I hate unsolicited advice. With a vengeance. Part of it is I like figuring things out for myself, researching and experiencing things without interference. That being said I know a lot of people appreciate advice. So I’ll share what I have learned during these last 6 weeks as a first time parent and how I’ve handled it.
- Buy more than one baby duvet. They will pee/spit up on it and you will have to wash and dry it at 3 am. I have three now.
- You can get diapers with wetness indicators so you can see without opening the diaper if baby has peed. They are well worth buying!
- Bulk shop! No seriously. Buy enough diapers for a month so you don’t have to worry about running out.
- Don’t try to pretend you need to maintain a normal routine. We stay in bed as long as we like, and wear pjs all day if we feel like it. You’re on ma/paternity leave. Enjoy it! If you have another kid you can’t do this because then you will have to maintain a routine. So enjoy it while it’s super chill the first time.
- Buy a sling. Or make one if you are crafty. Yes it’s very hippie chic. But it’s good for both brain development and feeling secure to be close to a caretaker and feeling the heartbeat. So you carry that baby as much as you can.
- You are not the only parent (unless you are and then this clearly doesn’t apply to you. You do your thing and I applaud you for being a single parent. That shit is hard!) and you’re not helping yourself by teaching baby you are the only one that can comfort him or her. As soon as the working parent comes home you hand that baby over. The working parent is missing out on so much you get to do and experience so allow them some of the experiences – good and bad. Plus baby needs to be comfortable with both it’s parents and both parents needs to be comfortable with baby. Also when it’s crying and fuzzing. So mom (it’s usually moms) you are not a unique snowflake. Give dad a chance to be a primary caregiver from the beginning. Besides if you don’t trust him to be able to take care of a tiny human without your help why the hell did you reproduce with him?
- Don’t become a martyr. Yes it’s super hard and for some more than others. But maybe you don’t have to vacuum today? Maybe it’s okay to order pizza instead of cooking yourself? Read a book while baby is sleeping instead of cleaning something. Watch a show while feeding him. It’s okay to still be a person in your own right with other needs and interests than baby and housework.