Advice for New Parents?

Discussion in 'Community' started by atszyman, Nov 10, 2004.

  1. atszyman macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2003
    The Dallas 'burbs
    Our first daughter was born on Sunday (November 7th, 2004 incase this thread comes back after a long hiatus).

    Thought it might be interesting to find out other forum member's experiences on being new parents and what kind of advice they might have for those new to the job.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. stubeeef macrumors 68030


    Aug 10, 2004
    AWESOME, I have 3 daughters, the youngest was 6 on the 9th.

    Get as much sleep as you can, take turns, be a team.

    You have now experienced unconditional love, isn't it awesome?

    What is her name?

    My 3 are Joanna Faith, Christina Hope, and Miranda Grace. Just kinda worked that way, no big plan.

    Also, find a great babysitter and overpay her! You have to get out together and chill out when you can.
  3. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Nov 1, 2001

    Mine is going to be 11 months in a few days. One thing that comes to mind right now is that we had so much crap we didn't need. Like bottle for the home, one for the car, etc. Don't bother....if the milk's defrosted, just put it in a pot of hot tap water for a few minutes and your fine.

    And if you can, get as much sleep as possible, especially when the baby is sleeping - both you and your wife. For the first month or so you'll need it :D

    Have fun!

  4. zelmo macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2004
    Mac since 7.5
    Our son Nathan is 3-1/2. It seems like only yesterday, and at the same time I can't remember life before him. It is truly amazing just how much you can love another human being. I certainly love other people, but there is a quality and depth to the love I have for my boy that I cannot adequately express. Boundless is a weak ass start on it.

    You don't need to get all the crap people tell you to get, like 6 different diaper bags, two strollers, and such.
    Set side at least an hour to fold clothes every time you do her wash. It still amazes me just how many pieces of child's clothing can fit in a single load of laundry.
    Sleep every chance you get.
    Get out at least once every two weeks for some alone time with your wife. Crucial.
    Be as involved as possible in all aspects (yes, even the dirty diapers). It is over before you blink, and you'll wish for the time back.
    Read to her every night.
    Hold her.
    Love her (that's easy).
    Trust yourself. You're a better parent than you think you are.
    Make personal time for you, and also for yourr wife. I know it is hard enough to find time for each other, but you were an individual before you were a couple, and before you were a parent. Don't lose yourself.
    Enjoy every moment.
    Daughter, you say? Get used to worrying...a lot.
  5. Mudbug Administrator emeritus


    Jun 28, 2002
    North Central Colorado
    I've got 2 kids - an almost 8 year old boy (jeez... seems like he was 2 about 3 months ago) and a 5 year old little girl.

    So far, the advice in here has been spot-on.
    Rule 1 - if you have 20 minutes free, sleep.
    Rule 2 - if you have any time less than that free, sleep
    Rule 3 - if you have more time than 20 minutes, sleep WELL.

    the teamwork thing really applies - I thankfully have the ability to go directly back to sleep if I wake up during the night, even if I get up and walk around for a few minutes - my wife, not so much. We figured out that if I got up and got the baby who was hungry, I could lay back down while the kid ate and go right back to sleep. My wife would just calmly wake me back up when the trough was closed, I'd take the kid back to bed, and back to dreamland I went. She can get back to sleep, as long as she doesn't stand up.

    Split up the household chores. Even if your significant other is a stay-home parent and you go off to work during the day, don't think that they have all the free time in the world. There's lots to do - laundry is the neverending task. Even using disposable diapers, the amount of little kids stuff accumulates at an exponential rate. Do the dishes. Clean up. Put the seat down (that is worth extra if you already suck at remembering it).

    Cloth diapers - not so much to be used as diapers (although more power to you if that's what you're doing), but keep some handy for baby cleanups. You can clean them to death if they get nasty, they're super-absorbant so spills pick up fast, and they'll actually attempt to defend against the clean-shirt-baby-gag-reflex, and they're cheap, so when the time comes to retire one, just throw it away and don't look back. I found on more than one occasion that I still had one draped over my shoulder when I was at the grocery store or somewhere, and the kids were still at home. You'll get used to it, too. :)

    And the best advice - you'll find that you have friends around you whom you can trust who would absolutely LOVE to come over and play with the baby for a while. TAKE THEM UP ON THE OFFER, and get out of the house alone for a little while. A 15 minute run to Starbucks without a kid in tow can be worth its weight in gold. Everything will be fine at home, and everyone gets what they want - what's called a win-win situation where I come from.

    Congrats on the new family member! I'm sure you'll turn out to be a great parent (most everyone does). You'll find that you have parent superpowers that have been turned off up until now. My nickname for quite a bit was "daddy - fixer of all broken toys" which I live up to on a regular basis.

    One more thing (sorry for the book I'm writing here...) - ask your parents for help with stuff. Not just money or time watching the kids, but ask them how they handled stuff when you were little. Things have changed over time, but not that much, and they'll thoroughly appreciate being included in the little things.

    Get a digital camera, and start shootin'. Then look into getting some open web space so you can host the pictures you're taking and everyone you know can look at them. If you're on a mac, you can do this with what you have already available (I do). It's not super fast, but that won't matter - they're willing to wait. :)
  6. stubeeef macrumors 68030


    Aug 10, 2004
    I am at 3000 pics, I have a newly 6yr old, a 7yr old, and yes an 8yr old. The best thing, last Christmas, I gave them $49 digital cameras, what a gas!
  7. AmigoMac macrumors 68020


    Aug 5, 2003
    Congratulations, We have a 4 years old boy and a 2 years old girl... just remember (already posted in other words):

    Parents don't sleep when they should, they sleep when they can. ;)
  8. Duff-Man macrumors 68030


    Dec 26, 2002
    Albuquerque, NM
    Duff-Man says...start saving for college/university *now* - as difficult as that may be what with all the other expenses that comes with a new addition to the family....oh, and congrats too...what a wonderful, exciting experience....oh yeah!
  9. virividox macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    congratualtions!!! i cant really give any advice since im far off from having any kids of my own, but i wish u the best!!!

    maybe take pictures oodles and ooldes of pictures so you can look back once shes all grown up :)
  10. BubbaJones macrumors regular


    May 13, 2004
    East Coast
    Get a bottle of Baby Motrin for when she starts teething. It's an anti-inflammatory, good for the gums.

    Get a nice classical music CD to play when you put her down for naps.

    Start doing flashcards with letters and numbers as soon as she can focus.

    Buy childrens books. Your family will provide the toys.

    Get a DV Video Camera and start making DVD's. I send one out about every 6 - 8 months with all her firsts. The DVDs will come in handy when her first boyfirend comes around in 16 years or so.

    Don't ever stay late at the office if you don't absolutly have too. Family should always come first. You only have one chance to be around for her growing up.

    Good luck.

    P.S. After she starts to sleep throught the night, it will only get better.
  11. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    The worst piece of parenting advice ever: "don't wake a sleeping baby." If your baby doesn't get used to being woken up on occasion, you'll be walking on tiptoes for the next 18 years. Also, to get your baby to sleep through the night (this is still a few months away), she needs to be awake during the day, and the best way to accomplish this is to set a schedule for her and wake her up on schedule. You can still make sure she gets enough sleep, but the sleep should be on your schedule, not hers.
  12. Lyle macrumors 68000


    Jun 11, 2003
    Madison, Alabama
    No kids here yet, but just wanted to throw in a quick congratulations! Maybe in another few years I'll be able to ask you for some parenting advice instead. ;)
  13. emw macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    Your daughter and my son are exactly 1 year apart (Evan was born on 11/7/2003). I also have a daughter, Kelsey, who will be 4 on 1/1.

    As for advice, well, a lot of great stuff has been thrown out there, but here's a couple from me:

    1) Mylicon. It's baby Gas-X and is a must. She'll be crying for what appears to be no reason, and this stuff will help.

    2) Plan on no sleep. You can't prepare, you can stock up, so just know that you will get very little sleep the first month or so. Our kids, thankfully, started sleeping through the night (well, at least 6-7 hours at a time) at about 2 or 3 months.

    3) Speaking of sleep - do it when she does it, at least at first. I know you'll be tempted to do a thousand other things, but sometimes you just need to nap when she does.

    4) I am assuming from your user name that you are the husband, which will immediately make you irrelevant to just about everyone. Grandkids are kings and queens with grandparents, and mothers are (rightfully so) doted upon. Including by you. Your wife will be struggling somewhat in the coming weeks recovering from the birth, so be there for her as well. Even if she is nursing, you should get up and change diapers and get the baby ready.

    5) Kids have a natural proclivity to survive. So don't go nuts over every little thing. Sure, you don't want her getting into things she really shouldn't (cleaners, knives, reruns of Jerry Springer, etc.), but in general they're pretty resilient. For example, a temperature of 102° is bad, but not that bad, for a kid. As an adult, you'd be in the hospital. Kids can have a 102° fever and not even tell you about it.

    6) Spend as much time as you can with her when she's young. Before long she'll be asking you to drop her off 2 blocks from the mall, so when shel falls asleep on your chest, don't put her in the crib right away.

    7) Don't worry about daycare, if it's required. My wife and I both work, and our kids go to daycare. Our parents were aghast at the thought, but our kids are well-adjusted, share well, are social, etc. And they get their resistance built up now so when they go to kindergarten they're not sick all the time.

    8) Enjoy being a parent! Love your daughter, since she'll love you and look to you and your wife for everything. There's nothing like it.

    Good luck! Oh, and post a picture or something.
  14. emw macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    I somewhat agree with this - our motto is never intentionally wake a sleeping baby. However, we went about our lives normally when our kids were babies, and if they woke up, they woke up. But eventually, they learned to sleep with racket (helped that they were in daycare). Heck, we've steamcleaned carpet outside their rooms during naptime, and they don't wake up.
  15. winwintoo macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2003
    My kids are grown and one of them has kids of his own, the other is just out of uni and deciding what to do.

    My advice isn't really mine. I don't remember where I learned it, but it's pretty simple.

    The best way to make a man is think him so

    I had two boys, but substitute woman and it still fits. I didn't learn that until later in their lives, but it sure helped. In other words dwell on the good things they do and instead of preaching about their mistakes, help them figure out ways to make better decisions in the future.

    Oh, and when they start to talk, remember that most of what comes out of their mouths is "just information" - don't take it seriously.

    And another thing, be nice to your mother-in-law, she just might like kids movies like Shrek and Tiger and all those other cartoons that the kids like :D

    Enjoy her!

  16. jayscheuerle macrumors 68020


    Go with your gut instincts.

    Buy stuff as you need it. Don't buy the hype.

    Get used to dedicating your life to your kid. Expect it and be patient at all times. Kids can sense stress and respond in kind. You will get time to yourself, but just don't expect it.

    Oh... and congratulations.
  17. Dros macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2003
    Avoid any toy that plays music from a tiny chip. Or any toy that needs batteries, for that matter. Little kids just want a box to put things in and out of. They don't need brightly colored plastic that beeps and honks and flashes lights.
  18. jayscheuerle macrumors 68020


    Add a computer to that too folks, even a Mac. They really don't need that stuff until they are in 3rd grade or so. Let them play with their hands, use their minds, not veg out in front of an electronic sitter that's only slightly (if even) more educational than television.

    Childhood's all too short. Make sure your children have one to remember, doing REAL things with REAL people, making REAL stuff, eating REAL dirt...

    Really now...

    (oh yeah... and standing on REAL soap-boxes.... ;) )
  19. applebum macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2003
    This is usually true but......having just had my first son in July and also having a wife that is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner I can tell you this is not true for the first 3 months of life. Any fever over 100 in those first 3 months needs a Doctor. And they will usually do a spinal tap - to rule out meningitis. So, you want NO fever those first 3 months, and preferrably none for the first 6. After that, babies are pretty resilient.

    And the sleep thing, never been a problem for us. My wife was off for 2 months after the baby was born. The baby would wake up every 2 hours to feed during that time. He slowly started waking up later and later. By the time my wife went back to work (she works 2 nights per week) he was sleeping through the night. In fact, the first night she went back to work (I was going to be the one getting up with him) was the first time he slept through the night. That was August and he has been sleeping straight through since.

    The one thing I have found is... I hated having everyone tell me about all the things I needed to worry about. I am a new parent, I am worried enough. Tell me some positives (thus why I told you about the sleep thing).

    Here's hoping your nights are restful, and your days are filled with joy and laughter!
  20. atszyman thread starter macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2003
    The Dallas 'burbs
    Thank you all for your support and advice. Please forgive my reluctance to share names. I tend to keep most details about my family out of any forum posts that I might make. I will however indulge you all with a picture. I'm the one holding her.

    Attached Files:

  21. mpw Guest

    Jun 18, 2004
    Some Good Advice

    1) You may sometimes feel like you don't know what you're doing but will nearly always get it right if you follow common sense and instinct.
    2) You will sometimes feel like you don't know what you're doing but everyone else will be happy to tell you exactly what you are doing wrong and how you should do it. (see 1)

    3)Get a digital camera. (a camcorders good too but you'll not want to be tied to it)
    4)Back-up, Back-up, Back-up all the time.
    5)Don't forget to print some pictures. iPhoto's good but it won't fit in your wallet.

    6)Don't worry too much. Apple drop-test the iBook, so we know it can survive all fall from a desk. Same applies for kids, they will survive but you probably won't want to test it.
    7) They're not stupid. I can't believe how much my two girls 2 & 4 have taught me.(life stuff not book stuff)

    8) They will destroy your life as you know it and you have regrets occasionally.
    9) You really won't care when you see her sneeze the first time, or the first time she says Daddy (or spoon).

    10) The post title is some good advice not all good advice.

  22. emw macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    She's beautiful. Congratulations again!
  23. atszyman thread starter macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2003
    The Dallas 'burbs
    We already have a digital camera and a mini-DV camera. The prospect of making DVDs is the primary reason that I spent the extra $99 to get FCE pre-installed on my PB.

    We are pretty lucky so far. She seems to be on a 4.5-5 hour eating cycle so we get about 3 hours of peaceful sleep (one of us usually holds her for the first half hour to an hour or so) then we have about 1-1.5 hours of active time where she starts getting restless/cranky. Once she feeds its pretty much immediately back to sleep. Because of the peaceful sleep my wife and I have been getting plenty of sleep at night and don't need too many naps during the day. I usually handle the prep for feeding (the last 1-1.5 hours when she starts getting cranky), so I get up and take her to the nursery and rock her using a pacifier as necessary to keep the crying to a minimum. Once feeding time gets closer I check/change her diaper and then my wife comes to take over and I can go back to sleep.

    We've started laying her in her crib after the daytime feedings, although at night we keep her in the pack 'n play bassinet in our bedroom. It is a wonderful time, I can't wait to finish my current grad-school class so I can be home every night to play with her.
  24. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Most important advice: Listen politely to all the advice you get from friends and relatives and magazines and websites. Smile, nod your head, and say thank you. Then let your instincts be your guide, and use all that advice only as backup. And don't apologize for making your own choices.

    Second most important: Accept that you will be tired, perpetually behind on chores, and not have the tidy house or spending money that you used to have. Instead, enjoy this part of your life because it's hard to beat!
  25. atszyman thread starter macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2003
    The Dallas 'burbs
    Don't worry. I'm quite stubborn and very cynical so I tend to make up my mind regardless of what others tell me. However, that doesn't mean that I don't take in the new information. I started this thread mainly so that I could hear the voices of experience and possibly learn a few things that could help guide me along the way.

    I would like to thank everyone who responded or eventually does respond to this thread.

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