Advice & wisdom for new parents
May 2, 2005 6:03 AM   Subscribe

What great advice, words of wisdom, and welcome would you give to new parents and their new baby.

Welcome to the world, Fiona. Congratulations, Kay & Matt.
posted by Mom to Human Relations (48 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Congrats. Advice: feed regularly.
posted by NekulturnY at 6:12 AM on May 2, 2005

Schedules, schedules, schedules.

It won't make a whit of difference for a few months, but eventually a dependable schedule will help you in many ways - from getting them to go to bed at night to providing them with a stable and helpful home to depend upon.

Do not push them everywhere in a stroller once they have reached 1.5-2 years of age. Turn off the TV. Absolutely no computer time until they are in their teens. Turn off the TV. Find a good baby sitter - do not let the 'couple' in y'all be completely replaced with 'parents'. Turn off the TV. Do not spoil, but never let them run out of paper, crayons, and markers.

And have fun. It's hard, but you'll figure it out.
posted by unixrat at 6:37 AM on May 2, 2005

Washcloths are God's gift to parents. You'll find that there never seems to be enough space in your diaper bag for 'em.
posted by icontemplate at 6:42 AM on May 2, 2005

Ignore advice from non-parents.

Ignore most of the advice from your own parents.

Listen to advice from other recent parents.

Listen to advice from doctors who are parents, though keep in mind if you ask ten doctors the same question you'll get ten different answers.

In the end, go with your gut. Nobody will know your kid the way you will. If your child is crying half the people in the room will tell you to let him cry and the other half will tell you how you can make him stop. Walk away from them or kick them out and do what you feel is right.

If you only have one child you will always be a new parent. Just as you figure something out she will grow out of that phase and onto a new one. This is both good and bad.

Don't assume breastfeeding is some easy, natural thing. It is for a lot of people but for some kids and some mothers it just doesn't work out very well. Try your best and If it works for you, awesome. If not, oh well. Your kid won't wind up in therapy because he drank from a bottle no matter what the LaLeche league tells you.

Most people who had an easy time breastfeeding will disagree with that last thing.

Yes, I know Matt doesn't have boobs but it's 2005 and I'm a sensative new age guy and all that nonsense. Feeding my newborn was a two person (sometimes three) full time job.

Line up a team of babysitters.

Diapers are not as bad as you probably think they're going to be. They take a bit of getting used to but six months from now you'll be putting them on with one hand while your other hand wipes shit off the wall.

The things they sell at the store called "burp cloths" are useless. Use dishtowels. Better yet, steal about a dozen receiving blankets from the hospitial. For the first year or so you are raising a yogurt factory. Kids spit up. A lot. Get used to it.

Cigarettes : Prisoners :: Stickers : Toddlers

Fiona is a good name. I have a neice named Fiona. Accept the fact you'll never find a sticker or vanity tricycle plate with her name on it. That's probably for the best.

The first month or so will probably be the hardest month of your life. Once you get through it it gets easier, or perhaps you just adapt, but you'll be fine.

Read to her. As much as possible. Starting now.

Perhaps you should wait until she comes through the Fun Factory first.

Don't ever leave the house without a supply of babywipes, diapers, and a full change of clothes.

Welcome to the club. A few weeks from now you'll suddenly realize what all the fuss is about and how totally meaningless most other things are.

Good luck.
posted by bondcliff at 6:49 AM on May 2, 2005 [3 favorites]

Relax and enjoy. For more info: What to Expect the First Year.
posted by caddis at 7:09 AM on May 2, 2005

Get lots of books and read to the her whenever you can.
Breastfeed if possible at least a year. Cloth diapers make great rags for spit up (never go anywhere without at least some kleenexes in your pocket).
Early exposure to some foods is thought to increase the likelihood of some allergies, but after that, expose her to lots of different foods, I have found two methods: reverse psychology ("Stilton is too expensive for little girls...well, maybe a little") and secondly, just jamming some in their mouth, surprisingly often they like it. It is such a pleasure to have kids that eat everything and some childhood dislikes last (needlessly) till adulthood (my wife was certain that avocados were nasty till she was 35).
Don't feed a low-fat diet while their brain is growing.
Asthma is prevalent these days, but studies indicate that the more pets a kid has, the lower the rate. Let the kid crawl in the grass, eat dirt and be exposed to nature.
posted by 445supermag at 7:14 AM on May 2, 2005

445supermag....I don't think pets lower asthma incidence. If anything, they increase it, at least for female children. (smoking is of course the worst thing for asthma - but it's a basic no-no these days [I hope])
posted by peacay at 7:25 AM on May 2, 2005

Re: breastfeeding, if baby is cranky or colicky, try taking wheat and dairy out of *Mom's* diet. These are common allergens and transmit through mother's milk. You won't miss them at all if you stick to Asian cuisines...besides, it's easy to eat from take-out containers one-handed. Just don't order it too spicy---that can irritate baby as well.

For some reason, with my children, Day 8 was when they started to show colic. Like clockwork. Removing the dairy and wheat worked wonders. Citrus and corn are common allergens, too, you can steer clear of those as well if you're feeling gung-ho.
posted by DawnSimulator at 7:35 AM on May 2, 2005

accept whatever help is offered. sleep when the baby sleeps (which means avoid the temptation to clean house, check email, or other non-essentials the minute baby goes down). relax and just keep going, and a routine will naturally surface within a few weeks.

Oh, and enjoy what will undoubtedly be a brilliant little girl! Taureans rule!
posted by whatnot at 7:39 AM on May 2, 2005

Use natural baby products like this, not that Johnson & Johnson crap which is full of chemicals. Seriously. Use it on yourself too.

And never ever stick your kid in day care, or with some chain-smoking babysitter, or a 15-year-old cousin. Spend as much quality-time together as possible. You are a family. You should want to be together.

Oh, also you should have high expectations of your child and raise your child to have high expectations of the world and the people in it.
posted by crapulent at 7:47 AM on May 2, 2005

Read books, but beware of dogma. "What to Expect" and Drs Sears and Spock all managed to worry, then piss me off, needlessly with their agendas masquerading as sound wisdom. The best book I had was an American Academy of Pediatrics guide. It stuck to the basics, repeated what I heard from my doctor, and never laid on the guilt trips.

Recent-parent friends are the best source of advice. Through them, I learned that epidural/natural, breast/bottle, co-sleeping/Ferberizing, homemade babyfood/Gerbers conflicts meant diddly squat by the toddler years. (this coming from a former co-sleeping, breastfeeding, organic-yam-mashing mother, by the way).

As long as it results in a clean, fed, loved baby, do what works for you and your wife.

When you have a spare moment (after Fiona starts first grade, perhaps), fix the spell-checker so it recognizes "epidural" and "breastfeeding."
posted by bibliowench at 7:55 AM on May 2, 2005

FWIW, the two most important things I have learned so far are:

Pay attention to the child…It sounds obvious, but too often people make listening sounds but they aren’t really listening. Kids know the difference, and real listening helps them sooo much, while fake listening hurts them.

If you think you are going to snap, put the child down in a safe location and leave the room. Honestly. I have one of the longest fuses of anyone I know and I have had to do this, maybe three or four time with our two girls. I left the room for less than 2 minutes each time. That tiny amount of time is all it took to recharge, and be prepared to deal with the ongoing situation.

Other than that, I would remind anyone who is a parent that this job is the single most important task they will undertake. You are helping to form a real live person who will go out in the world and affect other people, and perhaps one day, while take their own turn at parenting. The fallout from a job poorly done can be pretty significant. Having said that, I do think that all we owe our children is to really try and make good choices. I know many parents who don’t appear to be willing to put much effort into thinking about parenting, and I think that is a shame.

Hope I don’t sound too precious, or pious. This is the greatest job I have ever undertaken, and it provides me with more joy than I thought possible. I am sure you will be overrun with joy too Matt. Especially once your feet hit the ground again!
posted by Richat at 7:57 AM on May 2, 2005

Peacay, regarding pets and asthma, googling around it seems that pets can act as an asthma trigger, especially to kids with pet allergies. But other studies indicate that exposure to pets and other animals decreases the rate of asthma in the first place. Some studies have shown that kids that live on farms have the lowest asthma rate of all. I have to admit that I am biased by personal anecdotal evidence ( I grew up on a farm and no one I knew had asthma, only one kid in my school had it as far as I know, but these days every kid seems to have it).
posted by 445supermag at 8:08 AM on May 2, 2005

Don't forget to make time to spend together, sans child.
posted by cass at 8:08 AM on May 2, 2005

Oh and we both felt that making informed decisions is the way to go, and while I totally agree with bondcliff that your gut is very reliable, inform your gut to make the best choices. If I were to suggest two books only, I would really, super-extra highly recommend these two:

What’s Going on in There – Slightly dumbed down book of neurological development. Helps to set realistic expectations for your child’s behavior, and understand why they do what they do sometimes.

Penelope Leach’s tome – We love this one because we find Penelope to be reasonable. She suggests wonderful approaches, relieves anxiety over behaviors, etc. We came to appreciate Penelope’s advice and information.

Also, for my money, avoid the "What to Expect" series. Too little information, and too cutsied up for my taste.
posted by Richat at 8:08 AM on May 2, 2005

Smile at her a lot. She'll return the favor.
posted by blasdelf at 8:14 AM on May 2, 2005

Look after yourself too. A happy mom and dad are key ingredients for a happy child. Hence, I would also say, daycare is fine - most kids love it and it helps them with their social skills. Keep your life and add hers to it.

Pass her around early and often, and take her to parties and stuff. Get her used to a social scene early and she will cramp your style less later.

The greatest advice I got was the only advice my mother spontaneously offered: don't get in the habit of saying "no" unless it really matters. Learn early not to sweat the little stuff. Save "no" for things that really matter.

Don't make meals a battleground. No child ever starved itself to death.

Enjoy enjoy enjoy and while she is likely to be the best documented child ever, make sure you keep a diary, keep lots of her art and writing and real tangible things, write down every week what her new words are. Those documents are a source of constant joy for you both later, and for her eventually.

Oh, and if possible, have another.
posted by Rumple at 8:17 AM on May 2, 2005

Question Everything you are told and do whats best for your family.

Take any help from friends and family as much as possible.

Develope a network of new parent friends. Being with people who have children makes taking care of your own children easier.

Usually they will bring their children with them so you'll have someone to help occupy your child. This also has the benefit of helping your child develop social skills.

If their children are a year or more older than yours then they will have a lot of advice that will still probably be current.
posted by Wong Fei-hung at 8:19 AM on May 2, 2005

crapulent, I've got to call you out on the daycare thing. Matt and Kay need to do what is best for them as a family. If that best thing is both of them working (and I have no idea if it is), then they don't need a guilt trip about day care. There are plenty of good ones out there; it takes work to find them, but they do exist. The only thing that the BS about "I don't want a stranger raising my child" does is make people feel like crap about doing what they need to do.

If one of you guys can stay home, that is great. Treasure it. If not, don't beat yourself up about it.

I would also avoid advice that starts with "always" or "never." Most advice just depends.
posted by SashaPT at 8:21 AM on May 2, 2005

Earplugs. (I'm not trying to be snarky, they helped me get through the first year with a little sleep).
posted by adampsyche at 8:21 AM on May 2, 2005

The first month or so will probably be the hardest month of your life. Once you get through it it gets easier, or perhaps you just adapt, but you'll be fine.

oh thank you for this hopeful bit of news! we're first time parents 2 days from the end of week three with our new daughter... what a blur these days have been.

thanks all for fine advice.

i will have my wife read this... when she wakes up...
posted by RockyChrysler at 8:22 AM on May 2, 2005

I second the scheduling. This has worked *wonderfully* for my two (4 and 9mo). There is a book that outlines all of this: On Becoming Babywise. There are plenty of folks who like to show any inconsistencies, but the general ideas worked great for us.

Turn off the TV... that is good too. Too much stimulation can make a baby's life difficult.

Sleep. For the first couple of weeks, baby will sleep, wake up to eat, be awake and aware for 10 mintues, then sleep again. This is normal and healthy.

Keep a diaper bag packed and ready to go. When you get home, refill the consumed supplies--when you know what has been consumed. Make a list of what needs to be in the bag, print it on a 3x5 and laminate. Keep that inside the bag.

And last, find someone who has been through this before. The purpose hear is for them to tell you when not to worry, and when to see a dr.
posted by kc0dxh at 8:24 AM on May 2, 2005

RockyChrysler, I seriously thought I was going to die two weeks in. hang in there. It just keeps getting more and more fun.
posted by bondcliff at 8:38 AM on May 2, 2005

My wife just left for a doctor's appointment (leaving me with a 5 year, 2 year and 4 month old), so this reminds me: don't make a big deal about coming or going, if you don't act like its a big deal, there is a lower chance of a fit being thrown.
Speaking of fits, kids can and will amuse themselves. I remember my daughter at 18 months throwing a fit because I turned off the TV after Sesame Street. I was almost at the point of turning it back on, when I noticed that she had went in her room and was quietly playing with a toy.
The best way to make a kid happy is to just pay some attention to her. No need for toys or a disney video, just a tickle game or "I'm gonna get your toes!" will distract a kid from the worst fit or mood.
Oh, and the "happiest baby on the block" stuff does work for newborns. If you don't want to shell out for the video or book, it consists of quieting newborns with a simulation of the womb: swaddling, shushing (loudly, right in the ear), swaying, laying the baby on its side (but not for sleeping, on the back is recommended to reduce the chance of sids) and stroking. Its like a carnival trick to see the doctor in the video do it to screaming babies and make them quiet immediately (plus, it's amusing to see a screaming baby instantly stop and get this shocked look on its face, like "what hell is this guy doing?").
posted by 445supermag at 8:46 AM on May 2, 2005

crapulent, I've got to call you out on the looney, tin-foil hat link from Aubrey about personal products ingredients. Even if a rare few individuals might be sensitive to some of these ingredients, most will not. All natural is not always better, and many people are sensitive or allergic to things natural. We are not talking pesticides and such here. That list reeks of marketing rather than science. *end of my rant*

I would also avoid advice that starts with "always" or "never." Most advice just depends.
Now that is fine advice.
posted by caddis at 8:47 AM on May 2, 2005

RockyChrysler -- there is really commonly a sweet spot from age one month to about 7 or 8 months when you know the ropes, the baby is a lot of fun and changing rapidly, and learning, and sleeping reasonably well.

And then they learn to move around. [insert Jaws theme].
posted by Rumple at 8:48 AM on May 2, 2005

Try to enjoy as much as possible this time that goes by at super sonic speed. My first baby will start driving this summer. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.
The Babywise books are fine for people who would lose their mind with no schedule. I, however, would have lost my mind if I knew I had to be at home everyday at 10 AM for a morning nap. I would have died with a schedule. My four kids slept and ate as needed and they are all very flexible kids.
Burn "What to Expect..." They have produced so many stressed out moms. None of this stuff really matters in the long run. The sickest kids I know are the kids that are the most sheltered. Let them see the world (They will be fine.)
They can sleep on their stomach, drink milk earlier than the doctor said, etc. The Pediatric Assn. is not always right.
I recommend "The Mother's Almanac." A very relaxed tome by mothers of multiple children.
posted by davenportmom at 8:59 AM on May 2, 2005

Sleep is KEY

Here's the book my wife swears by:

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

Thumbs down on Babywise, thumbs up on Baby Whisperer
posted by jacobsee at 9:32 AM on May 2, 2005

Seconding the Mother's Almanac - really a great book.

Sleep when the baby sleeps. That is the first thing. After 6 weeks things will start to normalize, but those first 6 weeks will be hellish; that's okay. It's normal. Relax. Look around at all the people in the world - they were all babies once and they survived. Babies are tougher than you think.

A rocking chair is worth its weight in gold right now.

Love is the most vital thing. You don't need expensive baby stuff. Thrift stores are your friend.

Don't start with solid food until the baby grabs for it; don't turn mealtimes into a battle and you'll have done a lot. Pick your battles wisely.

Every so often when the kid (s) get bigger, take an all family mental health day on the spur of the moment. No work, no school - the zoo! Or a boat trip! This is what my kids remember most fondly.

As a nursing mom I listened to my Irish mother-in-law: sit down in the evening with a Guinness and nurse the baby. It's good for your milk & it helps the baby sleep. Okay, flame away - I did it with both my kids and they suffered no ill effects, but it worked wonders for my mood & my marriage. ;-)
posted by mygothlaundry at 9:35 AM on May 2, 2005

sit down in the evening with a Guinness and nurse the baby

heh, at first i thought you meant nurse the baby with the Guiness. that I would not recommend. but my wife does enjoy the occasional beer while nursing..relaxing is good.

And our pediatrician recommended an occasional glass of red wine with bubble bath to help relax during pregnancy.
posted by jacobsee at 9:44 AM on May 2, 2005

Sign language has been a fabulous tool for our daughter who has special needs. I can only imagine what it's like for a child without. We used Signing Time to educate ourselves and our daughter and I can't lavish enough praise on it.

Wash your hands. A lot.

Croup is one of the scariest sounding things you will hear from your young child, especially when it wakes you up at 3:00 AM. Cold air will ameliorate it. If you drive to the hospital, drive with the windows down.

The process of bootstrapping a baby into a human being is fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable. Don't forget to enjoy it.

Teach your baby to sign/say thank you and please early on. It's absolutely precious and will pay off later.

Hug and kiss often and she will learn to hug and kiss too.

Sometimes you can predict the time between your newborn/infant's last meal and her next poop. A loose diaper and some timing with Aunt Hortense gives you some entertaining passive-aggressive payback. What?
posted by plinth at 9:53 AM on May 2, 2005

Sorry more things keep popping up.
Teach your kids empathy, for their own sake and society's. I think alot of americans think empathy is the opposite of toughness, but its not really true. Empathy is most useful in tough situations and it does not interfere with logical thought. Monstrous adults grow up from kids who torture animals. My daughter loves all animals with an obsession, but has no problem with reality: she has always been ok with the violence of nature (she loves wildlife shows). Don't worry about "confusing" kids by exposing them to the darker side of life, I have found kids to be compatible with seemingly opposing ideas: my daughter loves deer, has a plush deer and loves watching "Bambi", but on the other hand she loves to eat venison.
posted by 445supermag at 10:02 AM on May 2, 2005

SEVERAL glasses of wine, now that you can Kay! (after some time . . .of course)
posted by punkbitch at 10:06 AM on May 2, 2005

Wow, giving advice sure is fun!

It will be hard in ways you didn't expect and couldn't imagine. There will be unexpected joys. Keep your marriage strong and loving, pay attention, do your best, and enjoy your new family. You're going to be great at this!
posted by theora55 at 10:19 AM on May 2, 2005

What I wish I'd known then that I've figured out 18 years down the road: breast feeding is nice, but not essential (and I was a member of La Leche league for three years). It won't kill your kids to watch TV, eat some junk food, miss a bath, or any of the similar things that I was convinced I needed to control in order to be a good parent. In the big picture, what matters is delighting in your child; creating, as much as possible, a relaxed household where kids can explore and learn to be self-sufficient, and not have to overly concern themselves with meeting parental agendas of 'doing the most for your kid'. If your kid wants to skip Little League to play with a bucket of dirt in the yard, this really isn't a big deal.

Caveat: the idea of a 'relaxed household' doesn't preclude, obviously, normal standards of behaviour and consideration of others; and I second, third, and fourth the suggestions regarding regular schedules. Kids love them. They also love gold stars, stickers, and bonus points leading to rewards. Make sure the house if full of books, too, and that they know how to use google.

Best wishes, and welcome to the great adventure. You'll do just fine.
posted by jokeefe at 10:25 AM on May 2, 2005 [1 favorite]

Sleep when the baby sleeps. Don't try to clean or cook or do anything else then.

On that note, take people's help on cleaning. Ask people to bring you dinner. Focus on just the three of you for now. You don't need a babysitter unless you're going completely stir crazy.

If you're breast feeding, get a good sling. Not a padded one, a nice cloth one and have someone show you how to use it that has used one before. (The video is less than useful compared to a pal from Le Leche.) I was able to go everywhere with a big shirt and a sling. People didn't even notice I was carrying a baby half the time. (I could also do work and clean the car while breastfeeding. I love slings.)

The difference between a cheap breast pump and a nice breast pump is miraculous. The investment is worth it, especially if you plan on going back to work in the first year or having more kids eventually.

Follow your protective instincts. Don't give a damn what anyone says or offers in the way of advice if it seems weird or wrong.

Don't worry about "spoiling" the kid with attention in the middle of the night for the first 6 weeks. Perhaps even until 3 months. Once 3 months hits, the world gets much, much easier.

Childproofing is an ongoing activity that depends solely on what your kid is capable of getting into, not a one-off thing. Key an eye open and prepare to move, lock and hide everything.

Remember this may be the hardest six weeks of your life. It's like boot camp. Once you get through this everything, I mean everything, is easier.

posted by Gucky at 10:36 AM on May 2, 2005

Books to ignore: Babywise. (The method has been linked to failure to thrive.) Books to take with a very, very large grain of salt: "What to Expect" series, and any of the Sears series. Not everything in them is crap, but they are both out to guilt-trip you. Use a Unitarian approach to these: take what makes sense to you, leave the rest.

Books I recommend: The Baby Owner's Manual by Borgenicht. Not the most comprehensive, but presentation is cute and there are no guilt trips. Another no frills, no-guilt book: The New Basics.

From personal experience (I've got two boys, 15 and 1): if someone is a stay-at-home parent, get her used to a babysitter at an early age. I didn't with my younger son, and now we are stuck not going anywhere without him until his separation anxiety goes away. If he knows I've left, he will scream the entire time.

My basic philosophy is: tell the guilt-trippers to shove it. Any reasonably smart person can figure out what's best for their family by a little conscientious application of common sense. (I was cursed with the judgmental sister-in-law from hell whose sole goal in life seems to be to criticize how everyone else raises their kids, tell them what she does and why she thinks she's the perfect mother because of it. Grr x infinity.)

One recent tidbit I've learned: If a child suffers a cut lip (from a fall or such) and the cut crosses the "vermilion border" (the line that separates the lip from the rest of the face), you definitely need to go to the doctor and have it looked at. (My husband thought he would be okay without stitches, I insisted upon the baby being looked at, and the doctor backed me up-- his lip would have healed unattractively without stitches.) After-hours pediatric clinics are great in those circumstances-- our local Children's Hospital runs them in different places around the metro area.

And finally, Congratulations!
posted by Shoeburyness at 10:40 AM on May 2, 2005 [2 favorites]

Everyone has given good advice, but I'd just like to add: don't worry too much. Most of the time, just do what comes naturally. Books are cool and stuff but no one's experiences will be quite the same as yours. Your instincts will serve you well, in most cases and if there are things you and the baby are feeling/doing that are really puzzling, talk to your doctor and pediatrician. Congratulations and much joy - you have now entered the blessed and inexplicable domain of being Parents!
posted by Lynsey at 10:40 AM on May 2, 2005

at first i thought you meant nurse the baby with the Guiness

Well, some people do refer to Guinness as "mother's milk."
posted by caddis at 10:53 AM on May 2, 2005

Lots of reefer. (make sure to ask for the 'daddy discount')
posted by victors at 11:26 AM on May 2, 2005

posted by jacobsee at 11:31 AM on May 2, 2005

Relax, relax, relax. Take time for mum and dad. "Things" come and go, time spent with your child is priceless.
posted by deborah at 2:53 PM on May 2, 2005

When you don't know what to do, especially with a newborn: let your instincts take over. You have millennia of detailed, effective baby-care techniques programmed into your brain-stem.

Also: learn to swaddle your infant (the "Happiest Baby on the Block" method). We have a seven-week-old, and when he's dry, fed and crying anyway, tight swaddling almost always calms him right down within a minute or two.
posted by 88robots at 3:12 PM on May 2, 2005

A few things that got me through the first year of motherhood...

Reminding myself that I didn't have to be perfect -- and that I just had to be a good enough mother for my baby.

Scheduling sleep-in mornings, when I could sleep and my husband took the baby.

Accepting that my house was not going to be up to its usual level of cleanliness (such as it is).

Doing whatever we had to do to make life easier for the whole family, whether that was co-sleeping, 2 a.m. breastfeeding sessions, or just hiding in the shower as a baby break.

Good luck, Matt and Kay -- and welcome, Fiona!
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:31 PM on May 2, 2005

Avoid baby talk. Talk to your child in whole sentences. From the very beginning.
posted by yclipse at 5:51 PM on May 2, 2005

Sleep is KEY

Don't delay, Ferber today. Well maybe 90 days from today, but the point is all the other methods may sound nicer, but ferber just plain works.

Oh, and it's cheesey and all, but remind yourself to cherish every moment. It'll seem impossible to remember how blessed you are when you're washing puke outta your hair at 4am, but when Fiona is a teen and washing her own puke outta her hair, you'll wish she was 6 days again. Or something.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 10:28 AM on May 3, 2005

Each baby comes out of the womb with a personality. You can't change it, but only accept it.

Your second child will be easier. By that time, you'll realize that they're tough. They won't die if they fall down, or take a sip of your martini, or even break a bone. The hardest thing, and the most essential, is to let them find out things for themselves and get on with their lives.
posted by KRS at 10:54 AM on May 3, 2005

My co-worker began toilet training her new baby maybe one month after he was born and now it's the most insane thing to see that the little guy will literally go on command when she holds him over the pottie. If you don't want to use a lot of diapers, if you have the time and inclination to attune yourself to your child's rhythms and if you don't mind training him/her like a Conrad Lorenz duck, this is something worth checking out! (The link above contains a lot of information on this subject including her discovery of this idea, where it comes from and other thoughts on the topic from the people who regularly read her blog.)
posted by Jaybo at 4:22 PM on May 3, 2005

« Older directions in chicago   |   How can a band collectively manage their money? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.