questionsany advice for a first time father?

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To late for advice. Should have worn a rubber. J/K

Congratulations seriously. Best of luck to you.
I don't have any.

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sleep while you can.
remember you will never regret spending more time with the kid and calling in for work as much as you regret missing the kid growing up so you could work

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Avoid:

statements that begin with "My father used to..." when teaching your children a lesson. Be you, not your parents.

Discipline by way of fear

Forgetting that you were a kid, too, and probably made the same mistakes.

Forgetting that your kid is not a carbon copy of you, yet also not totally impossible to understand, since they're a lot like you ;)

You'll be fine! Congrats!

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Congrats and welcome to the club, as soon as I figure it all out I will let you know....and I have 4

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Congrats - all parents have been there.

1) SLEEP NOW, WHILE YOU STILL CAN!!!!

2) SLEEP SOME MORE!!!

3) Almost everyone feels like this. You're going to do OK, honestly!

4) Diapers are really easy to change. Practice on a doll. Don't buy too many before the birth, b/c you don't know size. Different brands fit differently - if you get leaks, try changing. Amazon Mom program works well.

5) Get a car seat for an infant, and have the install checked. Fire station, Babies-R-Us, etc. If you pull on it, the car should move rather than the seat. Rolled-up baby blankets work to keep babies in position if really small.

6) Talk with your wife about division of labors. Make sure you each understand what the other is expecting. Renegotiate often. Remember, you will be amazed and yet incredibly tired and cranky.

7) Pack your "go" bag with clothes for her, child, and a camera.

8) Kids are amazingly durable. Trust me... ;-)

9) Did I mention sleep now?

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Congrats and good luck in the delivery room (if you're gonna assist). Only one rule to keep you alive. Whatever your wife says, does, believes is absolutely correct. That goes from diapers, to color of bib, to what's for dinner. No matter how crazy her logic is, you have to swallow some pride and just agree or know that you are gonna face some hormone induced wrath.

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Congratulations & best wishes to the 3 of you! One of the most endearing things I heard about a new father: He always got up for night feedings. Every single one. He sat w/his wife, a stay at home mother, while she breast fed. He worked a high-stress job & did this w/all 3 children. Very involved in his children's daily lives. This was about 40 years ago, when fathers were simply considered doing their 'job' if they brought home a good paycheck & handed out discipline.

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I was the same way when my daughter was born. What I did is made sure a had a plan from what was needed for the delivery, and bringing baby home to what color to paint the room and where she would sleep.

Your best bet is to talk it over with your wife before baby arrives and do a little reading. Now not everything you read will help or will you agree with but it definitely give a good starting point.

You will surprise yourself at how quickly you will pick up the daddy thing and my best advice is to enjoy it because it goes by quick.

Congrats and enjoy being a dad, best thing to happen to me.

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Just remember that know one else knew what the heck they were doing the first time they held their gooey crying baby either. It will come to you . Father of 2 and by no means am I perfect, but my kids know I love them.

ps. Also show love and affection to your wife constantly, it rubs off on your kids and for goodness sake she's gonna push out a baby! congrats!

pps. kids are highly durable

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Don't take anything that happens in the delivery room personal.

Take care of your wife, watch for postpartum depression.

Take daddy leave to bond with your bundle of headache and coddle the new mom, she's been through a lot.

Sleep when and where you can.

Work out a schedule with mom for feeding.

Buy a respirator/gas mask. Babies make some ungodly byproducts.

If her/your parents offer to give you a break, take the opportunity to re-bond with your wife.

When the OB warns you not to have sex for 2 months, it's not because you're going to tear something up, it's because she's more fertile now than she's ever been before. I know this firsthand, mine are 10 months apart.

Other than that, just wing it. What you need to know to keep the kid alive is biologically programmed into you. If it cries, feed it; if it stinks, change it; if it cries and all else fails, hold it.

Oh and try the milk, it's surprisingly tasty.

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Disclaimer: I LOVE my wife and kids more than anything else in this world and I would do anything for them.

No one ever told me that at certain points in my role as a father that I would dislike my kids. Everyone always talks about how amazing and perfect it is. Maybe it's perfect for some people and maybe others are just really good at forgetting things, but for me there were moments where I really didn't like my kids. I started confessing to other parents and all of a sudden the truth came out, every parent I know felt the same way. So to me the secret seems to be to keep loving your kids and wife though everything.

Also, having kids made me REALLY appreciate parent humor. If you're not easily offended, Louis CK has some really funny stuff about being a parent. If you want something more tame, classic Bill Cosby Himself is still pretty good.

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If you are anything like me as a husband, it will be easy to take your wife for granted, not realize how hard it is to be a mother, and lose your patience often. Just try to not be like me and you'll be fine.

If you are anything like me as a father, it will be easy to take your kids for granted, not realize how fast they'll grow up, and lose your patience often. Just try to not be like me and you'll be fine.

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People arent lying when they say SLEEP WHEN U CAN.. because u will fight w/ ur wife about who gets more sleep in the middle of the night i promise you.

next..have an "mud slinging day" every week or other week where u can go off on each other about how lousy the other parent is..because the lack off sleep/stress will make u angry and u need a day to release everything without the other parent getting offended..trust me after you yell and say what u wanna say u will feel better..again make a day dont let it just build up and build up thats how post pardum depression steps in.

Last..relax ur gonna b a great parent and u r gonna mess up in the early months..just remember babies forget things if you have a bad daddy day..theres always tomorrow to start over fresh and smile..its nerve wreaking but worth it

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First off, congrats! I'm 4 months into our first child and it's hard to remember what life was like without him. I also asked this question before we had ours, so I thought I'd pass the link to you because I really enjoyed the advice I received...
http://deals.woot.com/questions/details/a59ae51c-6ffc-4704-b557-eea5dded169c/what-advice-do-you-have-for-a-future-1st-time-dad#24

I'm on paternity leave right now and love it! I highly recommend doing it if your work situation will allow it. It's great to bond with the little one as a whole family, but there's nothing like some 1 on 1 time to really build that relationship. I agree with most of what's been said above, and don't worry when you are in those "is this how it's supposed to work?" moments. There will be many of them and soon you'll look back at those times and realize how far some common sense and guessing can get you. Enjoy the ride! It's definitely unpredictable, but oh-so-worth-it!

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Buy those disposable latex gloves in bulk ahead of time.

Do not worry about the state of your living room/yard/bedroom/etc.

Stock up on dvds you want to see. Feeding babies requires you to sit around a lot. Have the dvd/tv remote wherever baby will regularly be fed.

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Congratulations. One of the best bits of advice I ever received pre-baby is to enjoy your time now. It will be the LAST time you are ever an expert on child-rearing!

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Spend time with them. As much as you can.

It won't be long before you don't know crap but their friends do.

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Enjoy it. It will all go by way too quickly. That's the best advice I can give.

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Advice that worked for me:
-I got up first in the night and cleaned/changed/soothed. Mom came in afterward and fed.
-On some days off, I took the wee one and disappeared. Mom got some time to herself, and I got bonding time, wherever we happen to have gone.
-In the crazyness of rushing around being parents, take 10 seconds to stand up, look your mate square in the eye, and tell them you love them - directly to their soul. Then commence rushing around again.

[CSB]
One morning I was feeding the youngest baby cereal with bananas mixed in. He was happily munching, and I was shoveling it in whenever he opened his mouth. One time, he opened his mouth, I deposited a bite of the slimy mixture, and he gave me the strangest look - right before he rocked my world with a sneeze. I was spackled from the chest up with baby cereal/banana mixture, and it was 3 minutes before i had to leave for work. I spent the rest of the day followed by a faint smell of bananas wherever I went.
[/CSB]

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Expect your wife to be grumpy the first little while. Have special patience goggles on for the first 6 months...lol Enjoy each moment you can as they grow up fast. Keep balance in your life. you will be a better Dad and husband if you take some time for yourself to recharge.

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Add my congrats. The above thoughts are good. I will add my cents. Your child will be his/her own person. Just because the neighbor's kid or the book you read says one thing does not mean yours will be the same. If it still seems reasonable it is more than likely just fine. If it seems extreme, ask questions. Talk (or sing or read)to and touch both your wife and child as much as possible. Remember both you and your wife need adult time both together and apart. Has anyone mentioned that SLEEP is important?

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Don't take yourself so seriously. Learn to let mistakes go, as it isn't the end of the world.

They do not come with instruction manuals, and even if they did, all children are different.

Kids are resillient. (So, the doorway was smaller than you thought. The baby will be okay. Just don't do it too often. :))

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TMI Alert! Put Vitamin E oil on baby's butt when s/he is first born, before s/he passes any meconium. That stuff is like super glue mixed with tar! If you put on the oil first, it won't stick so badly. This is only for the first few days until the meconium is all passed.

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Buy your wife a point and shoot camera that turns on quickly and takes pictures fast. It'll make your life easier.

Buy a 1 T+ external HD, storage fills fast. My wife has shot close to 500 G worth of 6MP pictures and our are 3 and 4.

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Diapers.

Lots of diapers.

You can never have too many diapers.

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@matt1976: That is one thing that I could foresee needing so I already got her a Seagate solid-state 1TB HD.
Thanks to Woot I got a nice Panasonic camera a couple weeks ago. Camera is nice because it turns on fast, is small and has a rechargeable battery (old one would eat AA's like nobody's business).
Now we're ready for all those special moments people keep telling us about.

So far advice has been great. Lots of things I've never even thought of yet. My wife is having a good laugh as well. Thank you :)

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Don't be a tiger mom/dad, let your kid be a kid.

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@wormburnr: take pictures of the glowing mom to be. (be carefull not to frame it as a "look how big she got!" shot)

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Breathe
Your kid will drive you to the brink of madness and then over the brink
Just breathe and remember that you will laugh again
And sometimes, no matter what you do, it seem like the child not stop crying. Just ride it out and Breathe
And those that said they grow up so fast weren't lying. It's incredible how old they get in such a short amount of time. Do stuff with them. Not one thing on TV will ever replace the most mundane task you did with your child
Oh, and even if you're going to use disposable diapers, buy some clothe ones. They make the best rags, and you'll need them

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Congrats!! i have two girls. my last was born this past july. i didn't think i could have kids, but 3 years ago i got the surprise of my life. it's easier with my second one, but the first was crazy. me and my wife laugh at all the wild things i did to get my daughter to go to sleep. one night she would not go to sleep and just cried and cried. i literally held her on top of my head walking with a bounce around my house i don't know if it was the height, but she fell asleep. just be patient with your child and enjoy them discovering their new world. i may have a bad day, but my daughters smile makes everything better. oh yeah, don't let other people stress you because your child isn't developing as fast as their child. every child develops at their own pace. enjoy those first months because thats the time to get all the sleep you can.

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"In every other role in life, you are replaceable...but your kids only get one dad;your wife only one (first!) husband!" -Andy Stanley

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I don't have kids yet, but I was a kid once. Assuming you're always proud of your kid, don't forget to tell them that. Even after they've moved out. I wish my parents said that.

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Enjoy it!

Take 30 second to 1 minute of video with a brief "check in" update every month for the first few years...it's A LOT of fun to watch!

Those first few months, my wife and I alternated night-time "baby duty."
Whoever's night it was had the baby all night, no matter what while the other got to sleep in the spare bedroom. THat way at least one of us could have a good day!

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I would disagree on avoiding the "My father did (this) with me..". By all means, if you had anything fun you did with your father, let your child know that you are passing something that you remember, on. As others say, kids are kids, they will fall and they will bump into things, get up and laugh. They will cry mostly for attention, not because they need stuff. Learn to tell the difference quickly. :p
And also, remember it is a child, not an adult. You can't reason with it the same way, at times a spank (NOT a beating, people don't know the difference) is much more effective than sitting your child down and explaining the reasoning that they did wrong. Spankings never hurt anyone, and they are quick reinforcements.
Also, let your child try things, sometimes the best way to learn is to get a zap. :p Be a bit loose, they are durable suckers.
And have fun, I hope you get one you like, because you are stuck with it for a while! ^_^

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congratulations
learn how to hug your baby, how to play with it... from youtube

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Oh, and learn the middle-of-the-night-and-the-baby's-crying kick. (You long time parents know what I'm talking about: that gentle kick you give your spouse when the baby wakes and you're too tired to get up so you kick the other parent awake "accidently" while pretending you're still asleep!)

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Full-time working dad here who has been the primary parent of three, the last just out of diapers.

Some practical advice:

Set up a complete diaper-changing station on each floor of your house.

Change the little one AS SOON AS you smell the poop -- it won't go away by itself and no one deserves to sit in that for any length of time.

Don't spare the wipes. Go ahead, use a handful if that's what it takes.

Get a real DiaperGenie -- again one for each floor -- not a knockoff.

They now have men's diaper bags, but you can probably improvise something better from, say, a canvas Domke camera bag or a rugged military surplus bag. Include a small first-aid kit of alcohol wipes, triple antibiotic, and big adhesive bandages.

If you get a bag that comes with a diaper pad, throw it out and replace with a couple of terrycloth dish towels. They can be used as a pad for hard surfaces, as well as to clean up vomit and other nastiness if necessary. Get white ones so you can wash with bleach.

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ok, one tiny thing that will make life easier as he/she grows - call them "baby wipes". You will use these little miracles for everything for the next 20 years - on faces and hands, carpets, restaurant dining tables, etc. If you call them "diaper wipes" your child will NOT want you to wipe his/her face and hands with them once he/she is old enough to think this through!

I do endorse some others' advice - help out at night. My husband always did, even though I was on maternity leave for months and he was working every day. He would get up, change the baby, bring him or her to me for a feeding and then take the baby back to the crib whenever I was too tired. (Although one night he did mix up two of the triplets when taking them back...) Health and happiness to all!

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Congrats. I'm slightly ahead of you, my son is now about 19 months. The biggest changes come right away, and from our experience the more you can roll with the punches (both physically and metaphorically) the better you'll pull through.

Our daycare provider agrees with us that laid back parents raise laid back kids. Learn to identify the things that just aren't worth getting uptight over. Some things will change over time; the most important thing is to keep your kid safe when they can't do it for themselves.

There's nothing wrong with putting a crying kid in their own crib if you've tried everything else. If you need to let them cry for 10 minutes while you go seek your sanity, do it. They won't remember it and you'll be better for it.

Breastfeeding is great, but formula is fine too. Not every mom can breastfeed well, so tell your wife not to take it personally if it doesn't work. Its more important that they eat, than what they eat.

And keep a blog :)

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One other thing that really helped my wife and I when our son was very little was for us to set a schedule for who fed him when. This got easier when we went to formula, but can be done with pumped breast milk, too. Basically in the evening we alternated shifts, so even though he'd eat every 2 -3 hours we'd each get 4 - 6 hours of continuous sleep.

And when we got a little further in yet, we started eventually trading off full nights (once our son was in his own room & crib). One of us would take the baby monitor and sleep on the couch; feeding him as needed. The other would get a night alone sleeping in our bed. That really helped us get our heads back in the game.

We also had a "co-sleeper" for our son for before he was in the crib. Worked nice, very stable.

My blog, if you want to see it:
parsonsfamily.boldlygoingnowhere.org/~lparsons/New-Dad-Blog/index.html

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@lparsons42: I should have warned ahead of time (too late to edit the comment already?) that my blog is all text. If it puts you to sleep, I apologize.

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As an older parent with young kids, I practice the "love them like a grandparent and raise them like a young parent" motif every day. If you act out of love with all discipline and remember that no one impacts the life you've made like you (and your wife) do, you'll do great. Anger, fear resentment and frustration do not belong in child-rearing. Ok, frustration is natural, but don't let it totally tick you off - at least around your kid. The absence of anger creates a child who understands through reasoning rather than resentment, fear, etc. and that is the key to many good things. Remember to have fun, too! Kids really are the best thing, ever.

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@wormburnr: Grab an extra battery. We've got a Kodak that has a proprietary battery and it always seems to be dead when she wants to take pictures of the backs of the kids.

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Another one that my wife and I had to come to on our own - and then realized that all our friends with kids came to the same conclusion - is that any safe place is an OK place for your kid to sleep. Our son slept quite a bit in his car seat when he was in the infant seat (that is the brilliance of the infant seat, it is super easy to bring a sleeping kid in from the car without waking them). During the day he'd nap in his swing. Both of those had five-point harnesses.

I would highly recommend buying a swing if you haven't already. We bought one that plugged in to the wall, which was brilliant as we didn't have to worry about running out of batteries.

Also on the topic of sleep, some kids just don't want to be swaddled. If you buy swaddling stuff and your kid doesn't want it, don't take it personally.

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Start a new thread titled, "Colic advice for first time parents".

Ya' know, just in case.

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Congrats. Kids are great, most of the time.
Number 1 piece of advice-don't be afraid to make noise when the baby is sleeping. It's stupid to try and will drive you nuts. Especially if you end up having more than 1 kid.
Number 2 piece of advice-babies don't spoil. Pick him up, love on him, and keep doing it.
Number 3 piece of advice-as the child's parents, the 2 of you are the experts in the field of raising your child. Not your folks, darn sure not your doctor. If your instinct says something isn't right, trust it. You are probably right.

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@matt1976: Hell, I could have done that. My daughter, who is 17, had colic for 9 months. She would sleep for 15 minutes and cry for 2 hours, sleep 15 minutes and cry for 2 hours... They live through it, and so do you. It does teach you things a lot of parents don't learn until the kids are older. Like, as long as they are safe (in bed or car seat, etc...), and have everything they need, it is okay to go to the bathroom, turn on the shower and scream right along with them. You scream out of frustration while they scream with pain, but it works and they live through it.