We have a 7 week old baby and we are on a steep learning curve. We are fortunate enough to be a bit older than most parents and have benefited from advice given by friends who have already been through it. Here are a few of the more unusual tips that have proved very useful both practically and in keeping us sane.
1. Any friends that visit in the first two weeks should come with take-away food
2. Consider that human babies are born 6 weeks too early. Once you make it through the first 6 weeks it becomes much easier
3. Brest is best - especially if you are the Dad ;-)
4. Buy a large bed
5. When they are young they are not developed enough to be interested in your attention or love. Harsh but true. The good part of this is that if they are crying its because they are either hungry, in need of a nappy change, too hot or too cold or tired. Working from that position it shouldn’t be hard to figure it out.
6. Look after each other. It's very easy when you are tired and stressed to take it out on your partner. But remember the other person is probably equally or even more tired and stressed. The way to get through it is to look after them and then between you look after the small person. A bit of consideration goes a long way.
7. Start training them to like your music early!
8. Get a structured routine - it makes life so much easier
9. There is a great iphone app that helps mum record all the feeds and sleeps - makes it easy to be at least a bit structured
10. Have lots of linen clothes around the house for catching vomit. Much better than tissues
11. Try not to let having a baby stop you doing everything you used to. Its not (quite) the end of the world.
12. Have low expectations of what you will be able to achieve and then be happy when it happens
13. Remember that lots of poor people with way less facilites and stuff than you manage to raise children in way tougher conditions
14. Remember that lots of dumber people than you also somehow manage to raise kids - how hard can it really be?
And finally try and remember how amazing it is have fun