. Be active and they will be active too. Eat good things in front of them and they will grow up having a taste for good things as well. Any example they get to SEE you living is worth ten lectures. And the corollary is: if you tell them what's good for them but you don't get seen following that, you lose status and respect and you teach them bad things. Fatass.

Once the baby is born, within a few weeks, you will go to the bank and set up what is called a 529 plan, this is basically like a 401K plan but for paying for college, which by the time YOUR kids are 18, will cost as much as the GDP of a small nation. Tell your relatives you have done this, and they will enjoy adding contributions to this plan from time to time on birthdays and etc, believe it or not. It's better than getting savings bonds. Set up payroll deductions at work to automatically put away a slice of your pay into that 529 right off the top, you will pretend you don't even know it is happening. Payroll deduction and compounding interest is awesome as well for your own retirement, which you should be working at the whole time, do NOT wait to start that because the kid expenses are high right now. Explore if your state has a 529 plan that locks in tuition and other costs for state colleges at today's rates, and get enrolled in that plan, pronto. Such plans are tax free, insured, and portable; that is, if they decide they don't want to go to State after high school, they can take that money out and put it into some other school without too much trouble. If they decide to not go to school, you can convert some or most of it to cash to fund their search for meaning or whatever. By the time your kid is 18, they will have school pre-paid for, and can concentrate on working a job thru high school to put away cash for living expenses when they move out of your house to live on their own, which was your goal.


Key items we found most useful: a baby "bouncer", which is a cloth and wire baby lounge chair kind of thing you put on the floor, and you can make it bounce or rock with just your foot. The baby soon learns THEY can make it bounce with their own foot, and they will soothe themselves into long peaceful naps this way. The springy harness-thing that hangs in a doorway like a paratrooper training aid, that shiat keeps them exercised and entertained for hours if they can always see into both rooms and see what you're doing. A good way to get them to sleep as well, but for when they are a little older. These things are portable and handy to take on road trips.

Use cameras that are good in low light and need no flashes, and you'll get tons of great candid shots over time, without conditioning the baby against cameras. Great for peek a boo games.

Light weight umbrella strollers are super handy and cheap. You don't always need the heavy duty pram for everything.

The "Snugli" baby carrier is handy for moms or dads and lets you keep both hands free while hauling the kid around. Let unmarried guys snicker: women seeing you with this are all going to get moist from seeing your hot dad-ness.

Get a good quality rocker or gliding type rocking chair with a footstool. This is essential for breastfeeding as well as soothing rocking action while watching TV or whatnot, she NEEDS this.

Babies and toddlers grow out of things before they wear out. DO use resale stores for used baby clothes and toys, you will save LOTS of money and the kids don't miss out on anything.

Get a baby monitor if you want, get them used, because after a couple of months you will be over the need for them. Old model baby monitors used the same radio channels as portable house phones, beware that sometimes your neighbors can eavesdrop on you all day this way. Same goes for unsecured nanny cams and wireless monitoring.


I'm going to say this once: your movie-going life is over for about four years. Do not take your baby to the movies, not for any movies. Any movie you want to see bad enough, you can afford to arrange a sitter, or you can wait for it to be available for download or DVD rental or whatever. You are a PARENT now. Parenting is sacrifice. More over, you should be a RESPONSIBLE parent, and not inflict your new parenthood on others at theatres when not absolutely necessary. The noise and lights are not good for the kid, nor are the adult themes.

A corollary to this is, if you are church-going folk, or temple or whatever, sit in the farthest back row, close to the exits or the "crying room" if the venue has one. Everybody in the church thinks you are an ass if you come in late, sit up front and let the baby or toddler make noise and/or disrupt services the whole time, it is NOT cute yo just let them cry or carry on, you are just a shiatty parent without consideration for others. Start in the back row, where it doesn't matter you came in late again because the kid pooped just as you were getting in the car. What helps with that, is to keep the kids on a rigid time schedule for feeding and pooping, timed so they are not needing either for the hour of church. Feeding them a slug of formula about fifteen minutes ahead will usually conk them out for 45 minutes at least. As they get to toddlerhood, SILENT toys and maybe a handful of cherios IF THEY STAY QUIET will keep them in line. When they act up, IMMEDIATELY remove them to a quiet spot and stay there until you can get them quiet. God will forgive.

In the discipline department, I highly recommend the "1,2,3, Magic" system; grab the book or video and watch it and decide for yourself. I will say it completely turned around our kid with ADHD and in church, at public functions, in stores, or a real restaurant, our kids never embarrassed us; quite the contrary, people went out of their way to come up to us and complement us on how well-behaved the kids were. We would joke that the key was "regular beatings", but truthfully, with the 123 magic system, you don't need physical violence to make it work, and it remains effective if you are consistent. A very short description of the technique goes like this: kids are not little versions of grown-ups that can be reasoned with; they are not born with reason functioning, they are more like animals and tou the lion tamer, the first year or so. Kids are also born scientists: everything they do, they do to test the world around them and to discover what the real natural laws of the world are. Dropping spoons off the table over and over, that is a game but also it is checking to see that gravity remains a constant. Violating a limit you have set on something, whatever that is, is testing to see if you really mean it or are bullshiatting them, and if you fail, you ar teaching them to ignore you and figure out some other system of rules. They learn consequences and cause and effect from the moment they are born. And they NEED to learn cause and effect and consequences for breaking rules or hurting people, in order to learn empathy for others and how to get along in a society. Your greatest gift to them is to be constant in your love as you are in your setting clear boundaries, and sticking to what you say you will do. The 123 method is a way of cuing the child when they approach a boundary or limit, and the first couple of times they WILL violate the limits you set, to see what happens. If you love them, you will be CONSISTENT and always follow a warning with the consequence, not with anger, just conviction. We found that four or five years old was about the right time to start this program, the year before preschool or kindergarten.
 
2013-01-08 01:08:09 AM
You won't get a decent nights sleep for at least 3-4 months. The key in the beginning is to sleep whenever the baby does (any wierd hour of the day). When the baby falls asleep- you go lay down and try to shut your big brain off for long enough to grab a few Zs.

Make sure you tag team responsibilities with your partner. A new baby situation where only one parent is doing all the work is not only unfair, but it will come back to bite the other parent on the ass one day, and maybe every day for the rest of their lives.

Once you get over the 6 month hump, you will be blown away by how amazingly engaging the kid is and you can't remember a time when they weren't a part of your life, and Christmas is 1000 times more fun than when you were a kid.

You get to watch them eat their first ice cream and first cotton candy, help them fly their first kite and ride a bike. They rekindle in you the possibilities of life and the beautiful things about this world that we all lose sight of as we get snarkier and farkier.
 
2013-01-08 01:08:20 AM

gunsmack: When changing a boy, put a washcloth on it or he will pee all over you and everything else.


While laughing with gusto.

Achievement unlocked!
 
2013-01-08 01:09:18 AM
Lots of great advice here.  Sleep is big.  You also are done having money anywhere near you. DON'T SHAKE THE BABY, VERY BAD .
Buy three months of diaper service AND THEN give the delivery guy a tip when he shows up.  He will spend a few moments thanking you.  Those few words will be the only human sounds you'll hear all week, if you're a stay at home dad.  You will learn to cherish those words.

Good luck . . . We're all counting on you.
 
2013-01-08 01:14:32 AM
Say goodbye to Fark for at least two years. You aren't gonna have time.
 
2013-01-08 01:16:39 AM
Buy the brand name condoms in the future.
 
2013-01-08 01:16:51 AM
If you put in the work. The kid will turn out great.

If the kid is smarter than you, that's a GOOD thing.
 
2013-01-08 01:18:32 AM
My wife is a "hovermom" around our son. He just turned 15, so he' had his drivers ed, and now learners permit.I'm waiting for the day when her takes her new Camry SE out at night, and takes our credit cards.He was born 7 weeks premature, spent a month in NICU, and didn't start talking until 4 years old. Now he won't shut up.He had the umbilical cord around his neck at birth, when my wife would push, he'd poke out, then when she relaxed, he'd go back in.The doc had to perform an episiotomy to cut the cord and get him out.Blood and amniotic fluid everywhere.THe nurses rushed him out of the room to an incubator, said it was a girl. when they brought him out, all in pink, my wife took one look and said "That's not a girl".He's 5'9"now, and really good in soccer and track. If you get down, remember it's not permanent, just do the best you can, it'll pass.
When my wife planned her pregnancy, she had me pick her up an E.P.T. I was inthe back yard splitting firewood when she said "It's turning pink!". hen I hung my head and said "I've done a baaaad thing".(Lou Costello voice).
 
2013-01-08 01:19:48 AM

Suckmaster Burstingfoam:
You forgot to include lessons on stockpiling gold and MREs.


I never got enough gold to stockpile but I am an MRE expert, sad to say.

I would have been bad-ass if I'd had my languages down without any accent when I got there, though. It's tough to do if you don't start early.
 
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