You can read every book and talk to other guys but until you are actually father no one can fully explain what it like. The nights of beer, sex and great sleep are behind you and you better be ready to embrace diaper duty, spitting up and many sleepless nights. Sounds great doesn’t it? Here are 12 things you need to know before the baby comes that could help you adjust a little easier.
#1. Get your lovin while you can: Your wife will be on a post-birth moratorium of at least 6 weeks. So enjoy what you can while you can! Is that baby bump not such a turn on? Then hone in on those huge (temporary) breast that will be gone like the setting sun. And I know your a “man” but there is no way you can hurt the baby.
#2 Watching the Delivery: It is amazing once you get past the fact that your wife is passing a watermelon through a garden hose. It can be lets call it ‘interesting’ but a once in a life time opportunity. You will likely be encouraged by the nurse to touch the head or get in there for close up. That is all well and good but if you are uncomfortable simply decline. Comforting you wife is way more important and will score you huge points to boot.
#3 The “Push Gift”: Compared to your wife you had it easy during deliver day. Make sure to reward her efforts. And a card, ballons or flowers will not work since everyone will be sending those. Get something with meaning like a locket, the child’s birthstone or maybe a day at the spa for once she gets back into her routine.
#4 Learn to Swaddle: This may seem petty but it can make the difference between a horrible nights sleep and no sleep at all. A good swaddle is like a mini straightjacket and will help maximize the baby’s sleep schedule. If you have difficulty invest in the special swaddles with Velcro to guarantee success.
#5 Watch out for “The Blues”: All women will have highs and lows after she has the baby especially since you both are sleep deprived. Keep your eyes peeled for the more serious post-baby lows. If you see this do not try to solve it yourself, get her to a doctor pronto!
#6 Strong Diaper Hand: No matter how cooperative your baby is during changing it is more like a wrestling match with poop added in. Be firm and remember elastic or fasteners start in the back and attach in the front. Always stretch the head hole a little to help that bobble head get through. They might scream and yell no matter what – do not take it personally. Very few little ones likes being changed.
#7 Talking Dirty: And not in a good way. You will talk more about poop and pee more then you thought was possible. When did they go, how much, what color, smell, etc. You name it, you will be talking about it. To top it off you will also be likely cleaning it off the baby, you, the furniture and more. So get used to the new Dirty Talk.
#8 Baby Gear: You will start to think you are being punked by the producers of Hoarders. You start off before the baby is here and it only gets worse over time. From car seats, toys, baby magazines, clothes and strollers, you will feel like a Wal-mart blew up in your house. Sort based on age group and donate once you know are done or you just might be on one of the next episodes of Hoarders.
#9 Own the Big 3: Make sure that you make the decision on the Big 3 – the stroller, car seat and monitor. These things tend to be the most expensive but do not outsource the decision of which one to get. These 3 little things will effect all aspects of your life for at least the next couple years. You want a solid monitor that does not hiss and make noise unless it from the baby. You want to test drive the stroller or at least get great reviews of them. And the car seat should be easy in and out but still safe. Make sure you LOVE these 3 items.
#10 Paint the town red: With smoking being banned at most public places, most places you will hang out have become kid friendly. Plus you will need to save every dollar you can by not having to hire a sitter. Besides, your little one will likely sleep the whole time while you eat and recharge. My wife loved going to the movies because she could relax and the baby would just sleep. Make sure to keep some sort of balance to your life.
Good luck and have fun!