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  Reply # 1482721 1-Feb-2016 12:21
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All the above is good advice.

 

I'll just add that now *everything* has changed. You will never get back to what you currently think is/was "normal". You will need to redefine "normal". And just when you get comfortable with it, it will be the past. As someone else said, embrace change.

 

 


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  Reply # 1482775 1-Feb-2016 13:14
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frankv:

 

All the above is good advice.

 

I'll just add that now *everything* has changed. You will never get back to what you currently think is/was "normal". You will need to redefine "normal". And just when you get comfortable with it, it will be the past. As someone else said, embrace change.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life though is always about constant change. But once a parent, you are always a parent, and also be prepared with the high cost of houses, student loans, etc, for the kids to be living with you at least on and off for the next 3 decades. And you maybe living with them, (granny flat or similar) for the last decade of your life, which is kind of payback.


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1482778 1-Feb-2016 13:19
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One thing I'll say as a father of 6 y/o boy and 4 y/o girl, be prepared early.

 

6 y/o was born early, circa 29 weeks, all usual scans etc didn't indicate this, but it did happen.

 

Can be a bit scary this early, not overly common but does happen. If it does, you'll spend a lot of time either a work or at the hospital, not a lot of time left for getting stuff for baby.

 

For the 4 y/o, wasn't early, normal birth.


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  Reply # 1482809 1-Feb-2016 14:02
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WyleECoyoteNZ:

 

For the 4 y/o, wasn't early, normal birth.

 

 

 

 

Yeah take that birthing plan you developed at antenatal class and file it under nice to have dreams.

 

 

 

As with everything kids related, prepare as best you can and then go with the flow.

 

Targets can be not much more than: do what ever is required to have a healthy mum and a healthy baby.

 

If that means a C section delivery, then so be it.  If that means you can't breast feed and have to use infant powder and bottles, then so be it.

 

 

 

I felt incredibly annoyed and frustrated at times at how much society builds these things up. 

 

Wedding days are similar, with girls practising their wedding and mapping out how it was going to be from a very early age.

 

 

 

It's an emotional time, and made all the more real by the lack of sleep involved, and the baby not having a user guide.

 

They can only communicate through crying, and it becomes your job to determine what the issue is, be that tired, hungry, feeling uncomfortable, the signal is unfortunately all the same.

 

Getting support from others, (in useful ways like doing your laundry for you, picking up something from the supermarket etc) is quite important to everyone's sanity.

 

This doesn't need to be family, just someone who can help out.  Hopefully you have access to a support person.

 

 

 

Your family is about to change, in that someone new is joining it.  You've never met them, and vice versa, and over time you'll learn their personality.

 

Live in the moment is probably the best advice I got, don't get frustrated if it's not going to some 'plan' you imagined, as the baby wasn't involved in those discussions. 

 

 


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  Reply # 1482916 1-Feb-2016 15:51
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Father of 4 here ...

 

Your life is about to change.  Accept it, go with it.  For a short while it will be tough going. But each month something gets easier.

 

Make sure you each set aside time for yourself and for the two of you as couple.  This is so important and gets easier as feeds get further apart.

 

On that note.  Get your baby into a routine if you can.  The sooner (within reason) you can do this, the easier life will be. 

 

Mid-wives will specifically tell you not to do this.   There are books on the subject like baby wise.  Midwives would like to see these books burned but the advice works.  Humans like routine around food and sleep and babies are human.

 

 

 

 





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  Reply # 1482961 1-Feb-2016 16:54
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WyleECoyoteNZ:

 

6 y/o was born early, circa 29 weeks, all usual scans etc didn't indicate this, but it did happen.

 

Can be a bit scary this early, not overly common but does happen. If it does, you'll spend a lot of time either a work or at the hospital, not a lot of time left for getting stuff for baby.

 

 

Agree. We got to bring our first-born along to our last ante-natal class.

 

And don't panic.

 

There I am in the delivery room, (fairly) comfortable and relaxed, and next thing ya know the doctor's suddenly tense, speaks tersely to the midwife in medicalese, everyone turns and looks at me and gives a brief reassuring (NOT!) smile, and then they're using (what appear to be) tin-snips on my wife's intimate bits and sticking (what appear to be) salad servers in and (after a certain amount of wiggling and adjusting) pulling the baby out, which has a head like a marrow, about 3" in diameter and 6" long.

 

Despite the horrors this scene might suggest, everything turned out just fine. *EVERYTHING*.

 

Oh, and a couple of days later I turned up to visit, to be told my baby is in Intensive Care. WTF! Turns out that the baby has jaundice (which is not uncommon), and the UV lights to treat that are in IC.

 

Stay calm and carry on!

 

 


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  Reply # 1482967 1-Feb-2016 17:03
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On the question of routine, my advice would be to have a routine, but don't be enslaved by it.  I mocked up a 24 wheel clock which let us track sleep and feed times so we could see visually (at a glance) how much sleep our daughter was getting, and was also useful to keeping tabs on when she next needed feeding.  That was really useful for seeing the patterns emerging, and helping to structure a routine.  But by the same token, things will change and its important to adjust and flex with those changes.  The charts were also good for spotting when she was getting sick, as her patterns would change.  Some might say that you would see that happen anyway, but when you are both sleep-deprived and struggling to separate one day from another, a written record updated whenever you go to feed or put her down for a sleep can be a good habit that aids memory.  We kept that up for the first year, which on the plus side will also be neat to revisit in 10-20 years time as an historical record (but I'm a nerd like that...)

 

Also, you will probably get a copy of the "Bounty" book.  There's a pregnancy one and a baby one, and both are quite useful resources for quickly checking lots of things like what to expect at different stages, early childhood diseases, feeding ideas, etc.  I think Plunket also have a similar book called Thrive Under Five (or something like that).  I found it quite good to read through while rocking baby to sleep.


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  Reply # 1483186 2-Feb-2016 02:50
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We did a lot of cooking a couple of weeks before our son was born.

 

Ended up with ~1 month of dinners ready to reheat which meant I could help with housework stuff and also give the milk machine a break from the screaming when I got home from work.

 

 


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  Reply # 1483261 2-Feb-2016 09:20
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Great advice.

 

Lizard1977:

 

On the question of routine, my advice would be to have a routine, but don't be enslaved by it.





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  Reply # 1483273 2-Feb-2016 09:30
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slingynz:

 

We did a lot of cooking a couple of weeks before our son was born.

 

Ended up with ~1 month of dinners ready to reheat which meant I could help with housework stuff and also give the milk machine a break from the screaming when I got home from work.

 

 

 

 

This.  We did this.  Lasagne is good, make a big pan and divide into single portions suitable for reheating for one.  You won't always get the chance to eat together in the first few weeks/months. Single serve quiche, pies, curry or casseroles, all make great freezable meals.

 

Someone mentioned early on to be on the lookout for mum having a meltdown in the first few weeks.  I'd also add the dad to the watchlist.  Both my wife and I had breakdown moments during the first 2-3 weeks.  I don't think it qualified as post-natal depression, but we both experienced periods of "feeling down", worn out and weary.  It can come on suddenly (and sometimes leaves just as suddenly).  I often felt it in the early evening, when the excitement of the day gave way to the gloom of the night.  A lot of attention (quite rightly) goes on new mum's during the first few weeks and months, but dad's can also be susceptible to the emotional rollercoaster.  When it happens it's important to talk about this with your partner, so that you can give each other the support you need.


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  Reply # 1483288 2-Feb-2016 09:54
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So many tips I could give you, but first accept my congratulations, having kids changed my life, for the better. I am less selfish (I wasn't particularly so to start with though) and more focused on things I never thought I could or should be. I am a better world citizen now, having realized some stuff matters because my kids inherit the world after me.

 

My tip is, don't sit in a chair holding the baby when you are tired. I can (sort of) laugh about this now, but I fell asleep with my newborn son in my arms on the day of his birth after my wife was rushed into surgery and nearly died. I was so tired and fell asleep and woke to the screaming of a baby when I let him slip from my arms, onto the floor!

 

He is 100% fine (Babies have to endure a lot worse to even get here in the first place), but it's a cautionary tale I share with new potential parents. Interestingly the pediatrician who examined Alex after the event and confirmed he was fine said it happens so often, and it was the third she had seen that week.

 

Was the scariest moment of my life!

 

After that somber advice, my advice is, don't expect things to be amazing right from the word go, for a Dad, in my experience and the feedback from my honest male friends, you are mostly there to support Mum (or Dad), for the first pretty long time, the real bond with a baby probably doesn't start for real until 12 months and for a lot of Dads, 18 months.

 

Have fun, attend the Classes, though to be honest I skipped the birth video and stayed at the head end of my wife during both our deliveries. Oh, and have a secondary plan if your primary birth plan doesn't go according to schedule.

 

Edit: One more thing, the 2 best things we owned were a baby monitor with a movement/breathing detection (Allows you to sleep knowing you will get a loud alarm if something happens and Baby stops breathing), and a nappy bin that contains bad smells and is auto sealing.

 

 

 

Man my posts seem full of gloom! Sorry!

 

 


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  Reply # 1483295 2-Feb-2016 10:03
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First and foremost - everyone will have advice for you. Some of it is great, some of it is utter garbage. Having said that, here is mine.

 

Back yourself. From experience older doctors are happy for a c section, younger doctors are more keen for a natural delivery. Recovery from natural was a lot easier for my wife. Having said that - if a doctor says you NEED one for medical reasons, then do as you are told.

 

Antenatal classes can be great - just to give you some confidence when stuff does start happening that you understand it. A birth plan is cool and all, but don't be upset if/when it goes out the window.

 

Make sure you and your partner are in a good place relationship wise. The first few months can be tough and any existing relationship issues can get blown up badly. I remember having a stand-up argument about leaving water in the sink.... which was forgotten 10 minutes later.

 

Take it one day at a time. For now, focus on healthy wife and baby. Then worry about your birth, then worry about the first month or two. Don't panic about the teenage years now.

 

Don't panic too much about milestones. Every kid is different. Your kid is not a failure if they aren't walking at exactly 11 months 10 days.

 

Figure out your support network - be it parents, friend, whatever. If you have someone to help out with food, washing or sleep for an hour or two here or there it will make all the difference.

 

Finally - people will always share horror stories about birth, kids, teenagers. Don't buy into it. The biggest thing we took from doing Hyno Birthing (which was reaaaally interesting) was letting go of all the negative associations I had from watching movies and TV births.

 

 

 

Congratulations and good luck.

 

edit: Sorry had to add - my wife did not have any luck with breastfeeding and we did bottle early on after my wife expressed with a pump. There is absolutely nothing wrong with formula and bottles - and it means we could share feeds. If baby doesn't like a particular formula there is a wide range to choose from (casein, goat, etc etc). The lactation consultants we had to deal with were horrible, inflexible (insert expletive here) and seemed to think guilting someone who had just had birth into breastfeeding successfully was a great strategy. So similar to "Back yourself" - take advice from them if it works, otherwise nod, smile and tell them to kindly leave you alone.


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  Reply # 1483303 2-Feb-2016 10:10
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MikeAqua:

Father of 4 here ...


Your life is about to change.  Accept it, go with it.  For a short while it will be tough going. But each month something gets easier.


Make sure you each set aside time for yourself and for the two of you as couple.  This is so important and gets easier as feeds get further apart.


On that note.  Get your baby into a routine if you can.  The sooner (within reason) you can do this, the easier life will be. 


Mid-wives will specifically tell you not to do this.   There are books on the subject like baby wise.  Midwives would like to see these books burned but the advice works.  Humans like routine around food and sleep and babies are human.


 


 



Our routine isn't that great, and it kills us, kids never go to sleep at a decent time, so we don't get enough sleep nor enough husband & wife time together.

MikeAqua is so right. Start the routine asap!!

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  Reply # 1483305 2-Feb-2016 10:14
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Kiwifruta:
MikeAqua:

 

Father of 4 here ...

 

 

 

Your life is about to change.  Accept it, go with it.  For a short while it will be tough going. But each month something gets easier.

 

 

 

Make sure you each set aside time for yourself and for the two of you as couple.  This is so important and gets easier as feeds get further apart.

 

 

 

On that note.  Get your baby into a routine if you can.  The sooner (within reason) you can do this, the easier life will be. 

 

 

 

Mid-wives will specifically tell you not to do this.   There are books on the subject like baby wise.  Midwives would like to see these books burned but the advice works.  Humans like routine around food and sleep and babies are human.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Our routine isn't that great, and it kills us, kids never go to sleep at a decent time, so we don't get enough sleep nor enough husband & wife time together.

MikeAqua is so right. Start the routine asap!!

 

 

 

Agreed. Routine makes life much easier, though as someone said, don't become a slave to it.


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  Reply # 1483306 2-Feb-2016 10:15
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wasabi2k:

First and foremost - everyone will have advice for you. Some of it is great, some of it is utter garbage. Having said that, here is mine.


Back yourself. From experience older doctors are happy for a c section, younger doctors are more keen for a natural delivery. Recovery from natural was a lot easier for my wife. Having said that - if a doctor says you NEED one for medical reasons, then do as you are told.


Antenatal classes can be great - just to give you some confidence when stuff does start happening that you understand it. A birth plan is cool and all, but don't be upset if/when it goes out the window.


Make sure you and your partner are in a good place relationship wise. The first few months can be tough and any existing relationship issues can get blown up badly. I remember having a stand-up argument about leaving water in the sink.... which was forgotten 10 minutes later.


Take it one day at a time. For now, focus on healthy wife and baby. Then worry about your birth, then worry about the first month or two. Don't panic about the teenage years now.


Don't panic too much about milestones. Every kid is different. Your kid is not a failure if they aren't walking at exactly 11 months 10 days.


Figure out your support network - be it parents, friend, whatever. If you have someone to help out with food, washing or sleep for an hour or two here or there it will make all the difference.


Finally - people will always share horror stories about birth, kids, teenagers. Don't buy into it. The biggest thing we took from doing Hyno Birthing (which was reaaaally interesting) was letting go of all the negative associations I had from watching movies and TV births.


 


Congratulations and good luck.


edit: Sorry had to add - my wife did not have any luck with breastfeeding and we did bottle early on after my wife expressed with a pump. There is absolutely nothing wrong with formula and bottles - and it means we could share feeds. If baby doesn't like a particular formula there is a wide range to choose from (casein, goat, etc etc). The lactation consultants we had to deal with were horrible, inflexible (insert expletive here) and seemed to think guilting someone who had just had birth into breastfeeding successfully was a great strategy. So similar to "Back yourself" - take advice from them if it works, otherwise nod, smile and tell them to kindly leave you alone.



Have to agree on milestones, my 2 year old is more toilet trained than our 5 year old.
The 2 & 5 year old go higher on the swings and higher up hills on their bikes than their 7 year old brother.

They are all so different yet, all from the same parents and home.

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