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HandsomeRyan
December 16th, 2013, 11:04 AM
February will be here sooner than any of us care to admit.
I've taken classes on labor and delivery, breastfeeding, how to dress, diaper, bathe and generally care for little man.
I've talked to friends and relatives about their birth and early parenting experiences.
I've read the books and blogs until I just had to stop.

►What wisdom would you share with someone who is about to be a first time dad?

► What are some things you wish someone had told you before you became a parent?

About us: Little man (actually, Sawyer) is my wife and I's first. He is due at the end of February but we think he might be a little earlier than that. We both in our late 20's and both gainfully employed (her: Dairy Cattle Geneticist for the USDA, me: Professional horticulturist and plant scientist for a university). We have known each other since we were 15, half our lives, and we just celebrated 6 years of marriage. My father passed away unexpectedly about a year and a half ago but my mom and both her parents live about 500 miles away in east Tennessee. Her parents have 3 biological children and an adopted son who is only 6 right now. I had 2 brothers and I'm the middle child (hence the attention seeking) We've taken all the classes that we could about topics from labor and delivery to breastfeeding, to how to care for the baby after we bring him home. (I've never changed a diaper before)

I'm not sure what else you would want or need to know to offer advice but we are both interested to hear what others have to share.

Bubby
December 16th, 2013, 11:12 AM
Babies are little for such a short time...enjoy every moment. Fall in love with your baby and marvel at the wonder of his creation. Babies go through lots of stages and some feel like they will last forever, but in reality they are brief. Tell your child he is loved every day of his life so he will never doubt it. I don't believe in spanking/hitting children. It confuses a child to hit him with the same hands you show love with. A child will be more willing to please you if he understands that disobedience hurts your heart.

Know that having a child changes everything. I know you will be an active and involved parent. Don't be afraid to listen to your gut instincts. I pray that you have a healthy and lively baby that brings you a world of joy and wonder. Children are a blessing from the Lord.

Lisapc
December 16th, 2013, 11:15 AM
You cannot spoil a child under 3 months. My daughter and son and two granddaughters were held a lot and loved on a lot their first few months. By the time they were moving around they didn't want to be held so much anymore. My newest granddaughter is 9 months and running around. I even had people tell me that I was obsessed and possessive because I held her for 3 or 4 hours one day when she was a little over a month old. Crazy talk! That little girl is very independent and when anyone put her down to get something done she was content and relaxed. She, like all the babies in our family were taught a physical memory that they can rely on the big people to calm and sooth them. So if something is ever wrong they run right to us.

I remember getting into argument with my mother in law because she would constantly yell at me for picking up my baby when he would cry. Tell me I was spoiling him and that I would never get anything done and that he would rule the house. Well during that time a study came out that proved when you leave a child to cry it out it teaches their bodies to reach a higher state of anxiety faster and it reaches that state quicker in future times of stress. That study with my doctors advice that a baby cries when something is wrong stuck with me. I pick up a crying baby, I hold a baby for 10 minutes when I have the chance and when it is brand new you better believe I will hold it for hours.

The only advice you need is honestly, just love him, follow your heart, take care of Mom and ask for help when you need it!

By the way, you are just a cool Dad already!

pcbatiks
December 16th, 2013, 11:20 AM
Congratulations to both of you! One of the best things someone told me before our son was born........during those first few weeks with the new baby.......when the baby takes a nap.........you take one too! Rest while you can........the house doesn't have to be spotless. :) Wishing you both the very best with Sawyer.........enjoy the ride........it goes by so fast. :)

If you want some good laughs.......pick up a Baby Blues or Calvin & Hobbes comic strip book. Only parents could understand the humor!

Doloris
December 16th, 2013, 11:30 AM
Relax and enjoy the magic of a new baby, and stop reading all the how tos. You will be just fine and he will let you know if he wants something. Babies don't come with a manual, its all instinct. You are going to be great parents. Excitement is magic!!!!!

GinnyKNC
December 16th, 2013, 11:33 AM
Enjoy every last second :) They grow up so fast and you can never get that time back. Mine are 31 and 28 and I still can't believe my 31 year old is going to be a dad within the next month.
Don't be those parents that your child is afraid to come to you with problems, concerns, questions, etc. Really listen to them and give the best advice you can without yelling, screaming and telling them how disappointed you are in them. They are a true blessing and as parents we should always be there for our children.
Read to him from day one. Reading to children even before they understand words, teaches them to associate books with love and affection :) My boys to this day love to read and they continue to grow and learn with every book they read.
Congrats on your first born. What an exciting life you have a head of you. Enjoy every second.

pcbatiks
December 16th, 2013, 11:39 AM
Enjoy every last second :) They grow up so fast and you can never get that time back. Mine are 31 and 28 and I still can't believe my 31 year old is going to be a dad within the next month.
Don't be those parents that your child is afraid to come to you with problems, concerns, questions, etc. Really listen to them and give the best advice you can without yelling, screaming and telling them how disappointed you are in them. They are a true blessing and as parents we should always be there for our children.
Read to him from day one. Reading to children even before they understand words, teaches them to associate books with love and affection :) My boys to this day love to read and they continue to grow and learn with every book they read.
Congrats on your first born. What an exciting life you have a head of you. Enjoy every second.

I agree.......definitely read to him everyday! Some of our best memories are reading with our son and telling stories.

Stacie
December 16th, 2013, 11:40 AM
My kids are teenagers and it really does go by so very fast. It won't feel like that though when you get sleep deprived. So, sleep when your baby is sleeping. Trust your instincts and do everything you can to keep your wife's stress level low. (Breast feeding wasn't easy for me and the more stressed I got the harder it became.)
Congratulations! Having babies & seeing them grow into kids and teens is wonderful!

Sandy Navas
December 16th, 2013, 11:54 AM
Throw all the books away. You will know what to do and when. The most important thing is to relax and know that trillions of people have gone through this and even without a manual it's pretty easy - look 'cuz you and I both survived. They have a way of teaching you more than you can teach them.

However, to reassure you, check your mailbox soon as I've boxed up my recently turned 13YO DGD and she's a wonderful babysitter, but she'll also convince you that no child should EVER have to go through the teen years without a sock stuffed in their mouth and a serious attitude adjustment several times a day.

Genny
December 16th, 2013, 12:07 PM
As everyone above said just "RELAX" and it'll make life with this new little angel so much easier. The moment your baby comes into this world you will feel the greatest joy ever! Just wait till you see the first smile...theres nothing like it. And last...but not least...those first few weeks you and you wife may feel exhausted at times from those middle of the night feedings and diaper changes...but this too will pass quickly.
When this new bundle of joy comes...we'd love to see some pics!

auntiemern
December 16th, 2013, 12:24 PM
Babies don't come with a manual, and do not need one. It is mostly instinctual. Love him unconditionally (which I know you will), and tell him so everyday. I am not a big fan of using tv for babysitting, but the baby Einstein videos are great., and stimulate development. And you can start on them as soon as you bring him home. Not all studies and all books are accurate either. One doctor will tell you one thing and another will tell you the complete opposite. Follow your pediatricians instructions, on how much time to hold him, or how long to let him cry. My feeling on that is if they cry and you pick them up and they stop as soon you do, then put them down and they start immediately...they already have your number. It really does not scar them for the rest of their lives if they cry for a few minutes, and it builds their lung capacity. You and Mrs. Handsome will be wonderful parents. Just trust your instincts...they really are the best advice you will get.

Mom23
December 16th, 2013, 12:32 PM
I can't wait to see bay pictures of Baby Sawyer! Like you've heard already, don't pay any more attention to those baby books. You know the basics and that's good enough for now. I don't know if you go to church but one piece of advice I didn't learn until my youngest was almost one was from a friend of mine. She had six children and they were all perfect in church. I asked her one time how she she got them to behave and this was her response:

From the time her children were born she would talk to them at home and in the car on the way to church. She would tell them they were going to church and they had to be quiet. She never took a diaper bag, toy, book, food, etc. into church with her. She might slip a bottle in her purse but that was all. She always made sure when they got older they went to the bathroom because they were not allowed to leave during Mass.

To this day, when I see her in church I wish I would have known her advice from the time my children were little.

Ryan, you are going to be an awesome daddy. Your life will change with the delivery of Sawyer, and your heart will grow tremendously.

HandsomeRyan
December 16th, 2013, 01:03 PM
For everyone asking for pictures, of course I'll post some once he gets here. :)

http://i64.photobucket.com/albums/h170/HandsomeRyan/Sawyer24wks_zpsfd0f86d8.jpg (http://s64.photobucket.com/user/HandsomeRyan/media/Sawyer24wks_zpsfd0f86d8.jpg.html)

This is him at 24 weeks. That was a while ago as we are almost 30 weeks now. He is roughly the size of a butternut squash (or butternut pumpkin for our Australian/New Zealand M* members) This picture is of his face and that is a hand and a foot off to the right side of the screen in case you are having trouble telling what you are looking at.

We go in January for his next photo shoot where they'll check and make sure all the parts are still there and are working as they should. It is amazing to think that even when I was born my mom did not know what I'd be (boy/girl) but we got to find out his gender only 1/2 way through the pregnancy. By the time he is born we'll have had at least 3 or 4 ultrasounds.

MRoy
December 16th, 2013, 01:10 PM
You've been given lots of great advice here. All I have to add is RELAX and enjoy the ride...and sleep when you can! You're going to be a great dad!

Precious1
December 16th, 2013, 02:01 PM
I've had 4 kids. My first when I was 19. He is now 23 serving I the US Navy. All I can say is love on him. Follow your gut. Like Bubby and Lisa said, you can't spoil a newborn child that was made and formed in the womb. He was carried for the first 40 weeks of his life, hearing, smelling, feeling his mothers every movement and to be brought to this cold world?!?! Cuddle and snuggle your baby as much as you want. Rest when he is resting. Eventually you guys will get your own program or schedule going. That's why it's your family. Don't let anyone else dictate or tell you how or when.

It's good that you are looking for advise, but you will learn to filter out and do what's best for your FAMILY. Just enjoy the ride.

K. McEuen
December 16th, 2013, 02:24 PM
To add to what everyone else has said ... put the baby on your schedule. My sister in law didn't understand why she was always so tired. Her kid went to bed at 7 pm, she stayed up until 11 or so, baby woke up at 3 am so she had to. My baby went to bed no more than an hour before I did and we woke up about the same time.

Madeforyouinma11
December 16th, 2013, 02:47 PM
Everyone here has given you some great tips. I have 3 grown children and 2 grandchildren. My granddaughter is now 6 months old and just a joy. When she is here, I hold her and love her up because she will never be exactly as she is on that given day. They change so fast. Enjoy every moment. One bit of advice that I don't think anyone has mentioned is....don't stay quiet for the baby. Keep to your normal routine...vacuuming, talking, watching TV, etc. don't lower the volume because he is asleep. He will adjust to all of it. My granddaughter was a month old when we went to a friends graduation party. It was an outdoor party with a small band made up of family members. She fell asleep and slept the whole time they played. My daughter vacuums while she is asleep and has never had a problem with her sleeping when company comes to visit.
You will have a blast! You'll be tired, so sleep every moment you can. If your still working while mom is home, let her get up during the night so you're rested for work, then you can take over when you get home so she can rest a bit.
Schedules aren't too realistic in the first month or so, but after that things will start to fall into place. Have fun and enjoy your little one, you'll know what needs to be done.
Oh, something my daughter panicked about....sometimes they will cry, I mean really cry, and it seems like they are not going to catch their breath....no worries, just lightly blow in their face a little. This will make them catch their breath. Seems a little scary when it happens but it's all normal.
Can't wait to see pics!

Momofmonsters5
December 16th, 2013, 03:00 PM
Congrats first.....!!! I'm a mother of five and I work in a daycare, the best advise I can give you is let your baby put himself to sleep. Trust me it will pay off. I waited til number five to do this, wow my life would have been easier. When he's almost asleep put him in his crib. Let him put himself to sleep. Do not leave him in bouncers, car seats, couch or your bed to sleep....that's the best advise I can give you. Sleep is important for you and the baby.

SallyO'Sews
December 16th, 2013, 03:55 PM
Hi, Ryan!

First of all, let me commend you and Mrs. Ryan, as you are already clearly well on your way to being great parents. Among other things, you are quilters, and therefore by definition the finest kind of folks! :icon_tup: Also, the very fact that you are asking for advice shows that you are willing to learn, so you are way ahead of the curve there, as well.

I have ten children (one at a time, from one marriage) who currently range in age from 16 to 33. They are by no means perfect, and neither are their parents, but I'll share what we've done right. My advice is worth every penny you will pay for it, but here goes, anyway:

1. The best thing any dad can do for his children is to love their mother, and show his love for her in front of them. It helps them be secure about their world. Also, whether this makes us nervous or not, children naturally assume that God is like their dad. So a father who is fully committed to loving his children's mother, no matter what, gives his children a very precious gift: the sure knowledge that their Heavenly Father will also love them unconditionally. A codicil to this is never to allow your children to show disrespect toward their mother. My kids knew that their dad would be far more offended by their disrespect/disobedience toward me than any other offense they could commit (like, for instance, knocking the mailbox off its post).

2. The best gift any mom can give her children is to love their father, and show by her own relationship with him how easy it is to approach either parent with anything at all. Children whose parents work out their problems and remain committed to one another give their children such a wonderful assurance that everything will be okay, eventually. And they need that reassurance, because sometimes the world can be a scary place. Sometimes our children have to approach us with news they know we don't want to hear (like "Dad, I just knocked the mailbox off its post... with Mom's car"), and knowing that we as parents still love each other despite our ups and downs will give them the confidence they need to be honest with us.

3. Building on 1 and 2, always present a united front to your children. It is so unfair to give a child the power to drive a wedge between the two people on whom s/he relies for being the walls in the world. When our kids were little, if I disagreed with whatever my husband said (whether I thought he was being too lax OR too strict), I would leave the room rather than let on to my children that Daddy and Mommy were not walking in lockstep with one another. Then I would talk to my DH about the issue OUT OF THEIR EARSHOT. I am so thankful that my children have known that "ask Mom" means "Don't even think about asking me if she already said no." Teaching elementary school for ten years really reinforced for me the concept that children need the security of knowing that all the adults in their lives (parents, grandparents, teachers, coaches, violin teacher, pastor) are in cahoots against them for their good. It's not fair when the people responsible for making the rules keep moving the goalposts around the field.

4. "What walks in the father runs in the son." Please watch your language and the way you react to people, even if you are justified, unless you are okay with your child using expletives in front of your extended family or at daycare. I don't believe this will be an issue for you; you seem to be such a kind and gentle soul, and I know you are going to be a wonderful example to Sawyer.

5. Teach your children the power of forgiveness. When your child comes to say he's sorry (about, for instance, knocking the mailbox down), tell him "I forgive you," and MEAN IT. Try really hard not to bring up past failures (like the time he threw the baseball through the neighbor's window). It will not only help him to understand what unconditional love is, but will go far in creating peace in your home among Sawyer and his siblings (okay, I know that the word "siblings" sounds overwhelming right now; how about cousins? ;) ), as they will learn how to let bygones be bygones. This does not mean there are not consequences for wrong behavior ("I forgive you, but you're going to have to do extra chores in order to pay for the new mailbox."), but children need to know that their failures are not fatal. Also, at our house, our children were never allowed to say "Sorry." The rule from the time they were little was to use a complete sentence beginning with the words, "I'm sorry I..." Ownership of what we have done wrong is a vital part of growing up.

6. If you and Mrs. Ryan plan to give Sawyer religious training, please make sure he sees you in your house of worship. It is much easier to convince a child that all the stuff he's learning in Sunday School is true if both Mom and Dad are there with him. As someone else has said, family values are "more caught than taught." I hope you will regularly pray both for and with your family; I must say that is the one thing that has made the biggest difference in my family.

I suspect that none of the above is news to you; and I pray all of God's richest blessings on you, Mrs. Ryan, and little Sawyer. You are already off to a great start as a family... enjoy yourselves! :icon_happy:

Blessings,
~ Sally \0/

Mom23
December 16th, 2013, 04:00 PM
Thanks Madeforyouinma11. I totally forgot about your advice. When child #3 arrived we stuck the cradle right next to the television in the living room, where he stayed for 3 months. He was amongst any and all activity. We made the mistake of tiptoeing around with the first two and got smart with #3. To this day he can sleep through anything! Thanks for the memory.

GuitarGramma
December 16th, 2013, 04:22 PM
You've received great advice from everyone here. I agree with it all! I have four adult daughters and they're all wonderful people. I give credit to my husband, who has been the bestest father anyone anywhere could ever want. Fathers are SO important. That's why Sawyer is going to grow up to be a terrific adult, because you are going to be a loving and terrific father.

Be prepared to be overwhelmed by love like you've never felt it before! That's the key -- you'll love little Sawyer so much that you will naturally do what's right. Feed him when he's hungry, dry him when he's wet, let him sleep when he needs to (and not when YOU need him to).

Some day, when he's old enough to start learning manners, keep one principal in mind: Childish irresponsibility can be overcome with stickers and games and fun, but willful misbehavior needs to be dealt with. In other words, if your little one accidently knocks over his grape juice and ruins your carpet, make a game of cleaning it up with OxyBright. But if you say, "Be careful with your grape juice, Sawyer" and he picks it up and turns it upside down on purpose, that is the moment when stiff discipline needs to kick in.

I'm sorry to even mention this when you are about to have a baby -- and discipline shouldn't even be considered for years -- but I may not know you when Sawyer needs this advice!

Most of all, love, love, love him. Trust me, that won't be hard.

KathyCrofoot
December 16th, 2013, 06:01 PM
Welcome to the world of Parenthood! When I was pregnant we saw Bill Cosby's schtick on Fatherhood. It's a funny, funny commentary on being a father.

I see you've had some very wise advice from so many, I agree with all of it. Love his mother, and show baby boy love every day. Remember to take care of the big stuff, and when necessary, let the little stuff slide. It will still be there tomorrow. In 100 years it won't matter what your bank balance was - it will matter that you made a difference in the life of a child.

If someone offers to help - accept it graciously! Draw support from wherever you can. I wish I had more of a support system when our little one was a newborn. Baby was 2 weeks old and hubby had to go play soldier. I'm on the phone crying for my mom to come help me. She came for 2 weeks at a moment's notice from Virginia to Texas. I'd never been alone with him, and he cried a lot (so did I). For the first few days, surround yourselves with people who love you and want the best for you. Focus on baby and wife. Let the others fend for themselves (visiting grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins).

Take care of yourselves and each other. You won't be any good to wife and baby if you're sick from being run-down.

The best advice I ever got was "trust yourself to know your child better than anyone else (other than his mother)" don't let doctors, nurses, professionals, grandparents, cousins, strangers - put you off (or put you down) when you think something is wrong. Nursing was a problem for me, and I listened to all the 'breastfeeding is best' advice, to little one's detriment. Once we got him some nutrition (aka formula), he thrived to a point. Knowing what I know now, I would started with soy formula though.

Be kind to yourself and your wife. Remember that a solid marriage makes a family strong. Remember these days. If you can, take a trip before the baby comes - it may be a long while before you feel like going anywhere as a couple without baby. Travelling with a baby comes with a LOT of extra baggage.

Enjoy the ride!

My last piece of advice for now - changing a diaper never killed anyone! You'll change a lot of them before you're done, might as well get your practice. I'll never forget my Father in Law smiling and changing a poopy diaper the first time he met his grandson. My Dad wouldn't go there on a bet.

Time goes by so fast, and you'll turn around twice and he'll be half grown, going off to high school, college, going out on his own. My baby turned 28 this year, spending Christmas with his girlfriend instead of coming here. It seems like last week, he was a squalling little pumpkin colored messy diaper laden bundle of joy. Cherish the early days. They'll get you through the teenage years!

Iris Girl
December 16th, 2013, 06:47 PM
All the advice you have been given is great. All I can say is Relax and enjoy these tender months. They grow so fast. Your instincts will kick in and you and the mrs will be wonderful parents. Can't wait to see more pictures.

Tanya D
December 16th, 2013, 07:10 PM
I haven't read thru all the comments so forgive me if I am repeating myself.

For one, don't forget about the couple you are...meaning make time for the two of you to do things without the baby....hopefully you have grandparents close by or some really good friends that are willing to take your little man for a couple of hours once a month while you go out on an adults only date. Even if it is just to go grocery shopping...or too a movie, or a coffee date....just take some time to reconnect with eachother. Babies require a lot of attention and it's easy to forget about lavishing attention on one another.

When Sawyer gets up during the night for a feeding, don't talk to him, don't turn on any lights or the TV...don't do anything to stimulate him or it will take longer to get him back to sleep.

And most importantly, just love the little man like there is no tomorrow. Smile at him lots, kiss him tons, read to him, tell him you love him every chance you get. Trust your instincts, they will never let you down.

Oh and another thing...post partum depression can sneak up real fast. Always ask your wife how she's doing and if she's feeling blue, get her to the doctor right away. I suffered, for far too long, needlessly.

Blondie
December 16th, 2013, 07:17 PM
Dearest Precious Ryan - you have already received soooo much wonderful advice, all too true.
Sawyer will have so many Auntie's here, we shall all be sure to lavish him with much love and prayers.

Enjoy the whole process. Don't take life so seriously that you miss out on the funny faces little one will make when he is gassy. Lavish lotsa happy words of encouragement and affection. Forget most books, almost an entire generation was raised by one which was later discredited with remorse by the author - go with your gut. If something feels or looks wrong, it most likely is. Get to know your pediatrician on a first name basis if possible. You want to be able to TRUST yourself first and the dr as well when needed.

You ain't gonna go wrong with the kid. Just don't ever forget who carried that munchkin for months, will be giving birth (hopefully with the speed of light) and be spending many waking years experiencing what you do but in a different way. Give her presents on his birthday too since she did all the hard work, thank her for giving you a new level of love through Sawyer (trust me, you think you know what love is but honey chile, you ain't seen nuthin' yet).

That's about it. I am as happy for you both as I can be. If Sawyer comes a wee bit sooner than expected, he will be in a hurry all his life. That's what my granny used to say. I had two very preemie boys and I can attest to that. Kiss that baby belly before it's too late.

Pandabear
December 16th, 2013, 07:24 PM
Lots of love and patience. One thing I really loved about my hubby when our boy was little was that he got into the habit early on of just going out with our son by himself. The two of them would go off for a drive or whatnot. Bonding time. Our son is now 15 and they are very close. They go out and do 'man stuff' all the time.

When he is older, teach him to do things around the house. My kid can do simple fixes, unclog drains, change the handle on the toilet, change filters. It's wonderful being able to ask either he or my hubby to fix something for me.

Let him be who he is. Give him some leeway, yet teach him right for wrong. Teach him manners. Let him be himself.

Also, I second the reading to baby bit. Mine is an avid reader now and I like to think it's because we read to him all the time.

Share your hobbys with him. Let him share with you.

Most of my advice is for when he is older. It's been been awhile since mine was a baby I could hold in my arms. Now he's 6"1'. Cherish the baby years. Lots of hugs and cuddles. Get them while you can.

SuzyQue
December 16th, 2013, 07:36 PM
You have been given so much great advice. You have already shown us how much you love your wife and already love Sawyer. We KNOW you will be a great dad! My added info is to always take pictures, starting with that baby belly right before you head to the hospital. Take pictures of little feet, hands, and tushes. Take pictures of every moment and every experience.....BUT!!!......don't live behind the camera. Enjoy every minute of that little one's life, but record it too for future reference. The days may be long, but the years will be short! They are grown before you know it and then you can relive the memories through the pictures you have saved. May God bless you, your wife, and baby Sawyer as you are preparing to begin this new adventure together!

HdWench
December 16th, 2013, 09:40 PM
Relax you are going to be one heck of a dad -- I wish I knew about post-partum blues too Tanya!! And love the advice to also make time for you 2 as a couple when he get's older to have a grandma or someone take over for even a few hours.

Every day blinks by so fast, enjoy every single one of them (and terrible two's can happen at 3 or 11 years old) toss out those books.

Reading and music helps instill the love of reading and songs to calm. I used to try to "sneak" around the house being quiet when the baby was sleeping *WRONG* -- Make it NOISY, so they can sleep with a party going on hehehe When I changed and did that, our lives got better ;-) Sleep deprevation's going to happen butthere is nothing like a rocking chair and tiny baby snuggles

We are all so excited and can't wait for you and the Mrs. to introduce Sawyer to us :-)

debbie

Mpyles
December 16th, 2013, 09:49 PM
Just love him with all your heart...the rest will fall in place!

IBake
December 16th, 2013, 10:26 PM
I used to teach Lamaze. I told my couples that no child died from being the first born of loving parents. As you have been told, sleep when the baby sleeps. If a dirty bath bothers you keep a bottle of rubbing alcohol with some cotton pads by the sink. Wipe it down with a quick swish and it will pass inspection. When you hav e visitors, greet them in THE BED. They won't stay as long and you will get more rest.

I know your wife talks to him, but you need to lean down to his water home and talk to him also. He will respond to your voice when he comes out. My youngest son talked to his son all the time(irritated my DIL :)). When he was born, my new GS followed my son's voice with his eyes and tried to turn his head also.

READ READ READ..as others have said. My hubby read to our boys until they were in middle school. At that time they were ready the Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. They all enjoyed it. My boys are 35 and 32 and they both read to their kids and mention that dad's reading meant so much to them.

Taje a deep beathe and enjoy the little. Remember that you are being watched and guided from above, and you will get though this.

AND congrats!

Kgrammiecaz
December 16th, 2013, 10:45 PM
I was married when I had my first two girls and single when I had my last daughter.

I received more advice than I would ever use for my last one

All the post offer wonderful advice -use what works for your family

The best advice I received from my own physician when I had my last baby. To do what was best for us. You cannot spoil a baby. Love them hold them talk to them as much as we want. I let her decide when she needed to sleep and eat during that first year. It really did help set her up to sleep when she is tired and only eat when she was hungry. To this day she is healthy and keeps her body in shape and recognizes what she needs for her mental and physical health. The other two struggle as I do. So for us it worked.

Love love love. As someone else said all else will fall in place. Loved the first pic. Looking forward to seeing more.

Nidan_07
December 16th, 2013, 10:48 PM
Ryan,
All the very best for your new venture into parenthood. My best advice to you is quite simple......You do what works for you!! You are going to be inundated with advice from friends, and relatives. All their suggestions and advice is going to differ, and in reality....your heads will probably spin. My first time around, I found this all a little overwhelming. What I learned to do is listen to the advice and sort through what you would like to try. Give those things a try....what works is great...what doesn't work is not to be worried about.
Unfortunately, our little bundles of joy do not come with a manual, so you do what works for them, and you as parents.
I am sure that this little man will be in a home full of love and support, so he will be off to a great start.

New York Sue
December 16th, 2013, 11:13 PM
You've hit on some really great parenting advice.
As an 28 year veteran L&D nurse, I'd love to give you L&D advice. Assuming you're having a traditional hospital birth....

1. We appreciate that you're educated, we really do. It's refreshing... But some people 'overthink' things, and are very rigid with their birthing expectations. Showing up in L&D unit with a 'birthing plan', almost always insures a cesarean. We're really NOT your enemy. If we suggest an epidural or pain med, it may be because it's your best option. You may be holding on, a little bit ' too tight'.

2. Coming to the hospital too early, will only increase intervention. The baby will NOT come faster because you're in the hospital! Wait till labor is well-established. (2-3 minutes, lasting at least 60 seconds, for a couple of hours. Assuming no risks identified....) If you have a whirlpool (or not) tub, and membranes are intact, the tub is a GREAT option! Just keep the temp close to 98.6 degrees.

3. Sometimes, when we're in work-mode, we talk medical speak. If you don't understand, please ask!

4. Try not to get to caught up in the fetal monitor. I'm happy to give you a brief tutorial, but it's my job to watch that, not yours. A brief drop in heart rate, better yet, an acceleration in heart rate, is okay. Often, especially with a maternal position change, the signal quality may become poor, or non-existent. Please, no panic!

5. If she's induced, 'hunker down' for the long haul. Avoid this, if you can. Forcing Mother Nature rarely comes easily.

That's my Top 5. I'll probably think of 5 more, before morning.... ;)

WendyI
December 17th, 2013, 12:03 AM
Well first off...CONGRATULATIONS!!! Everyone has given you some lovely advice but here is a bit more practicality from moi...a top- ten if you like! :\

1. do not cry over spilled milk...literally...there will be lots of spills...really it's just milk (juice/water/your coffee/your wine...okay you might get a bit annoyed with that last one ;) )...it'll wash out and if not, you'll need new furniture by the time he moves out anyway...clean what you can and don't sweat the rest.

2. When they start poopin up the back of their diaper...it's time to move up a size! Trust me on this.

3. Little boys pee when they are exposed to cold air...even if his diaper is already wet...wear rubber when you change him and get ready!

4. Gripe water is your friend...and none of that de-alcoholized crap either! A wee shot of beer is good for grumpy guts and doesn't hurt anyone! You can drink the rest!

5. think about toys before buying...chances are they'll like the box more than the toy.

6. Never take the advice of in-laws or anyone for that matter. Smile, nod, thank them for their wonderful information, and then just do what you need to. You'll know exactly what that is.

7. Pay attention to the times that baby is active right now...chances are this will be the grumpies time when he's here. Most babies I know have "witching hour". Grab that beer and get ready to pace...it'll be over sooner than you think, and no matter how hard he cries, no baby has ever died from gas that I know of...it will pass and you will both be just fine.

8. Always give choices...if you want them to dress nice, put out three outfits of your choosing and then let them pick one. You both win!!

9. never fight about getting winter clothes on (if you live where there is snow). My son decided he wasn't going to put a winter coat on one day....he was five and I could see he was fit to be stubborn on this and wanted to wear his spring jacket...it was minus 30 with the windchill. So I calmly said "ok..mommy will be just a moment...why don't you wait for me on the front step". He went out and about 30 seconds later came right back in and quietly put his winter coat on. No grumpies and no more future arguments!

10. Gatoraid is your best friend when baby is fevered or sick. You can buy pedialite but it's the same thing and they don't like the taste as much.

11. Well I said top ten but this bears stating - and I can't stress this enough - Reward positive and desired behaviours and ignore negatives wherever possible (unless there is a safety concern of course). I would have to say, of all of the above (aside from the poopin out the back of the diaper) this would be my all time, number one, best piece of advice ever.

12. Remember they are people too. Talk to your kids...about everything...teach them big words...trust me they will get it when you explain it and they will remember. Let them use vocabulary to express themselves! Remember that they are people too, they're in the room and deserve to be heard. If you want to have an "adult" conversation, wait until they are not there or in bed. Share with them as much as you can about the world without over-burdening them. It's their world too...they deserve to know about it. Teach them what you know.

and finally...yes this is the last...be always aware that sadly, your job is to train them up so that you can let them go. This is a really difficult one for me and as my boy is only 11 I'm not there yet. I'll let you know how I do!

Congratulations again to you both! You're gonna be great!!

New York Sue
December 17th, 2013, 01:02 AM
And what Wendy said!
AWESOME.

ilive2craft2
December 17th, 2013, 01:08 AM
Lots of great advice above. I know you will both be great parents - Sawyer is a lucky guy! Love his sonogram pic. :)

bhaggerty
December 17th, 2013, 02:05 AM
My 2 top books ( be careful there are some not-so-good ones!) are

1. Birth to 5 Years (American Academy of Pediatrics)
2. (On Becoming) Baby Wise

and what everyone else already said!

Wwena
December 17th, 2013, 05:13 AM
I've not read the other posts, so I might be saying someone else already said - or contradict it haha! Be that as it may...

I have two children, ages 6 and 4 (almost 7 and 5). I live in Sweden where we have the best parental leave (and support) package in the world, meaning we can stay home with the kids a lot, during their first years. Our society is built around both parents working, with high taxes (highest in the world depending on how you measure) and a solid social safety net which for one thing means no costs whatsoever for healthcare for the children (we pay for medicines etc but not for care). So the practicalities are a bit different and I'm sure you know what to do about that (what insurance to get etc). Some things are universal though and I will try and address those. :)

- Don't sweat it if the breast feeding doesn't work. In our part of the world, where we have clean water and lots of it, and there are no actual drawbacks to giving the baby formula instead. There are soooo many beliefs around this still and it's really strange, since they have been disproven again and again. Breastfeeding didn't work well with my first child and that was a HUGE deal for me since I strongly felt I was supposed to breastfeed or I was a bad mother (even the nurse at our local clinic gave me that idea). Since then I've read up on the subject and was much more relaxed about it (although I still get mad thinking about how the nurse told me to keep at the breastfeeding instead of giving formula even though my daughter was actually loosing weight!). Kids (and mothers) are different and it worked really great with my second child, go figure. A combination of him having a different way and me being more relaxed, I think. :) Basically, whatever your wife want to do, be supportive! Help her decide on facts instead of social pressure, if there is any.
- A little formula before bedtime might make the baby sleep longer. The breastmilk (generally) gets thinner throughout the day and then thicker again during the night rest (if she gets any! ;) ). Just something to try if the baby wakes up a lot during the first part of the night.
- Don't talk to your baby from what gender it has. I mean, talk to it as a child, not as a boy or a girl. If that makes sense. :) I strongly believe this (along with other things) will help it be whatever it wants in life and not be limited by it's gender.
- Things will change! I'm sure you know this, but it's not until you're in the middle o it that you will see just how much. Talk to your wife once in a while about it, try and give each other some slack and know that you will have more time for each other later. These will be some crazy years! Don't expect anything different. :)

I'm sure you will get loads of good advise so I will leave it at this for now. So glad you asked! That in itself tells me you will be a great dad. :)

dwil23
December 17th, 2013, 06:01 AM
Ryan, I have not taken the time to read through all the other answers, but in a nutshell, I would say to relax and remember that your little bundle of joy is like no other. He is a unique individual - just like you are. Don't try to mold him into something he is not or force a schedule on him that is not suitable to him. There are so many new parents today that believe their child must conform to a schedule that is in some book, somewhere. He may. He may not. And either is fine. As long as he is healthy and thriving, that is what matters.

Wwena
December 17th, 2013, 07:06 AM
You've hit on some really great parenting advice.
As an 28 year veteran L&D nurse, I'd love to give you L&D advice. Assuming you're having a traditional hospital birth....

1. We appreciate that you're educated, we really do. It's refreshing... But some people 'overthink' things, and are very rigid with their birthing expectations. Showing up in L&D unit with a 'birthing plan', almost always insures a cesarean. We're really NOT your enemy. If we suggest an epidural or pain med, it may be because it's your best option. You may be holding on, a little bit ' too tight'.

2. Coming to the hospital too early, will only increase intervention. The baby will NOT come faster because you're in the hospital! Wait till labor is well-established. (2-3 minutes, lasting at least 60 seconds, for a couple of hours. Assuming no risks identified....) If you have a whirlpool (or not) tub, and membranes are intact, the tub is a GREAT option! Just keep the temp close to 98.6 degrees.

3. Sometimes, when we're in work-mode, we talk medical speak. If you don't understand, please ask!

4. Try not to get to caught up in the fetal monitor. I'm happy to give you a brief tutorial, but it's my job to watch that, not yours. A brief drop in heart rate, better yet, an acceleration in heart rate, is okay. Often, especially with a maternal position change, the signal quality may become poor, or non-existent. Please, no panic!

5. If she's induced, 'hunker down' for the long haul. Avoid this, if you can. Forcing Mother Nature rarely comes easily.

That's my Top 5. I'll probably think of 5 more, before morning.... ;)

Some GREAT advise here. Just one thing: Speaking as someone who has had less than six hours from first (weak!) contraction to baby in my arms (with no time for pain killers, sheesh), trust your (wife's) body to tell you when it's time to go in. When the pain is too much, go in even if it's only been a few hours! This is not the norm, so Sue's advise is very sound. In Sweden, the average time to deliver the first baby is somehwere around 22 hrs. Given that some take days to peak out, others will be fairly quick so it's a huge scale here! :)

HandsomeRyan
December 17th, 2013, 09:05 AM
Thank you for all the great tips and advice!

We're trying really hard to get in the mindset of not trying too hard to plan everything and just sort of going with the flow.

A few recurring themes I noticed in much of the advice:

• Reading. I love reading and I have a massive library of books that cover topics from backyard grain growing to blacksmithing theory and Clifford the Big Red Dog to Are You My Mother. I built a bookshelf for the nursery although it only holds a small fraction of the books we have even just for the baby. The church down the street runs a thrift shop where they sell books for $0.25 each. I've already picked up a few books to read to little man in the hospital and after we get home like "The Secret Garden" and "The Cay" which I remember from my own childhood. I'll eventually find some Hardy Boys and Encyclopedia Brown books too.
http://i64.photobucket.com/albums/h170/HandsomeRyan/photobucket-8518-1381440001343_zps622e924d.jpg (http://s64.photobucket.com/user/HandsomeRyan/media/photobucket-8518-1381440001343_zps622e924d.jpg.html)

• Birth Plan. We are fortunate that one of our close friends is a L&D nurse (not at the hospital we'll be delivering at though) and between her and the classes we've taken I think we have a pretty good mindset for the hospital portion of bringing little man into the world. We are hoping he can come out the traditional way but understand that about 1 in 3 births these days ends up a C-section so that isn't out of the question. We agreed that we don't want anyone else in the room except the me, her, and the medical staff. I know this was a huge disappointment to my M-i-L but this is our baby and our family and I felt it was important for us to have that initial bonding time without the distraction of other people who are anxious to see and hold the baby. We're playing the drugs/no drugs thing by ear because while I think we can all agree that doing things the natural way is what nature intended- no one is asking me to squeeze something the size of a football through any of my bodily orifices so I'll defer to my wife on what is right there.

•Maternity Leave. Being government employees neither of us get maternity/paternity leave. We can take sick leave/vacation or unpaid short term disability leave. I think my wife's plan is to work up until the birth (if possible) and then take 6-8 weeks off as sick leave then possibly transition to working from home a few days a week before going back full time (a financial necessity as she is the major bread winner in our house). I am planning to take probably a week off after little man arrives then maybe work a modified schedule especially focusing on not leaving my wife home alone all day with the baby too quickly because I think that would be overwhelming. I'm lucky to have a job that I can work very flexible hours because plants don't care what time of day or night it is. Eventually, little man will be going to a daycare not far from our house. We liked the place when we toured it and they have a good health/safety record. My M-i-L owns a daycare in TN so we have a pretty good understanding of how a daycare should be run.

• Love. I'll admit, I didn't really want to have kids initially. I suffered from learning disabilities and depression for my entire life and I thought it would be cruel to bring another life into this world if they were going to have those sort of obstacles to overcome. I've since warmed to the idea and I think that if nothing else I can show my child unconditional love and try to expose them to as many things this world has to offer as possible. The reality is really stating to hit home that pretty soon there is going to be a little person living with us and I am going to be responsible for him. I'm not even really that worried about losing sleep or trying to comfort a crying baby. I think as long as I can hold him in my arms, even if I can't make whatever is bothering him go away, he will know that he is safe and loved.

Keep that advice flowing. I know a lot of it is repetitive but you never know what little tidbit we might pick out that could be a game changer as far as our happiness, health, and mental sanity!

carrie liz
December 17th, 2013, 09:29 AM
I learned a lesson from my DIL. I come from negative parents so I always used the word "don't". My DIL said children only hear the last two or three words so....don't run you will fall becomes fall! I had to think the get the right positive words out but it was worth it. Don't run became slow down. Don't drop it became be careful or hold tight. You get the idea I am sure. Speak what you want ... not what you fear.

Children are so much fun and grand and great grands are even better. No responsibility just lots of hugs.

Mpyles
December 17th, 2013, 10:10 AM
Thank you for all the great tips and advice!

We're trying really hard to get in the mindset of not trying too hard to plan everything and just sort of going with the flow.

A few recurring themes I noticed in much of the advice:

• Reading. I love reading and I have a massive library of books that cover topics from backyard grain growing to blacksmithing theory and Clifford the Big Red Dog to Are You My Mother. I built a bookshelf for the nursery although it only holds a small fraction of the books we have even just for the baby. The church down the street runs a thrift shop where they sell books for $0.25 each. I've already picked up a few books to read to little man in the hospital and after we get home like "The Secret Garden" and "The Cay" which I remember from my own childhood. I'll eventually find some Hardy Boys and Encyclopedia Brown books too.
http://i64.photobucket.com/albums/h170/HandsomeRyan/photobucket-8518-1381440001343_zps622e924d.jpg (http://s64.photobucket.com/user/HandsomeRyan/media/photobucket-8518-1381440001343_zps622e924d.jpg.html)

• Birth Plan. We are fortunate that one of our close friends is a L&D nurse (not at the hospital we'll be delivering at though) and between her and the classes we've taken I think we have a pretty good mindset for the hospital portion of bringing little man into the world. We are hoping he can come out the traditional way but understand that about 1 in 3 births these days ends up a C-section so that isn't out of the question. We agreed that we don't want anyone else in the room except the me, her, and the medical staff. I know this was a huge disappointment to my M-i-L but this is our baby and our family and I felt it was important for us to have that initial bonding time without the distraction of other people who are anxious to see and hold the baby. We're playing the drugs/no drugs thing by ear because while I think we can all agree that doing things the natural way is what nature intended- no one is asking me to squeeze something the size of a football through any of my bodily orifices so I'll defer to my wife on what is right there.

•Maternity Leave. Being government employees neither of us get maternity/paternity leave. We can take sick leave/vacation or unpaid short term disability leave. I think my wife's plan is to work up until the birth (if possible) and then take 6-8 weeks off as sick leave then possibly transition to working from home a few days a week before going back full time (a financial necessity as she is the major bread winner in our house). I am planning to take probably a week off after little man arrives then maybe work a modified schedule especially focusing on not leaving my wife home alone all day with the baby too quickly because I think that would be overwhelming. I'm lucky to have a job that I can work very flexible hours because plants don't care what time of day or night it is. Eventually, little man will be going to a daycare not far from our house. We liked the place when we toured it and they have a good health/safety record. My M-i-L owns a daycare in TN so we have a pretty good understanding of how a daycare should be run.

• Love. I'll admit, I didn't really want to have kids initially. I suffered from learning disabilities and depression for my entire life and I thought it would be cruel to bring another life into this world if they were going to have those sort of obstacles to overcome. I've since warmed to the idea and I think that if nothing else I can show my child unconditional love and try to expose them to as many things this world has to offer as possible. The reality is really stating to hit home that pretty soon there is going to be a little person living with us and I am going to be responsible for him. I'm not even really that worried about losing sleep or trying to comfort a crying baby. I think as long as I can hold him in my arms, even if I can't make whatever is bothering him go away, he will know that he is safe and loved.

Keep that advice flowing. I know a lot of it is repetitive but you never know what little tidbit we might pick out that could be a game changer as far as our happiness, health, and mental sanity!

I didn't want children either and did not have my oldest until I was 28... They are the 2 best things I have done with my life! Hands down! Your challenges in life will only make you a more understanding father!! You'll be great Ryan, because you care!
,

Evilynn
December 17th, 2013, 10:29 AM
My advice is: (I'm also a "new" mother, Janna is a bit over a year old now) Listen to any advice someone wants to share but pick out for you what you find fit. You have an inbuilt father (or your wife mother) instinct, use it! It tells pretty clearly what your baby needs. :)

I have only one thing that I really think is important, the rest the new parents will figure out themselves: Do not let your baby cry, please. Even if someone tells you to. There's usually always something up when they cry even when you can't figure out what it is or when they seem unconsolable (think toothing, sick, hungry, thirsty, cold/hot, or just plain wanting mummy or daddy close) They don't try to annoy you or test borders (that comes later, around 1,5 - 2 years). I only mention it because it's a thing I hear quite often as "advice" nowadays.
A good bet for a baby to check is hungry. Their stomach is so small that they can't take in much at start and need to be fed every few hours. If that's not it, then check the diaper. Then you have 90% of the eventualities covered :D

I didn't read through the whole thread so sorry if someone mentioned it before me :D