Baby Tips For New Parents
The Journey Ahead
A coworker of mine is having a baby boy soon and I'm not confident he is prepared for the journey that lies ahead. To be fair, no one is ever ready to become a parent for the first time because this test does not compare to other other ventures you've undertaken. Sure you may be a godparent to some little brat and maybe you were a witness to your parents' nurturing of younger siblings, butt whippings and all, but the fact of the matter is you're jumping into a gang fight where your arch rival is the size and weight of a small bowling ball with biological weapons that out perform any shank or AK-47.
To help the freshman parents prepare for child raising combat I've compiled a few baby tips that will help familiarize the greenest of us with this dangerous pint-sized enemy. Consider this a survival guide of sorts. The biggest mistake you can make is not heeding the advice of others that have been to the mountaintop, fell in the valley of sleepless zombies and survived, or fought off the most epic plagues and still have their health today. Yes babies can be the first sign of the apocalypse. Honestly though parenthood is the best experience in life, but like anything worthwhile, the joy you will receive from nurturing a perfect baby boy or girl comes only through great sacrifice. "No pain, no gain!" as the say in weight lifting and it's even more true in the exercise of parenthood.
Forget About Sleeping
Right out of the gate during those long hours of labor you start to experience your sleepless future. Remember when you first moved out of the house after high school and the first opportunity you had to sleep all day was as rewarding as the new taste of independence? No parent telling you to get up and be productive. No class to attend. No job to go to. Just unlimited sleep. Remember that? With child, a 15 minute power nap feels the same way. Having a baby means you never feel rested, you never sleep more than 6 hours consecutively, and you learn to sleep with one eye open just in case a disaster breaks out. The situation gets worse if the baby ends up sleeping with you at night because not only does the nook you took years creating in the bed get stolen by the little thief, all traces of intimacy disappear thanks to what my brother likes to call "instant cock blocking." A crib that you can position next to the bed is a life saver as it will allow mom to feed in the middle night and allow greater access to the baby in cases of fussiness without having to station the kid in the front and center of your love life.
Save Your Money
Unlike the $10 bottle of wine that ignited your night of baby making 9 months ago, newborns can be expensive with less immediate fun results. Cans of powdered formula cost around $20 lasting only about a week if breast feeding is not an option. Diapers also cost about $20 (per 60-80) but last a little longer than the 7 day time frame. Big ticket items like car seats, strollers, swings, cribs, etc., and clothes start high and can go higher depending on what features or styles you must have. Strollers with a cell phone charger, iPod connection and speakers may cost you your next born. The initial start-up costs of a becoming new parents can be in the thousands with a monthly upkeep in the hundreds of dollars. Best advice for a new parents when it comes to money is don't spend it on unnecessary items.
Eat out less, which is actually pretty easy considering taking your kid and all the baby gear to a restaurant is more work than building an Ikea entertainment center. Golf less. Tiger Woods has that game handled so don't worry about your handicap okay Chubbs? Dress less like a socialite and more like a mechanic because it's going to get messy. Long story short, money is your friend with a baby. It'll bail you out of many sticky situations, literally.
Develop Tough Skin
Let's face it, parenthood is embarrassing. How do you think your mom and dad felt when you got in trouble at school for some stupid prank directed at a teacher that resulted in a suspension? Pretty much ashamed they were raising the village idiot right? Though the complexity of these types of awkward moments is lessened with a newborn, there are still plenty of situations where you come out feeling like somebody stripped you naked and forced you to march down Main street. Like being pee'd or puked on in public can be patience testing to the Nth degree and let's not forget the arguments about whose turn it is to change the diaper while in the middle of a shopping, poopie diaper experience. Best thing to do is to develop tough skin and enjoy the fact this kid will be subsidizing your retirement as soon as they are old enough to sign the "lifetime commitment to take care of me" contract.
Beware Of Toxic Substances
Your child will produce things that will appear to have come out of a "Superman" comic book from the planet Krypton. Think neon green poop and that's before the introduction of real food. Don't touch it! Try not to smell it for too long. Don't even make direct eye contact with it as it may lead to mind control. When exposure to a child produced toxic substance occurs the best thing to do is head straight for the bathroom and sanitize everything that has come in tact with it. Child, you, clothes, dog, cat and all.
Ignore The 1950's Family Model, "Leave It To Beaver"
Okay so our elders grew up in an era where men came first and women came second. I desire to be selfish sometimes and travel through the ages to such a time like the 1950's -1960's where the traditional nuclear family thrived. My routine would consist of going to work, coming home to hot meals, and relaxing to cocktails while the wife did all the household chores and the kids did their homework. Of course American society is not like that anymore. Women are now treated as equals and good for them. Translated to men it means we must virtually train ourselves to be single parents so as not to be surprised when the spouse refuses to perform some old school chore that once belonged to women like cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, blah, blah, blah. Basically, the better prepared you are the more likely you will succeed even if it means doing it yourself. Women to must train themselves to do guy things like change a tire or fix a leaky pipe. The more capable the family is at ignoring the stereotypes of the past the brighter the the future will be tomorrow and the less drama the family will have to endure.