So we are about to have our first child...any tips or afvice?

That’s a little harsh, don’t you think?

Nope.

Arrghhh bugger I wrote this long post and then the board fried it.

Summary:

  • Ergo carrier

  • learning to breastfeed lying down = essential

  • lots of water for breastfeeding mother = essential

  • be open to the fact that certain things you’d planned on may not be right for this particular baby

  • vests that have been shat into oblivion can be taken off downwards rather than over the head

You know that old saying “Bouncing baby boy”

Well…They don’t :slight_smile:

Right after the baby is born, he’ll be taken over to a little crib-like thing. My advice: GO HANG OUT WITH THE KID!!! I wasn’t sure whether I should hang out with the kid or still be with my wife, and believe me brother, there’s some stuff that happens after the kid comes out that you really don’t want to see.

Be prepared for the possibility that your wife will be depressed and/or insane for a while. Pay attention to her, take care of her, but don’t take her too seriously. You don’t have to go along with everything she says, but do not argue with her under any circumstances.

The flip side of this is not worrying too much about the ‘children should be seen and not heard’ crowd, as both extremes exist.

They’re part of society and people who cant learn to handle that fact arent people I lose much sleep about upsetting.

Otara

Yeah…apparently you don’t care so much you took the time to post a stack of text on an anonymous message board.

You are out of line.

Whatever you are dealing with in your life you need to find another outlet.

We all need to step back and remember folks - Chimera is the same fellow who got in a snit because his 9 year old niece got more Christmas presents than he did - his perspective is…unique.

OP - congratulations! Junior was born last August and is doing swimmingly well! So, as to advice:

  1. Be open minded about the birth experience - if things don’t go as planned, or as you or your wife hoped they would, just try to go with the flow. I had an awful birth experience (baby got stuck, emergency c-section, badness ensued) but I still wound up with a lovely little person at the end.

  2. If you’re watching TV/reading/hanging out and your wife is in the other room with Junior and he’s screaming his face off GO AND OFFER TO HELP HER!!! I spoke to about 6 different moms who had the same experience where hubby figured that she was doing well, takin’ care of business, being a mom, no need to interfere. NO!! Please interfere!! Just because she has boobs and a vajayjay doesn’t mean she has any idea what she’s doing with the baby either. If he’s crying offer to help her!! (Trust me - your wife will love you for it).

  3. Have fun. And BTW - lots of people will say things like ‘Remember when he’s so young - you’ll miss it later!’ I have to say I’m not buying it. When my little fella was a newborn I was totally miserable, getting no help with anything from anyone (except for a lovely casserole from my SIL - thanks SIL!!!) and I really, really hated my life. However, it got better and now that Junior is 7 months old, he really is wonderful and sweet - I WILL miss this part for sure! :slight_smile:

which leads me to:

  1. No matter how awful things are going at the beginning, remember, this too will pass. Colic, blown out poo diapers, screaming for no apparent reason - all temporary. Before you know it you’ll have a lovely little person living in your house instead of a screaming, yelling poop machine. :slight_smile:

[Mod Note]Well, I do. The next time a thread topic isn’t to your liking, just pass it by.[/Mod Note]

As a newish father (daughter 2 1/2, son 6 months), it’s amazing how much less stress it was the second time. It still takes going through it yourself to understand.

If the baby is crying for any other reason than he’s hungry, and you wife is breastfeeding, then don’t turn him over to his mommy. Let him get used to how you comfort him. If you continually give him to your wife, he will be conditioned to think it requires her in order for him to settle down.

Good luck!

Photos, take lots and lots of photos. Grandparents love them, whether they’re local or not. I still get out the kid’s baby album every so often (she’s 12) and it still makes me grin for days afterwards.

Apart from that, what everyone else has said.

As they say…

Get in, Sit down, Shut up, and HANG ON!

and always, always, always, be ready for poop.

Oh, yeah! I didn’t have bad post-partum depression, but with all three, I had the ‘baby blues’, exacerbated by lack of sleep. If your wife is prone to tears, be prepared for what seems to be unprompted sobbing. Possibly at touching TV commercials. If she seems down in the dumps, try to do something to cheer her up. Offer to handle the wee bairn while she takes a nap, takes a bath, noodles around on the computer, etc. It may not be a bad idea to buy a few small gifts ahead of time (if you have any ‘ahead of time’ left!) and wrap them. When she’s feeling particularly blue, give her a little present.

Also, if she is breast feeding, it would be really thoughtful of you if you stock the nursing area with ‘one-handed’ snacks. I usually liked to have a snack while I was nursing in the middle of the night. Things like juice boxes, breakfast bars, etc. I was starving the whole time I was nursing! Even a PB&J, pre-cut and put in a zip top baggie will do.

Not only this, but when you have a baby with you, for some reason it sends the signal to some people that, hey, this person is totally open to unsolicited advice! You will get advice (and criticism) from total strangers. If you possibly can, it’s best to just smile, nod, and say “I’ll take that into consideration, thanks!”. Then, as soon as the stranger’s back is turned, you can flip them off. :wink:
I can’t count the number of times I was told “Oh, that poor baby must be freezing! Why isn’t she wearing socks??” (Uhh, because it’s 92 degrees out here?), counter-balanced with “Oh, that poor baby! So over-dressed for this heat! All she really needs is a diaper and maybe a T-shirt!”

This all falls under the heading of “You can’t please everyone, so you’ve got to please yourself!”

Lochdale, this is your kid, and he is going to be unique. Whatever you do, don’t rely on advice from others about how to raise him. You and Missus Lochdale managed to get him cooking in the first place, I’m sure you’ve got the wherewithall to cope with a newborn. You’ll both be so enamoured of him, that I doubt too much will flummox you.

Now that being said, as mentioned upthread, get sleep wherever and whenever you can. If breastfeeding is a problem, y’know, bottles are OK. Nappies full of poop and wee are neither here nor there. Babies fart and squirm and do all sorts of stuff in their sleep…if necessary, wear earplugs so you’re not too distracted by the noise.

Best advice I ever got? “Babies have an inbuilt instinct to survive. They prepped their parents to go all ga-ga over them so that their survival is virtually guaranteed. Unless something weird/biological is happening with YOU, your behaviour will see that your wee baby is loved and nurtured to grow into a fine child and a healthy adult.” Stop panicking…they’re freaky little critters when they’re first born, but they grow on you pretty quickly. :smiley:

kam: mother of four, now grandmother of one.

And I loved every minute of it (except for the times I actually wanted to KILL my kids, but they grew out of it…see what I mean about the inbuilt instinct to survive?? Works wonders!!!)

:slight_smile:

Oh, and a word about your wife: put a great deal of effort into being very, very understanding of her in this next time. Her body is going to be zinging with unfamiliar hormones, plus she’ll be recovering from the stress of pregnancy and childbirth, plus she’ll be sleep-deprived in a way only new parents and prisoners of war can comprehend, plus she’ll be getting bombarded from all sides by well-meaning but intrusive, unnecessary, and often conflicting advice. Don’t take it personally if she isn’t physically affectionate for a while – being attached to the baby all day long can fill the need-to-touch-and-be-touched tank to overflowing, and she may need to retreat into her personal space when she can. Her body will have changed shape in strange and alarming ways, and she may have a shaky self-image. Give her a generous amount of actual and virtual hugs; let her know how much you love her and are amazed and awed by what her body created and nurtured.

Time becomes a weird concept. When baby is crying all night, the three hours from 2.30am-5.30am can feel like a lifetime. But then you’ll find the months suddenly whizz past and you wonder where they went.

My advice would be to really savour the next few years - my daughter is nearly three, and I cannot believe how quickly she’s changed from a babe in arms, to a gummy baby, to a tottering toddler to a proper little girl.

Now and again let the housework pile up and just sit and watch your little one sleep, or snuggle on the sofa with a story, or chase bubbles around the kitchen.

The best gift you can give your new arrival is time. They don’t care what size the house is, or whether they are wearing brand-new romper suits. So bunk off work as early as you can so you’re back for bath-time, if the sun is shining take a day’s holiday and head to the park, especially if the weekend looks rainy.

When changing a diaper, the first thing you do is prepare your surface. That means lay down your cloth, take out and open your clean diaper, prepare a baggie, pull out a half-dozen wipes… and only then take off the baby’s first article of clothing. Think of it as surgery. You don’t see surgeons rooting around their bags for a scalpel, do you?

The first six weeks are very hard. As a friend told me, by the end of six weeks, you’ll want to chuck the kid off a balcony. Then he’ll smile at you for the first time, which is an amazing moment.

Things that helped me, some of which have been mentioned before: if mom is breastfeeding, have good support. I found a great LLL group, though they can sometimes be too strident. Make sure mom gets out of the house. Just going for a walk around the block, with or without baby, will help. When mom is ready, moms’ groups can be an invaluable source of support and friendships. Don’t be afraid to try more than one group until you find one that fits your philosophy. Trust your instincts!

Make every effort you can to help your wife master breastfeeding. If you can pull it off, nursing is cheap, pleasant and far less of a pain in the rear than formula particularly at night. I nursed my daughter until she was two and found it one of the most satisfying activities imaginable.