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| || These are a few things I've learned so far as a dad: |
- Get plenty of newborn clothes, especially long sleeve shirts. Simon was due in August so we loaded up on t-shirts, then when he was born it got freezing cold. Bundling up in a blanket doesn't do much good since he flails around a lot, exposing his little arms to the ravages of this cold New England climate.
- Even if you plan a home birth, be prepared for a hospital trip. That means clothing and toiletries for you and the mother, plus some things for the baby. (Though the hospital will probably have newborn outfits there.)
- A handy item to ask for at the baby shower is a wipe warmer. Nothing will make your darling baby scream louder than slapping a cold, wet cloth on his butt.
- Speaking of screaming, newborns only have an on/off setting. Until the volume control feature is installed expect a lot of very loud noises, but don't worry about your child being in the throes of death.
- Changing diapers isn't that bad. Unlike what you see in the movies, diapers aren't usually that messy or smelly. Get over it.
- Hospitals love to pump the mother and child full of drugs, which may not be a good thing. Do some research on all the shots they plan on doing and decide which ones are really needed.
- Get a baby sling! Strapping your baby to your chest is a great way to put him to sleep and allows you to move around the house, not to mention the psycholgical benefits of baby wearing. For men, be sure to get a large ring sling that will fit you.
- Speaking of baby wearing and attachment parenting, Dr. William Sears has a huge book that talks a lot about that kind of thing. Even if you don't agree with the philosophy he does provide a lot of practical info as well, discovered through his many years as a pediatrician and raising his eight(!) kids.
- Speaking of books, another one that I enjoyed reading during the pregnancy was The Expectant Father. It's got an informal writing style and was definitely written for the man's point of view.