Put the wife on the scale each morning and only allow her 1 lb. per week of weight gain.
Congrats. Here's a good list:
1. DON'T buy a baby monitor. You'll be glued to it for every breath.
2. DON'T use a pacifier. If the baby is crying, it's hungry or wet.
3. DON'T let the baby into bed. The first time you do it, know that baby is staying there until he is 3. (I broke this one on a couple of the kids)
4. DON'T check the diaper every few minutes. If it isn't finished peeing, and you change the diaper, you'll get pee'd on. I once changed a diaper 3 times in 5 minutes, and got pee'd on. The diaper does a good job with pee. It won't hurt the baby if it is wet for a little bit. Poop you'll smell.
5. Put diapercide (what I call diaper cream) on every change. Baby's skin should look like the underside of your arm. If it is pink, diaper rash is starting. If it is red, you messed up, and the baby will be miserable. I really like Balmex. Get plenty. Coat his little arse with it.
6. Experiment with various no-frills brand of diapers til you find a brand that won't cause a rash.
7. Stay away from cloth diapers. Major pain in the butt.
8. If you have the baby in the hospital, be warned, the nursery staff is evil. They'll try to guilt you into taking the baby because they don't want to deal with him. Mommy needs a day of rest minimum after having the baby. When it is fed, and goes to sleep, Walty can wheel him back to the nursery. You aren't an evil Mom if you do this.
9. Men, find a place you can pray on your knees, especially if they have to do a cessarian. Your knees are going to hit the floor. Seeing your wife in pain is bad.
10. Men, the reason you are there is NOT to experience the miracle of life or the other crap. You are there for your wife. Period. Keep that in your mind.
11. Birthing class is good. They throw in the "miracle of life" crap, but the mechanics you learn are worth it.
12. Breast feed if all possible.
13. Tough one for new parents. After a month, set a bedtime. That means baby gets fed, and put to bed. If baby wakes up, then let him cry for a full 20 minutes. Some people start with 5 minutes, then work up to 30 minutes. Baby eventually will go back to sleep. It works, they'll get into a sleeping pattern. Usually next to impossible for first time moms. They'll claw through the door and run over dad to get to the baby.
14. Notify relatives they are welcome to come by to help out. They aren't welcome to "visit" as mom will be exhausted the first month. Dad, throw the bums out if you have to.
15. If someone offers to drop off a meal for you, the correct answer is "Yes".
16. Read the label on pre-natal vitamins and Walmart Sentry-Vite. Same thing, save some money. Also, get some calcium, magnesium, zinc (comes as one pill) and folic acid.
17. First 2 months are rough with oftentimes puking involved. Next 6 months seem like no big deal. Last month is hell. Pregnant Mom needs naps and to get off her feet.
18. Pregnant mom needs to eat plenty of celery, carrots, and drink water.
19. Send hubby out at 1 am for a craving snack. He's waiting for that to add to his war stories.
1. Too late for us, we got the monitor already!
2. We got pacifiers already too! But I agree, newborns cry for a reason. But soon after, children learn to cry even when they are okay physically, to express fear or anxiety or anything else ... a pacifier IMHO is totally okay to use in this case.
8. Not sure about this ... why would any mom not want her baby with her all the time in the beginning? The staff used to make you give your baby up to the nursery because they felt they knew better ... most hospitals are more understanding about this. We are doing 24-hour baby rooming with mommy, and any time the baby has to leave for a test I am going with.
Just some of my thoughts. Disclaimer: My first child has not been born yet, so I'm not speaking from experience as James02 is, but I think I do have legitimate reasons for some minor disagreement with him.