Soon to be dad, how to prepare

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CP1
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Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by CP1 » Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:54 pm

Hi,

We are expecting our first baby end of June and its has started slowly sinking in. I am already getting anxiety writing this post :?
Just wanted some feedback on how to prepare myself, what to buy and recommendations on car seat, crib, stroller, anything else?

Thanks!

mighty72
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Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by mighty72 » Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:01 pm

Congrats and take a deep breath! If you have already not done so, you and mom should talk to the healthcare provider. They usually have a list of things you need.
My 2 cents, don't buy too many clothes, kid will outgrow them real fast. Have your bag for the hospital ready specially if it is going to be not too close to home. Car seat you need day1 + clothes & diapering stuff. The hospital will give you some stuff too. If you are planning on crib, you need that too.

The rest you can buy later too.

JoeRetire
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Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by JoeRetire » Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:03 pm

CP1 wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:54 pm
Just wanted some feedback on how to prepare myself
Start by waking up from a sound sleep every 2-4 hours. Don't worry, that phase only lasts for 18 years or so.

Good luck.

dbapaddy
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Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by dbapaddy » Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:07 pm

Get names of good babysitters and hire them frequently.

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tainted-meat
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Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by tainted-meat » Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:11 pm

Might be a little off-topic, but work on getting your child water-safe as quickly as possible. One of the leading causes of death of 1-4 year old children is drowning. Never leave a kid in the bath by themselves, etc.

In our area, we have a Bear Paddle location that gives lessons. May be same and/or other swim lessons in your area.

indexfund56
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Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by indexfund56 » Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:11 pm

My personal opinion on car seats is to use Britax. All the research I've done over the years suggests they are the safest and we've had great luck with them.

In terms of preparing, you really can't. Having a child is a life changing experience in many ways. Definitely should look into sleep training the kid when he or she is old enough, though.

BradJ
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Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by BradJ » Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:18 pm

Father of 2, and below is my short list of advice (all are optional, last two are a must):

Optional
Tour and reserve spots on daycare immediately, good ones fill up quick.
Read to your kids every night, even when they are babies.
Don't worry if fatherhood doesn't come naturally, sometimes you have to grow into the role.
If you don't have patience, stick with tough situations to build it. In saying that, don't be afraid to ask for help.
If your kid is driving you insane, put them on the floor and walk away for a minute. Remember, they cant roll off the ground.
The first six weeks........buckle up.
Look at your kids often, they grow so fast.
When you come home, immediately greet and kiss your spouse. This reminds the kids your spouse is #1, not them.
When disciplining your kids, wait until they have gone to bed to discuss how you could have handled it differently.

MUST:
Sleep now.....you wont catch up until many years later.
LOVE YOUR KIDS! Spend INTENTIONAL time with them, encourage them, discipline them (yes, that is love) and tell them you love them constantly.

daheld
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Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by daheld » Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:18 pm

1. Other than big stuff like a crib, car seat, stroller, etc., you're likely not going to need to buy much. Don't buy a bunch of stuff ahead of time. Wait to see what you get at showers and such and then fill in the blanks. You'll likely get way too much of something (burp cloths, clothes for a certain age, whatever), and most folks will give you a gift receipt. Take back whatever you get extra of and get store credit to buy things you need.

2. When you do buy things you need, don't buy the "baby" version. That immediately doubles the price of almost everything. A good example: My wife and I have a 4 month old. We're thinking we'll make his baby food ourselves and freeze it ahead of time. If you buy a "baby food storage container freezer tray", it's $27 for 2. https://www.amazon.com/Best-Homemade-Fo ... spons&th=1 . This is basically a silicone ice cube tray that you can buy 3 for $15.

3. Don't buy crappy "baby furniture". We outfitted the baby room with a used dresser I bought on Facebook marketplace for $45 and refinished. It looks great, fits the room well, and since it's 50 years old and solid wood it will outlive me unlike whatever MDF piece of junk target sells for $150.

4. Sleep now.

5. Enjoy it. It's the most incredible, challenging, terrifying, overwhelming, wonderful, joyous thing you'll ever experience.

welsie
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Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by welsie » Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:23 pm

CP1 wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:54 pm
Hi,

We are expecting our first baby end of June and its has started slowly sinking in. I am already getting anxiety writing this post :?
Just wanted some feedback on how to prepare myself, what to buy and recommendations on car seat, crib, stroller, anything else?

Thanks!
How much money do you want to spend?

For example, we had a Chicco KeyFit 30: https://www.amazon.com/Chicco-KeyFit-In ... TSV19VX0PP

For $100 you can get an accessory stroller: https://www.amazon.com/Chicco-KeyFit-Ca ... R1WHAPWEYD

So that way you can pop the car seat into the stroller and vice versa, very easy. However, our baby is huge, hit the size/weight limits by the time she was 10 months old (most kids would be fine with that for a year and a half, so that was a $300 purchase (plus extra car base for my wife's car), that is down the tubes. However it was very useful for us when the solution worked.

We now have a Graco convertible seat and a small simple stroller. We also have BOB stroller (https://www.amazon.com/BOB-Rambler-Jogg ... cts&sr=1-5) for jogging and uneven surfaces.

Is that really an issue? Do you need to go jogging with your baby? Again, how much money do you want to spend? There is no end to the solutions for specific problems that people can sell you...

indexfund56
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Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by indexfund56 » Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:24 pm

BradJ wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:18 pm
Father of 2, and below is my short list of advice (all are optional, last two are a must):

Optional
Tour and reserve spots on daycare immediately, good ones fill up quick.
Read to your kids every night, even when they are babies.
Don't worry if fatherhood doesn't come naturally, sometimes you have to grow into the role.
If you don't have patience, stick with tough situations to build it. In saying that, don't be afraid to ask for help.
If your kid is driving you insane, put them on the floor and walk away for a minute. Remember, they cant roll off the ground.
The first six weeks........buckle up.
Look at your kids often, they grow so fast.
When you come home, immediately greet and kiss your spouse. This reminds the kids your spouse is #1, not them.
When disciplining your kids, wait until they have gone to bed to discuss how you could have handled it differently.

MUST:
Sleep now.....you wont catch up until many years later.
LOVE YOUR KIDS! Spend INTENTIONAL time with them, encourage them, discipline them (yes, that is love) and tell them you love them constantly.
Great stuff here. Bravo.

YttriumNitrate
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Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by YttriumNitrate » Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:28 pm

My advice would be to get your fill of in-theater movies and nice restaurants now.

Also, if you haven't gotten a rocker, I'd suggest one like this:
https://chicago.craigslist.org/nwi/bab/ ... 96145.html
For the first few months my son would only sleep on someone or in one of those rockers.

welsie
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Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by welsie » Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:33 pm

BradJ wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:18 pm
Father of 2, and below is my short list of advice (all are optional, last two are a must):

Optional
Tour and reserve spots on daycare immediately, good ones fill up quick.
Read to your kids every night, even when they are babies.
Don't worry if fatherhood doesn't come naturally, sometimes you have to grow into the role.
If you don't have patience, stick with tough situations to build it. In saying that, don't be afraid to ask for help.
If your kid is driving you insane, put them on the floor and walk away for a minute. Remember, they cant roll off the ground.
The first six weeks........buckle up.
Look at your kids often, they grow so fast.
When you come home, immediately greet and kiss your spouse. This reminds the kids your spouse is #1, not them.
When disciplining your kids, wait until they have gone to bed to discuss how you could have handled it differently.

MUST:
Sleep now.....you wont catch up until many years later.
LOVE YOUR KIDS! Spend INTENTIONAL time with them, encourage them, discipline them (yes, that is love) and tell them you love them constantly.
+1 on daycare and sleep.

forgeblast
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Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by forgeblast » Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:35 pm

Breath, relax once there here you will be fine.
1. Enjoy the ride--every age brings something new.
2. Be there--be part of them growing up
3. share traditions, stories, etc or make new ones.

My thought on parenting is that I am parenting for my grand kids, everything that I do or share will end up being part of their lives even if I am not around. I love the time I get to spend with my kiddo and she has so many of my interests because even as a baby she was part of them. I had one of those kelty baby backpacks and would hike everyday with her in the summer, I shoveled tons of gravel for a fire pit area we where making with her on my back, I gardened etc....all things she still likes to do.

I can also recommend this book its by a very good friend of mine.
https://www.amazon.com/Adrian-Kulp/e/B0 ... scns_share

Isabelle77
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Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by Isabelle77 » Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:36 pm

Trust yourself and your wife. Don't get caught up in the crazy and stay off of parenting boards. Forgive yourself and your wife for mistakes you're going to make. Love your baby's mom. Believe in babysitters.

Do not worry about brands of baby stuff, child-rearing techniques, breastfeeding durations, Mozart and Shakespeare exposure, or all organic/farm-raised/gluten-free/dairy-free/peanut-free etc. Chill out, your child has already won the parent lottery and the more you concentrate on all of that stuff, the less enjoyable parenting is.

Try to enjoy it, this is the good stuff :)


Congrats :)

bloom2708
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Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by bloom2708 » Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:40 pm

Congrats!

Re-evaluate all hobbies on both sides. Be equal parents in every way, such that work/schedules allow.

If you are used to going golfing all day Saturday with the boys, re-think those type of activities. For both parents.

Make sure you give each other breaks, exercise, sleep when you can, eat healthy, get a babysitter and go on date nights.

There are no perfect parents. Go with the flow and don't overthink things. First kids bring all kinds of new scenarios. The kid is tougher than you are. :wink:
"We are not here to agree with you; we are here to provoke thoughtfulness." Unknown Boglehead | “It’s not things that upset us but rather our opinions about things.” Epictetus

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by RickBoglehead » Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:42 pm

+1,000 on the recommendations to chill. Also, ignore the craze to buy the latest and greatest of anything, like a stroller that costs thousands. Buy the least expensive SAFE equipment you can find. Some people are simply foolhardy with their money and succumb to marketing. "She/he has to have the very best" when they don't know what's good or bad except from advertising.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

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djpeteski
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Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by djpeteski » Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:54 pm

Congratulations!

Here is a book that my wife (who is a midwife) recommends to new dads:
https://www.amazon.com/Expect-Expanding ... nth-Father

It all depends on the personality of kid that comes out. Some sleep through the night soon, some are plagued by reoccurring ear infections and are nothing but cranky all the time.

sport
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Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by sport » Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:05 pm

Buy more life and disability insurance if you do not already have enough.
Last edited by sport on Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

FreemanB
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Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by FreemanB » Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:07 pm

Make lots of plans for what you are going to do. Remember that with kids, things almost never go as planned. Enjoy the ride.

I wouldn't buy a stroller initially. Buy a baby carrier and a snap-n-go stroller for it(I think we had Chico ones, but it has been a few years). They are much more convenient than strollers. It will be as much as a year before you need a regular stroller, so you can take your time looking around and find one you like. For actual strollers, we loved the Maclaren lightweight strollers(Maybe a Volo?). The bigger, heavier stroller we started with always seemed too big, hard to move around in tight spaces, and was a general pain.

As for other baby stuff, 90% of it really depends on the kid. Some kids love rockers, others don't care. The same goes for swings, bouncers, and everything else. If you can avoid it, don't buy anything like that new, and just look for used ones in local marketplaces/Facebook groups/Mom groups, etc.(Car seats are the exception. I'd always buy new for those) Kids outgrow these things so fast that there is generally a fair supply at decent prices. Make sure you have at least 3 sets of sheets for the crib, and DO NOT let the baby sleep in your bed. Not only is it dangerous, but you'll regret it later when you are trying to get them to sleep in their own bed.

I could go on all day, but that's probably enough for now. Wouldn't want to spoil all of the surprises anyway. I'm about 6.5 years into this whole parenting thing, and I'm still figuring it out as I go along.

sport
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Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by sport » Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:09 pm

When you equip the baby's bedroom, you will need a crib. Do not buy a baby dresser. That furniture will need to be replaced in a few years. If you have a girl, buy a lady's dresser. If you have a boy, buy a man's chest of drawers. That way, when they get too old for the crib, you will just need to buy a bed and you will already have the other furniture you need. My adult children still have the furniture they used as children.

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wander
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Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by wander » Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:20 pm

You care to ask for opinion. Sounds like you are a decent man and will be a good dad.

oxothuk
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Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by oxothuk » Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:21 pm

BradJ wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:18 pm
When you come home, immediately greet and kiss your spouse. This reminds the kids your spouse is #1, not them.
When disciplining your kids, wait until they have gone to bed to discuss how you could have handled it differently.

MUST:
Sleep now.....you wont catch up until many years later.
LOVE YOUR KIDS! Spend INTENTIONAL time with them, encourage them, discipline them (yes, that is love) and tell them you love them constantly.
+1 (replacing “tell” with “show” in the last sentence)

mega317
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Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by mega317 » Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:28 pm

Remember that your comfort is about the least important thing in your life for a while. If there is a different type of sleep sack that mom saw at Walmart and wants to try because the baby is having a bad night, even though it's 2am and you have to work at 6, you are going out for that sleep sack.

Agree with the advice not to buy much. You'll get lots of clothes, toys, etc as gifts. You can get used strollers in very good condition for cheap. I'd get some nice looking baskets or even plastic bins. It's nice to throw all the random stuff that's lying around into some container so you don't have to look at it strewn all over the place. I might be a little bit of a neat freak. Then if something sits in a bin for a while and you don't miss it, you can give it away.
BradJ wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:18 pm
The first six weeks........buckle up.
The 2nd six weeks might be worse. "Witching hours" can last until 3-4 months.

Giving a darn is the most important thing. Put your phone away. You will do great.

staythecourse
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Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by staythecourse » Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:29 pm

Congrats.

The only thing you absolutely need ready ahead of time is getting the car seat installed. You can't take the kid from the hospital without one installed so make sure it is ready to go as you won't be thinking about it when the water breaks.

My advice though is get everything ready (room, crib, baby shower, etc...) EARLY. My first came at 34 weeks and we luckily JUST had stuff ready and baby shower done the weekend before. You always think due date as time zero, but the clock sometimes starts EARLY.

Other then that, I would spend A LOT of time on yourselves and each other. For most folks that first year is really hard (physically and emotionally) so spend the time relaxing as much as you can now bonding with each other.

Here is some advice I give to new parents. No one has listened to them, but EVERY one of the folks later on came back and said it was spot on...
1. Don't expect baby rearing to be 50/50. It should be to be fair, but in the end one person ALWAYS does more of the heavy lifting then the other.
2. One person needs to go without sleep. That ties into the above point. It is natural some folks can go without sleep and other just can't do it. I don't need much sleep so didn't care about waking every 2-4 hours. My wife was different. Learn to take naps when the baby does to recharge. You are now on their time and NOT on the clock's time.
3. There are going to be times you hate that baby. I don't mean not like, I mean HATE. Some of that is displacement is about on how much it affected you from leading your previous fun lives.
4. No one is good at raising kids if you haven't done it already so don't compare and feel like a failure. The interesting thing about raising kids is it is a skill set that once you finally get good at it you don't use again until you are a grandparent and by then you forgot all the skills that made you good. Don't feel like you are the only one who doesn't know what they are doing. No first time parent knows.
5. From birth on the baby has their OWN personality. Try to learn it and adapt around it. My first was born 34 weeks early so they should have still been in utero yet her personality is the same now as the day she was born. Personality is more nature then nuture (much to our surprise).
6. Ease of raising a baby is NOT linear over that first year. It is H**L the first 6 months, then 50% improved at 9 months, then 75% better at 12 months, then 90% better at 18 months. Between those times it is just flatlined until the next time period. It is not linear in improvement. Take a pen out and circle those dates on a calendar and refer to them when you are frustrated lives still sucks.
7. You will end up loving your child even if it doesn't happen at the beginning (didn't happen immediate for our first, but did for our second). I always use the analogy they are like my pinkie toe. I don't need it to survive, but if I didn't have it wouldn't be the same. They really become part of you as a person.
8. Most important be VERY supportive to your wife. Mine had post partum depression and it was REALLY bad with our first. Even without it (for the second) the hormone changes that first 3-4 months postpartum makes them very vulnerable.
9. Having kids is the next step in social development for adults. When you become an adult the first next step in maturing socially is finding a significant other and living with them and the next is having kids. It makes you change just like living with someone else makes you change. That is okay.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

NJdad6
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Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by NJdad6 » Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:44 pm

Tons of good advice above. My 2 cents:
- Have patience. First kid can be stressful. Everyone is getting used to each other. Try not to get stressed out. Remember that you and your wife are a team. It gets much better.
- I remember being very tired. Felt like I had a constant hangover for the first month or two. This is normal and again it gets better.
- enjoy the little things and spend as much time as possible together.

On the practical side, look into a jogging stroller. We got one with my second and it was the best. We had the high end folding one for regular use but it was worthless on grass, rough pavement, etc. When the kid can sit up get a jogging stroller with large inflatable rear wheels (like bike wheels) and a handle with a brake. It can go anywhere and is much easier to push around on longer walks. I wish I had it for my first as well.

Good luck and enjoy.

NJdad6
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Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by NJdad6 » Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:51 pm

One more thing. You won’t need to do this until they start crawling around and grabbing things but bolt dressers to the wall and baby proof the house. You will be amazed at the stuff they get into and how fast they do it. The one thing you don’t think of is the thing they will bonk their head on or stick in their mouth.

GT99
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Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by GT99 » Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:52 pm

Congrats! Lots of good stuff here. Some random thoughts:
1. Absolutely get on daycare if you're going to be using one. With our first, we didn't get on the waiting lists until like 4 or 5 months before birth, and we had to start her at one that was very inconvenient (but great, and after about 5 months we were able to move her to more convenient location of the same school).
2. When I was in your shoes, I asked a group of friends if they had any parenting type books they recommend. The consensus response was "don't worry about it, you'll figure it out." They were right (reading up on sleep training can be useful, though :D )

3. The first 6-8 weeks with most kids are obviously going to be really tough sleep-wise, but be conscious of ways to maximize sleep. Those first few weeks, the baby will probably want to eat every 3-4 hours (even less for some). For us, DW would go to bed around 9 pm in our guest room, I would stay up with the baby, feed her (we have 2 girls) generally around 12-1am, then bring the baby in to sleep in the guest room with DW and go to bed in our bedroom (since I had to get ready for work in the morning it was easier for me to sleep in our room). Generally, the baby would then wake her up around 3-4 am to eat again. Voila, she's had 6-7 hours of sleep. I'd get up for work around 7 am after getting 6-7 hours of sleep myself and feed the baby if she was awake. Now, it doesn't always work this smoothly, but processes like this can be a life saver.

4. The best advice I can give a new parent is to understand crying. We're trained to associate crying with pain. But the first 12+ months crying is the baby's primary form of communication. Early on, it will most often mean hungry, tired, or dirty diaper. That's easy. But as they get older and start figuring out how you react, it means things like "I'd rather sleep in your arms than in my crib." Not only do you not have to react to that crying, you're doing yourself AND the baby a favor by not reacting. Not reacting to crying is really hard for new parents (heck, DW still has a hard time with it with our 2nd). But it's often the best thing for everyone.

halfnine
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Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by halfnine » Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:55 pm

Start figuring out how to do all the things you already do in half the time. You'll need the extra time that is saved.

GT99
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Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by GT99 » Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:57 pm

staythecourse wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:29 pm

8. Most important be VERY supportive to your wife. Mine had post partum depression and it was REALLY bad with our first. Even without it (for the second) the hormone changes that first 3-4 months postpartum makes them very vulnerable.
This is huge and needs to be highlighted. My wife also had bad post-partum, and I was too dense to realize what the heck was going on until it was pretty much gone, and it took close to a year. Do research before the baby is born to understand what to look for. That was a really tough year for us and I wish I would have known it was more than just the stress of having a baby.

DrGoogle2017
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Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:59 pm

I cooked and prefilled our freezer with food for nearly a month or more. That’s where my husband and I got our meals from. All we had to do with salad and steamed vegs.
Last edited by DrGoogle2017 on Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

pdavi21
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Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by pdavi21 » Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:02 pm

A bit morbid, but you should wait until close to birth to buy a lot of the stuff.
You need a car seat to leave the hospital...so buy that at least a month or so ahead and install it.
"We spend a great deal of time studying history, which, let's face it, is mostly the history of stupidity." -Stephen Hawking

Sic Vis Pacem
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Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by Sic Vis Pacem » Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:06 pm

Congrats! Recent new dad here. Lots of good advice up-thread. I'll add my $.02:

Buy used. Check for recalls, and then ignore the scare industry that preys on new parents' anxiety.
Uppababy car seat/strollers are amazing, but expensive (see #1). Graco, Chicco, Britax, and BoB are excellent candidates too. I live in the city and walk everywhere, so a good stroller was worth the money. YMMV.
Get a car seat with a base that you can install in your car and then snap the carseat in and out. Trust me. If you plan on flying, make sure the car seat is FAA compliant.
Crib - See #1.
Toys: Don't bother. You'll get tons and everything is a toy for a newborn / infant. Okay... buy the ones that really make you smile.
Clothes: Don't buy. You'll get tons as gifts. If someone asks and it's appropriate, you can always suggest asking for 3-6 and 6-9 mo. Everyone gets you newborn clothes but by 6-9 you'll find the gifts have run out. Just keep seasons in mind if you live in a locale that has them. And... buy the ones that make you smile.
Read: The New Father- A Dad's Guide to the First Year.
Automate everything you can.
Meal prep.
Breast-feeding? consider buying a second pump if your SO is going back to work.

More importantly:
Enjoy the time with your SO now.
Music makes everything better. Music you can sing along to to your baby is even better. Doesn't matter what it is.
Think about lighting. Dimmable lamps make nighttime changes and feeding easier.
Babies cry. Even when you're doing everything right.
You'll likely disconnect from your usual social circle for a while. That's ok.
Talk constantly. What's working for you and your SO at 4 weeks may not be at 6 or 8 or 10, but everyone's too tired to address it. Schedule talks if needed. Know and understand the difference between baby blues and post-partum depression.
She's beautiful, and you're surprised at how fast she's losing the baby weight.
As soon as you are both comfortable with it, take the baby out of the house for chunks of time so she can rest.
Exercise.
It's not a competition, and there is no need to compare your parenting or your child's development with anyone else. You'll probably do it anyway.
The first 6-12 weeks are hard. Really hard. It gets better.
Don't be afraid to ask for help.
Mostly: Enjoy. It's one hell of a ride.
Last edited by Sic Vis Pacem on Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Chadnudj
Posts: 753
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Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by Chadnudj » Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:06 pm

Stuff:
- Carseat: I highly recommend the Chicco KeyFit. VERY easy to install the base, the car seat just snaps in, and you can buy multiple bases for multiple cars (grandparents, you/your spouse, etc.).
- Stroller: tons of good options here, all of which are good for different things, so I won't get into too many recommendations. We had a City Mini which was awesome. Think about how you live -- do you travel a lot? Make sure your stroller can get through airport security easily. Do you jog? Make sure the stroller can handle it. I will make ONE recommendation -- get a Snap and Go in addition to whatever other stroller you get. They are lightweight, adaptable to almost all car seats, and let you (with the Chicco KeyFit) take the whole car seat with your sleeping kid and snap them into the Snap and Go.
- Crib: Honestly, we just went with Ikea, and it's lasted 2 boys now and still looks awesome 4 years later.
- Get a rocker of some type that's comfortable for those late night feedings.

Non-stuff:
- When you have a newborn, they are EXTREMELY PORTABLE. Take advantage of that -- go out, get your baby in loud places/restaurants, etc. It (a) is good for your relationship with your spouse, (b) fun, (c) good for the baby to get used to loud noises/sleeping through anything. And this goes away quickly once they're big enough to want to crawl/walk around. I wish we had gone out MORE when our oldest was a very portable infant -- now that we have 2 (4 and 2), it's impossible to keep them wrangled and enjoy a meal.
- See if you can find a copy of a book called "On Becoming Baby Wise." My wife read it, followed it....and our kids slept 6 hours straight at night by 6 weeks, 8 by 8 weeks, and 12 hours by 12 weeks. May have been complete luck on our part (every kid is seriously different)....but if it wasn't, it was because of the book.
- Stick with routines. Kids do well with them, and will do better the more you extend them -- routines for bedtime, routines for meals, routines for when you go outside on walks, etc.

EDIT: Oooh, one more. Not sure what you and your spouse will do in terms of night feedings, but what worked for us was that I would get up and change the baby, get my wife a glass of water and set up the iPad for her, and then hand off the baby to her to feed (she breastfed). That meant she got a couple more minutes to sleep while I did that stuff, I helped make it easy for her and got some late night time with baby, and it felt like we shared the burden a bit.
Last edited by Chadnudj on Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Thegame14
Posts: 844
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Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by Thegame14 » Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:07 pm

CP1 wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:54 pm
Hi,

We are expecting our first baby end of June and its has started slowly sinking in. I am already getting anxiety writing this post :?
Just wanted some feedback on how to prepare myself, what to buy and recommendations on car seat, crib, stroller, anything else?

Thanks!
Congrats!!!

Save up while you can, daycare is as costly as a mortgage. Most places are $1,500-$1,800a month, for seats we did the graco model, that you can also put the car seat directly into a stroller, it is a MUST to have this ability, so much easier that having to take a baby out of car seat and put back into a stroller, especially If they are asleep... crib is up to you, just remember nothing in the crib, nothing no blanket, no toys, no bumpers, nothing...baby must sleep on their back, no side or tummy sleeping, breast feeding is a must to reduce SIDS, no smoking of any kind, including pot and vape, be careful if baby falls asleep in anything other than a bed, the straps in car seat or swing can suffocate them. Pacifer helps with SIDS too... Set up a 529, use your state if there are any benefits to it, if not research for best return and lowest Expense ratio, I chose NY, go to NYsaves.org. small amounts regularly will add up over time...

People who say stock up on sleep now, are idiots, there is no such thing.... each baby is different our first only slept 2-2 1/2 hours at first and took til he was like 4 months to get up to 6 hours which is considered sleeping through the night. Second baby was sleeping 4-5 hours from birth then 7 hours at 3 weeks old.

Research your company policies on time off in NJ we get 12 weeks at half pay, so again prepare for the financial impact....

There are lots of books to read, what to expect when you are expecting everyone reads,

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/07611 ... UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/07611 ... UTF8&psc=1

Make sure you research hospitals and do a hospital tour, you should be looking for or have found a pediatrician. Most important should be matching your view and theirs on vaccines since we now have crazy anti-vaxxer people out there, and some pediatricians wont take patients who have that crazy view.

You can have your local police install the car seat check for when they do it usually every other Saturday.

you need a bassinette for the first few months baby will be in your room with you, not in your bed of course, and not in their crib. one with wheels is good to move around.

Also call insurance to get a free breast pump for DW, you should start researching and getting storage bags, and choose bottles and other baby gear, usually everyone has their brand IE Dr Browns.....

You need a monitor for when they do sleep in their crib, so you should start a registry, lots of tips online of what to put on it.... I assume buy buy baby is what people do without babies R us.

you should have a will and think of Godparents and a church or other religious place for baptism or whatever your religion does for babies.

Obviously start thinking of a name if you haven't.....

once you know the sex, but you should by now, get the room painted and furnished well ahead of time, don't want to bring a baby home and paint...

Start making a list and every week try to get one or two things done from the list and you will start feeling better.

Take a baby class Babies R us used to have them, but I am sure the hospital you choose will have one, also take a infant CPR class....

Take LOTS I mean LOTS of pictures!!! You will cherish everyone, especially how little their hands and feet are.

Get a baby book to fill in their pictures and milestones.

Start looking for a dayare like 4 months ago, they fill up fast......

Don't buy a stupid stork sign that just alerts strangers that you just had a kid.... Family will see on facebook or get a birth announcement.

Also you and DW and close family need to get Flu shots and T-dap.pertusis vaccines....

Stock up on frozen food or restaurant that deliver, baby basically cant leave the house for 2 months until he has more shots and immune system is better so prepare to tell family if they want to visit ONE the must have a flu shot, TWO they must have whooping cough shot, three must bring food, so you will be ordering to deliver a lot.....
Last edited by Thegame14 on Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:13 pm, edited 3 times in total.

FreemanB
Posts: 276
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 5:55 am

Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by FreemanB » Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:07 pm

halfnine wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:55 pm
Start figuring out how to do all the things you already do in half the time. You'll need the extra time that is saved.
Also, make sure you practice doing them one-handed, since you'll likely have something(Baby, diaper bag, stroller) in the other hand.

TheDDC
Posts: 306
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:11 am

Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by TheDDC » Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:14 pm

You seem to have spent much effort getting to this point. Don't farm/outsource the kid out to daycare. My recommendation.

As for all the "stuff" you think you need, ask around to fellow parents on kid 2, 3, 4. They will tell you what was a waste and what was needed. My theory is 90% of the "baby stuff" you get will be donated/pitched in 2-3 years when you look at your bank account and think what else you could have spent the money on. :)

Oh and breathe... Enjoy the life changing experiences and have a camera in hand always.

-TheDDC

bluebolt
Posts: 699
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2017 9:01 am

Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by bluebolt » Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:26 pm

Lots of good advice. A few things to add:

We used a bassinet for the first four months or so and delayed buying a crib, but it's somewhat personal preference.
At 6 months, we found it useful to have a lightweight umbrella stroller. We got the Summer Infant 3D lite and like it.
Local online resources: Facebook parents group for your area, Craigslist, Buy/Sell Nothing groups, etc can all be super helpful to acquire (and get rid of!) stuff.
Bottles - we had to try a few different kinds before we found some that the baby liked. Buy a bunch so you don't always feel like you are washing them every minute.
This dishwasher basket is surprisingly useful (https://www.amazon.com/OXO-Tot-Dishwash ... B0771FFJ21)
Think about whether/how much you want to share on social media. We don't share much and have a shared iCloud album for family.
You will be surprised by how much laundry you have to do. Get more burp cloths and changing pad covers than you think you'll need. Also, have some extra old wear-around-the-house clothes that you don't mind getting spit up on or messed up
One splurge is a night nurse. If you can afford it and/or need a little break, it's a great luxury to be able to have some help from someone who knows what they're doing, even if it's only once in a while.


Really live in the moment. I love to take photos, but I've dialed back because I'd much rather spend time with the kids and be present for them.

mega317
Posts: 2900
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2016 10:55 am

Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by mega317 » Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:30 pm

TheDDC wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:14 pm
Don't farm/outsource the kid out to daycare.
Don't let people tell you how to raise your kids. Most of them are just trying to be helpful but it can feel like a personal attack, especially when you're tired and questioning yourself anyway. It's ok to respond with a smile, nod, and maybe a "thank you".

bluebolt
Posts: 699
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2017 9:01 am

Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by bluebolt » Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:30 pm

TheDDC wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:14 pm
You seem to have spent much effort getting to this point. Don't farm/outsource the kid out to daycare. My recommendation.
Oh, and one more thing for the OP. When you get confident advice from other folks that contradicts your best judgment, feel free to ignore them.

TheDDC
Posts: 306
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:11 am

Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by TheDDC » Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:36 pm

bluebolt wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:30 pm
TheDDC wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:14 pm
You seem to have spent much effort getting to this point. Don't farm/outsource the kid out to daycare. My recommendation.
Oh, and one more thing for the OP. When you get confident advice from other folks that contradicts your best judgment, feel free to ignore them.
For the OP: When you get responses to fair minded advice like this above, it's typically due to guilt felt. Don't let that sway you. Daycare costs are pitiful and are also entirely avoidable, with better results spent raising kids during their formative stages.

-TheDDC

Bronko
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2018 4:17 pm
Location: No matter where you go, there you are.....

Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by Bronko » Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:36 pm

So much good information already.

I'll agree Britax is made like a piece of iron. Very safe seat, I've seen it first hand.

Buy used clothes and baby/toddler gear. No one will know but you and it'll still be like new when you get rid of it.

Spend twice the time and half the money on the kids.

Start a gmail account with your kids name. Write to them, send them pictures, tell them funny things they did, tell them what you want them to know in the future. Leave the account and password in your will. You never know what'll happen in life but this may be a priceless legacy.

Lastly don't overthink it. You will but try not to. Nothing is perfect.
Never let a little bit of money get in the way of a real good time.

TheDDC
Posts: 306
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:11 am

Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by TheDDC » Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:39 pm

Bronko wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:36 pm
Spend twice the time and half the money on the kids.
BINGO.

Also, we are fans of the Chicco car seats.

-TheDDC

bluebolt
Posts: 699
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2017 9:01 am

Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by bluebolt » Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:40 pm

TheDDC wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:36 pm
bluebolt wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:30 pm
TheDDC wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:14 pm
You seem to have spent much effort getting to this point. Don't farm/outsource the kid out to daycare. My recommendation.
Oh, and one more thing for the OP. When you get confident advice from other folks that contradicts your best judgment, feel free to ignore them.
For the OP: When you get responses to fair minded advice like this above, it's typically due to guilt felt. Don't let that sway you. Daycare costs are pitiful and are also entirely avoidable, with better results spent raising kids during their formative stages.

-TheDDC
That's true. One of us did give fair-minded advice.

Grt2bOutdoors
Posts: 20284
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Location: New York

Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:07 pm

Have a stiff drink! But just one.
Get your sleep now!

Another vote for Britax car seat, used it, made like a tank.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

staythecourse
Posts: 6852
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:40 am

Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by staythecourse » Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:15 pm

GT99 wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:57 pm
staythecourse wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 2:29 pm

8. Most important be VERY supportive to your wife. Mine had post partum depression and it was REALLY bad with our first. Even without it (for the second) the hormone changes that first 3-4 months postpartum makes them very vulnerable.
This is huge and needs to be highlighted. My wife also had bad post-partum, and I was too dense to realize what the heck was going on until it was pretty much gone, and it took close to a year. Do research before the baby is born to understand what to look for. That was a really tough year for us and I wish I would have known it was more than just the stress of having a baby.
We are docs so picked it up immediate. Still didn't help. It was a tough first 6 months. It was difficult as she was a totally different person. Interestingly, my wife is very upfront so whenever we have dinner with friends and it comes up it is amazing how many folks have similar stories or know somebody who went through it. Sad, each person felt they were the only folks who were going through it at the time. Reaching out for support through friends, family, and professional through your OB is a must and done early.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

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Sandtrap
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Location: Hawaii😀 Northern AZ.😳 Retired.

Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by Sandtrap » Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:20 pm

CP1 wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:54 pm
Hi,

We are expecting our first baby end of June and its has started slowly sinking in. I am already getting anxiety writing this post :?
Just wanted some feedback on how to prepare myself, what to buy and recommendations on car seat, crib, stroller, anything else?

Thanks!
1 Congratulations
:sharebeer
2 A huge personal and life and lifestyle step. Priorities shift 180 degrees.
3. Think of all the wonderful things that your dad did with you and do them.
4. Think of all the not so wonderful things your dad did with you and don't do them.
5. Bring up a man vs a child, that will be proud of you, and vs vs.
6. Everything else will fall into place.
. . . .
7. Say goodbye to a full nights sleep.
. . . .
8. Everything you need to be an awesome dad. . . you already have.

staythecourse
Posts: 6852
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:40 am

Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by staythecourse » Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:27 pm

Bronko wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:36 pm

I'll agree Britax is made like a piece of iron. Very safe seat, I've seen it first hand.
Interesting. I thought baby/ child stuff is pretty well regulated and every product meets the same standards? Or is that minimum standards and you are saying Britax goes above those minimum standards?

We had a Chicco or something like that. My wife was involved in a near total to her car and that one made it through with no issues, but assumed all car seats that made it to the market would have done the same.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

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Will do good
Posts: 801
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Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by Will do good » Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:35 pm

Isabelle77 wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:36 pm
Trust yourself and your wife. Don't get caught up in the crazy and stay off of parenting boards. Forgive yourself and your wife for mistakes you're going to make. Love your baby's mom. Believe in babysitters.

Do not worry about brands of baby stuff, child-rearing techniques, breastfeeding durations, Mozart and Shakespeare exposure, or all organic/farm-raised/gluten-free/dairy-free/peanut-free etc. Chill out, your child has already won the parent lottery and the more you concentrate on all of that stuff, the less enjoyable parenting is.

Try to enjoy it, this is the good stuff :)


Congrats :)
+1

You are not the first to go thru this, even I managed to raise our kids to full adulthood and they seems to be fine, just ask their therapists (kiddin).

Congrats!

NxNW
Posts: 14
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Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by NxNW » Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:39 pm

YttriumNitrate wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:28 pm
My advice would be to get your fill of in-theater movies and nice restaurants now.

Also, if you haven't gotten a rocker, I'd suggest one like this:
https://chicago.craigslist.org/nwi/bab/ ... 96145.html
For the first few months my son would only sleep on someone or in one of those rockers.
Agreed. Enjoy a couple nice meals out. Splurge even. Going out after you have kids puts you $60-100 in the hole just to hire a babysitter.

Also agree that a comfy rocker with appropriate arms rests and back are important.

fru-gal
Posts: 274
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:48 pm

Re: Soon to be dad, how to prepare

Post by fru-gal » Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:46 pm

Life insurance for both parents. Make a will that specifies who gets the kids.

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