No – really. No idea. I have never changed a diaper. I have held two or three babies ever. My husband has never given a baby a bottle or given a child a bath. We’re total novices. We’re clueless. And we know it.
But, fortunately, babies don’t appear overnight. It takes 40 weeks to grow one, so we have lots of time to learn and practice our baby skills. I’m a huge believer that other people – whether through blogs or conversation – have the best advice to share, not a book or magazine. I want to hear what really worked for my friends and relatives, not an idealized version of what babyhood should be like.
We’ve been ‘interviewing’ friends for their thoughts, and here’s the best two pieces of advice that we’ve received so far:
- Read Books In Advance: My sister-in-law advised me to read books that are one developmental stage ahead of my baby. Don’t read pregnancy books while pregnant – read newborn books. Don’t read newborn books when you’re juggling life with a newborn – read toddler books. This helped her ‘stay on top’ of development instead of always playing catch-up. As a result, she felt that she was more proactive than reactive.
- Split Up Paternity Leave: We’re in an unique position because both my husband and I are small business owners, so we can do whatever we want in terms of maternity and paternity leave (within reason, of course – if we don’t work, we don’t make any money). My husband’s best friend said that he wished he had asked his employer if he could break up his two weeks of (unpaid) leave so he was with the baby for Week 1 and Week 4 – not Week 1 and 2. Other family and friends will be around for the first two weeks, he told us. It’s far better for the dad to get an extra week off at Week 4, when other help might have tapered off.
Image Source: Beginning Reader
What is the best advice that you’ve heard?