Some very close friends are expecting babies, right now. Here’s some of my uncommon knowledge for them before their lives are wonderfully destroyed by blessed rugrats…
1. DO sit around playing mindless games on your phone and indulging guilty pleasures. You won’t have time for it ever again. Or if you do, it’ll only be for 17 seconds after you lay in bed, flip on your phone, pretend to “catch up”, and immediately fall asleep.
1. DON’T read any “expecting a baby” books. Trendy, “latest research” factoids muddle your brain. Seek advice from friends, and know that your parents’ example (or your friends’ parents’ examples) will be enough to get you through the first few months.
2. DO buy basic baby gear, but limit the rest. The basics: diapers, food, changing pad, swaddling blankets, sound machine, teething “chew toy”, baby swing, car seat, baby carrier (like bjorn, ergo or moby) and a stroller. That’s all you need, especially at the beginning. Babies have spent their first months in baskets, mangers, drawers and padded boxes for several millennia. They don’t need toys or seven hundred onesies. You’ll figure out what more you need as time passes. The rest of the stuff is just crap.
3. DO buy cheap swings and strollers that are bumpy and make clicking sounds and look like they’re going to boomerang your kid into the air. Babies sleep like babies in less glamorous contraptions that vibrate and bounce them to sleep (see previous “DON’T”).
3. DON’T buy the most expensive models of diaper holders or changing tables or nursery lamps or anything. Eventually there’ll be poop everywhere or you’ll be so tired you break stuff (sometimes intentionally) and there’s no need to fret over things being precious. Electronic this and “super” that and heated this and deluxe that don’t lull babies to sleep. Just get what works and what’s FINE.
4. DO go out to dinner as much as possible before the birth (and even after the birth while the baby still sleeps through everything). AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. That public restaurant peaceful bliss will become a distant memory after the third month.
5. DO paint that room or fix that screen door or re-organize that closet, now. It’ll cause blinding resentment during 2 AM feedings. Better yet, call someone to do it for you and go back to Candy Crunch on your phone.
6. DO believe in yourself. This is most important: YOU’LL KNOW WHAT TO DO. We’re miraculously built to keep each other alive. Don’t worry. You’ll figure it out.
What have I forgotten, folks? Some other uncommon knowledge for when you’re facing your “last 9 months of blissful freedom”?