Ask HN: How did you prepare for being a first-time parent? | Hacker News


Some children are relaxed, others are like hurricanes, you will learn after your first child which you have, and only truly confirm that after your second child arrives and you have a means for comparison.

Some children will be easy to take care of, will drink milk without issues, others will loathe milk, have tongue ties and find eating and drinking tedious and laborious... It totally depends on your son/daughter.

Be prepared not to sleep much, by sleeping as much as you can now. It won't help in the long term, but may give you more opportunity if your baby is finding their start difficult for the first few weeks.

Some babies will be okay for a few weeks, then suddenly change their general nature so try to be attentive. After a few days, babies tend to start cluster feeds, so if they are breast feeding you may find the strain a lot to bare at the beginning (hence the sleep advice). Try not to let emotions rule your choices, as it can be hard if you are sleep deprived. If you are bottle feeding, then this might not be as big of an issue/it might.

Lots of people have advice and good intentions, but like many have said... Lots of people have kids, but nobody has yours... So try stuff out, see how it plays out and try to find the best solutions. Try to gain some support from others around you if you can, friends, family, etc... As it can be hard to remember what talking to adults feels like at times.

If you are the person having the baby, try to keep a support network of friends/people to reach out to, and try to go out and see the world with the newborn as isolation can have it's downsides on you. If you are the partner, keep an eye on the pregnant party as the baby blues can be real and difficult situation for a parent to deal with. Even if you are the partner, it could also affect you, so try to stay in contact with people you trust and get time outside where possible. It can be very tiring on you as a person.

By the time your child gets to a few years of age, you will likely have a good poop/urine story somewhere in the bank, so make sure you have some deep cleaning detergents to hand incase. Babies love pooping, and you are likely not as proficient at applying a nappy as they are at exploding its contents.

Sometimes babies get colic, there are some special holds to help with this. Your child may/may not get it. But there are definitely holds that can help, for my children I used the superman hold (http://www.quicktipsfornewdads.com/blog/4-ways-to-safely-hol...), and it worked a treat, again YMMV.

But most of all, try to enjoy it where you can. They are babies for an extraordinarily short period of their lives, and it disappears before you even know where it went. Take photos, enjoy cuddles, and appreciate the moments you will have as a new family.

It's tough work, there's no manuals, and everyone has advice, but nobody is going to have your child. Best of luck