Since the moment we heard we were pregnant we were on cloud number 109. Just the excitement of knowing you are going to be a parent is indescribable.
We read all the books and every article we could find on babies, from the second of conception, development, and the birth up to the toddler stages. We thought we knew everything and we thought we were well prepared.
My wife had a wonderful pregnancy with no complications. She was planning on having a natural birth with the use of an epidural and she decided on breastfeeding.
Seven days before her due date our plans changed. The natural birth turned into a c-section, epidural turned into anesthesia and the breastfeeding turned into bottle feeding.
The moment we walked out of the hospital and into our home with our little baby, we forgot most of what we have read in the books and articles.
Here are some tips we can give for prospective parents:
If you are planning on having a natural birth, educate yourself on having a c-section, just in case.
If you plan to breastfeed, keep at hand how much breast milk/formula your baby needs to drink per feeding and do read the manual on how your bottle sterilizer works before your baby is born.
If you do breastfeed, try to breastfeed and bottle feed with either formula or breast milk. It will make things so much easier when you decide to stop breastfeeding and rather bottle feed.
Everyone will have some "advice". Listen to it and say "Thank you, very much" and then decide whether you want to use the advice or not. It is your baby and only you as a parent will know what is best for your baby.
If you or your wife has any allergies, stay away from fabric softener for a while. My wife washed all the new baby clothes, baby blankets, everything that was made out of fabric.
She had to re-wash everything without the fabric softener because our little girl had an allergic reaction to the softener.
In order to find out what she was allergic to, we also had to stop using disposable diapers and had to go the old fashioned way using cloth diapers which makes your baby look like a Telly Tubby.
We had to wash the cloth diapers by hand every evening in order to have enough diapers for the next day. We had to stay away from any name brand soaps and shampoos and had to wash our little girl in aqua's cream for 10 weeks!. All of the above just to find out the culprit was the fabric softener. So, rather be safe than sorry. Even if you don't have allergies stay away from the softener for the first couple of weeks
Try to let your baby fall asleep by him/her self. Avoid letting your baby fall asleep on your arm while you sing sweet lullabies in his/her ear. When they are so small, they get used to something very quickly. Our little girl is 4 years old and we still have to lie beside her in bed and sing her to sleep.
Do not let your baby sleep in your bed. My little girl is 4 years old we have to sleep beside her in our bed, not her own bed in her own room. She still doesn't want to sleep alone in her room, which is not good for the romance.
When your baby starts to eat solid foods, try new foods even if they don't like it after the first try. It is much easier to get your child used to salads and vegetables when they are still a baby than trying it when they are 4 years old.
This is something we keep in mind when we plan for our next baby. We pureed everything and never thought of giving our little girl a piece of tomato or cucumber or raw vegetable, just watch out for choking and keep the pieces very small.
When your baby gets older, don't pack away the baby clothes and forget about it. Some of the baby dresses our little girl wore as a baby, now as toddler fits her as shirts. Her long pants turned into very comfortable shorts, so check the baby clothes before buying new clothes.
Don't throw away or give away all your baby stuff and toys when you do not plan on having another baby, rather go to a second hand shop and sell it or have your own garage sale and take the money and surprise your child with more updated toys.
Save money. It is much easier when you put a little bit of money away every month. In that way when your child has a birthday, Christmas or just for necessities at school, you'll already have something put away for those occasions.