From a man point of view I think having your baby in your life is a little like supporting a football team.
At times it can be frustrating, hard work, and almost work like, but the moments of joy that you get back in return are the most wonderful you can every experience. (even better than a stoppage time winner in a cup final). The first time you and your partner are left in the house, alone with your baby is one of the most terrifying things you'll ever experience but one of the most exciting too. If you say you're not terrified, you're lying!
It s the first time you realise that you have no real idea what to do with a baby, but you've been let loose with this tiny little human. I also found it was the first time I really knew me and my wife were a real team. Stuck in the muddle together, panicking over every little noise or sniffle and learning together.
Nothing can really prepare you for your impending arrival, but hopefully some of the tips below can give you some simple advice from a mans point of view.
1. Hear what you want to hearEveryone, from the moment your baby is born will have their own opinion on what you need to do to bring your baby up, from the clothes it wears to the food it eats, everyone thinks they know best. My advice ... ignore it all! Trust your own instincts and learn from your own mistakes. I truly believe that no one knows your baby more than you and your partner. That weird parental instinct that people talk about kicking in after birth is completely true.
2. Enjoy the very first moments, you won't get them backIf, like me you only get your two weeks Paternity leave before having to return to work, enjoy it and use every hour of it. You will miss your baby every morning when you have to leave for work, so make them most of your time. Make sure you also use this time to look after your partner. Popping a baby out is no mean feat whichever way it comes out, so they will need some recuperation too. It is your time to shine, bank those Brownie points for a later date.
3. Learn to live without sleepYour days of a good nights sleep are gone! The night feeds and lack of sleep will take its toll on you. Everyone gets ratty and irritable when they are tired, but don't take it out on your partner or baby. Cram in every second of sleep that you can, every second is valuable, sleeping will become more important than shaving, washing and even eating. 'Nana naps' will become your friend.
4. Your baby does not need 16,000 outfits
As predicted my wife bought a ridiculous amount of outfits for our unborn son. That combined with the piles and piles of clothes we were bought as gifts has resulted in a spare room stacked to the ceiling with new or hardly worn clothes than are will be sold for pennies on Ebay.
You will need a small selection of baby clothes, don't buy millions of things in 0-3 as the chances are you baby won't even get a chance to wear them before they're packed away into bags or boxes.
5. Don't waste hundreds of £'s on must have gadgetsGadget wise, I found it was trial and error. We bought just about everything that the guides in magazines and websites suggest, but the majority ended up unused. You really do only need basics. I would thoroughly recommend the Perfect Prep though, it's amazing. I was and still am completely clueless about making up a bottle and the Perfect Prep does it all for me in a matter of minutes.
It's the same with toys, your baby doesn't need masses of toys and gadgets, a play mat, bouncer and some rattles is enough to keep your baby entertained for the first few months.
6. Stay away from Google!
If your baby is unwell, phone a doctor. Under no circumstances Google the symptoms all you will do is terrify yourself and make your wife cry! Another big no no is You tube birth videos. Just don't!
7. Enjoy it
As cheesy as it may sound, cherish every single second. The last 13 months have flown in our house. My baby is a toddler and it's been the most fun, most tiring and most disorganised year of my life, but also the most amazing!
A post written by my husband