Baby on The Way - Any Advice?

Title says it all, really. First baby due in October. We're very excited, but haven't yet gone to buy all the gear needed and haven't read all the baby books yet.

Appreciate any tips you might have for a soon-to-be parent - whether it's advice on products/brands/stores to look for when buying gear, or just more general advice.

Thanks!

Comments

  • +43 votes

    My advice is don't spend too much on baby clothes. It's easy to get carried away and buy expensive brands, and tonnes of clothing; but the truth is they grow out of them so quickly! They may only wear a top or jumpsuit a couple of times before it's too tight. We buy our baby clothes from Gumtree, of course only if they are in excellent condition - which they mostly are because they out grow them so fast and barely wear them! We then re-sell them for the same price we paid :P

    Good luck and enjoy!

    • +6 votes

      Good advice. I would also suggest looking for second hand nursery furniture such as a cot, change table, drawers, bookshelf, etc. Some brands like Boori can be pricey and by the time you're done with them will end up scratched, stained, dented and full of teeth marks.

      Save that cash to spend on food, nappies, formula, wipes, etc.

      Edit: oops, didnt see the post below about the same thing.

      • +4 votes

        Thanks @subywagon and @lobbing - useful advice! I hadn't ever thought about the Gumtree option for clothes.

        • +5 votes

          your local buy & sell group on facebook is generally a great place as well

        • +4 votes

          Don't be afraid to scope out friends and family for baby clothes. A lot of people have stuff they don't want to throw out, but will be happy to pass on to someone with a baby on the way. Also, when you buy new clothes, buy out of season; summer clothes at the end of summer and winter clothes at the end of winter.

      • +3 votes

        Re: change table, some kind of splash guard is also advisable.
        Don't underestimate what comes out of the business end when the nappy is off or how far it might project.

        • +4 votes

          I agree and urine on carpet will bleach it. If you have a boy and the (profanity) is erect he is about to pee, I wish my husband had told me this right away.

        •  

          Haha so true. Didn't have a measuring tape on hand but the gush of produce would have made world records as it almost hit the wall across the hallway. Couple of days after the rotavirus shot. Number twos.

        •  

          @Yola: profanity, haha

        •  

          @decr:
          One learns to keep the "nappy off" time to a bare minimum after a gushing #2, that's for sure.

        •  

          We used to put the new nappy under the old wet nappy to minimise "nappy off" time.

        • -1 vote

          @cryptos: OzBargain censors it automatically.

    • +1 vote

      It comes a bit later, but this applies very heavily to shoes as well.

      My partner and I were shopping for shoes in the Doncaster Mall and went to a decent shoe shop for our son's first pair of shoes. The salesman, who was great, said don't bother getting expensive shoes for babies. They only last 3 months or so anyway so go to Big W or Target. We did and got a good pair for ~$20. He's outgrown them in 3 months….

      • +1 vote

        K-mart and Best and Less for clothes!

    • +2 votes

      True … KMART is the way to go.

      •  

        get the bibs from bigw, the velcro is smooth at the back and cheap as well

    •  

      Garage sales for clothes! So many people selling brand new clothes with tags, because kids grow out of them before they've worn everything.

  • +64 votes

    PREPARATION FOR PARENTHOOD

    Preparation for parenthood is not just a matter of reading books and decorating the nursery. Here are 12 simple tests for expectant parents to take to prepare themselves for the real-life experience of being a mother or father.

    1. Women: to prepare for maternity, put on a dressing gown and stick a beanbag down the front. Leave it there for 9 months. After 9 months, take out 10% of the beans. Men: to prepare for paternity, go to the local pharmacy, tip the contents of your wallet on the counter, and tell the pharmacist to help himself. Then go to the supermarket. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office. Go home. Pick up the paper. Read it for the last time.

    2. Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who are already parents and berate them about their methods of discipline, lack of patience, appallingly low tolerance levels, and how they have allowed their children to run riot. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child's sleeping habits, toilet training, table manners and overall behavior. Enjoy it - it'll be the last time in your life that you will have all the answers.

    3. To discover how the nights will feel, walk around the living room from 5pm to 10pm carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 lbs. At 10pm put the bag down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep. Get up at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag, till 1am. Put the alarm on for 3am. As you can't get back to sleep get up at 2am and make a drink. Go to bed at 2.45am. Get up again at 3am when the alarm goes off. Sing songs in the dark until 4am. Put the alarm on for 5am. Get up. Make breakfast. Keep this up for 5 years. Look cheerful.

    4. Can you stand the mess children make? To find out, first smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains. Hide a fish stick behind the stereo and leave it there all summer. Stick your fingers in the flower beds then rub them on the clean walls. Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?

    5. Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems: first buy an octopus and a string bag. Attempt to put the octopus into the string bag so that none of the arms hang out. Time allowed for this - all morning.

    6. Take an egg carton. Using a pair of scissors and a pot of paint turn it into an alligator. Now take a toilet paper tube. Using only scotch tape and a piece of foil, turn it into a Christmas cracker. Last, take a milk container, a Ping-Pong ball, and an empty packet of Coco Puffs and make an exact replica of the Eiffel Tower. Congratulations. You have just qualified for a place on the playgroup committee.

    7. Forget the MX5 and buy a Camry. And don't think you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don't look like that. Buy a chocolate ice cream bar and put it in the glove compartment. Leave it there. Get a coin. Stick it in the CD player. Take a family-size packet of chocolate cookies. Mash them down the back seats. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car. There. Perfect.

    8. Get ready to go out. Wait outside the toilet for half an hour. Go out the front door. Come in again. Go out. Come back in. Go out again. Walk down the front path. Walk back up it. Walk down it again. Walk very slowly down the road for 5 minutes. Stop to inspect minutely every cigarette end, piece of used chewing gum, dirty tissue and dead insect along the way. Retrace your steps. Scream that you've had as much as you can stand, until the neighbours come out and stare at you. Give up and go back into the house. You are now just about ready to try taking a small child for a walk.

    9. Always repeat everything you say at least five times.

    10. Go to your local supermarket. Take with you the nearest thing you can find to a preschool child - a fully grown goat is excellent. If you intend to have more than one child, take more than one goat. Buy your week's groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goats eat or destroy. Until you can easily accomplish this do not even contemplate having children.

    11. Hollow out a melon. Make a small hole in the side. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side. Now get a bowl of soggy oatmeal and attempt to spoon it into the swaying melon by pretending to be an airplane. Continue until half the oatmeal is gone. Tip the rest into your lap, making sure that a lot of it falls on the floor. You are now ready to feed a 12-month old baby.

    12. Learn the names of every character from Postman Pat, Fireman Sam and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. When you find yourself singing "Postman Pat" at work, you finally qualify as a parent!

    • -8 votes

      Wow - you did a copy paste from a google search … your contribution is outstanding.
      http://www.mountainwings.com/past/3064.htm

      • +9 votes

        you google searched something that was obviously going to be all over the internet? wow.

        • -9 votes

          OP wanted advice from the experiences of the OzBargain community.
          If they wanted a wall of text from a copy paste via google I'm sure they would have just googled for advice.

        • +20 votes

          @cypher67: 13. Sense of humour…get one! ;)

        • +3 votes

          I'm sure they would have just googled for advice.

          The amount of forum post crying for help, if only they had bothered to do a simple Googling, their problem would've been solved in minutes. But apparently Googling is either too hard or is beneath them, hence want others to do their homework.

          Some post a thread asking a question, then google, instead of the other way around. Facepalm.

        • +9 votes

          @Ughhh:
          I know how to Google, and did before I posted on the forum. I just wanted the opinions of this fantastic community along with the facts that Google had to offer. :-)

        • +1 vote

          @sparkanum:

          I should've noted in my previous comment, that my comment wasn't directed at you or this post, but rather the general forums. Threads like "Has anyone heard of Kogan/well known online company?"

        •  

          @Ughhh:
          Hahaha. Good example.

        • +1 vote

          @cypher67: You obviously missed the 'MX5/Camry' additions.

    • +11 votes

      I laughed at the goats in the supermarket bit.

    •  

      Ah man voted plus for the humour before realising it has been plagiarised.

      • +2 votes

        There's nothing new under the sun..

  • +8 votes

    You don't need half the stuff they try and flog you in the baby stores. Dont buy 2 many clothes, we still have clothes with tags on them because they grew so quickly they didnt even get a chance. Avoid all the gimmicks like cradles to keep your baby on their backs or womb sound simulators, just get a good bottle of scotch & kick on.

    Buy as much as you can second hand, cots, prams, baby seats. Maybe buy a new mattress just for a hygiene perspective. So many people out there with high end stuff sell it for a steal because its just taking up space. We are in the process of selling our baby stuff and the good quality Cot we paid $900 for has been on Gumtree for 3 months for $300, refresh it weekly, people dont even make an offer. Even comes with all the sheets and everything, A1 condition.

    Practice having no spare time, if you're ever sitting at home and think, hmmm what should I do today? or I'm bored? Maybe I'll go see a movie?
    Dunk your head in a bucket of ice water. Repeat

    •  

      Thanks for the tips! Although I might just relish my free time rather than ice watering it away while I still have it… :)

      •  

        Gumtree/eBay/gifts/hand me downs.

        Can find everythingv sometimes brand new. Generally mums will tell you truthfully the condition of things since they know what is like to have a lil one.

        Then be prepared to pass on our resell everything as they grow so quick!!!

  • +1 vote

    Toys r us have a checklist, so you can see the products you may want/need.

    If you have the effort, please update here on the bargains you get ;)

    Edit: Also, if you have a friend/family that has a choice account, you'll get some more info in things like prams etc.

    • +1 vote

      I love a good checklist… will check this out later. Thanks!

      • +3 votes

        That checklist has too much stuff on it.

        I looked around for them when I had a kid and found almost every one had too much stuff as well.

        The shops will remain open after you have had a kid! It can be much easier to buy things as you need them or when they are recommended by mother's groups and stuff. Also don't buy any toys initially - you'll get heaps as presents.

        You need:

        Some clothes
        Somewhere for the kid to sleep (could be co-sleeping or whatever) but probably a crib and sleeping bags.
        A pram.
        A car seat.

        You'll have to work out what you're doing for food as well.

        My kid came early and I wound up with one day to race around and get everything that was needed initially. That was just a crib and a few sheets and some clothes and a few random things I thought we'd need. Even then I got stuff we didn't use.

  • +2 votes

    You remind me of myself 2 years ago. I took my preggy wife to Baby expo and we had absolutely no clue what we needed. Admittedly this is the list that I THINK you need:

    • Nappies
    • Clothes for winter and summer (ask friends and family before going out and buy new, if you have to buy new, buy from kmart)
    • Cleaning solution
    • Breast milk pump
    • Breast milk storage
    • A cot (pillow and blankets shouldn't be introduced until 6 months old i believe)
    • Milk bottle and 1 box of formular (breastmilk is best but this is a alternative)
    • Lots of cuddle from both of you

    Congrats :D

    • +1 vote

      Agreed.
      You can get a second hand cot from gumtree or ebay.

      Breast milk pump is expensive, and not everyone needed. If she need it, get a good one.
      I hihgly recommend Breastfeeding association, you can borrow breast pump from there

      •  

        Yeah, no point buying one if you'll never need it.

      •  

        Also may be able to borrow breast pump from hospital depending on where you are.

        Definitely recommend Australian breastfeeding association for the support they provide.

      •  

        Another way to get a second hand newish cot. Head to the baby expo ask the exhibitors if they're selling the demo model at the end of the show for cheap. We picked up ours for half the price for 3 day old demo cot.

    • +1 vote

      Funny you mention that, I just sent my wife a link to the free baby expo tickets… haha. Hopefully I can get away with not going to that wife your list above.

      Thanks for the tips!

    • +2 votes

      Nappies: your choice for disposable or cloth or whatever the latest reusable version is. We started with reusable, but kids one was very talented with the rear end and we soon discovered that the disposable ones were better.

      Which ever you choose buy some cloth nappies - they are awesome at cleaning up 'stuff', useful as protective cloths over the shoulder etc. Our youngest is now 3.5 and the cloth nappies still get a regular workout cleaning 'stuff' up.

    • +2 votes

      Being a parent to an 8 month hold, here are my 10 cents :P

      1) Big tub & small tub(for nappy bag) of Sudo cream or equivalent. Will last a long time.
      2) Baby oil , Baby powder & Tear free soap.
      3) Lots of wash cloths
      4) If your wife wants to go for a breast pump, go for an electric one. Hand pumps are very tiring and frustrating. FYI, breast pumps might be useful only for the first 4 months or so, but are a boon!
      5) Baby meds like baby panadol, nurofen etc.
      6) On clothes I agree with everyone, don't buy lots upfront and you would be getting many as gifts anyways. Try to buy different sizes if you get a good deal.
      7) For cots definitely look at gumtree as new onces can be pricey.
      8) Buy a set of milk bottles that you really like, and in different sizes, with different nipples. When babies are younger(duh!), the flow rate in the bottle is usually slower then when they are a bit older(4 mo+)
      9) Try and go to your local child centre, they are very supportive in the initial few weeks.
      10) Pram/car seat, try it out in your actual car, if it fits well and is easy to carry.

      Good luck!!!

      • +1 vote

        Just in relation to point 2). We do not use any soap, shampoo, powders at all.

        Bathe bub in plain water (maybe add salt/Epsom salts), then massage with cold pressed coconut/almond/olive oil with a drop of lavender oil for the scent.

        We also clean bub after nappy change with wet cotton wool and use a dab of oil on the bum.

        No nappy rashes and a happy clean bubby!

        •  

          Why cold pressed?

          I remember looking for the difference the last time someone tried to spruik the juices at me, but couldn't find any studies supporting a significant health improvement to offset the price. Presumably that's similar if you're using it as a rub? Or is there something I'm missing?

        •  

          @sparkanum: i should probably say just good quality version of those oils. They just tend to be cold pressed.

        • +1 vote

          Rolled oats tied up in a bit of muslin cloth are a great baby wash, you soak the bag and wash them with the milky stuff, it is good for ecezma too. Some expensive baby company sells neat little bags for about $7 for 3, but you can make heaps for that price yourself.

      •  

        Thanks!

        Just one question, when you say child centre, do you mean child care? Or is this a hospital/GP service?

    •  

      We often recommend hiring a breast pump. A lot of pharmacies have them. Much cheaper solution

  • +9 votes

    You're going to get a huge amount of advice, some wanted and most unwanted.

    What works for others may not always work for you.

    You need to look at many options and then figure out which one will work for you.

  • +44 votes

    First up, enjoy some sleep ins, do a little travel like weekends away, go out for some nice meals, attend some events that finish late at night.
    Having a kid doesn't stop these things, but they become harder.
    Start asking friends and family if they have any baby stuff their own kids have outgrown. Our kids all grew up in a cot that was a hand me down from a friend, and it has been passed on to other family for another couple of kids.
    Similarly with other stuff, especially stuff needed for the first year (bassinets, car capsules, feeding equipment like breast pumps, sterilisers, small clothes) can be all very expensive and receive almost no wear as the kid outgrows them before they wear out.

    You might want to consider what sort of birth you are hoping to have. Some women feel very strongly they want to deliver their baby naturally, others want a c-section. If you want the first, getting a private obstetrician will greatly decrease your chances (get a doula or private mid-wife to up them) if you want the second, a private hospital and OB will give you the best shot. In either case, it is best to plan this out now, as some services fill up.

    Consider how you will look after the baby for the next few years. Are you and your partner planning on working less? Do you have friends/family to help? Or do you need day care? Friends tell me the day care situation in Sydney has become absurd, and you need to plan well ahead. I got to spend 9 months at home being a house husband when my first child was about 1yro. It was a fantastic opportunity, and if both parents have the opportunity for some parental leave I urge them both to take it.

    Give some thought to how you want others to treat your child. We found our kids were showered with gifts by extended family to the point they no longer appreciated them, and it was a conspicuous orgy of waste. We set up an agreement with uncles/aunts/grandparents to do a gift draw at Xmas for all the kids so they each got a nice big present, rather than dozens of $20 pieces of plastic. We also found some relatives strongly projected gender roles on our kids. We talked to them directly about this, as we wanted our girls to be able to wear clothes suitable to climb a tree, not frilly dresses, and our boys to have creative toys rather lots of guns.

    Now is also a good time to revisit your life goals. In our case, we decided that we would rather have two kids share a room so we could have annual holidays and a smaller mortgage, that old cars and a move to a much less costly housing market were worth it so one parent could stay at home with very young kids, and that we understood we would be parents of young kids for quite a while if we had a big family, rather than getting our individual lives back sooner if we had just a single child or two close together.

    Finally, many, many people will offer you unsolicited advice and share their opinions. Even more so after the baby is born and you enter the 'baby olympics' as you get concerned that little Tarquin hasn't taken a step at 9 months or whatever milestone is lagging. Remember that you know your child best and you will almost certainly know if there is anything to worry about. All progress charts are averages - somebody has to be above and some below to make an average, and getting worried and stressed isn't going to help. So ignore any advice you don't like (even mine!)

    Best of luck, and enjoy this excellent experience.

    • +4 votes

      Excellently written. I wish I could give more than 1 +ve vote for these useful tips. Being a father of 2 kids, I agree with whatever mskeggs has written.

      Do not get worried about all the negative points and hard work people are trying to portray. After all, it was your own choice to have a baby at this time in your life so you both should be ready to accept the change in your life-style. The smiles, cuddles and sense of happiness you get when you see your child easily makes up for everything else :)

      And whatever advise you find on the net/from friends/relatives, is just that. An advise. Each child behaves differently to the others (they are not toys which work on the same manual) so do not stress if your child isn't behaving according to the manual.

      Lastly, enjoy being a parent and don't think too much about it. It will all come naturally to you once you have your little angel in your arms.

    • +1 vote

      what they said ^ … and get a good vaccumm and kiss goodbye to your houseplants.

    • +2 votes

      Thanks so much! Very comprehensive!

      We were lucky enough to have been able to travel and dine over the last few years, so are at the stage where that being harder isn't a problem. We were also unlucky enough to have lost a prior pregnancy - so have had a lot of time to really think through what we want and talk about how we want to handle time off, raising them, financials / long term goals, private OBs and the birth, etc.

      I do really like the idea of telling family not to buy lots of nonsense for them, and being clear about our thoughts on that stuff. We do it for ourselves (i.e. no gifts / clutter) but had never considered it for the future sparkanum-jr.

      Thanks again!

    •  

      Honestly, it sounds horrible. I'm 33 and on the verge of this decision.

  • +1 vote

    My advice; tune out the unsolicited advise you will receive by every person you meet, and trust your own instincts. Every person will love telling you how brilliant or terrible having children is, and how XYZ is the only way the do ABC. Ignore it all, and do what works for you and your baby and partner.

    Enjoy it (as much as you can)

    • +2 votes

      My advice; tune out the unsolicited advise you will receive by every person you meet, and trust your own instincts.

      I wouldn't exactly say 'tune it out', rather 'take it under advisement'. Absolutely trust your own instincts; however, there will be times when you think back to a bit of advice somebody has given you & think oh yeah, that might just work here, it's what I probably would have tried anyway…sometimes that little bit of corroboration is nice.

    •  

      The best advice I ever got on advice, was to pick it all up, sort the sh#t from the clay, throw the sh*t away.

  • +16 votes

    If you're the dad, go buy the 'Being Dad' DVDs, watch 'What to Expect When You're Expecting'… I think that's the main things. The dad sections are never really covered in baby books, so reading them is pointless for you!
    I know you're probably asking for purchasing advice, but Dads never really get the proper advice. We're there in the shadows, while the Mum goes through all the hard work!

    Pregnancy:

    • Just be there for her. You can't predict the mood swings, don't even try!
    • Be there for the appointments and scans as much as you can.
    • Your day at work will never be as bad as her day. Don't even try to argue that, it's not worth it!
    • Try to keep the house tidy, meals cooked, it'll save you both some stress.
    • Realise that her arguing "you don't know what I'm going through" will be a common occurrence. Just gotta accept it!

    First Year:

    • Most likely, you won't bond with the baby as quick as she does. After all, she's felt it kick and squirm for months, and now breastfeeding, their bond is inseparable. Most Dads (and I'm generalising here) bond more when the baby starts to walk and talk, they feel they can do things. But everyone's different. Cuddling your baby to sleep is 1 of the best things, especially as a Dad because it doesn't happen as often as it does for the mum
    • Take the odd date night, your stress levels will thank you for it. If you don't, you stop being a couple, and just purely be parents. You need to be both.
    • Again, be there for the Mrs. Her hormones will be all over the place. Watch out for extreme depression, realise when it's happening and do what you can to let her have some time to herself.
    • You have to be comfortable enough with the baby to allow the Mum to get away from things alone. Whether that means she just does the shopping, or goes out for a coffee, she'll be thankful for even an hour to herself.

    Now as to what you might need:

    • Baby monitor - video monitor helps immensely, means you're not running in there at the slightest noise
    • Clothes - wait till after the baby shower to buy clothes! Chances are you'll get inundated with onesies! Check Target - very cheap baby clothes
    • Pram - If you can, this is something that is worth not skimping on! Quality brands will last you a few years, survive on different terrains (think going to the park and pushing on grass). We went Baby Jogger, and it's seen us through both daughters.
    • Bottles are a given
    • I'm sure there's more, but you'll work it out :)

    -Father of 2 daughters and 1 angel daughter.

    •  

      Do you have any stuff you're getting rid of (for Cash/beer/otherwise)?

      • +1 vote

        Not currently no sorry!

    •  

      +1 to the video monitor..

    • +1 vote

      Thanks for the tips.

      Depression is one item that I am concerned about which you've raised. Was that something you encountered personally? Or is there a resource you're aware of that was helpful in knowing the signs / dealing with the symptoms?

      Our hospital has an antenatal/post-natal mental health program for the Mum as a check in and to provide support, which I think is fantastic - but if there's anything else I should know that you know of please let me know.

      •  

        Witnessed it happen, unfortunately there was only so much I could do, being a single-income household. Had to try to talk to parents & in-laws to babysit etc to help out.
        Was probably harder the 2nd time around, as we had a 2.5yo running around the house that needed looking after as well.

        Not to put a dampener on things or anything, but 1 of the hardest times was bringing the eldest home the first time, out of hospital. She wouldn't settle, and (from memory) had diarrhea etc on the first night, so had to go to hospital to get her sorted. Was really daunting as parents to have that happen on the first day! So just be careful, some hospitals spit you out too soon, before you know what you're fully doing!

        •  

          Sorry to hear that, although hoping it's passed now?

          Was there any avenues for help re: the depression? Or was it a GP situation?

        •  

          @sparkanum:

          Yeah depression has passed now, still has moments when they're both being lil shits lol (4yo and 1.5yo)

          I think she did resort to some meds in the end to help out. But that's where I tried to do what I could, let her have a night off etc

      • +1 vote

        Look up placenta encapsulation. It may reduce post natal depression and help breast milk production.

        A lot of people swear by it. But I do not think it is scientifically proven.

      •  

        read up on books and info off the net. PND is quite common especially if it's difficult.

        i have 3 kids inc twins and the first year for me were the best years. I found it really easy because We were well prepared and with the twins it was even easier. I cant function on no sleep and that was what concerned me the most. My babies napped 2.5 hrs twice a day and slept 12 hrs overnight without a feed ftom abt 7 weeks. My husband was a SAhD was our first baby whilst doing his postgrad and he loved it..forever grateful for those wondetful early years and until now they are just awesome kids.

        Everytime we flew long haul with them from 6mths old.. people would tell us how well behaved they are… twin babies slept 11 hrs on 13 hr night flight.

        there are not many things i will recommend but my essentials are

        1. Gary Ezzos book 'On Becoming Babywise'
        2. Dr Brown's Anti colic bottle
        3. Avent breat pump. I didn't nurse at all because hubby wanted to be involved in feeding bubs.
        4. maclaren stroller. lightweight and you only need one stroller from birth to whenever you stop. many friends buy bugaboo nswap to maclaren at 1yo anyway.
        5. dont buy any bedding. all you need are grobags.
        6. a comfort toy or blanket n place near bub from 3 weeks old. it's a lifesaver. my kids still sleep with theirs now. oldest is 10yo. all mine got attached at around 10 weeks old. dont ever wash it and make sure you gave a spare.
    • +6 votes

      That sign off was beautiful- Sorry for your loss mate. Btw I'm not crying, I've just got something in both of my eyes.

      • +1 vote

        Yeah something I don't exactly talk about all the time, but something I wouldn't even wish on my worst enemy!

        She was born @ 23 weeks, survived for 22 days. Ripped us apart as a couple for months, managed to get back.

        • +4 votes

          Really sorry to hear that, I can't even begin to imagine what it was like for you both. Your daughters are blessed to have the Dad they do. Wish you all the best for the future mate.

        • +1 vote

          @4NTiNWOW4RRiOR:

          Naww thanks :)

    •  

      On the baby monitor part, we used a spare smartphone in the baby room for white noise and later also for lullabies. We then used Baby Monitor 3G (an app) to keep an eye on them when necessary. So unless you've got a massive house or the baby room will be far away from your bedroom/living, I wouldn't bother buying a dedicated baby monitor up front. See how you go without one first…

      •  

        I saw this last week and am super keen to try it. We have a small apartment so figured a monitor isn't something we'd necessarily need, but I still want to try it for the sheer nerdiness of it. So it works well?

        •  

          Does the job for me and as per the name, it also works on 3G/4G which is great when baby wants a sleep whilst visiting family/friends.

    • +2 votes

      Most likely, you won't bond with the baby as quick as she does. After all, she's felt it kick and squirm for months, and now breastfeeding, their bond is inseparable. Most Dads (and I'm generalising here) bond more when the baby starts to walk and talk, they feel they can do things.

      With all due respect, I disagree most strenuously with that. I really hate these kind of purely subjective gender based generalisations, they are at once emasculating & insulting to fathers. All they do is reinforce the current idiotic PC misandrist stereotypes that can also have an ongoing detrimental impact on the societal perception of males as carers.

      As a man, never underestimate your innate ability to bond with, empathise with, & feel love for your children or their ability to reciprocate from day one!!! It is by no means inferior in any way to that of a woman, despite what the suffragette community would have you believe.

      /rant.

      • +1 vote

        I know where you're coming from, and it wasn't so much about what Dads should do etc, more so about how many of them feel. Just a generalised comment that was meant to show that it's fine if there is no instant bond, as many Dads don't feel it straight away.

        But it's all good :)

      •  

        I think you'll find that the "suffragette" community (ie "feminists") would 100% agree with you there, there are many gender stereotypes that are insulting and damaging for fathers/men (eg "toxic masculinity") and this definitely falls in that category

  • +1 vote

    Be prepared to try different brands of products as not every brand matches every baby. Huggies nappies are useless for our 8month old boy.

    If you need to formula feed note that all formulas are made to specifications by law. There is no point buying the most expensive product just because of the brand name. We use nutriforme it is a gold product formula that you can purchase at coles for only $15. Hopefully you won't have to use formula anyway but the options are there.

    Lots of parents to be say they will never give dummies to their babies. You will want baby to use a dummy.

    Bassinets are great for the first few months, then transfer to cot when outgrown. We still don't use blankets or pillows. Pillows get introduced once they can be in a toddler bed. For now in winter he will get a grobag (sleeping bag) so no blankets. Summer he went into the cot with no coverings.

    Some newborns sleep loudly so don't feel guilty if you have to move the bassinet to just outside your bedroom door. It was probably the best thing we did. We have a monitor with music now he is in the cot this is great it gets him to sleep most the time (with dummy also).

    Have hospital bags packed at least 4weeks prior to due date. I started packing my bag with less than 3 weeks to go… My waters broke 2 days later so I was rushing around like crazy for 20minutes as I didn't have everything ready… Big opppps!

    They say not to use cot bumpers but after 6months we had to put an "air wrap bumper" on the cot so his legs and feet wouldn't get stuck. This also prevented dummies falling out. Many parents of babies on our August 2015 page also purchased this same "air wrap bumper"

    If you go onto sites such as huggies australia you can find forums etc that link you to these facebook pages. They came in very handy, you speak with first time parents to be or parents welcoming 2nd, 3rd etc child. They even have local capital city pages where They organized catchups and play dates before and after birth.

    Thats All I can think of for now.

    • +1 vote

      Thanks for the tips! I'll have to check out the air wrap bumper… that's a new one to me.

    •  

      What's the problem with Huggies for your 8 month old boy?

      I'd have said Huggies were the best for nappies. I'll happily pay extra dollars for far fewer leaks and the occasional longer nap.

      Kirkland (Costco) baby wipes are way better than huggies wipes, though (huggies are second best, and it's a long way down to everything else - you'll need to use twice as many wipes with the rest, and the baby will have peed on the floor in the meantime).

      •  

        They have always leaked, Babylove nappies fit him better but we do use huggies wipes. There is no costco here.

  •  

    As far as essentials go, you might find this interesting: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-22751415

    •  

      I saw this a few years ago… super interesting!

      I keep joking with my wife that we could keep our spare room free if we just make the balcony the baby's room.

  • +1 vote

    Start thinking of cool names, the current IT names that will only get cooler with time, Donald is a personal fave, Kanye is up there, maybe Malcolm, definitely Tara and then you can reminisce about it in years to come

    • +3 votes

      We've had 'Batman' locked in for a number of years now. It's timeless, so should be fine - although doesn't exactly bode well for our mortality being the parents.

      •  

        Seven, not six or eight but seven, get in before George Constanza does

        •  

          I hear someone already took Soda.

  • +3 votes

    All those jobs you've been putting off until you get time.. DO THEM NOW!
    Hot Tip for you.. if you think you have no time now, just wait until you have a little critter demanding your attention for 12 hours per day!
    Jobs I would normally have done myself over the course of a few weekends, I'm now paying trades to do, cause otherwise they'll never get done…

    •  

      Fortunately (?) I'm useless at home improvement, so I'm renting and get tradesmen to do anything remotely manly - so this won't be much of a problem.

      As a standard nerd most of my jobs around the house involve IT and coding, which happen in the middle of the night anyway. Should be a smooth transition. :-)

      •  

        Heh you wish… I lose my zen with the kids screaming around the house. Now they are older, their sleep is fairly reliable so the missus can raid in wow, and I can indulge my hobbies in relative peace. But working at home is hard.

        Oh, you should probably build up some man-skills.. Although it's not as bad as my parent's days (lego in the VCR anyone?), I've had to extract hair clips from my piano, re-attach doll legs, remove objects from the bathroom sink s-trap, and now I have to fix the kids room wall after they put stickers on it and pulled them off - along with half the paint.. You'll be able to save yourself some beer money, and your kids will think you're a hero who's able to fix anything.

        •  

          Haha, good point. I figure worst case I'll just get the tradesmen in when they're at school and say it was me. Dad cred restored.

          Although, that said, I think I can do all of the above so maybe I'm not as bad as I thought.

        •  

          @sparkanum: Heh, they are smarter than you realise and you'll get found out. And they will definitely want to help too…. Which is why I am procrastinating on the painting job.

  • +8 votes

    It's easy, don't worry too much they practically raise themselves.
    disclosure: not a parent but I've had cats before.

  • +4 votes

    Don't feel you/partner are the only people who can look after the baby. Accept help from trusted family and friends, even if you don't really need it. Others have different approaches, but the baby will be fine. It's good for you as parents to take care of yourselves, and socialization off baby is good too.

  • +13 votes

    parent of 3 here:

    1st child - "OMG, sterilise EVERYTHING"
    2nd child - "give it a good wipe"
    3rd child - "they are eating toast, we haven't made toast for weeks, hmmm"

    my only suggestions are:
    1) your life doesn't revolve around your children
    2) kids need boundaries (flexible-ish boundaries)
    3) explain things/give reasons to kids
    4) children aren't idiots - don't be condescending towards them.
    5) everything you think you are going to do as a parent -The Plan- probably won't happen. refer to suggestions 1-4.

    having a child is new and scary and you don't want to stuff it up. Just remember there are stupider people than you who have had kids and those kids have turned out ok-ish. therefore you can't go too wrong.

  • +1 vote

    I have 4 who are all 6 and under. Join the group 'child restraints, is your child restrained correctly' on Facebook for excellent info to keep your little one as safe as possible in the car. Google extended rear facing.