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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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4812 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»

Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

2012-10-08 11:13:06 AM  
31 votes:
Sleep now. Prepare to no longer be the center of your universe, get used to the idea that you won't be seeing your childless friends as much any more. Be prepared to really truly understand the meaning of the word "responsibility". Forget about having a spotless clean house or nice stuff for the next 6-8 years. I hope that you didn't wait till age forty to do this like I did.

Haha, who am I kidding, there is no way to prepare for what you are about to go though. You'll be fine, you are not unique, most people do it at some point, just try to not be too abusive or neglectful.
2012-10-08 11:36:20 AM  
22 votes:
Don't tell anyone until around week 16. Miscarriages are a biatch.
2012-10-08 11:19:37 AM  
20 votes:
Get a paternity test.
2012-10-08 11:31:12 AM  
17 votes:
vasectomies only hurt for a little while
2012-10-08 11:35:43 AM  
14 votes:
Your friends will be happy and excited for you. But they have limits - don't speak about the kid every minute you are with them because eventually they will kill you.
2012-10-08 11:38:50 AM  
11 votes:
Your job is to turn them into an adult, not to make them like you. They can like you in 20 years when they (hopefully) realize what you were doing.
2012-10-08 11:39:46 AM  
9 votes:
Get an abortion, because anyone who thinks of their little one as a 'crotchfruit' and calls other people who have children 'breeders' should not raise a child.
2012-10-08 11:36:33 AM  
9 votes:
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.
2012-10-08 11:40:13 AM  
8 votes:
If the kid appears to be a little wiggle monster when changing a diaper use the floor, not the changing table. They can't fall off the floor.
2012-10-08 11:43:55 AM  
7 votes:
Remember that nobody wants to see Facebook posts and pictures of ultrasound, fat belly, more ultrasound, nursery decorating, baby shower, more fat belly, hospital pictures, and Billy's First Everything experiences for the next 6 years until the little monster goes off to school. Enjoy those moments yourself, but don't be disillusioned into thinking anyone else gives a crap about your little snowflake.
2012-10-08 11:38:21 AM  
6 votes:
Learn to swaddle like a champ. A tight swaddle works wonders at nap/bedtime. Practice now so you won't suck at it. (use a pillow to simulate a whiny baby)
2012-10-08 11:28:07 AM  
6 votes:
A couple other things: Don't listen to other people's horror stories, especially about childbirth. Don't overthink childbirth, as much as you want to make it a special experience or what ever you and your wife will barely remember it in a few years. Keep it simple to reduce the stress now.
2012-10-08 11:19:14 AM  
6 votes:
Enjoy it.
It seems like it'll drag on forever, but it's gone in the blink of an eye.

/I have 5. Eldest is 21, youngest will be 11 tomorrow.
2012-10-08 11:57:30 AM  
5 votes:
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.
2012-10-08 11:55:19 AM  
5 votes:
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 11:49:41 AM  
5 votes:
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.
2012-10-08 11:48:33 AM  
5 votes:
It is HER labor story. Not yours. Do not tell it.


Not yours.
2012-10-08 11:46:27 AM  
5 votes:
If their crying and fussing has driven you to the point where you're no longer able to handle it calmly, go in another room and crank the stereo or television for a few minutes and calm the fark down. A few more minutes of crying isn't going to hurt them so get your wits about you before you handle it.

I was told that before we had our first and thought it was kind of creepy, like I would never need it. Best advice ever.
2012-10-08 11:40:40 AM  
5 votes:
Every child is different, never compare your child to others. Plus those parents who never have any issues and their kids are the greatest things in the world........are farking lying. If you have a legitimate concern talk to a health professional or you'll worry yourself to death.

It's equally tough as it is enjoyable at first, then you learn to go with the flow.
2012-10-08 11:40:06 AM  
5 votes:
Stop reading this thread now and do whatever you think is right.
2012-10-08 11:39:33 AM  
5 votes:
My wife and I waited, by choice, for 16 years to have our son (two years old now). I whats helpful can depend on your age. I was old enough to have a little more understanding of what other people go through with their children. That said, I would think "training" yourself on having patience is the big thing.

And on the poop thing - don't let it scare you. I was utterly repulsed at the prospect of having to clean another person's shiat. That ended the second my son was flipping a switch. It was nothing.

Oh, and they're going to get dirty and they are going to hurt themselves. Some parents go off the deep end with respect to this. Be reasonable.
2012-10-08 11:22:06 AM  
5 votes:

NowhereMon: Sleep now. Prepare to no longer be the center of your universe, get used to the idea that you won't be seeing your childless friends as much any more. Be prepared to really truly understand the meaning of the word "responsibility". Forget about having a spotless clean house or nice stuff for the next 6-8 years. I hope that you didn't wait till age forty to do this like I did.

Haha, who am I kidding, there is no way to prepare for what you are about to go though. You'll be fine, you are not unique, most people do it at some point, just try to not be too abusive or neglectful.

All great advice. I waited until I was 42 for our first, my wife is older. Our daughter is 6 months old now. Ours HATED the bassinet and only slept in a swing for the first 4 months. Being new parents, we freaked out that something was wrong, etc. Eventually, you realize that the "books" you get and read prior to have children can essentially be thrown away and mean nothing and let your instinct take over. Oh - and prepare to care more about poop than you ever thought imaginable.
2012-10-08 12:19:22 PM  
4 votes:
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 12:09:13 PM  
4 votes:
I have a 5 year old and a 2 year old.

A good baby monitor is about the only gadget that I had to have.

Decide on cloth or disposable but remember that cloth is about twice as difficult, if not more.

Everyone who is "trying" to help will buy you bath tub crap and clothes that will fit your child for about 2 months. Ask for gift certificates or frozen food instead.
I'm still using this bath tub stuff.

Frozen food rocks.

You will find yourself being grateful for baby changing stations in the men's rooms. If there is a man involved that is.

Don't be offended if your child looks to mom for love, and you for fun and will not be convenced otherwise until they are about 3 or 4. Again, I'm a guy so I'm making an assumption here.

No really ask people to make you some frozen food. Start making some yourself.

I talked to my kids all the time. Explaining what was going on, what I was doing and singing etc. Both started talking at a very young age. Correlation or causation idk.

We taught our kids some basic sign language, it helped for about 4 months and it was cool to communicate with my kids before they could talk. But its up to you, I could have done without it.

Baby food is expensive and really unnecessary there are some great books on this topic. Unless you are really dedicated you won't want to make your own.

The things our parents did are probably outdated get a second opinion and if someone tells you you are doing it wrong but your kid is happy and healthy, ignore them.

Not knowing the sex of the child was really fun, we did it both times. We also didn't say what names we had chosen until they were born. Its hard to make fun of a kid's name right after they were born, but everyone will want an opinion before. 

Some kids like to sleep, some don't. Good luck. Once its time to start sleep training them, talk with your parter about how "stern" you want to be. Decide on this in advance, and get a book or two on the subject.

Best website ever! 

Frozen food.

In the early months you and your partner don't have to be awake/asleep at the same time. Take turns and enjoy the alone time with your little one.

Baby educational toys are crap.

Lighten up... then lighten up some more.

After the baby is born make a list of chores that need done around the house. If people want to come over and play with the baby and leave then tell them they have to pick a chore first.

Buy a bigger freezer and get some frozen foods. 

We got an expensive crib that converted into a day bed then later into a twin bed. I'm really glad we did.
2012-10-08 11:52:28 AM  
4 votes:
Love your child. That being said, don't forget your relationship with your wife. We put all our energies into being good parents and providers and forgot to nurture our relationship. Looks like we are headed for divorce.
2012-10-08 11:47:16 AM  
4 votes:
Start a "take-out food" fund NOW. Because those first few weeks where you are struggling to get into the swing of things with the newborn, you are and your wife are going to be too tired to cook. It will be bowls of cold cereal over the sink and PB&Js for a while. So, having a "take-out food" fund will guarantee you into having at least one good meal a day or every other day.

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.
2012-10-08 11:47:01 AM  
4 votes:
Never ever come home from work, look at your (finally) sleeping newborn, and say to your wife who was up all night, hasn't showered in days, and has been dealing with copious poop, engorged, leaky breasts, horrormones, and a fussy baby all day, "Wow. I can not believe how much my life has changed."

She will attempt to kill you.
2012-10-08 11:45:52 AM  
4 votes:
Costco membership for you both to afford diapers
Get a babysitter as soon as your wife is willing and start going out on a regular basis, it's so easy to get so tied up in kids you forget who your married to.
Hire a cleaning service for the first couple of months to take the issue of housework out of the equation for you both to reduce arguements.
2012-10-08 11:38:55 AM  
4 votes:
They're not made of glass.
2012-10-08 11:38:27 AM  
4 votes:
Get a breathing monitor for the little one (for the first year). SIDS will destroy your life.
2012-10-08 11:32:16 AM  
4 votes:
Get one of those books that tells you what it's like to be pregnant and what it's like to have a baby. You'll probably freak out at a lot of things that just turn out to be normal and expected.

Get a Boppy pillow and bring it to the hospital. Get a swing.

After the baby is born, have someone run and get a box of donuts and coffee from Dunkin' Donuts or something similar. Bring it to the nurse's station on your hospital floor and tell them that it's for them as a thank you. Bring an empty duffel bag to your room after that.
2012-10-08 02:02:36 PM  
3 votes:
There is only one manual of parenting you need. Seriously, it has everything you will ever need.

doobybrain.comView Full Size
2012-10-08 12:23:46 PM  
3 votes:
I have a lot of kids and you've solicited advice:

As infants, you can't go wrong picking them up. Babies need skin to skin contact. Don't put them down until they squirm out of your arms on their own. I heartily endorse co-sleeping and nursing on demand. As a father you won't be asked to get up in the middle of the night to make a bottle. The mother won't need to get out of bed to nurse the baby, and may be able to half-doze while nursing. The baby won't have to cry for half an hour before someone realizes it's their brand new baby crying.
There will be nights where everybody is awake because the baby is crying FOR NO REASON.

On crawlers, get down there with them, they're going to find the things the vacuum missed.

On toddlers, they have no concept of time, none, seriously. Just add 30 minutes to your schedule now. They don't want to put their shoes on in the manner you proscribe or in the time frame that you've allotted.
2012-10-08 12:12:47 PM  
3 votes:
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 12:02:23 PM  
3 votes:

NIXON YOU DOLT!!!!!: indarwinsshadow: Get a breathing monitor for the little one (for the first year). SIDS will destroy your life.

And that. Seriously. WORTH the investment.

This is a good example of why you shouldn't solicit advice from the internet. With the right type of bedding (firm and taut), no smoking in the house, and nothing but baby and pajamas/swaddle/pacifier (if desired) in the crib, SIDS is basically not going to happen. But the apnea monitors will go off... over and over and over and over and over again, denying you precious sleep while doing nothing to rouse the very-alive, very-much-still-breathing baby. False alarm city.

I've used the home version and ran across the house more times than I care to admit on innumerable false alarms. I've sat in a hospital room with the hospital-grade apnea monitor false alarming every 5-20 minutes, never causing any change in baby's breathing, just in mine. False alarm city.

Sincere advice: make your own baby food. Almost all the jar stuff is disgusting and very expensive. Nuke or bake a sweet potato until soft, mush it up, and you've got 10 or more meals for baby. Freeze the extra in ice cube trays for single-serve portions.

Oh, and get on the day care wait list NOW. Find one where the women are holding the babies every time you look in the infant room. That's all they can do is cuddle and fuss or alternatively ignore them. Pick the cuddling one.
2012-10-08 12:01:17 PM  
3 votes:
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 11:59:23 AM  
3 votes:
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 11:58:30 AM  
3 votes:
Make sure you have good life insurance and a will. Not the most exciting or happy subject, I know.
2012-10-08 11:53:47 AM  
3 votes:
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 11:53:27 AM  
3 votes:
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 11:53:03 AM  
3 votes:
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 11:52:55 AM  
3 votes:
You guys go ahead and perpetuate the species. I'm scared to death of being legally responsible for the health and well-being of another human. I mean, I don't even own plants.
2012-10-08 11:51:15 AM  
3 votes:
Cancel your plans and lower your standards.
2012-10-08 11:49:12 AM  
3 votes:
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.
2012-10-08 11:47:55 AM  
3 votes:
Start saving for their education now.
2012-10-08 11:43:55 AM  
3 votes:
you will spend the 1st 18 month wishing they could talk to you, and the next 18 years wishing they'd shut the hell up.
2012-10-08 11:42:23 AM  
3 votes:
You won't bond with your child right away; it takes time. Your wife has a head start on you here because the baby is a physical reality to her long before he's a reality to you. When I first saw the top of my oldest child's head emerge, I thought "Holy shiat, there really was a baby in there." It's not as though we didn't have some warning, but there are stages of "realness" involved.

If this is your first child, you may resent your newborn - possibly a quite a bit - for months on end. If this is uncomfortable for you, relax: this is all normal. My oldest I didn't like each other much at all for the first four months or so. Today she's almost nine, and she's a jewel. We're close, and I can't imagine life without her.

/Same advice I give every expecting father
//Three kids and a vasectomy
2012-10-08 11:42:03 AM  
3 votes:
Tell your wife to get the #@(*&@#@# epidural.
2012-10-08 11:41:50 AM  
3 votes:
Buy a shampoo vac. Trust me.
2012-10-08 11:41:23 AM  
3 votes:
Develop their critical-thinking skills by playing the game of occasionally telling them fabrications, tall tales or just plain lying. Make these stories completely outlandish when they're little and get more and more subtle as they get older. By the time they are adults they should be have a pretty good set of BS detecting skills. And they will never trust a politician or salesperson ever.
2012-10-08 11:41:12 AM  
3 votes:
Ignore all of the advice you get in this thread and just do what works best for you and your family.

We said we would never co-sleep and baby #1 would only sleep when he was in our bed. When you are tired it doesn't matter.

/baby #2 sleeps in his crib without problems. And yes, we were able to get baby #1 out of out bed how else were we able to make baby #2.
2012-10-08 11:40:55 AM  
3 votes:
2012-10-08 11:39:40 AM  
3 votes:

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.

this is uber important...the sizing system is jacked up, my son never wore size 1. we stocked up on 3-5, when you are going through 5-15 per day, it is literally like wiping your bum w/ $50 bills
2012-10-08 11:38:19 AM  
3 votes:
2012-10-08 11:36:37 AM  
3 votes:
Teach them to spearfish as early as possible.
2012-10-08 11:35:33 AM  
3 votes:
2012-10-08 11:16:53 AM  
3 votes:
My dad always said that a second house with a second wife and no kids would probably have been the way to go.
2012-10-08 11:07:35 PM  
2 votes:
Expect the unexpected. Always.

Have fun with them and don't take the little things seriously.

Set firm but reasonable limits. Stick to them no matter what. (And be careful what you threaten,'cause odds are you'll have to follow through.)

Don't use baby talk. Your child is just as capable of learning the phrase "please act appropriately" as the phrase "quit it".

Remember that schools today do not challenge kids. That's going to have to be your role. If they come home with a poorly-spelled or incorrect paper that has a star or a smiley face on it, tell them good job for satisfying teacher's standards, but now it's time to satisfy mom and dad's. Then make the kid fix the mistake.

Don't just answer their questions. Ask questions right back until they figure out the answer themselves.

Give them chores from the time they can walk. Start small--sorting socks or helping empty trash.

Let them choose their own clothes if they insist. It juat isn't worth the struggle.

If something is wrong with the kiddo, don't panic. Focus on their abilities and teach them how to independently build skills to make up for their weaknesses and inabilities.

They will be who they are going to be. You have no choice.

If they have an intreest, move heaven and earth to give them the opportunity to explore it, but DO NOT push them or do it for them.

The kid will have more than one temper tantrum in public at totally inopportune times. Accept this. Respond just as you would if you were in your own livibg room and ignore the jerky armchair-quarterback-non-parents who have their own version of temper tantrum over it.

If your gut tells you something is wrong, listen to it. If yor wife's gut tells her something is wrong, listen to it. If someone else tells you something is wrong, check it out, but think for yourselves.

Teach your kid math and logic skills from day one. It will do them a world of good.

Read to the kid every night without fail.

Hooked on Phonics actually works pretty well.

When they are little, save yourself time and energy and just feed them naked. Babies are easier to clean than clithes. When eating in public, change them into already stained clothes before feeding them.

Don't stress about breastfeeding in public. Just do it. Some jerk might say something, but most people with a problem with it just scowl and ruin their own days getting all twisted up about it. (Also, sweetly telling the jerks who say something to go fark themselves works wonders.)

Make every day fun and silly.

Put chalkboard paint in your house. It's fun.

Write your kids silly messages and put them in their lunchboxes.

Hug them and kiss them every day and never ever miss an opportunity to say "I love you."

Know that boy's underwear can be made into a pretty effective slingshot and/or rubber band, and that at some point they will figure this out. The upshot is that you should look upward when you are quickly staightening the living room, just in case there is underwear on the ceiling fan.

At some point or another, your child will hand you a booger as if this is normal. Be prepared for this and hope it is their booger.

They also might eat and or play in their own poop. Do not be too alarmed.

Be happy!
2012-10-08 10:46:56 PM  
2 votes:
Go with your gut on EVERTHING. No question is too dumb, no worry too small.

Even if your wife breastfeeds, you aren't getting shiat for sleep. Don't be fooled by the first week.

Remember the obvious. Each day they're a day older. You only get today once. Don't put anything off, because you never know when something could happen to you or your little one. My oldest is three and a half. It seriously feels like he was born yesterday.

And last but not least- it's worth it. Every dirty diaper, every crying fit, all of it. It's worth it. It's changed me in ways I never expected. We nearly didn't have kids. I'd never have known what I would've missed.

Congratulations to you and the wife.
2012-10-08 10:09:07 PM  
2 votes:

jmr61: Do the Earth and her resources a favor.

Abort it now.

Totally serious.

We breeders will get along just fine as soon as all you idiots zero sum yourselves out of existence. See, a parent will do without for their kids.....but a spoiled elitist needs everything right now and when he cant have it, he blames other peoples kids.

Get over yourself.
2012-10-08 07:06:39 PM  
2 votes:
It is okay to put your inconsolable crying baby down in their crib, walk out of the room, close the door, and go take a shower.

I felt so overwhelmed and so guilty that I couldn't figure out what my baby wanted. I felt that I wasn't a good mom if I couldn't soothe my baby. I was ready-to-shake-the-baby stressed out. When someone finally told me it was okay to let my healthy baby cry in a safe place and take fifteen minutes to myself to destress, it was a revelation... and quite possibly a lifesaving bit of advice.
2012-10-08 06:21:33 PM  
2 votes:
This advice is really for your wife, not for you. Don't judge your own mothering by other people's standards. If you think your baby is the prettiest and smartest baby in the nursery, great. But if you look at junior and think, "Damn, you're funny looking," don't worry about it. Mother love isn't always instantaneous, and that's okay. It grows over time.

My own mother was one of those glowing creatures who loved pregnancy and was in love with her baby from the get-go. I, on the other hand, felt like I had the flu for nine months. Then I gave birth to a tiny stranger. For the first few months, I felt like a babysitter, like his "real" mom might come collect him at any time. Zero maternal instincts. I didn't feel warm and connected, even when nursing him. ( I did it for six months with each child, but I never liked it. Didn't feel lie a madonna, felt like a milk cow.)I wasn't depressed or anything- but I wasn't like a lot of the other moms, who all seemed to have fallen madly in love with their infants. My mother in particular worried- I didn't coo at the baby, didn't tell stories about him. He was in my life, but he wasn't my whole life. I seem to have managed to have a baby without becoming motherly. She thought I wasn't "nurturing" enough.

It all worked out fine anyway. The love grows with time, and whatever "instincts" you come with rise to the surface when they're needed. At 6 months or so, Tim started choking on something and I whipped him out of the highchair, turned him upside down, and fished the food out of his throat with my fingers. Totally not what the baby books say to do, totally wrong in theory- but it worked. My instincts were right, and they came when I needed them. I had this weird little epiphany where I realized I actually could do this, I could be his mama. I was the right mother for THIS baby, my baby. Over the course of their childhoods, I learned that I had what it took to raise these particular kids- that my own "parenting" style might not be right for everyone, but it worked sublimely well for the kids God gave me. The instincts, too, come with time. You learn to read your kid, to know when they're lying or when they need to talk; you learn to handle their issues, to anticipate their needs. They're not going to turn out how you imagined, but then, neither are you. Whatever ideas you have about the kind of parent you'll be? You're probably wrong. But that's okay, and it will all work out fine.
2012-10-08 01:32:00 PM  
2 votes:
This thing is badass. I mean, c'mon, it's a full-body vibrating chair. I wish I had one for me.

This was cool for about two days. Then it becomes a pain in the ass to reset a timer after doing things instead of telling each other you did something.

Someone said this earlier, but make your own baby food. It's simple to do: make some food, take out two servings (for you and your spouse), blend the rest to a good baby food consistency, freeze it. We could get anywhere from 10-18 servings from leftover dinners depending on what it was.

Get a diaper bag that is easy to carry while also carrying a 8+ pound infant in a 6+ pound carrier.

Take every free sample you can get your hands on, especially from the hospital. We left the hospital with about 4 packs of newborn diapers and 30 bottles of ready to feed formula (and 3 swaddle blankets).

Register for Huggies and Pampers reward points. If you're going to use their products, you might as well get some free stuff in the process.
2012-10-08 01:24:04 PM  
2 votes:
Oh, and since this is Fark:

i216.photobucket.comView Full Size

/requisite snark
2012-10-08 12:56:10 PM  
2 votes:
Stuff I learned:

(1) An entire industry exists to convince you that (a) you need a special expensive baby version of everything or else (b) your baby will die.

You can easily spend thousands of dollars extra on baby stuff just because marketeers have convinced you that you must. Even if you become keenly aware of how they pitch every stupid thing, and become careful with your pocketbook, you'll still look back when your kid is 3 and be amazed at how much you bought that you didn't need.

(2) You'll get a lot of important safety tips. One of them is bogus: that you must never, ever heat a baby bottle in the microwave.

This is because of "hot spots," i.e. because some idiots can't understand how microwaves work, and scald their kids. If you simply use common sense, there is no issue: take the top off (no need to microwave the nipple,) nuke it until warm, and then shake it after you take it out to even out the temperature. Test it on your wrist. What's the friggin problem here? You can also reduce the magnitude of hot spots by using the power level button.

The only risk of using a microwave is that at 3 in the morning, you're going to pull the bottle out of the microwave and the little lip on the glass turntable will *donk* the bottom of the bottle and splash the top part (the hottest part) in your face.

(3) You'll be told to stay away from any raw fruits or vegetables that grow on the ground, because bacteria. You can still eat this stuff at home if you just soak for 5 minutes in a big bowl of water with a tiny tiny bit of bleach---I mean like a tablespoon of bleach at most in a gallon of water.

You may think that's not a big deal, but let me tell you something: your wife wants salad. Give her a goddamn salad, and you're the goddamn superman batman.

(4) Peppermint tea eases nausea. Do not under any circumstances do anything but straight peppermint tea. None of that ginseng-gingko crap (not a good idea to feed a pregnant woman random herbs.)

You can just get plain peppermint tea at the grocery store in the non-snooty section. Buy it in teabag form so you can keep some in a purse, because you'll go to a coffee shop and ask for peppermint tea and the lady behind the counter will say, "well, we have this stuff with coriander and castoreum" and seriously what the Hell people?

(5) Another reason to stock up on cloth diapers is that your kid can use them as security blankets, and when he's crying at night because he needs his blankie and you can't find his blankie? Grab blankie number 2 from your stack of 50 identical blankies.

(6) People are stupid paranoid about your child's development. If your kid starts talking a little late, everyone will think the kid needs early intervention. Apparently non-scientists (and this includes pediatricians) look at an average age of language acquisition and think it's some kind of mandated deadline for non-retarded kids. How did we ever survive as a species before we carefully measured and averaged these things?

If you fall for this, your doctor will assign your kid to be evaluated (for free, but we still get letters from the insurance company saying that we owe $91 to some other party who never sends us a bill.) The evaluation is reassuring, because it shows you that your kid is perfectly normal, just not in the mood to speak yet. Then you get assigned a speech therapist whom your child will cheerfully ignore as she writes panicky notes about how your kid needs more therapy. Eventually the kid starts talking and everyone pats themselves on the back about what good a job they did.

/I was joking about castoreum. Please do not Google it.
2012-10-08 12:45:02 PM  
2 votes:
There are other excellent pieces of advice in this thread, and while the Boobieser pretty much nailed it, I have my own two cents.

1) Responsibility. NowhereMon nailed it, and I will repeat it. Forget friends, hobbies, TV shows, sex, whatever, at least for the first month. It will be unlike anything you have ever experienced, probably second only to serving on the front lines in any sort of combat situation except without the friendly fire and death. The baby monitor becomes a Pavlovian device.

2) Banking sleep is a myth. My son ate every 4 hours around the clock, and with the wife sick with gallstones for the first three months, I was on overnight feeding duty for a long while and had to work a full time day job. You want to instead train yourself to take 20 minute power-naps. Hope you have bosses or co-workers who understand and won't mind if you nod off during a staff meeting.

3) Bodily functions become your world. I cured my germphobia within 2 weeks with copious amounts of vomitus, urine, feces and snot. If your kid goes on formula (my wife couldn't nurse, see #4 below) they will get constipated. Glycerine suppositories become your friend, but realize at that point that the BM now comes in stages ranging from the torpedo to the "incendiary poo grenade". Trust me, you will see things happen with crap you never thought were possible. On that note, always have a small package of wipes in your pockets at all times, keep it with your wallet and keys if necessary. Because I guarantee the day your kid's ass goes Old Faithful, you'll need it to clean up the mess.

4) As others have said, read books for general advice, but evolution has provided parental instincts for a reason. You will figure things out. Listen to the OB nurses because they've been there day in and day out when the docs haven't, but beyond that and other serious medical conditions, take all others with a casual nod. I guarantee a good 20-30% of post-partum depression comes from those La Leche farks and the attachment parents or whomever swoops down within hours to make you feel like a run-over dog turd for feeding your kid store-bought baby food or makes your wife feel completely inadequate if she's not pumping a gallon of milk per day because OMG YOU'RE STARVING YOUR CHILD YOU HEARTLESS BIATCH. You will make mistakes, you will do something wrong, but human infants are very resilient within a certain degree.

5) Unless religion stipulates, circumcision is your call. If you're a dad and you want your boy circumcised, sit through and observe it, tough guy...I think it should be a rite of passage. As they get older teach your boy child to wipe his ass and aim his pee hose and to wash his hands after putting them on testicles, nostrils or other places. Hygiene is a never-ending, always infuriating thing with kids, so keep on them at all times.

6) Dads, and I cannot stress this enough, the first 3-4 years of your child's life are irretrievable in terms of connecting with your child. You will not get those years back if you later decide to pick up around year 8 and think it'll all work out. That only happens in the movies. So bond with them, because you don't have the convenience of maternal biology to help you with it. Do overnight feedings, learn how to change a diaper properly, learn infant massage, give mom a break (a day spa treatment or professional pregnancy/post-pregnancy massage does wonders), and push the stroller like you give a damn. Like Robert Heinlein said, "Specialization is for insects."

7) Evaluate and read up on all possible childbirth contingencies. That epidural class you take that the hospital insists upon is completely worthless, as they do not tell you about the 10% of cases where your wife goes through convulsions or claustrophobia because it wasn't administered right or some other unforeseen reaction took place. All the Lamaze in the world is worthless when an emergency C-section is the call 20 minutes before delivery. Be prepared for anything.

8) If your baby looks to be delivered on or around their normal due date, buy a size below and at their expected size. Nothing sucks worse than driving in the snow in February because your newborn was too small for newborn baby clothes and everyone had preemies that week. Diapers are a toss up; unless you experience a direct allergic reaction, you don't have to buy the super ultra-ply, mega expensive diapers - you will go through more than you can count, and it's an utter waste of money to spend $0.25 on something a kid may wear, at best, 4 hours. If you change the diaper regularly and properly, the cheapo Wal-Mart brands do nicely. You do not need little glow-in-the dark or moisture-induced "wee-wee" stars to show up when your little guy drops a pint into his shorts. And just as you wouldn't want to sit in it for 2 hours until it's achieved "maximum absorptive capacity," don't do it to your kid.

9) Diaper Genie. If you must, forsake all other items on your shower list and make sure this and about 5 refills are listed. You will not believe how strongly old diaper stench permeates your home, and being able to hermetically seal it in a nice "string of pooearls" configuration will be a godsend.

10) Not everything is worthy of a farking ER visit. Bobby pins are amazing things. When your kid sticks a dried bean up their nose (and they will), a little baby oil and a bobby pin are great for popping that sucker right out. Ears probably need a specialist, though. My kid swallowed a link from one of those Italian charm bracelets and he was just fine. They will pull a Rambo on you and eat things that would make a billy goat puke, so take it in stride and steer them to the proper edibles.

11) Research your vehicles and the NTSB for car seat recalls; if you got one for the baby shower, register it immediately and check the NTSB website regularly, since it could be in recall just that quickly by the time the baby is born. Car seats are one of the more important items you will buy, and nothing sucks more than realizing your particular brand of car is a literal death trap for infants (I'm talking to you, 2000-era Pontiac Grand-Am). The car seats with detachable bases are excellent. Buy two.

12) Unless you're Anne Geddes, be prepared to take 20 exposures of film for every "good" shot. Get a fast camera/camcorder, because you'll need to be Quick-Draw McGraw to catch just the right moments. Children, much like technology, instinctively know when you are in a hurry and will punish you for it. Given proper maintenance, your child will provide many years of love and happiness to you and those around you. Congratulations, and welcome to the wonderful world of parenthood.
2012-10-08 12:40:02 PM  
2 votes:
As several noted upthread - miscarriages happen - and they suck. So don't blast it out to the universe until you hear the heartbeat.

"What to expect (first year and when expecting)" both reasonable books.

You have been imprinted in how to raise kids by your parents - some of that didn't go well. Monitor yourself and stop behaviors quickly that are not productive.

from our pediatrician: Kids survive childhood in spite of what we do - so relax.

Also as noted upthread - it flies by - my youngest is a HS Sr. And again - encourage them to be their own person (not who you want them to be) - so don't force them to play piano, play football, or whatever - and YOU get invovled in whatever they choose to pursue - you will not regret having that time together. I have spent countless hours in scouting for oldest - classical guitar events for middle - and horse riding for #3 (I did NONE of those in my younger days..

Don't overshceulde yoursleves or them - limit them to no more than 2 external activities at any one point in time - but make sure they are doing at least 1.

If there is any way at all to make it happen, one of your stay home and raise your kid. I am not saying that those who don't are bad parents - but I am saying that if you can make it happen - you will not regret it in the long run. You drive a crappier car and take less glitzy vacations, but your kids will know their parents better than the $10/hour "help".

At least for me - EVERY age (so far) has been more fun then the last - parenting young adults is a blast - especially when they ask for - then follow your advice.

When they have struggles in school or with others, go with them and teach them how to work through the struggle - don't just rescue them. They will emerge as mature, capable, confident leaders who can roll through adversity. Practice the conversation with them before you go in - and when the teacher starts talking to you - point out that you are there to support your child resolving this and ask them to talk to the student instead of to you.

Finally LOVE your kids. (and that does not mean you will always "feel" love for them - but LOVE them in the active and intentional sense of being there and supporting, encouraging, punishing, listening to, talking to, and living life w/ your kids. LOVE as a decision - not a feeling. And love their mother - the BEST gift you can give a child.
2012-10-08 12:37:17 PM  
2 votes:
This isn't that ONE piece of advice, but it's important. Make sure to read with you child. Read, read, read. Read kids books with them and appropriate older stories to them. It pays off greatly. If they can both read and enjoy reading by the time they start school, their life and yours will be a LOT easier.
2012-10-08 12:32:59 PM  
2 votes:
Good one I heard about newborns...


Newborn needs some 18-20+ hours of sleep a day. Adults need 5-9 and there are two parents. The math is on your side.

How to fark it up: Let the baby double team and keep both of you awake at once. Let the baby give you anxiety about getting up so that you do not go back to sleep soundly.

Do not: Take turns in the night getting up.
Do: Take shifts in the night getting up.
Person not on shift should wear earplugs so not to be disturbed.
2012-10-08 12:32:20 PM  
2 votes:
Oh dear god, you've made your first mistake by turning to FARK for advice on actual reproduction.

And for your next mistake, don't ever refer to your child as crotchfruit or parents as breeders again. She will hate you for it.

The words "he checked his voicemail during labor" have been written on actual divorce filings.

Name your baby now. If you don't have an official name picked out, give your baby a nickname and talk to your baby. You will feel like a fool at first but when your baby is born and immediately recognizes your voice, you'll be glad you did.

Learn about the Bradley Method whether or not y'all choose to go that route, it helps to hear a different point of view.

Skip the stupid diaper sausage pails. The goal is to get loaded diapers OUTSIDE immediately. Just remove the screen from your window...

Get a big carpet/upholstry steam cleaner. You will use it almost daily. Don't buy the cheapy one.

Co-sleeper (where the crib can attach to your bed) help everyone involved get more sleep.
2012-10-08 12:31:38 PM  
2 votes:
Don't open anything (diapers)/cut the tags off of anything (clothing) until you know the sizing is right. Once the baby is born (and before you can bring it home), launder the clothing ("a few sets of appropriately sized garments") in a scent- and dye-free detergent.

Don't wake your baby to change a wet diaper (especially in the middle of the night.)

The Swaddleme is a great invention (especially because you can't have loose blankets.)

Keep extra diapers, wipes, and a change of clothing (an outfit for your kid, an extra shirt for you) in a Ziploc bag in the trunk.

You will stop caring about your kid putting stuff in their mouths from your germy floor after a few months. Until then, get a "pacifier clip" that keeps the pacifier attached to their bib when it does pop out. (Ours has a plastic clip for the bib, and a snap strap for the pacifier loop.)

Get the Medela Quick Clean microwave steam sterilizing bags for your bottles and other equipment.

Swap clothing with other families that have outgrown theirs. Keep seasonality in mind. (e.g. a baby born in September will have a totally different set of clothes from a baby born in March.)

Get a SSN and then open a custodial bank account for money people give your child.

Good luck.

/Number one is three and a half.
//Number two is 11 months.
2012-10-08 12:22:46 PM  
2 votes:
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.
2012-10-08 12:21:42 PM  
2 votes:
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 12:20:10 PM  
2 votes:
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 12:18:27 PM  
2 votes:

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 12:16:11 PM  
2 votes:
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 12:12:13 PM  
2 votes:
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 12:11:53 PM  
2 votes:
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 12:10:55 PM  
2 votes:
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 12:07:08 PM  
2 votes:
Put a whole-house humidifier in your HVAC. This is especially true if you heat your home with central air/gas furnace. Your baby will sleep much, much better in a warm, properly humid environment. My preemie kid rattled for a week before we realized the air was too dry. I rigged a one-room, hot water humidifier with humidistat control for him and he slept perfectly after this.

//// Helps to be an electrical engineer and a damn-good handyman to boot.
2012-10-08 12:06:00 PM  
2 votes:

Pelvic Splanchnic Ganglion: TrixieDelite:

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.

This, absolutely.
2012-10-08 12:05:45 PM  
2 votes:
You will never regret the time spent talking, teaching, playing, etc. with them. You will, however, regret every moment you spent not doing those things.

Oh, and explain everything. Even the difficult, scary, uncomfortable things.
2012-10-08 12:03:36 PM  
2 votes:

scarmig: 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.

Reminds me of my first born(son). I wash changing him, and he kept pooping. And it was the meconium poop, so it was a pain in the ass to clean off him, and the hospital had wipes you had to wet yourself, so I'm running back and forth to the bathroom to wet these stupid wipes while my soon kept on pooping. My mother in law just sat there laughing asking if I needed help.

So more advice:

BRING WIPES TO THE HOSPITAL. If there is one thing you cannot survive without, it's wipes.

Also, CLEAN OUT YOUR HOSPITAL ROOM. Take everything they bring you and ask for more. Diapers, nose suction things, alcohol wipes for the belly button. Clean them out. They have to toss anything you don't take, so take it
2012-10-08 12:01:07 PM  
2 votes:
Don't call your significant other "Baby Mama"
2012-10-08 12:00:43 PM  
2 votes:

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 11:58:23 AM  
2 votes:
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 11:55:40 AM  
2 votes:
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 11:54:59 AM  
2 votes:
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 11:53:11 AM  
2 votes:
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 11:52:12 AM  
2 votes:
Your relationship with your wife will change...not overnight, but parenthood is a life-altering thing and you both will change. Do what you can to change in the same direction. It's hard to describe but you'll see what I mean eventually. Congratulations, by the way.
2012-10-08 11:50:40 AM  
2 votes:

mekki: Start a "take-out food" fund NOW. Because those first few weeks where you are struggling to get into the swing of things with the newborn, you are and your wife are going to be too tired to cook. It will be bowls of cold cereal over the sink and PB&Js for a while. So, having a "take-out food" fund will guarantee you into having at least one good meal a day or every other day.

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 - a hundred times over. It never gets old.

2012-10-08 11:50:04 AM  
2 votes:
It is ancient and royal advice handed down from the deep, storied days of Britain's past...

calitreview.comView Full Size

/also, buy wipes by the pallet. you're going to be wiping piss and poop off of everything in the house
2012-10-08 11:46:30 AM  
2 votes:
As your kid grows up, do your best to remind yourself that while you're an important person in their life you are NOT in control of who they turn out to be or how they behave. They are. You have a good amount of influence. So do their teachers, friends, school, community. And a good deal of it is simply who they are out of the womb. Do the best you can, but don't beat yourself up over your failures (and you will have failures) and don't worry about every little thing. If you're a good person and do your best, it'll all turn out fine.
2012-10-08 11:44:34 AM  
2 votes:
If you ever wanted to travel somewhere special with your wife, do it in the next few months before she gets travel restrictions, or else be prepared to wait 20 years.
2012-10-08 11:44:09 AM  
2 votes:
I'm going to reiterate what has already been said about the value of a swing. I also recommend a baby papa-san chair; one of my daughters slept better in that than she did in her crib.

And also, what Earpj said about it going by in the blink of an eye. My youngest turns 8 next weekend.

Take lots of pictures.
2012-10-08 11:43:25 AM  
2 votes:
Do not go out in public until your crotchfruit responds positively to voice commands.
2012-10-08 11:42:51 AM  
2 votes:

taglius: Your job is to turn them into an adult, not to make them like you. They can like you in 20 years when they (hopefully) realize what you were doing.


Also involves allowing them to make decisions. Start at around 2 with what shoes to wear and go from there.

I know FAR too many young "adults" who have NO idea how to make a decision.
2012-10-08 11:42:12 AM  
2 votes:
Bring 'em up strict, you can loosen up later when the youngling(s) are ready to take on more responsibility.

You're the grown up so you're the one in charge and that means that the world of the child is what you make of it. Sure, you'll have some contests of will (hopefully) but if you make sure you get through those times on top, you'll be happier for it later on. Trying to restrict an unruly teenager is hell, but if you've had strict rules that you were able to expand as the child matured, you'll find that things will go a lot easier and the teenager will enjoy more freedom but understand that it comes with a responsibility.

And please, PLEASE have time for your child! Parents are the most important people in the world for a child so make sure you live up to that!

The love of a child is a precious thing and I hope you and the missus enjoy it each and every day =)

2012-10-08 11:40:13 AM  
2 votes:
I don't have kids. But I'll tell you what I told my dad: "Ha ha, your precious parenting plan didn't count on me turning out to be a spiteful, vindictive, ungrateful asshole, did it, genius?"
2012-10-08 11:39:51 AM  
2 votes:

indarwinsshadow: Get a breathing monitor for the little one (for the first year). SIDS will destroy your life.

And that. Seriously. WORTH the investment.
2012-10-08 11:39:09 AM  
2 votes:

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

The more militant members of the LTBT community use it as a slur against the rest of us.
2012-10-08 11:38:32 AM  
2 votes:
Nothing. Just do your best and enjoy every minute of it - even the bad stuff.
2012-10-08 11:37:15 AM  
2 votes:

NIXON YOU DOLT!!!!!: Don't tell anyone until around week 16. Miscarriages are a biatch.

This too
2012-10-09 08:29:31 PM  
1 vote:
- Take prenatal courses. You don't have to go to the same hospital you choose for delivery.
- Get a Diaper Genie or equivalent. Seriously. Ours is the Munchkin diaper pail. The bags are reasonably priced.
- Mom will be a WRECK for the first 2 weeks, regardless of the method of delivery. She shouldn't cook, clean, or walk upstairs. Take at least two weeks of parental leave to help her 100%.
- No vaginal intercourse for 6 weeks. Load up on pr0n.
- Your newborn's larva phase will last about a month. That's OK. Then one day, he/she'll smile back at you. Aaaawwwwwwwwww
- Take shifts at night with the newborn. For Mom, a solid 4-hour nap will be luxury. Do her that favor.
- Get all the help you can. If reliable friends offer to help, give them specific action items. If the grandparents are nearby and able to help, you are golden.
- IF you plan to breastfeed, ask about your hospital's lactation services. During our stay we got one free private lactation consultation and two free group courses. Those are otherwise quite pricey.
- IF you plan to breastfeed and it doesn't work for the first 3-4 days, don't freak out and keep trying. My wife was "dry" and one afternoon she started taking malt beverages (Goya Malta). It was like flipping a switch. She went from dry to overflow in 3 hours.
- fill up the fridge/freezer and get a 2-week supply of wipes and diapers before you go to the hospital. 10 diapers and 20 wipes per day. You won't have energy for grocery shopping.
- Clean out the hospital room before you leave. Get all the extra supplies you can.
- If your newborn fights being bundled, that's OK. Some kids just don't like being bundled.


- Your kid's happiness is contagious. Find what makes him/her lauch, and repeat ad nauseum.
2012-10-09 04:33:33 PM  
1 vote:
Based on a lot of previous comments, the ones I found to be true and a bit of additional stuff:

Your life will convert to three-hour days. Your baby will sleep, poop and eat once a day. You should sleep when the baby sleeps, because you have to be awake when the kid's awake. Sleeping six hours in a row will be something you count yourself very lucky getting. If you can stagger (You stay up late and feed bottles, she gets up early and releases boob pressure) you'll both get more sleep in a block.
Mom's job is to keep baby happy. Your job is to keep mom happy. Keeping you happy is nobody's job. Maybe your mom, but that's about it. Show up and do your job of keeping everybody else happy. Acknowledge you are in a supporting role for a while.
You won't see your friends like you did.
Keep in mind that your friends without kids will not really care. Your friends with kids will care a bit. Have something else to talk about besides the baby.
The only thing you NEED is a car seat. Babies can be swaddled in t-shirts, sleep on the floor, and poop in rags. Buy what you can second-hand.
Your free time is forfeit.
Keeping the house clean is wildly difficult.
The swing might be the pinnacle of humanity's engineering efforts.
Baby books can be useful and can make you insane.
Logging excretory functions will be a part of your life like you'd never guess.
Boppys are good, but "My Brest Friend" is better.
Take classes at the local hospital. Weird stuff your baby will do is totally normal. They will teach you all about them.
Practice swaddling, but unless you can find a strong, loud, wiggly pillow or doll, know that it will be harder when you have to do it for real. Get the maternity nurses to coach you on this. They are ninjas.
Let the nurses take the newborn to the nursery overnight. That sleep you will get is well worth it, and the baby is in professional care.
The poop thing isn't as bad as you think it will be.
Be prepared to change diapers on the floor.
When you are about to lose your mind and find yourself gripping or bouncing your baby a bit too hard, hand it off to your wife or put it down and walk away. Better that than you do something you can't undo. This will happen. It does not make you a bad father to get angry. It makes you a bad father if you take it out on the baby.
Invest in hardwood floors.
"The most that you can spend on any child is time."
Take photos, buy a video camera. The one on your phone isn't as good as you'll want it to be. Take a picture of the first time you see your child. You don't have to share it with everyone, but your wife will probably want one. Stand by her head, don't look down the barrel of the childbirth.
When you go out to dinner with your child, get your bill with the food. If you need to bolt because kiddo blows up, everyone will thank you.
Get your friends to bring you food for the first few weeks. Anything you don't have to cook is WAY better than cooking. A cleaning service isn't a bad idea either.
If there's anybody who loves your baby more than you, it's grandma and grandpa. Let them help, let them babysit, let them have baby time. Take the breather.
Look into a 529 college savings plan.
Don't worry about child-rearing fads. Our parents didn't have them and we turned out... alright, I guess.
Children grow far faster than the clothing sizes. Mine's 6 months and is in 9-12mos clothing.

I hope you don't have to explain a miscarriage to people. If you need support from others, announce early. If you prefer to suffer alone, keep it quiet.
2012-10-09 07:07:55 AM  
1 vote:
Oh, oh, I just thought of another one.

Almost everything is just a phase. Celebrate and cherish the good ones and don't worry about the more taxing ones - they'll soon be over. For example, when my kid was about 15 months, he started waking at 1am every night and playing happily and fully awake until 3am. As the one with the more flexible working hours, I was the one propped up with bleary eyes, trying to be interested in teddy bears at 2am. This went on every single night without fail ... for four nights. Then everything went back to normal. All I lost was a little sleep, and I now have fond memories, improved a little by time, of sitting in a hushed house listening to a very small person playing.

Oh, and don't even think about craniosacral therapy for babies. At best it's pointless, and worst it's dangerous and in either case charlatans will try to take a lot of money from you for complete woo-woo.
2012-10-09 06:42:04 AM  
1 vote:
Kids are brilliant, mostly they just want to interact with you. Spend as much time with them as you can so put down your tablet/smartphone, step away from your computer and enjoy watching them grow up because once those days are done you can't go back to them.

Kids at a young age are totally nonjudgmental and happy with anything you give them to play with, so as much as you want to shower them with lots of the best of whatever money can buy, don't, they'll be deliriously happy with a few quality toys of varying function - these don't have to be expensive (or even new) your kid will love them just the same.

Go to an antenatal class, the people you meet there are going through the same thing you are, it's a great place to make new friends, plus your kids and their kids are likely to grow up together as lifelong friends.

Remember, kids are a lot of work, but a whole lot of fun at the same time. nothing will frustrate you more that your kids, but equally nothing will improve your day quite so much either.

Hope everything goes smoothly and congrats.
2012-10-09 04:58:45 AM  
1 vote:
If you have a son, learn the "peek" routine when changing diapers. Untape the diaper (assuming you're using disposibles) and lift up one side and peek to see if the baby is still peeing. If he is, put the diaper back in place until he's done. This saves you getting a faceful of pee from baby's factory installed fire hose.

I tried to warn my dad about this when he was changing my son's diapers one day during a visit. He didn't listen and got hosed down by his first grandbaby.
2012-10-09 04:58:25 AM  
1 vote:

king cranium maximus IV: Married here, for five years. 30, as is my wife. We don't have kids. We aren't going to have kids. We have our love, our careers, our passions, our cats, our quiet time, and our free time.

You might be surprised at the number of very happy parents who would have said the same at some point. If it keeps on working for you, all the very best, but don't be afraid to acknowledge that things may change.
2012-10-09 01:22:31 AM  
1 vote:
Day one advice? Your baby (as mine was) might be ugly at first.

Just saying.
2012-10-09 01:16:21 AM  
1 vote:
DNA test when it's delivered, bro.
2012-10-08 10:54:38 PM  
1 vote:
Don't watch any House episode with pregnant women or children. It's not good to watch. I kept making that mistake.

Know the signs for Autism. We didn't believe in autism until the doc'shiat us over the head with it.

Battery operated swings are awesome. We had one where we put him in his car seat / carrier and then it plugged into a swing. It was very convenient when trying to get ready. Also good when the little one is gassy. He'd at least go to sleep.

Parenting, even a kid with ASD, is much easier than I thought. I think I expected the absolute worst.

Also, with any claim on safety look at it statistically. If the odds are less than 1 in 100,000 it's probably not worth worrying about.

After 4 months and the kid is healthy they can sleep through the night. We did a modified Ferber method. Remember that sleeping through the night is defined as 6 hours strait. That 6 hours might start at 7PM.

I signed up for their recall list emails. I found out that the baby sling I used was recalled for several infant deaths. I did not regift that one.

My SO and I can't afford babysitters often so we do movie dates one at a time. He goes to the movie first, I go after he gets back. Then we talk about the movie. The great thing is, if the movie is truly awful, I can skip it.

Make sure that the two of you can get out together at least once a month and that the two of you can get out as individuals once a month.

I recommend this site to keep you sane:

My milk dried up almost immediately after I returned to work. I tried like mad to keep it up but the stress was too much.

Don't buy cheap formula and don't farking touch that toddler formula crap. Toddler formula is glorified chocolate milk.

If you can avoid it, don't stand or sit down wind or down stream while changing diapers. My husband came running when he heard the shriek. Newborn poop squirts out. That happened twice.
2012-10-08 10:18:09 PM  
1 vote:
advice for your wife...I know some people hate yoga, but the best thing i did for myself during pregnancy was a prenatal yoga class. It really cut down on my back pain, helped my feet swelling (a bit), and increased my flexibility in the hip area which helps during labor. also, kegels are important if you want to push that baby out quick...practiced kegels throughout pregnancy and I pushed my daughter out in 15 minutes.
2012-10-08 10:06:35 PM  
1 vote:
#1 Take tons of pictures

#2 train them right from day one to go to sleep when you put your hand over their eyes. (honestly the best thing I ever did with a newborn, I could put him down for a nap or get him back to sleep after a midnight feeding in three seconds by covering his eyes. Just do it every time they look sleepy, it becomes a trigger for sleep pretty quickly.)

#3 stop spending money on stupid stuff, you are really going to want a large investment portfolio in about 13 years.

#4 food variety.....if you want them easy to feed when they are 7, feed them all sorts of stuff when they are one.
2012-10-08 09:53:53 PM  
1 vote:
Screw the stroller - make sure you have a reliable (read: new) heavy-duty washer/dryer. You will not believe how much laundry a 7 lb 3 oz babby can generate.
2012-10-08 09:53:30 PM  
1 vote:
"Quantity-time" is better than "Quality-time"
2012-10-08 09:17:09 PM  
1 vote:
Your main job as a parent is to raise your child(ren) to be independent, productive, well-adjusted adults. Pay attention to them, involve them in the things that you do around the house, keep the lines of communication open. Give them age-appropriate responsibilities, hold them accountable and praise them for doing well. Be supportive and approachable, but be the parent.

That being said, relax, have fun with them, and laugh at the little ups and downs of daily life. And don't be afraid to set reasonable limits and stand your ground.

/3 boys who grew up to be fine men, they would make any parent proud
//4 grandkids (the youngest hasn't 'settled down' yet)
2012-10-08 09:09:03 PM  
1 vote:
Get a journal or notebook now for everything from taking notes during your baby classes to questions for your doctor. And when the baby is born, it's great for pediatrician appointments or funny things they say and do or simple notes to your kid so when they're older they can read it.

And for your wife, once the kid shows up, make it a point to take a shower everyday. Just put the kid in a bouncy seat in the bathroom and jump in -- even if it's 3 p.m. It's not so much about smelling good as it is about simply feeling human.
2012-10-08 07:50:34 PM  
1 vote:
Use jerky for shuts them up like no ones business...
2012-10-08 07:06:41 PM  
1 vote:

croesius: Well, wife and I are back from our first ultrasound....

Anyone have advice for twins?

...what the hell are we in for...

And another.. don't go out and buy a ton of twin stuff until after the second trimester. Just trust me on this one, firsthand experience myself and secondhand experience with my son and his first.
2012-10-08 07:01:58 PM  
1 vote:
My "baby" is 15 years old. She is currently laying in her bed, in pain, has a stomach bug, been throwing up all day.. I moved my laptop in to be closer to her, at her request.

Be there for your kid when you can, while you can. Don't say NO just to get them off your back, consider why they are asking the question and if it is important to them before you answer.

Listen, rather than preaching. The time for preaching does come, after they've made a collosal mistake, but even then, listen.

Treat your child with the same respect you want them to treat you with.. it works!

While they are still little, get down on the floor and play with them.. when they are 15, they will still occasionally want to do it and it's really great to play with Legos or draw on poster board while talking to your kid about what she likes in life.
2012-10-08 06:53:27 PM  
1 vote:
Childbirth is easy. It's everything else that comes after that's a biatch.

Use cotton diapers. If the kid is always uncomfortable, they'll toilet train earlier (ours @ 21 months).

Give them boundaries they can exceed without ruining their lives.

Take out a life insurance policy that matures when they turn 18. That way you have some cash for college if the kid isn't in jail.
2012-10-08 06:47:34 PM  
1 vote:

Heathen: If it's a boy, they will spend their entire lives trying to "get back in"

If it's a girl, bribe the doctor to make a switch at the hospital. If said doctor refuses, invest in a .45 and a shovel, you will know when the time comes (daddy I would like you to meet...BAM)

God I hate it when people say this shiat. I realize dads have a thing about protecting their daughters because "I know what goes through boys' heads. I was one" but give your daughters (and their friends) some credit. Did you rape all your girlfriends from 13 - 25? No? Then maybe it's not the end of the world if your daughter goes out with a few boys.

More importantly, this attitude teaches your daughters that when they're in trouble, they shouldn't stand up for themselves. It's a fairly pervasive lesson that we get pounded into us over and over again (Sexual harassment at work? Go to HR/your boss. Trouble with boys? Daddy'll take care of it) and it does more harm than good. Do some role playing exercises or something so that your daughter knows what trouble looks like before it happens, and then teach her how to make it stop happening.

/And agree on some code phrase that, when said over the phone, translates to "This party went bad, please come pick me up, and don't ask questions."
2012-10-08 06:09:08 PM  
1 vote:
Velcro swaddling wraps. They'll scream like hell while putting it on, but they won't make another peep until morning.
2012-10-08 05:53:10 PM  
1 vote:
Your house will never be clean again.
Your prized possessions will not survive, its OK though because some how they become your kids.
Cleanliness is relative to the number of kids you have.
With the first you boil and sterilize everything.
By the third you discover that your spit is just as good at cleaning off a binky.
You will never sleep the same again.
When they are babies they will keep you awake.
Later you check on them while they sleep.
Be prepared to learn how to have sex with a kid knocking on the door "what are you doing in there".
Private time does not exist.
You cant be a parent with a do what I say not what I do kind of attitude.
Kids are giant mirrors. They will pick up both the good and bad things you do.
Be the best person you can be.
Take a deep breath before getting mad at them. Pick your battles carefully.
In the long run what happened is not that big of a deal
I learned this one the hard way.

CSB time.
Once when my youngest was 1.5 I was having an argument with my 12 year old.
My youngest kept coming in the room and getting between us.
I put her in the hall and turned to shut the door. I was angry and didn't watch as closely as I should have.
I ended up shutting her finger in the door.
She almost lost the top half of her finger.
I tear up every time I think about it.
It still breaks my heart that I did that to her.

Finally I will say that 18 years seems like such a long time when you start having kids....Its not. It flies by. It seems like every time I blink another year has gone by.
Congrats. Enjoy being a parent.
It is the most frustrating, expensive and emotional thing you will ever do.
But it is also the most worth it.
2012-10-08 05:13:56 PM  
1 vote:
- Don't let your wife/gf read "What to Expect when you are Expecting" or similar books about pregnancy.

- Don't let anyone else tell you their pregnancy/birth horror stories. There are so many variables that make every pregnancy different. Your's might be easy or super complicated. But worrying about the possible complications will only make the pregnancy more stressful than necessary.

- Don't listen to the wack-jobs who say you need to suddenly live in a sterile bubble and not eat sushi or no drinking ever or only use natural soaps and not detergents, etc. The total prohibition of things is an US-ism. Ask yourself, "Do Japanese have babies?" and similar questions before you decide to prohibit something from your/her diet.

- You can read all the pregnancy books you want so long as it won't stress you out (too much). Then when she has some symptom she can ask you, "Is this normal or a problem?" and you can reply, "Normal, you are doing great." All of those books expose the worst case scenarios (horrors of 1st trimester and morning sickness, etc). This is one case where ignorance will save you. If she doesn't know that she's supposed to be barfing every 3rd hour at week 10, then she probably won't. 

- If you have medical care and there is a 24hour advice line, use it whenever you are unsure about what's going on or what to do.

- Simethicone (gas-x) is your friend.

- Start walking now. Best exercise you/she can do in preparation. Giving birth is a marathon event.

- If the plan is a vaginal birth (non-C-section) get an Epi-No.

- Find a Doula your wife is comfortable with. This person can be an invaluable resource.

- Doctors look at pregnancy as a medical condition that needs to be treated. They are in the business of looking for problems. Sometimes they forget that mammals have been having babies of millennia without their help and that this is a natural process. If you can think of this process as natural that only needs medical intervention in extreme conditions, then hopefully you can lower your stress levels.

- If you want to take a trip/vacation in the middle of pregnancy do it in the 2nd trimester. 1st and 3rd are usually difficult for her to travel. Same goes for the baby shower.

- Have as much sex as you can now. By the end of the 3rd trimester she'll probably be too big and uncomfortable to even want to think about sex.

- Relax and try to enjoy this time. Being excited and scared are normal and good things.
2012-10-08 05:08:51 PM  
1 vote:
upload.wikimedia.orgView Full Size
2012-10-08 04:58:34 PM  
1 vote:

BHK: Don't get divorced before they are aged 8. If you do, they'll blame themselves for it. It's inevitable. If you do get divorced while they are very young, put them in some personal development programs as teens so they can get over your ruination of their lives.

Forwarding this to my selfish coont of an ex-wife. Thanks!
2012-10-08 03:58:57 PM  
1 vote:
The one thing I was not warned about and was utterly unprepared for is how much it absolutely sucks to be in the hospital. The actual birth was fine - the hospital stay was more traumatizing than the birth. Baby was born late on a Wednesday night, and we didn't get out until Saturday around 2:00 because he was jaundiced. My husband's job during those days was to stay at the door and play goalie. The door to my room was like a revolving door, and that was just the hospital staff (no family in the area). No one - doctors, nurses, lactation consultants, audiologists, photographers, no one - thought they needed to knock before entering, nor did they respect my "just a minute, please." If one more person told me I needed to eat something or get some sleep while simultaneously preventing me from doing so, I would have lost it.

Already been said, but worth repeating - don't share the name until after the baby is born.
2012-10-08 03:54:33 PM  
1 vote:

War_Kittens: Don't let your wife buy all the baby crap, you don't need 80% of it. If she likes shopping (haha "if"), she will break your bank account. Get the basics and don't get deluxe, elite anything, just basic stroller, breast pump, etc. because the baby will outgrow all of it quickly and it will be useless unless you are having more kids.

My wife would take exception to the comment about the pump. We bought a cheap pump ($100 isn't cheap to me, but that's a relative term I guess) at Target that almost caused her to give up on breastfeeding completely. We rented the nice Medela pump from the hospital which made a huge difference. I ended up dropping $300 (I told you $100 is cheap) on a Medela pump, but it allowed my wife to continue breastfeeding at home and pumping while she was at work. She breastfed our first for 12 months and our second is due at the end of December. Based on the ridiculous price for a can of formula, the Medela pump has more than paid for itself.
2012-10-08 03:11:50 PM  
1 vote:

Here's my two cents from a dad of two years...

Ninety percent of the stuff marketed at you is unnecessary.

Things you really need:
- car seat
- stroller
- boppy pillow (if your wife plans to nurse)
- diapers (cleaning wipes options, my wife stopped using them)
- some baby bottles (even if your nursing, you'll want to have them)
- pjs and simple clothes

My wife nursed our daughter and we got by on those things for almost a year. Of course, we all slept on the floor (in Japan) so we didn't need to think about a crib, but a bed can work if you have a way to prevent rolling off.
2012-10-08 02:54:01 PM  
1 vote:
Send 1st adult alone to the grocery, drugstore, etc. with a clearly written list, and phone on.
Leave 2nd adult home with the kid(s) - shopping is quicker and more relaxing without them.

/no kids, but plenty of young relatives
//farkers in this thread marveling at your kid snuggling into your neck?... did you never, ever babysit?
2012-10-08 02:49:07 PM  
1 vote:
And yet another: don't be afraid to put the baby down and leave the room if it won't stop crying and nothing is working. Babies, just like everyone else, have their bad-mood days. Do NOT assume you have full control of them. And get used to them's not emotional on their part, so don't let it get you overly emotional either.
2012-10-08 02:44:03 PM  
1 vote:
Another point: if friends with their own kids offer you clothing that their own have outgrown, ACCEPT THE OFFER. It will save you a ton of time and money. Just be sure to pay it forward.
2012-10-08 02:31:00 PM  
1 vote:

wiwille: At all costs, stop your wife from looking up medical advice on the internet. Also don't spend the money on a diaper genie, it's a glorified trash can. Buy diapers now, a case everytime you go into the grocery store, if you're not going cloth diapers, it'll save on the sticker shock.

The problem (I found) with a Diaper Genie is all in how you load the refill canisters, and there's a right way and a wrong way. Fitted properly, it will tie and seal off the diaper and create the necessary sealed chain of poo, and done improperly is indeed a glorified trash can. The cheaper option, which I forgot to mention earlier, is little plastic doggy poo baggies from the dollar stores. Put the diaper in, evacuate the air, tie it shut then knot it. If you have a trashcan with a lid you then have an ersatz Diaper Genie.
2012-10-08 02:26:23 PM  
1 vote:

EdNortonsTwin: My 2.5 y/o has had this nagging barking cough for over two weeks and doctors won't give me anything for it.

We can't sleep; my daughter is miserable; she hardly eats; losing weight - any advice?

/Other than strangling the Dr which I want to do.

Buckwheat honey. It's affordable, you can get it in organic/health food stores and there are studies out there to show it is as good as if not better than OTC cough suppressants, most of which are contraindicated now in children due to OD from the suppressants. You can give buckwheat honey as much as you want, kids love the taste (bit thicker than store-bought clover honey, more like molasses) and definitely kicks most of the coughs. Couple it with vaporizer or Vick's rub as well to help sleep.

It was a huge help with my oldest, whose barking cough came from chronic ear infections, and my 2nd son's cough turned out to be asthma. If your doc hasn't tested your daughter for asthma, get it done. They have chewable Singulair (montelukast generic) for the asthma and inhalers as well for other cough times during the day. Good luck.
2012-10-08 02:23:28 PM  
1 vote:
My grandfather gave me advice when we broke the happy news to him. He said, "The best thing to remember is that you don't have to know everything about everything right now. You grow as they grow." Basically, child #1 is a learning curve, and it's ok! Also, the Diaper Genie is a joke. Don't waster your money.
2012-10-08 02:16:10 PM  
1 vote:

MisterSocksFox: My advice: Put up a poster in the nursery that says:

I was so sleep-deprived that I was not able to hold all three of those items in my head at once. "Well, he's either hungry, wet, or tired, but he just woke up and I just changed him... so what the fark is he crying about?"

I called this list my "crib sheet."

FTFM. If the baby awoke at night, I figured out that if I eliminated gassy (belly massage and football hold), cold (if it had squirmed out of swaddle/clothes) and wet (diaper check) I could avoid unnecessarily waking momma for food. Beyond those three, it is boob time.

If it is any other part of the day, yeah consider "tired." That's it, though... they're creatures of simple desires. I had solo care of both my first two kids from infancy through ages 4 and 2 in the evenings because of my wife's work schedule, so I eventually figured out and then got proficient with the checklist.

Note: you'll know if your baby is gassy in general; they don't hold back.
2012-10-08 02:13:30 PM  
1 vote:
Best advice that will apply at all times:

Bring a towel
Don't panic
2012-10-08 02:11:00 PM  
1 vote:
Also, been stated already but bears repeating. Clothe diapers, whether you use them as diapers or not, should be stationed all over the house. They are excellent for burp clothes and general wiping up. And you will have lots of wiping up to do.
2012-10-08 02:08:39 PM  
1 vote:
If you get into the Cloth v. Disposable discussion with your wife:
1. Disposables
PRO: Convenient, no washing, unbeatable for travel.
CON: Ugly, will more expensive in the long run, don't breathe well and we saw a LOT more diaper rash

2. Cloth
PRO: Adorably cute (like overwhelming at times), they breathe better, and provide good cushion for falls
CON: The up-front expense, the washing, and you need a sprayer nozzle for the toilet

We are very happy with cloth after two kids' worth of disposables, but the edge is primarily the prevention of diaper rash and cuteness.
2012-10-08 02:07:05 PM  
1 vote:
I've been in pediatrics for twenty-five years. Of the infants who have died from SIDS in my practice, all of them did so in their parents bed. Never sleep with your infant.

Also, never try to make a child eat peas. They throw up too easily.
2012-10-08 02:06:58 PM  
1 vote:
My advice: Put up a poster in the nursery that says:

I was so sleep-deprived that I was not able to hold all three of those items in my head at once. "Well, he's either hungry, wet, or tired, but he just woke up and I just changed him... so what the fark is he crying about?"

I called this list my "crib sheet."
2012-10-08 02:04:33 PM  
1 vote:
Boppy body for mom
encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.comView Full Size

Boppy newborn for crotchfruits first few months
di1-2.shoppingshadow.comView Full Size

Boppy normal for after
1.bp.blogspot.comView Full Size
2012-10-08 01:49:00 PM  
1 vote:

orbister: Don't put the baby in bed with you, it's so dangerous, and it creates bad habits.

Statistically there are no additional dangers in co-sleeping as long as you don't smoke, never share a bed with a baby after even the smallest amount of alcohol, and don't do it if you are particularly tired. As for bad habits ... what bad habits? Are we talking Sandusky here?

We had the best of both worlds - a flat bottomed small bassinette with mesh sides that fit right in between the pillows but was its own self contained unit. I like a lot of pillows and fluffy covers in the bed, and it's a water bed, so not ideal for cosleeping. The bassinet was an excellent compromise.

Also: YOU CAN NOT SPOIL AN INFANT. The sooner you respond to their needs in the first months, the more low maintenance they will be later on.
2012-10-08 01:47:56 PM  
1 vote:
You've just invited a very drunken midget to live in your home for an indefinite amount of time. This midget is so farking drunk that it will take YEARS to sober up and become a rational, coherent person.
2012-10-08 01:46:23 PM  
1 vote:

Yaxe: Remember: If your child isn't popping, don't feed them laxatives. Make them eat prunes. You will be surprised how effective they work.

They do work very well. After feeding them the prunes, put them in the bathtub (no water) until they poop. You will be amazed how well the prunes work.

/Did I mention the prunes work very well?
2012-10-08 01:45:55 PM  
1 vote:

3. Talk to your baby normally - We constantly talked to our daughter. From day one we'd just talk, explain everything we were doing using full sentences. We'd use a higher pitch [since they do respond to that] but we didn't use baby words like 'baba' for 'bottle' or anything. We used the proper words and complete sentences. While I can't *prove* it, I think this went a long way to helping develop her intelligence and speaking/reading abilities.

I completely agree with this. Someone said "kids are dumb" upthread. They aren't dumb... just naive, ignorant and need to be taught....but obviously have a huge capacity for learning. They are human from the start. If you teach them, they will learn.
2012-10-08 01:43:37 PM  
1 vote:
Didn't read all the responses so these might of been covered:

- Your social life will take a major hit for about 4 years
- Good Babysitters are worth their weight in gold
- Take turns at night staying awake with the baby.

- Yard sales are your friend, you can get enough outfits for years for under a $1 each and start buying all sizes and keep them stored away for later.
- Once Upon a Child and Goodwill are great for filling out what you didn't find at yard sales.
- Baby Gap, and other 'baby' stores are a major rip off when they are this young, they will out grow whatever outfit you buy in 4 months.

- Sign up on all the major baby sites for their free programs, even if you don't really need them you can donate them to another family in the area.
- Go generic for diapers and formula, if your child can handle it

- When looking for new items (Strollers / Diaper Bags / Changing Tables / Cars / Houses) the first question you need to ask is "How much will this hold" You have no concept as to the amount of items that you will need to have available. Best thing to do is ask a friend who has a young child to borrow everything that you would need for an overnight trip. See if you can fit it all in your car. Do this as early as possible, it will help you prepare for what's coming.
-- Invest in either cargo pants or, as my wife really liked, a Survival Utilikilt so that you can become the portable diaper bag, and she doesn't have to carry everything. (The amount of stuff you can cram in the kilt was astounding)

- Take as many pictures and videos that you can. (Don't forget to back them up somewhere)
- Frozen meals are a godsend for the first few months
- Invest in a good baby monitor
- Start looking, now, for a day care

- Most of the jokes about diapers are true, but you get used to them fairly quick.
- When changing diapers, please remember to 'cover' the area if you are going to be away for more than 3 seconds.

- After the first few months have past, Force your wife to get out of the house with some of her friends to help remind her of life outside of the baby.

But most of all, its the most amazing feeling in the world to have your child sleeping in your arms. And all the stress and headache and aggravation is worth it in the end.

\ PS: Please if at all possible, keep your child at home for the first few weeks to let them get used to the outside world before you take them to Wally World
\\ Start thinking of baby names now.
2012-10-08 01:39:46 PM  
1 vote:
My advice is not so much things we didn't do that we wish we did, but some things we did do that I'm really glad for.

1. Breast feed - this is pretty obvious. If at all possible, do it. There are long-term benefits for both the baby and the mother.

2. Baby sign - We didn't go overboard with this, but just a couple important signs. First and most important was "milk". Just sign and say "milk" every time you feed her. Eventually they'll pick up on it and start using it when they are hungry instead of crying and screaming. Later signs were "eat" and "toilet". Those three signs saved us an incredible amount of grief. She could communicate when she was hungry or thirsty or dirty instead of having to cry in frustration.

3. Talk to your baby normally - We constantly talked to our daughter. From day one we'd just talk, explain everything we were doing using full sentences. We'd use a higher pitch [since they do respond to that] but we didn't use baby words like 'baba' for 'bottle' or anything. We used the proper words and complete sentences. While I can't *prove* it, I think this went a long way to helping develop her intelligence and speaking/reading abilities.
2012-10-08 01:31:20 PM  
1 vote:
I haven't read the whole thread but if this hasn't been covered, when changing a boy make sure you have the clean diaper ready to cover him up before he squirts all over you.
2012-10-08 01:28:08 PM  
1 vote:

hasty ambush: 1. Do not bubblewrap your spawn. No childhood is complete without a bloody nose or two, cuts, bruises and even a scar or broken bone.

2. Do not give them a sense of entitlement. Nobody owes them anything, life is unfair and the kid down the street will probably have more than him. Let the spawn learn to deal with it.

3.Occasionally say no even if you do not have to.

4..Because you said so is a perfectly acceptable reason that requires no further explanation.

5. Make sure the spawn behave in public

6. Spanking is OK. The spawn's frontal lobe won't even be fully developed for a couple of decades. They will be driven largely by hormones and instinct instead of common sense so they won't always respond to reason.

that's no way to teach your child logic and reason. An argument from authority isn't a good reason for your child's beliefs
2012-10-08 01:27:54 PM  
1 vote:
Ok, I was literally the most unprepared person to have a kid and my wife and I just had our first 6 weeks ago. So if there is anyone to prepare your for the next 10 months it's me.

-Your wife might get very tired and want to go to bed really early for the first 3 months (and likely beyond that). You will likely end up with a lot of alone time at night during the pregnancy. Use this time to do the hobbies you love. You wont get to do them once the little one gets here. In the first six weeks I have gotten 3 hours total to myself.

-Your wife will get crazy during pregnancy and say the most bat shiat crazy things you can possibly imagine. This however, is nothing compared to the hormone changes that occur after the kid is born. She gets even crazier.

-You learn more about being a good parent from the nurses that help deliver your kid than any stupid class your wife will sign you up for.

-As if the first two wont put enough strain on your relationship the only chance you will have to sleep well is if you split up the night time duties and sleep in separate rooms.

-Don't go bragging about how your kid sleeps 6 hours a night right off the bat. It will change. He is exhausted from being ejected from the womb. Give it a couple weeks then he'll be eating every 3 hours at least if you are formula feeding. If you are breast feeding then your wife is farked. Assuming you formula feed it will take you a full hour to change him/feed him/put him/her back to sleep. So if you're lucky you get to sleep those two hours.

-Just because they are sleeping doesn't mean they are quiet. They make a lot of noises when they sleep. You will be sleeping very light just waiting for them to wake up into a complete meltdown.

-Don't sweat how the baby eats the first couple of weeks. They may eat very little in their feedings the first few weeks and then pass out. My wife and I freaked out thinking he wasn't getting enough nutrition because the doctors told us he needs to get 2 ounces in every time he eats. They might and they might not. But they will eventually and then you'll find out sooner than later they need 3 then 4 ounces to feel satisfied.

-Haters gonna hate and babies gonna cry. There is just nothing you can do about that sometimes. It's the only way they can communicate. What gets them to calm down is going to change every day. You can try the following: Change their diaper, swing them in your arms, swaddle (wrap them in a blanket) them up, let them lay on your cheat, let them lay next to you, walk around with him, talk to them, sing to them, sssshhhh them, take them in the bathroom and turn the fart fan on, give them something to suck on, give them more clothes, give them less clothes, rock them, shoot yourself because nothing works and they just have to cry it out.

-Everyday the "experts" are figuring shiat out on how to make us better parents and keep our kids safer. shiat that we've been doing for 100 hundreds years like powdering a babies ass is no longer safe because of the dust that can get in their lungs. But really when it comes to your kid there are no rules. Eventually you'll figure out what your kid needs and wants and everything else out there that has been written wont apply.
2012-10-08 01:25:46 PM  
1 vote:
Go out for a night on the town. It will be the last, for the next 18yrs.
2012-10-08 01:15:34 PM  
1 vote:
1. If your wife can breast feed, encourage and help her any way you can. Breast feeding is:
Doesn't require preparation
Baby's don't drink more than they need, so they don't vomit much (my kids only threw up once or twice)
The poop doesn't smell as bad
Baby gets lots of good stuff from the mother
You can't do the 2am feedings :)
2. Baby signing, it's basically sign language for babies, get a book on it
You can start as early as 6 months
They might start signing back as early as 9 months
You know what they hell they want when they're not old enough to talk
We did it with my oldest and he could tell us he wanted to nurse, eat, drink, listen to music by the time he was 12 months, and he was speaking full sentences by two years.
3. Sleep. Your wife should be sleeping when your child is sleeping, other wise she won't sleep, she'll go insane, and she'll make you very unhappy.
4. If anyone comes to visit for more than an hour, they have to help. The new parents have enough on their hands without catering to others, if they're not helping, kick them out.
2012-10-08 01:09:20 PM  
1 vote:
1) invest in a second "base" for your baby's car seat so you can just leave one belted firmly in each car.

2) invest in cheap onesies. Occasionally babies can mysteriously crap their own weight and fill both the diaper and onesie. It's better to cut the onesie off with scissors and throw it away than drag a poop filled garment over the baby's head.

3) it's never too soon to start child-proofing the house even when the baby won't be crawling around for a long time.

4) baby stuff is expensive, start saving now. Like everything else, the cheap products fall apart, and the most expensive ones are for suckers. Spend time when you shop.

5) Kirkland diapers and baby wipes from Costco are a fantastic value. Diaper genies are your friend.

6) take lots of pictures, both alone and with family members. Sears and other photo places offer CDs of your photo sessions even if you don't get prints of all poses... it's worth the money to buy the disk. Every year send a backup disk of family photos to the grandparents in case something happens to your house. You can buy new things, but you can't get the photos back.
2012-10-08 01:08:30 PM  
1 vote:
Just remember, someday you will miss all of this. When you are sitting there watching your kid graduate, get married, get sentenced, whatever, you will be saying to yourself "I wish my kid was still a baby and I could hold her and rock her to sleep just one more time."
2012-10-08 01:06:00 PM  
1 vote:
Everyone told us that our son would be ruined if we let him sleep in our bed. It's BS. For the first few months let the little one sleep in your bed. He/She will be fine. Just transition them after the first few months.

Make sure you really take care of your wife especially after the little one is born. Do small things for her and take the baby to try to get her out of the house some. I'm convinced that a lot of post-partum depression is caused by the poor mom going stir crazy at home for weeks on end.

Once the baby is a bit bigger don't be afraid to leave it with a trusted friend or family member. Make time for the wife. You'll both be happier.

/ Congrats and enjoy the ride.
2012-10-08 01:01:28 PM  
1 vote:
Since you all are providing me with such specifics, I figure I can ask a couple questions, and outline my situation more clearly.

I've *always* wanted to be a stay-at-home dad. Ever since I figured out that technology could provide you with a career where you didn't have to go anywhere, it seemed to me to be the best plan. I get that we'll still have to utilize daycare, but everything all have said about "being there for your kids" and "spending time with them while they're little" well, that's my point. That's what I want to do.

As such, the wife will continue her job and be the "working" parent while I continue to do what I do, on my (the kid's) schedule- my work is the kind of thing that as long as it gets done in a timely fashion, it doesn't matter where or when it gets done. I expect this to be a huge boon to my early parenting days.

As far as sleep goes, I am a night person, while my wife is a morning/day person. I'm usually up till about 2-3am anyway, and she's usually up by about 530-6 after going to be around 10. Am I crazy in thinking this will also be very helpful?

My parents were very much of the "early education pays dividends later" childhood phases. I was Montessori schooled until about age 4 or 5, and was compelled to always be reading something; trips to the library to stock up on books for a week or two were fantastically common. I plan on this being the case in my household as well.

Speaking of my parents, they live in town, about 15 minutes away. I feel like my mom hasn't been enthused about the prospect of me having a child, but that's probably because it's "me", and not because she isn't excited about the next generation. I've already received flak from bro and sis about "not just dumping my kid on mom" (theoretical kid, this was months ago and they don't know yet, nobody does- except this thread) which was never my plan, but I am glad that I have familial support locally. Alongside this, my wife's BFF has a 6 month old, and she's been her "baby buddy" since birth- already has much experience and practice dealing with a fussy baby, and while I get that every kid is different, in my mind, this experience can't be a bad thing.

Bought a new ride at the beginning of the summer; the wife insisted it be a 4 door, so it is. I really don't wanna be a minivan/SUV type, and the wife doesn't either. What the child will do to the leather in my car is another story, but memories of puke being absorbed into cloth seats make me glad that's what I've got.

Realistically, it'll be the hanging out with friends that will be the hardest for me to let go, but who knows how I'll feel when the kid is extant, or more importantly, how they'll feel? Guess it's time to sober up and be an adult.

Guys: Is the whole "I am a wolf that will protect the den mother at all costs" feeling of overprotectiveness "a thing"? I've read about it many times, but nobody seems to be citing it here. Someone mentioned that everybody loves a pregnant woman and wants to touch their belly; even at this distance, I don't know if I'll be comfortable with that, and I fear I'll become actively hostile to others as the pregnancy progresses.

To the guy that said "this thread sucks, didn't know FARK was reddit lite", well, I posted it here for 3 reasons:

1. Redditors make Farkers look like....I dunno, a group of enlightened smart people.
2. This was my first green, and I figured it was a shoo-in, given the FARK headline bait, and the extremely passionate discussions people have about kids and parenting. I was right! Thanks mods!
3. I'm a FARKer, not a Redditor.

Thanks again, all. I'm saving this thread, and it's going to be the first document in my "things I don't wanna forget about my kid growing up" folder that many have suggested.
2012-10-08 12:36:40 PM  
1 vote:
You'll be fine. Babies need love, food and a clean ass. You'll figure out the rest from there
2012-10-08 12:32:25 PM  
1 vote:

madgonad: orbister: Bottles? Bottle warmers? All that bother and equipment, when the best food is available on tap and for free?

That requires a conscious wife that doesn't have a job. I did about a third of my children's feedings.

The ability to breast feed while sleeping is well worth developing. I'd do all the night time changes, then plug the kid in. After a while, my wife rarely woke up.

2012-10-08 12:29:10 PM  
1 vote:

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.

Amen. Though it's also awesome when your toddler just spontaneously climbs into your lap to cuddle with you. Or even just looks up from her toys to say, out of the blue, "Daddy, I love you."
2012-10-08 12:28:59 PM  
1 vote:
A couple of things some people might not tell you that will be more important in a few years:

1. Discipline your kid starting at about 18 months or so. Figure out how to do it nicely, but that doesn't mean every time you'll be nice about it.
2. Don't take your anger or frustration at your kid(s) out on your spouse. Make sure your spouse reciprocates this rule.
3. Make your kid do their own stuff. Nurture independence. Don't coddle them. Let them get frustrated and figure it out themselves. Don't go overboard. This doesn't mean you should make your 6 month old go to the fridge for its bottle.
4. Be specific in your praise.
5. Let your kids fail at stuff.
6. Make sure you and your spouse are on the same page about most stuff. This applies to just about everything I said above. Don't let your spouse undermine your work, and vice versa. This is a general guideline - be ever vigilant.
7. Don't try to pour what you imagine the failures of your life were into your kid's. This applies particularly to sports.
8. Along with #7, find out what they seem to like and give them opportunities to explore those things. When they fail at them, it's OK to push them sometimes, sometimes they won't appreciate the push until much later.
9. Learn to turn off the TV.
10. Take any advice you get on the internet with a grain of salt.
2012-10-08 12:27:27 PM  
1 vote:

Skyd1v: 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

Buy a noise machine if a kid needs the rumble to sleep. My kids both slept to the sound of a waterfall for the first four years of their lives (it also keeps other noises in the house from waking them up).

And you don't need a huge vehicle. I have two kids and our biggest car is a Mazda 5 (dual sliding doors) which is the smallest minivan you can buy. It also has a manual transmission and gets 28-30mpg.  We needed more room twice for vacation - so we just attached the roofrack and cartop carrier. Problem solved.
2012-10-08 12:23:19 PM  
1 vote:

Sneakytoes: The people at the hospital can be assholes. Don't let you push them around. Example - I was having huge problems getting my baby to latch on, she finally started to, and a nurse swooped in and took her away because it was time for the pediatrician to look at all of the babies. I was alone and too whacked out to fight back. Asshole.

That's really good advice. During the birth and first few hours after, Daddy is the best advocate Mommy and baby have. If you're lucky, you'll have a good team at the hospital that will support both of you. If not, DO NOT be afraid to be a complete asshole in order to get them what they need. Just keep it in perspective- 10 minutes for ice chips, chill out. Takes over an hour to "weigh the baby", start throwing things.
2012-10-08 12:20:39 PM  
1 vote:
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 12:18:16 PM  
1 vote:

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 12:15:54 PM  
1 vote:
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 12:14:58 PM  
1 vote:
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 12:13:52 PM  
1 vote:
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 12:10:54 PM  
1 vote:
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 12:10:49 PM  
1 vote:
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 12:10:46 PM  
1 vote:

jbuist: 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.

I have a 6 month old daughter and this DVD was the most useful info I had. it's unbelievable how well it works to calm a baby.

I'd also recommend getting an exercise ball to sit on and bounce the baby vigorously when he's fussy. my daughter has to be moving to calm down from a fit.
2012-10-08 12:10:09 PM  
1 vote:

JammerJim: Read about child development but DO NOT freak out if your kid is ahead/behind/on time. Kids are all different.

This plus eleventy. Development is a resource-allocation balancing act. Just about every kid learns to speak, sleep, sit, crawl, walk, run, climb, do puzzles, achieve object permanence, potty train, etc... but it can't be done at once. It takes enormous energy to develop their brain for each of the tasks, and the physical ones also require a lot of energy to develop their musculature. So kids that are super at climbing may be slow at speech, and vice versa.

Avoid comparing your kids to other kids; you only see those other kids for minutes per day or week.
2012-10-08 12:09:30 PM  
1 vote:
Get used to beating off. You're never getting it the natural way anymore. Invest in lotion.
2012-10-08 12:07:34 PM  
1 vote:
It will puke, poop, pee, and probably bleed at some point onto your couch. So if you're fond of it (the couch, I mean. I assume you'll be fond of the kid) invest in a good couch cover.
2012-10-08 12:06:51 PM  
1 vote:
Sooner or later your child will walk
Sooner or later your child will come into your bedroom and wake you out of a sound sleep to tell you they "don't feel good".
IMMEDIATELY cover your head to avoid the intense spew of vomit that will follow within the next 5 seconds.
Trust me on this.

/bitter experience
//lactose intolerant kiddos
2012-10-08 12:06:44 PM  
1 vote:
Oh yeah! UNDERPADS! Forget those cute expensive changing pads in the baby aisle. Go to the old people asile and get underpads. Portable changing pads, much more inexpensive.

There's the inevitable Mom bag. I also made up a Dad bag that was smaller with one of everything. Once the kids were walking, they carried fanny packs over the shoulder with their own damn diapers and wipes.
2012-10-08 12:05:50 PM  
1 vote:

Madame Ovary: 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.

The best parenting thing I ever saw was Cesar Milan, The Dog Whisperer.

Once you get frustrated, you lose. Frustration is the bane of discipline. Once you get emotional, and you let the frustration come out (because their ignorance will frustrate the hell out of you as a parent), then you lose.

The kids are only ignorant because you didn't teach them yet. Their faults as a child are your failings as a parent.

/also, minivans are awesome
2012-10-08 12:05:32 PM  
1 vote:
It's a lot more fun than you'll expect.

It's also a lot harder that you expect. And it's not hard because any one thing is especially difficult. It's hard because it's constant and never-ending. There are no breaks.

For that reason, be really really nice to your spouse. The only breaks you get over the next five years are the ones you make for each other.

Also, apply for daycare now. All the good one have stupid long waiting lists.
2012-10-08 12:04:39 PM  
1 vote:
Apparently you shouldn't buy new furniture, subby.
2012-10-08 12:02:57 PM  
1 vote:
Your days will slow down while your years will fly by. Take them with you to do the things you enjoy. Share your passions with them. Teach them to question everything. Never buy a drum and threaten harm to anyone who does.
2012-10-08 12:02:54 PM  
1 vote:

Seriously, My Pre and Post-PD was made way worse by the birthmom forums. Get a bunch of hormonal strangers together going through the same things at the same time and it's farking SPARTA. It makes the Politics tab look like Tea Time.

The one thing I really loved was the sling. There are lots of models out there, I had (and for a while sold) the Over the Shoulder Baby Holder. One kid loved it, the other kept trying to escape, but a long sleeve shirt turned to a straightjacket and the sling held high over the kid's shoulders cured that. Best thing to have when you schlepping things all over or trying to clean.

How to make a sling from a sheet. I had to do this once when picking up the pre-schooler during a flash flood. The water would have been up to the kid's chest.

If you're going to pump, rent a medical pump. The Medela Lactina Select is "portable" in that it can be put in a gym bag with the other stuff. The personal pumps may have the "same" pump inside, but it's the stroke of the outside arm that generates the vacuum. Also get different size horns to see what will fit.

Milk is pretty sturdy. It can be pumped and kept in a thermal bag in the gym bag.

Other than that, offer bean dip to anyone who questions your choices and you're good to go.
2012-10-08 12:01:43 PM  
1 vote:
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 11:59:04 AM  
1 vote:
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 11:58:53 AM  
1 vote:
imgs.xkcd.comView Full Size

"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."

imgs.xkcd.comView Full Size

Kids are genetic experiments. We're just experimenting responsibly! 

I'm sure there are others....these just popped into mind.
2012-10-08 11:56:42 AM  
1 vote:
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 11:55:40 AM  
1 vote:
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 11:54:18 AM  
1 vote:
Keep your babby's long form birth certificate in a very safe place.
2012-10-08 11:53:16 AM  
1 vote:
Take my advice: None of the advice you are given, solicited or unsolicited, will apply to your own situation.
2012-10-08 11:52:45 AM  
1 vote:
It will be harder than you imagine now.

You will cope much better than you thought possible, so much so that you will enjoy it more than you could have imagined.

Your wife will become the least rational person you have ever dealt with. Be patient and have respect for the increadible things her body is doing.
2012-10-08 11:52:25 AM  
1 vote:
Don't get a hot au pair.
2012-10-08 11:52:22 AM  
1 vote:
Suggest two kids so they develop social skills.

Suggest public school so that they grow up around kids from different backgrounds don't become tea party Nazi's in adulthood.

Make homework and grades their highest priority till they head off to college.

You're not going to get any sleep for four years.

The next eighteen years are going to blow by in about fifteen seconds.
2012-10-08 11:52:21 AM  
1 vote:

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

I know it's splitting hairs, but barring a medical issue, everyone of reproductive age is capable of being a breeder. Those that actually procreate have bred. They are the breeders.

The rest of us are just capable =)
2012-10-08 11:51:27 AM  
1 vote:
-Sleep as much as possible now, while you can still enjoy it.
-Start saving every dime you can and stop living like you're single. You're going to need it.
-Throw away pretty much every "So you're a new parent!" book. They're all garbage, except for the one about infant and pediatric emergency health. That one's gold.
-Diaper Genie. Yeah, it's expensive. Do it anyway. I cannot stress this enough.
-Speaking of diapers, buy a pile of cloth diapers. They suck as diapers, but they are abso-frigging-lutely fantastic at cleaning up spills, using as burp rags, etc. They're exactly the right size and can be easily washed. Since they're white, you can toss some bleach in the wash water without worrying about the color.
-In the hospital, the instant the child is born, you (as the father), become a fourth-class citizen. You're there, but you'll be treated like a ghost. Bring a DS or something to play with.
-The VCR is not a sandwich docking station yet, but it will be. If you have anything of value, stop valuing it.
2012-10-08 11:51:22 AM  
1 vote:
Here is a tid bit, once they are mobile, a baby can move twice as fast and has arms that are twice as long as you remembered. They will get into EVERYTHING!
2012-10-08 11:51:08 AM  
1 vote:

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

The more militant members of the LTBT community use it as a slur against the rest of us.


/Fixed that for me

The other one made more sense. There are tons of non-heterosexual or non-cisgender folks who have kids. And there are plenty of us heterosexual, cisgender folks who have nice things, frequent vacations, and early retirement instead.

Fair enough, but just remember your genes die with you.

Yeah, but so do I, so why would I care? ;)
2012-10-08 11:50:59 AM  
1 vote:
Have your wife ask for diapers, only, for her baby shower. You'll use every single one of them, and they can be in any size. They are going to be your biggest expense, and there is a certain amount of peace having to not run out and get them.
2012-10-08 11:50:53 AM  
1 vote:
I'd like to reiterate the advice that has popped up a few times in the thread, because this item is often overlooked, but can have great interpersonal benefits when exercised liberally:

Don't talk about your kids all the time. Sure, it's a great experience and because it is life-changing, it will consume your consciousness such that it will always be your first topic for conversation.

Nobody else will really, truly care.

To paraphrase Carlin, we don't care about your kids... that's why they're your kids! You get to care about them for the rest of us. That's about it =)

Congrats, buddy! I'm happy for you and your partner. Enjoy it.
2012-10-08 11:50:51 AM  
1 vote:
Don't bother reading pregnancy books -- they're all pretty much the same thing: "This might happen, it might not happen, or the opposite of this might happen." It's a scam. Learn to love garage sales. Load up on sleep -- you'll need it.

Raising is kid is far far more important than anything else you'll ever do, so prioritize it correctly. It's OK to not be able to afford things if you're spending time with your family. You can buy stuff again in 18+ years.
2012-10-08 11:50:23 AM  
1 vote:
Always remember that you are their parent, not their friend. When they become a well-adjusted adult thanks to your guidance, THEN you can have your friend.
2012-10-08 11:50:10 AM  
1 vote:
The people at the hospital can be assholes. Don't let you push them around. Example - I was having huge problems getting my baby to latch on, she finally started to, and a nurse swooped in and took her away because it was time for the pediatrician to look at all of the babies. I was alone and too whacked out to fight back. Asshole.
2012-10-08 11:50:03 AM  
1 vote:
You're going to have some dark dark thoughts, but it's ok. Sleeping 2 hours a night and the crying will get to anyone. Just relax.
2012-10-08 11:49:23 AM  
1 vote:
Honestly, all the lost sleep, everything was worth it to have a child that I could be a father too.

I recommend you have more than one kid as an only child can get lonely without siblings. Yeah, they'll fight as brothers and sisters do. But they'll still love one another and have each other.

When you bring the baby home, the baby will cry and you'll have no idea what's the matter. Simple, change the baby or feed the baby. So, check the diaper first. Then try the bottle and/or boob. It's that simple for the first days. You'll catch on what more they'll need as you both grow together.

Oh, all those birth films end with the beautiful baby in the parents' arms. If you plan to be there at the birth, the fun doesn't end after the baby pops out and is cleaned up by the nurses. Here comes the AFTERBIRTH next. Man, that's some weird looking stuff coming out of your wife.
2012-10-08 11:49:01 AM  
1 vote:

Devo: Buy a diaper a size too big for night time.

If your baby wets through while sleeping, you can buy these things called "diaper doublers" that are like a maxi-pad that you put in the diaper to soak up more liquid.

It's much better than a crying baby wearing cold, urine-soaked jammies.
2012-10-08 11:48:55 AM  
1 vote:
Get ready for the best/worst ride of your life. Also, learn to count to 10 before letting too much piss you off. It goes fast, hug your babies every chance you get. (Daughter 25, Son 30) Oh, and Baby Powder with Corn Starch is freakin' magical!
2012-10-08 11:48:48 AM  
1 vote:
Also, enjoy the next few months, because usually by the seventh month your wife will have turned into a hormonal, insane hosebeast with whom there will be no reasoning.
2012-10-08 11:48:44 AM  
1 vote:

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

Pretentious gay intellectual douchbags attempting to build up their own egos by tearing down others. Seriously.

You're about 270 years late there. Seriously.
2012-10-08 11:46:44 AM  
1 vote:
Enjoy your free time while you still have some. If you like restaurants, go. It'll be order in from here on out. If you like going to movies, go. It'll be PVR and on-demand.

All unless your parents live nearby. Then you're gold.
2012-10-08 11:45:32 AM  
1 vote:
Stouffer's Frozen Lasagna. Energy dense, easy to cook, tastes great at 3 a.m., not terribly unhealthy.

To take care of an infant, you have to take care of you some, too.
2012-10-08 11:44:46 AM  
1 vote:
Buy a diaper a size too big for night time.
2012-10-08 11:44:41 AM  
1 vote:
Everyone will give you tons of advice about sleeping, feeding, car seats, high chairs, TV or no, etc. Ignore it all and do what you think is right. You will screw up, that's okay, the kid will be fine despite you. And use the hell out of your wife's enforced designator driver status for the next nine months, because after that you'll be too busy to go out anymore.
2012-10-08 11:44:03 AM  
1 vote:

gingerjet: Your friends will be happy and excited for you. But they have limits - don't speak about the kid every minute you are with them because eventually they will kill you.

The friends who don't have kids wont be your friends for long. That's not to say you will ditch them or they will ditch you. But you can't do the same stuff that you could before you had kids. You will drift apart.
2012-10-08 11:42:31 AM  
1 vote:
Do not leave your laptop lying around. They rip the keys off the keyboard.

One day it will happen. At around 8 months. Strong wrists and tiny fingers.... overnight they become KEY RIPPING OFF machines. Must be like bubble wrap to them.
2012-10-08 11:42:14 AM  
1 vote:

NIXON YOU DOLT!!!!!: Don't tell anyone until around week 16. Miscarriages are a biatch.

Yep. Subby, there's a 20% chance of miscarriage before week 12. After that 5% of pregnancies still result in miscarriage.
2012-10-08 11:41:57 AM  
1 vote:
4 weeks util our first is born. At this point I am just going to take it one day at a time.
2012-10-08 11:41:56 AM  
1 vote:
Drink often and early...

/3 under the age of 5....
//also forget all the "N" and "1" size cute stuff. Just a shiatton of cotton onesies
2012-10-08 11:41:15 AM  
1 vote:

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

The more militant members of the LTBT community use it as a slur against the rest of us.

"Like To Buy Things"?
2012-10-08 11:41:08 AM  
1 vote:
Ohhh I hate kids, but congrats! Having your first baby is totally exciting. Don't let us non breeders bully you too much!

/don't like kids- but don't dump on parents who do
2012-10-08 11:39:21 AM  
1 vote:
2.bp.blogspot.comView Full Size
/doesn't have kids
2012-10-08 11:38:35 AM  
1 vote:

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.

The only good diapers for newborns are pampers swaddlers, fyi. But yeah, what he said. Formula too if you're going that route.
2012-10-08 11:38:08 AM  
1 vote:
Scietntific studies have show that pregnant ladies are 47% more likely to let you put it in their butt.
2012-10-08 11:35:47 AM  
1 vote:
barring a medical issue, everyone of reproductive age is a breeder. Where did that usage of the term come from anyhow?
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