Parenting

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  • pseud

    Alright, I'll be a dad in November. Any tips? Thanks.

  • robotinc1

    Sleep while you can

    • <
      Seriously, Get used to sleep deprivation.
      This, for me, was the single-most worst aspect of early parenthood. x
      Nairn
    • *MAYBE* you have a kid that sleeps well.
      Some parents do. And I hate them.
      Bastards.
      It's rare tho. x
      Nairn
    • How does sleeping now help later?
      ********
  • Gardener5


    many congrats pseud

    • Thanks Gardener. That's a nice-looking cake.pseud
  • PhanLo2

    Congrats!
    Savour the moments and enjoy.

  • ********
    9

    Go out and have fun while you can. Stay out late now, go to nice restaurants, parties and bars and hang with friends. Sleep in late, go do all the things you will struggle to do later, when you have a baby and don’t listen to ANYONE who says to sleep while you can, because unfortunately it doesn’t work like that.

    You become a parent once you have the child. Trust the process and cherish the moments. Write things down too. :) you’ve got this.

    Best advice I can give. BE NICE. You’ll be tested.

    • <oey_oey
    • And if people ask what they can get you, always say clothes. Trust me. They’re expensive and you can always manage toys.
      ********
    • Yes, clothes and other essentials are expensive the first few years... but, wait until they are teenagers; the schools, the uni, the accommodation... ;)OBBTKN
    • I fear for this already.
      ********
    • Thanks mono. I never understood the "sleep now while you can" idea. How am I supposed to do that? I can only sleep when I'm tiredpseud
    • It's a great idea to indulge in some enjoyable activities now before the busy period sets in. I'll get into that!pseud
    • lol at downvotes
      ********
  • oey_oey4

    Take time.
    Support your partner.
    Empathy.
    Don't take it for granted.
    Think with.
    Inform yourself.
    Women go through a lot so be there, not just physically.
    Use an app like The Bump for example.

    This book:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Th…


    • Good reccos, thanks oey! I'll try the library for the book.pseud
  • DaveO10

    Most advice is meaningless until the baby is here, because they're all totally different and everyone's family situation is totally different. Its likely the least comparable situation in all of humanity.

    A birthing course is helpful, so you understand what happens, and if you're the USA, be able to advocate for the things your other half will or won't want. There is such an addiction to pain medication here and they will pump up the after care with some very strong and terrifying prescription drugs that are largely unnecessary.

    A few practical things that come to mind:

    Get the car seat ready.
    Get the room ready.
    Get the wallet ready.
    Prep a load of food for when you get back from hospital.
    Stay in the room when its happening.
    In the birth, if you can handle it, look down 'there' so you can see the baby come out. You will not regret seeing life cross over to the other side.
    Don't buy every gadget you are told about (you don't need any of them).
    Don't tell anyone the name you are thinking about, you do not need their opinion. Name the kid and then tell everyone.
    Don't beat yourself up if you struggle with the transition. It can be hard to find your place in it as a father sometimes
    Don't worry about it too much, civilization has been doing this for millions of years.

    Finally, don't listen to anyone's advice, your situation is yours alone and it will be unique.

    • "Get the wallet ready."
      lol
      Nairn
    • This is all solid advice, especially the last line.
      You'll just work it out for yourselves.
      Nairn
    • Exactly, that’s what I meant by “you become a parent once you have the child. Trust the process”
      ********
    • That is sound advice, cheers! I have thought of "looking down there" while it's happening but I'm really bad with blood so there's a good chance I'll pass out.pseud
    • Can comfirm, this is solid advice.Morning_star
    • even poor people can deal with the struggle of having baby's and i'm not gonna look at my ladies pussy when the baby comes out.milfhunter
    • 100% solid advice. I'm older, and my kids are 21 and 18, so I've gone through all of this...exador1
    • 1 thing that truly worked for my wife and I was 'shift work' so to speak. Since i worked at an office, and my wife was on Mat Leave, she was home with the babyexador1
    • so from the time i got home (say 5:45pm) until say about 2am, i was 'on duty' feeding, changing, whatever... I'd come in the door, and my wife would handexador1
    • over our baby to me, and i did everything til about 2am, when it was time for me to get some sleep. This way, from afternoon, til 2am, my wife could relax,exador1
    • go to the gym, run errands, whatever... just take it easy and get some time away from 'doing it all' sort of thing...get some sleep etc...exador1
    • also, that way, i could 'sleep' from 2am til the next day without constantly getting up all night for feeding or changing...exador1
    • anyhow, this way 'both' of us got time to sleep, or recharge, or whatever... both of us had 'time' with our baby, and we didn't get trapped in the endless cycleexador1
    • of 'whose turn is it to wake up' lol...
      anyhow, it sure worked well for us....
      but everyone's mileage may vary etc...
      exador1
  • stoplying4

    Buckle up.

    It's an amazing, scary, surprising, emotional, fantastic, hard, easy, beautiful mess. Just like life. Enjoy it all and congratulations and good luck.

    I have to mention devices and screen time. If you don't want your young child to be super dependent on screens, then try your best not to start the habit. Start all of the good habits as soon as you can, read books (a little later on), listen to music, go for walks, do stuff together.

    • Thanks Mister Lying. My wife and I are still discussing the screens situation. How are we going to keep the kiddo way from all those screens since we're almostpseud
    • constantly in front of at least one. Unwillingly at times, but not always. I'm a bit worried for the little guy.pseud
  • Nairn1

    ^ "Don't beat yourself up if you struggle with the transition. It can be hard to find your place in it as a father sometimes"

    This might just be my situation or my interpretation, but I found it hard to not be 50%+ of the parenting percentage of Absolute Love From My Child over the first year or so, As best as I could want or try It's obviously The Mother who takes the greater percentage. My shit male ego needed to adjust to that.

    I felt I had a right to more of my child's focus, but that only comes in time. Sometimes it can feel hard to not be absolutely central to something you've put so much love in to, and if you're not a shit person, you will not believe the wave of absolute love that will swell across you when you have your kid.

    I envy your journey. I wish I could take it again, as far too late as it is now for me.

    x

    Also, again, sleep now.

    • Thanks Nairn. My wife is amazing so I'm not surprised the baby will crave her more than me. Give it a few years and we'll ride bikes together me and him.pseud
    • "Sometimes it can feel hard to not be absolutely central to something you've put so much love in to"

      Huh, uhuh, huh (<Beavis voice)
      Horp
    • hahahahaNairn
  • monNom1

    A new baby is going to upset your routine and add a lot of stress. Make sure you are taking care of you, and one another so you can take the best care of baby. Eat good, healthy food. Prioritize good sleep. Get some exercise. Give each other some free time to just be normal again. Don’t take on too much. A new baby is enough without having other things competing for your attention.

    If people ask how to help, get them to cook you a meal. A freezer with a bunch of home-cooked meals ready to go is a huge blessing when you hardly have time for cheese and crackers.

    Your baby is going to follow your lead. If you don’t lead, they will, and you will be a stressed out zombie because what do they know about anything?

    As soon as possible, and for your sanity, investigate sleep training. This was a game changer to have baby(s) sleep through the night., and to have evenings back again. I think we started at 8wks. Basically you feed lots throughout the day and don’t let them nap too long so they are full and tired by bed time. Took maybe 1 week to get our twins on schedule and they have slept through the night ever since. Check out “baby wise”.

    Take lots of video. Lots of pictures. Memories fade fast when you are sleep deprived and just hanging on. It’s nice to have a reminder of the early days, to remember how they sounded when they were just fresh to the world.

    Being a father is a pretty amazing thing. If you lean into it, you’ll never smile so much.

    • Noone's mentioned sleep training yet, so this is helpful! Thanks for sharing. I'm super excited, just trying to figure out how to handle the lack of sleep :-)pseud
  • pseud3

    PS. It's a boy. Gotta look into names now.

    • Congrats! Like someone said, don’t tell anyone the names. And you don’t have to write the name down until an day after you meet him.
      ********
    • Felix ;)OBBTKN
    • What about Sarah??sarahfailin
    • Nice!YakuZoku
    • Felix's at the top of the list. Our problem is the last name as we both have long surnames.pseud
    • Huntermilfhunter
    • There's this app "Babyname" a friend created. You can swipe left or right on names you like/dislike - like tinder. Same does your partner.Longcopylover
    • Really helped us to get a shortlist.Longcopylover
    • Ashleybainbridge
    • Qbn?bainbridge
  • Horp7

    With your first child, you are completely inexperienced. As others have said already, this is a process that has worked successfully as a simple and basic arrangement for a long time. Don't get suckered in to too many methods, accessories and protocols that get bandied around.

    I have two kids, there are 3 years separating their births. Most of the advice we were told (via NCT and healthcare services) for the first child were already invalid by the second. We were told entirely different things second time around, by the exact same bodies that told us to do them the first time around. So we realised these are just frameworks by career people and all a baby needs is:

    Love
    Comfort
    Nourishment
    Protection
    Monitoring
    Stimulation when appropriate
    Rest at all other times

    ===

    If I had one piece of advice I wish I could tell my young self that first time around, it is that it can get very demanding, quite frustrating, and it can fray your nerves at times.

    This for me was something from a few years after the first was born, when they start to not cooperate with what you would ideally like to see happening. They can really test your patience at times and behave in a wilfully challenging way.

    KEEP YOUR COOL

    There were times when my first really pushed our buttons in a million infuriating ways, and it can be possible sometimes to want to assert your seniority and make sure it is understood that you are the boss.

    I do realise that writing this will be making some of you think "oooh we got a child torturer here" but that's your imagination and not what I am talking about. I am talking about losing your cool and getting angry when things are not going your way, and losing sense of the fact that a small child does not understand the world fully, and is curious about finding the limits in order to make better sense of that world.

    So if you lose your cool and get a bit ranty or raise your voice, it doesn't work, and it also makes you feel like a shitbag afterwards.

    My eldest, now 18, is by nature a feisty iconoclast. It's who she is. So along the way we had some clashes, battles of wills where neither would back down. Ultimately I held the ace card, but she would not give in until she saw the ace card. The ace card might be confiscations, limiting access to things, and also just me ranting and rattling as I lay down the law to tell her what's what and what a big deal I am.

    The second baby comes along and you realise that at times some of this was disproportionate and based on trying to battle against their determination to massively fuck up your day, as opposed to calmly stating things and letting them go through the process of having an emotional meltdown if that's what they need to do.

    You have to stay calm and explain things, and if they aren't ready for those explanations, then calmly step away and let them have a temper riot by themselves.

    You never need to prove you are the boss to a a young child, you need to demonstrate it with full control and calmness.

    My eldest daughter and I, on a few (quite rare) occasions would have a kind of cold war battle and it would escalate step by step "Okay well I'm doing this" ... "Well fine then this is what's going to happen as a result, Missy"... "I don't care, I'm even doing this now too"... "oh yeah? well guess what, this is happening now as well how do you like THOSE apples?"... "FINE! WATCH ME DO THIS!"... "GO AHEAD, YOU'RE CONFINED TO YOUR ROOM FOR THE NEXT TWELVE YEARS"... "REALLY? WELL I MAY AS WELL DO THIS THEN!"... "OH SURE, SURE... NOW I'M CALLING THE ADOPTION AGENCY" and so on.

    Just... don't do that. It doesn't work.

    It's hard work being a parent, and the nature of that work changes month by month.

    Take it as it comes, and aways make sure they know you love them.

    My worst memory, which still haunts me to this day, is that one time after an escalating battle of wills when my eldest absolutely demanded that she lead me step by step to the moment of me revealing my ace card; she finally understood she couldn't win, she burst into tears at everything she'd lost along the way, and asked me to give her a hug.

    I was so mad about it all that my response, and what a fucking asshole I am, what a fucking asshole, was to say "I can't hug you now because I'm so angry"

    and I left her there on her bed, sobbing, asking for a hug and not getting one.

    My wife was with her and when she came downstairs a short while later she said "Can you go and give her a hug please because she thinks you don't love her anymore"

    Christ, what a fucking asshole.

    Don't do that. It haunts the fuck out of me and it was fucking years ago.

    • Error: you need to demonstrate it with full *self* control and calmness.Horp
    • I'm off to see LCD Soundsystem with my eldest in August. She loves taking me to gigs. We are as close as close can be these days.Horp
    • The challenges we faced back in the day were based on the fact that she is EXACTLY like me. We are the same personality type. My youngest is more like their mumHorp
    • When all else fails...there is always hookers & cocaine!utopian
    • Excellent post, can totally relate.mort_
    • This is everything... “Take it as it comes, and aways make sure they know you love them.”mort_
    • That last bit wasn’t you being an asshole. It was you being a human.mort_
    • Don't be too hard on yourself. She was testing you to see where the limit was. All part of learning. I bet she got lots of hugs after that.monNom
    • "I'M CALLING THE ADOPTION AGENCY" lolpseud
    • This is sound advice (I think, since I can't relate), cheers Horp! You sound like a good parent.pseud
  • ideaist2

    Godspeed AND welcome to child ownership brother.

    You are NOT in control; never have been and never will be.

    Enjoy.

    X

    O

  • err3

    Don't get too caught up in parenting advice right now. You should save it for when they are toddlers.

    All the advice I have is for the parents. Buy lots of energy bars! Like an absurd amount, you can thank me later.

    Don't tell ppl the name you picked until its official. It's like showing unfinished work.

    Also try to be present and make note of everything as it happens. Your partner will likely not remember things clearly.

    And don't look over the curtain.

    After birth. There is no right or wrong way to react. When my son was born we didn't enjoy the baby years as much as others and we felt guilty about it. But it gets so much better as you start to see a personality.

    Good luck and congrats

  • DaveO14

    This thread is wholesome as fuck and i'm here for it.

  • timeless10

    There are a bunch of things here already that I'd repeat, so I'll stick to other things I've learned along the way . . . the hard way.

    First, I pray you two have family close by on either side. ANY kind of little-bit-of-help will be amazing in the first few days/weeks/months. Learn from eye-witness experience (either what you want in your family, or what you def don't want). While in this same thought, the nurses who take care of your spouse and little one in the first hours/days: ask to hover over their shoulder, or ask them if they could coach you as you do what they're there to do. Have any questions ready because they are the experts. They're usually moms too, ours were.

    Second, as you start living your NEW normal, please, please, please, remember you're part of a couple. Come home on time, or when you say you'll be there, because they're expecting you to. Both your spouse, and your kiddo.

    If you're the provider, they'd rather have you home than at work. Trust me. If you're the SOLE provider DO NOT think your job is more important (to sustain/support your now brandy-new family) than your time at home with them. I'm going to repeat myself, please listen, because I can't say this enough: if you're the sole provider DO NOT think your job is more important than your time at home with your family. I missed a bunch of firsts that I'll never experience. The line that keeps ringing in my head (now that I'm aware of what happened) is "Is your husband a doctor?" "No, he's a designer." "Then where the fuck is he?" . . . Since being laid-off right before covid, and landing a 100% remote gig, I now goto so many events, recitals, concerts, and plays. I'd like to hope I'm making up for all that lost time, however, those many missed moments still haunt me, my relationship with my wife, and with my kids, to this day.

    Third, remember: you're part of a team, it's a couple thing (an "US" thing), NOT a you and them thing. You're each other's biggest advocate. If there's an issue/confrontation/argument happening . . . there's something to learn from it. Nobody is right. Nobody is wrong. You both need to grow, and that's not comfortable. You're both not understanding each other. If you're arguing there's an opportunity to learn something.

    I guess this turned into more of a relationship reply than a parenting reply, but hey, if the foundation starts to go bad, nothing strong is going to be built on top of it.

    Also now . . . you'll stop wondering why your friends with kids don't hang out as much anymore!

    . . . and, congrats!

  • jamesbeat5

    Besides the few practical things you can actually prepare that the others already mentioned, try to find a proper workout routine for your back that you can do regularily. There will be a lot of one-sided carrying and lifting paired with little sleep and stress. I wish I had fixed my back pain before going into this...

    The most valuable advice I got is this: In the first 2-3 years you basically just do whatever works to make the kid (and mother) happy, feel safe and loved. But it is important to steadily transition away from that as the kid grows older.
    Gently encourage your kid to sleep in alone for example, even when there's a bit of background noise. Communicate that you have needs, too and bit by bit reclaim some free personal time for your better half and equally important, yourself.

    Don't fall for stuff like "three day potty training", or other bullet proof methods to force something on your child, you're not raising a puppy. But pay attention to windows of opportunity that open from time to time when the kid is ready to learn something new or become more self sustained, be there and give support, they'll figure it out when they are ready.

    Sounds obvious, but treat your kid with respect from the beginning. This can mean literally sitting down and communicating on eye level when talking to your child, without caring about what others around you might think of how a child should be treated. I have seen many parents talking to their kids as if they were cute pets or little problems that they need to manage.(They often are, but it's not their fault, it's your responsibility)
    Respect them as you do respect yourself. Just don't expect to get any of that respect back in the first couple of years.

    Find the time to visit a first aid for kids workshop at some point. You won't ever need most of the stuff you learn, but it will be worth a lot if you do – and it helped me to better judge dangerous situations. And always have a band aid with you to unlock the secret dad superpower when your kid falls.

    Keep media consumption as far away as you can for as long as possible. Kids get addicted to phones and tv so quickly. Question you own habits and try to not use your phone while around your kid. They will compete for your attention and want to do what they see you doing. Look for a public library with a decent kids books collection instead and go there often. I hauled tons of books back and forth every couple of weeks and this really sparked imagination with my kids. And it's a very good way of spending time together reading stories and looking at pictures.

    If you're not on the same page with your partner about how to deal with a situation, try to figure out how important it really is to you. If it's not a fight you need to pick, talk it through afterwards. You will loose most of these fights anyway, so better not let the kids take note of that, they will use it against you on the first occasion.

    And finally, you will have a lot less time to spend for yourself than before. So you might as well do anything you can to make the time you spend with your kids and family the best possible. Find things that both you and your child enjoy and the magic of life will unfold before your eyes :-)

  • slappy4

    You will makes heaps of mistakes, just try and unpack them and learn so you don’t repeat them. If you love your kids and you put in effort then you are a great parent.

    Being a parent is a lot like many of the things you do, it’s an exercise in constant improvement and learning. The more you know, the more you realise you don’t know. You can always get better at it.

    It goes really fast, and you don’t get to go back and redo things so try and enjoy it, even when it’s hard.

  • sarahfailin1

    It's a terrible hobby if you ask me

  • FNP144

    • Start a 529 plan the week they are born. Have grandparents contribute to that instead of buying crap they may or may not use.

    • Join parenting boards on Facebook and there you will find a wealth of hand-me-downs. Kids grown out of clothes so fast, it's silly to buy them yourself.

    • Take one month off together, then stagger parental leave from parent to parent to maximize time off to care for baby before nanny or daycare

    • Get a travel stroller vs full-size. They are much easier to pack, carry and can be opened with one hand (crucial!)

    • Mrs. Rachel will be your friend in 8 months. Trust me.

    • Take lots of pictures and video. Every phase is so short and before you know it, it's gone!

    • 15 yrs in the dad biz. This is really good advice.jbasnight
    • Been looking into strollers for a while, there're so many out there it's ridiculous.pseud
    • HUGE thumbs up for the 'travel' stroller vs the full-sized SUV style strollers... the light travel strollers are AMAZING...exador1
    • plus, the first time you try and take one of those full sized beasts to the mall, you'll have that epiphany 'ugh... this was a bad idea' lol...exador1
    • we got the light weight travel one for our second child, and realized what a game changer it was... wish I'd known that the 1st time aroundexador1
    • in Canada, instead of 529 plan, we have RESP (education plan savings etc) that shit is amazing.exador1
    • started that when they were born... now both my kids are in University, and both their undergrads are 100% paid for, including a year of living in a dormexador1
  • Daithi3

    Congrats! I'm sure you'll do great.

    Advice: The Wonder Weeks app (book referenced above) is worth getting. Be nice to your partner. Expect to be the second-favorite parent. No-one knows what they're doing, figuring it out as you go is 100% fine. Every kid goes and grows at a different pace. Enjoy it!