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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
    More: Advice  
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4811 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 12:10:48 PM  

namegoeshere: Make sure they can't reach the curtains, shades, or wallpaper border from the crib. What they can touch, they will destroy eat.

2012-10-08 12:10:49 PM  
If you try to do everything perfectly per the books and all that, you'll lose your mind. It's ok to cut corners every now and then. A friend had a baby that would only sleep on her stomach for the first year. She didn't die of SIDS. Advice like 'always put your baby on its back' is meant to tick the national infant mortality rate down by .01%. Most kids won't be at risk from violating that rule occasionally. Use your own instincts.

The baby's grandparents are going to become very annoying. Also very useful.

Do not fail to spend time A) with the baby, B) with your spouse, and C) for yourself. Balance between them will preserve your sanity.

No amount of baby-proofing is perfect, but it doesn't have to be. If you are solely relying on baby-proofing, you aren't doing your job.

Germs are ok in moderation. They can help your baby develop an immune system.

Bumbos/walkers/exersaucers/swings/bouncers are great and useful products, but are not a replacement for watching your baby.
2012-10-08 12:10:54 PM  
The nicest thing anyone said to me came from an old school friend. "Everyone will tell you how much work it is, what a dreadful responsibility it is, how you won't sleep and so on. Nobody will tell you how much fun it is. It's enormous fun." And by golly he was right.

That aside, I would just point out that it's actually incredibly easy. Babies are designed to be brought up in the backs of caves. 99% of all baby equipment is unnecessary. Follow your instincts, relax, do what feels right and to hell with anyone who advises you differently.
2012-10-08 12:10:55 PM  
One night, at about 1:00 AM, one of my daughters woke up crying, sat up in her toddler bed, and puked all over herself and the bed. We got her in the tub and cleaned up, got the dirty sheets and jammies into the washer, made the bed, put fresh jammies on her, and got her back into bed...

...just in time for her to puke all over herself and the bed, again.

Things like this will happen to you.
2012-10-08 12:11:29 PM  
If it is a boy, be sure to name him Sue, as that way he will grow quick and mean.
2012-10-08 12:11:34 PM  
All kids are different and if you try and follow someone else's plan you will spend the first year thinking something is wrong.

And you will get Poop on you. Get over it.
2012-10-08 12:11:50 PM  

Earpj: Some hospitals don't have nurseries anymore.

Some hospitals have nurseries? Good grief. Nineteen sixty seven called. It wants its child raising theories back.
2012-10-08 12:11:53 PM  
When the miracle of birth happens, there will be about 30 people surrounding the baby doing bad things to it (like sticking tubes down it's throat). They do this all the time and they know what they are doing.

As soon as the baby is handed to you, they will show you how to put a diaper on. Before you do this, have them put vaseline or something similar all over the baby's bottom. IT makes getting merconium off (the early poo stuff) much much easier.

Then you get to babysit a hungry/cranky baby for a bit until they get finished with mom.

We didn't get a breathing monitor or baby monitor. We have a small house and could hear her.

For car seats look on line (Albee Baby is a good place to start). They have discontinued colors for big discounts. If you have a second car a Cosco Scenera is a spectacular choice for well under $100.

90% of the stuff at the baby store you don't need. If you do need it, you can go out and get it.

Look for 'Boot Camp for Dads' at your local hospital. It is a great class.

Get some cloth diapers to put on the changing pad. Then you just have to swap out the diaper, not the entire pad.

Babies snore and are puke factories. They can make an art out of projectile vomiting.

Get in a groove and have fun with the little one. Having a bundle of joy snoozing on you will put a smile on your face.
2012-10-08 12:12:13 PM  
Get on a schedule.

It makes everything much easier. If one of you is a night owl and the other is a morning person - use that to your advantage. Share the responsibilities.

Oh, and get the Diaper Champ instead of the Diaper Genie. It seals everything up into a regular kitchen trash bad - which you won't run out of. Those strings of Diaper Genie turds frequently fail and cost tons of money.

P.S. - enjoy the second trimester sex. It is the best sex.
2012-10-08 12:12:19 PM  
Buy a rocking chair you can get out of without using your hands.

When you're at the end of your rope punt to your S.O. and go outside for a few minutes. Allow you're S.O. to do the same
2012-10-08 12:12:47 PM  
1) Take anything you love or value and put it at least 3 feet of the ground once they start crawling and walking, because they WILL get it and WILL fark it up beyond repair as soon as you turn your back
2) Know the number to poison control. Seriously
3) It's never too early for a babysitter so you can GTFO the house
4) You ARE going to get barfed, pissed, and shiat on
5) You more than likely won't get a solid nights sleep for 18 months so enjoy it now
6) Have fun and don't worry too much, they're pretty much all cartilage and will bounce back pretty easily.
7) Don't let your wife talk to too many other women who have had babies, they're like old guys at the VFW telling war stories, she'll hear nothing but things that will freak her out
8) Make sure that you make time for yourself, the kid comes first of course, but you've still have to be able to do your own thing. Your free time as you know it is pretty much gone for 2 years
9) Sex, see above and get a lock for your door
10) It's your child do what you think is right regardless of what anyone may think. Some of the "best" parents are people who have never had kid. Good luck and congratulations
2012-10-08 12:12:47 PM  
Don't get the big bottle of cheap whiskey and drink way to much of it. opt for something nice and take it slow.
2012-10-08 12:12:52 PM  

tricycleracer: Get a travel job now. My buddy gets to spend 4 days a week 1000 miles from home in a nice, quiet hotel room. He says he'll get a desk job when the kid hits little league age.

♫ cat's in the cradle...♫
2012-10-08 12:13:52 PM  
Invest in a jogging stroller, you kid will most likely sleep well in it, you can give mom a break, you get exercise and you get some time to yourself.
2012-10-08 12:13:53 PM  
Enjoy it!
Happy kids > clean house
If you remember to think about it, write on the backs of the pictures that you print!
2012-10-08 12:14:01 PM  

Grapist: Scietntific studies have show that pregnant ladies are 47% more likely to let you put it in their butt.

This can't be more true. The ONLY time in twenty years she let me was when she was pregnant. Take advantage while you can.
2012-10-08 12:14:19 PM  
Just relax. You might be surprised how natural most of it comes to you. (I was)

Have fun.

Find a way to bottle a good night sleep so you can open it later and use it and become a trillionaire.
2012-10-08 12:14:23 PM  

Gwendolyn: 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?

Warm bottom-bath.
2012-10-08 12:14:38 PM  
Regarding poop, when the diaper gets filled - wait 5 minutes. Usually there's a second round.
2012-10-08 12:14:58 PM  
One thing I learned for the second kid, that I wished I'd known for the first...

When you find something that keeps your baby asleep, don't ever feel guilty about using it.
First child would fall asleep in arms but as soon as he was flat in the crib he'd wake up screaming.

Second kid was the same way, but one night I put him in his car seat (the portable one you just click in the car, oh and BTW, those are awesome) and he stayed asleep.... For then on he slept in his car seat instead of his crib for a good 4 months.

/keep an open mind
//what works for others might not work for you and vis versa
2012-10-08 12:15:02 PM  
It's the most wonderful thing in the worl...GAWD!  I can't lie.  Its horrible.  You can't get enough sleep.  Someone is always sick.  There is no money for fun stuff which is fine because you will be too tired to go out anyway.  Doctors visits.  School issues.  Broken hearts and sports and pretty much everything you hated about your own as an adult living vicariously through your spud.
My advice...get a reality show gig.  Here Comes Honey Sub Submitter.
2012-10-08 12:15:27 PM  
You will become impervious to all bodily fluids
2012-10-08 12:15:36 PM  
Don't be a farking helicopter parent. Just let your kid explore the world and be adventurous. And let them learn from their mistakes, even if it means an occasional trip to the doctor, or even the ER. That's just life.
2012-10-08 12:15:40 PM  
If the mother to be is prone to freak-outs (but a good idea for anyone), take a "So your expecting a baby" class at the local hospital (usually free). Our class was run by a doula. My wife learned that everything she was feeling was pretty normal and got to hear what other women were going through. Calmed her down exponentially.

Like others have said, wait to tell anyone till after the first trimester. I hand a few friends jump the gun on that, but it only takes one to burn that leason into you. Also, don't buy anything baby related till then.

Be supportive after that, you don't want the stories about what an a-hole you were during pregnancy, because those stories will come up at every gathering you attend for the rest of your life.
2012-10-08 12:15:53 PM  
Don't call them "crotchfruit."
2012-10-08 12:15:54 PM  
1. Learn to use
2. If you have a gassy baby (you will know daily quickly), put mylacon drops in the bottle.
3. Sign up for the Publix baby club
4. Enjoy every second with them. You cannot comprehend what it means when someone says "they grow u so fast" until you are a parent.
5. Your child's world may be smaller and simpler than yours, but its just as important and complex to them as yours is to you. Ask them about their day and listen to them.
2012-10-08 12:16:11 PM  
Don't let your kid do something ONCE that you won't let them do a thousand times. Seriously, DON'T BE A LAZY PARENT. Read "Ceasar's Way", I know it's about dogs but the information he provides about re-enforcing bad behaivor and rewarding positive behaivor applies to small children too (I read it before I had my first child). It's been mentioned already but time will fly. When your child is about 3 years-old he/she will want to play...all the time. No matter how tired, irritated or lazy you're feeling take the time to roll in the grass, play's amazing how quickly it will bring you back to the time when you were a child. You've got a very short window in your life to act like a child in public without being looked at like a wierdo, take advantage of it!
2012-10-08 12:16:47 PM  
Have it at home.
2012-10-08 12:17:11 PM  
Early year education is more critical than generally assumed: get your kid in a Montessori program at least through grade 3. They'll learn early and learn to manage schoolwork well.
2012-10-08 12:17:14 PM  
Figure out what your budget will be after the baby is born. (Factoring in diapers/wipes/clothes/formula/insurance/etc.)
Start moving toward it now, getting there as fast as possible and put the difference in a savings account.
You *will* have forgotten things. You will be surprised by things. You will be happy to have that money.
2012-10-08 12:18:16 PM  

ringersol: Figure out what your budget will be after the baby is born. (Factoring in diapers/wipes/clothes/formula/insurance/etc.)
Start moving toward it now, getting there as fast as possible and put the difference in a savings account.
You *will* have forgotten things. You will be surprised by things. You will be happy to have that money.

Yeah, look up what a daycare costs and start putting that in the bank now. Even if one of you is staying home.
2012-10-08 12:18:27 PM  

Some ideas, your mileage may vary:

- the basics work: get the books, read them realizing not all situations will apply to you and your child, but they'll give you a sense of how the process works. One surprise for me is a newborn is capable of pooping 10x a day, so you do fly through diapers.

- Get an Amazon Prime membership for $79. They generally have competitive prices on most things baby, including diapers. We found them to be a tiny bit cheaper than Costco/BJs, and with free 2 day delivery, it's super convenient. Not having to go out to the store can be a huge time-saver in the first couple months.

- Diaper Genies do work, can be pricey for the replacement bags. We like ours, but other options might save you some $$$. Set up a changing station on each level of the house, running up and down stairs to change diapers gets old, particularly for Mom right after delivery. If you can, a nap space on each level of the house is nice too.

- Bring an inexpensive bathrobe for Mom to the hospital. Not a nice one, there's a good chance it will get goop of various kinds on it. She'll need it to have the right balance of comfort vs. easy access for medical staff.

- If you can swing the cost, I echo a prior poster's suggestion: get a month or several of weekly or bi-weekly cleaning service. No one's going to want to clean the house.

- Again to echo another poster: don't get fancy clothes, basic onezies are the way to go. The ones that unsnap at the bottom (for quick access to diaper changes without removing the rest of the onezie) are good, even better are the ones that unsnap at the shoulder or that wrap kimono style, so you can take them off without going over the baby's head. There will be times the onezie gets soiled, and you really don't want to have to take the soiled onezie off over the baby's head if you can avoid it.

good luck!
2012-10-08 12:18:32 PM  

Dixie_Wrecked: Get used to beating off. You're never getting it the natural way anymore. Invest in lotion.

Lotion futures. *makes mental note*
2012-10-08 12:18:37 PM  
Don't get too emotionally attached to them. They will either disappoint you later in life or slow you down during the zombie apocalypse.
2012-10-08 12:18:43 PM  
I always say if people really knew what having a child entails they probably wouldn't do it. I have a 21 year old senior in college and he is the center of our universe (still) but no book or words of experts can prepare you for your life changing. Since we both work full-time, we'd have a system at the end of the day where we'd look at each other and decided who was the least tired to deal with dinner or baby-feeding. Then the next day, we'd swap. If you feel that you are BOTH in it together, you really do have a lot less resentment. Also, try not to worry what the Joneses are doing since they don't know any more than you do. The best piece of advice that I got from my parents - "Be a parent not a friend.". If your child knows that the only thing you care about is making sure they are a quality human being - they will love and respect you and hopefully be a friend when they are an adult.
2012-10-08 12:19:03 PM  

sxacho: Buy or borrow as many bottles and nipples as you can fit in your sink, preferably all matching, also get a bottle warmer and learn how to operate it in your sleep.

Bottles? Bottle warmers? All that bother and equipment, when the best food is available on tap and for free?
2012-10-08 12:19:22 PM  
Oh..there will be a day when your wife walks up to with the child and says "Here.You take it" She will look like someone you have never seen before. Don't ask any questions. Don't argue. Don't tell here just a minute. Take the child and let her go do whatever it is she needs to do.
2012-10-08 12:20:10 PM  
No one, NO ONE, thinks your kid is as cute, funny, intelligent, etc as you do. They don't, they won't, they can't. Remember, your baby's striking ability to be the cutest, most special baby ever conceived in the history of the world is a defense mechanism. It is designed to keep you from donating it to charity after all the sleepless nights and associated trauma. Strangers, even close friends and family will never think as highly of your baby as you do, so spare them all.
2012-10-08 12:20:11 PM  
Also, you're gonna hear a LOT of impassioned garbage from all over the place regarding skin-to-skin, breast feeding, and all kinds of crazy anecdotal pseudo-scientific horsesh*t from people who will consider you Hitler's scrotum if you don't do everything exactly as they do.

Feed you kid, change diapers, make sure they get enough sleep, don't let them eat paint chips. Beyond that, have at it. Make your own choices.
2012-10-08 12:20:38 PM  
The diapers thing is great idea. Buy diapers now, and keep buying them every time you go grocery shopping. If the grandparents are willing, have them do it, too. My sisters both did this with 4 kids between them, and to my knowledge they were never want for diapers.
2012-10-08 12:20:39 PM  
Sounds weird, but you're not going to think it's yours. You're going to look at at that child up and down and you're going to be proud and show off, but you're not going to think that he or she is yours for a little while. But then you're going to find one part of him/her that you recognize as yours implicitly, one part of them that could have come from no one else. Then it'll sink all the way in.

I'm glad whoever it was warned me before my girl was born. I didn't believe them then, but they were right.

2012-10-08 12:21:33 PM  

Stealthy Ninja Polar Bear: One thing I learned for the second kid, that I wished I'd known for the first...

When you find something that keeps your baby asleep, don't ever feel guilty about using it.
First child would fall asleep in arms but as soon as he was flat in the crib he'd wake up screaming.

Second kid was the same way, but one night I put him in his car seat (the portable one you just click in the car, oh and BTW, those are awesome) and he stayed asleep.... For then on he slept in his car seat instead of his crib for a good 4 months.

/keep an open mind
//what works for others might not work for you and vis versa

I had a buggy with a removable bassinet.
I would put the kid in the bassinet, put the bassinet on my lap (in a rocking chair) and rock the kid to sleep that way. Then, I just had to pick up the bassinet and go back to bed. The baby slept in there, on my large bedside table, for the first 3-4 months. It was awesome.
2012-10-08 12:21:36 PM  
Whatever you are driving isn't big enough. A 1 year old kid has an AMAZING amount of paraphernalia that has to come with every time you go somewhere. My advice: Suburban. With the diesel drivetrain.

If your kid turns out to be colicky, that diesel will be a lifesaver.

/spent 6 months sleeping in an idling Suburban with my daughter in her car seat
2012-10-08 12:21:42 PM  
1) Do everything in your power to ensure that both of you are home for the first few months at the very least. One person taking care of an infant alone, for the first time, is incredibly difficult. It's hard to believe how difficult it is until you do it.
1a) If you can't have both parents home, try to find friends and family who will be willing to come and visit for a full day, and who will be willing to watch the little one(s) for a few hours, make a few meals, do a bit of cleaning, etc.
1b) If you can't have regular friends/family coming over to help, make sure that the bottom three feet of your house is childproofed before the child is born. It's staggering just how extensive that particular task can be, particularly if you're like the Techhell's and have more electronic equipment than we should. Trying to do that with our 7 month old daughter demanding our attention is a rather difficult task for us.

2) If you are using formula make up a bottle when you have the chance. Most can last for up to 24hrs in the fridge, so if you find yourself having 15 min to yourself in the morning, mix up a bottle and it's good until the same time the next day.
2a) If your formula requires purified/boiled water, boil up a large amount of water and store it. At least 5 bottles worth of water.
2b) If you are going to be feeding formula to the baby more than once in the day, mix up multiple bottles or at least enough formula to pour into the bottles when needed.
2c) Don't listen to ANYONE who tells you that you shouldn't bottle feed or formula feed your baby, Well, listen, yeah - don't stick your fingers in your ears and go "LA LA LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU!", but don't let them have an undue influence on your decision. There's a hell of a lot of crap out there about only using the Breast, that using formula is some sort of a failure on the part of your wife, etc. Do what you need to do for your baby, your wife and yourself.

3) Make a budget for things you need for yourselves and your child. Then plan for needing at least 10% more.
3a) Don't spend more than $100 on everyday baby clothes, like onesies and sleepers. People with children are quite often very willing to give away their old childrens clothing, and people tend to give you lots of baby clothing as gifts.
3b) Don`t buy shoes for your own baby until that baby is walking. Don`t buy a single pair of baby shoes. Just don`t.
3c) Your baby doesn't care what they're dressed in. Your baby doesn't care if they're dressed at all. Your little boy doesn't care if he's wearing a pink onesie that says "Daddy's little Princess!". Your little girl doesn't care if she's wearing a little Tigers jersey that says "Daddy's Little Slugger!". Your baby only cares that they are warm and comfortable - everything else is the ego of the Parents.

4) The way the economy is going, both you and your wife are going to be working into your 70's. Remember that when you consider the trade off between the potential harm to your career now by taking time off to care for your child, or by trying to build your career by going back to work as soon as possible.
4a) Your career can probably wait.

5) Your child is a unique special snowflake inasmuch as your child is not going to be exactly the same as any other child ever written about or raised. Take every bit of advice with a pound of salt.
5a) When you've discovered things that work for you and your child, you're going to sound just like the rest of us when dispensing your advice. Be as polite to people providing you advice as you want them to be polite to you when you provide your advice to them.
2012-10-08 12:21:51 PM  
Congratulations! (no advice, but good luck!)
2012-10-08 12:21:51 PM  
No one ever told me about the actual physical abuse they put you through. This includes, but is not limited to:

- Ripping out large clumps of body hair
- Cornea gouging, scratching
- Ball kicking, punching etc.
- Slapping
- Punching
- Biting
- Kicking
- Body slamming (laying on the floor is particularly hazardous, you will find)

All of this will hurt. A lot. But you will still have to sit there and take it and say "Awww look how cute they are. With their finger jammed in my eyball. Awwww."

/not really sure this qualifies as advice as I have no solution to this problem, just be ready
2012-10-08 12:22:20 PM  
Ok, one last and I've got to get out of this thread. You can never have too many socks, and the best baby things are at the auto parts store. If it's soft enough to polish your damn car, it's soft enough for the baby. And probably cheaper. And without those stupid animal characters on it. Also, you'll be needing that Orange Goop in a few years.

2012-10-08 12:22:34 PM  
I've got two, one of each gender, separated by about 3 years. They're both pretty good kids, intelligent, curious and can be thoughtful and sweet... but not when they're together. Always needling each other, yelling at each other and being all around rotten. Plus, since the time they could toddle, they follow me around because I'm the adult who does interesting things, its too often my attention that they are vying for. On weekends, their other parent just wants to have downtime - TV shows on the Internet, shopping and the like, while I tinker in the garage, build things like trebuchets and treehouses, answer their questions about the world around them.

OK, so I guess my advise is to choose your SO wisely. Oh, wait. You've already chosen. Well, good luck.
2012-10-08 12:22:44 PM  

soakitincider: barring a medical issue, everyone of reproductive age is a breeder. Where did that usage of the term come from anyhow?

The gays coined it as a derogatory term during their struggle for special rights.
2012-10-08 12:22:46 PM  
1) Mom must sleep when the baby sleeps!
2) Trust your instincts about why the baby is crying.
3) Breast is best but if the milk hasn't come in or the baby is having trouble with proper latch, an ounce of formula isn't going to hurt anything. a.k.a. Don't let yourself be bullied by La Leche.
4) If you are dealing with #3, hire a lactation consultant to give advice on getting a proper latch. Worth every penny.
5) Having a video camera turned on but pointed at the floor during the birth will allow you to get the first cry audio but not be something only suitable for a medical reality show.
6) I'm naturally a late night person anyway, so when the kid started taking bottles of pumped breast milk, I would do the midnight feeding to allow mom to sleep 4-5 hours straight. It keeps her sanity in place and therefore yours as well.

I could probably write a book.

/have a 6 and 4 y.o. and still remember some of this stuff like yesterday while this morning's work meeting I couldn't explain without referencing my notes.
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