These days I'm surrounded by people expecting their first kid. Having survived 2.37 years with my first offspring, I'm itching to share the pain and pleasure with anyone who will listen. It turns out expecting/new parents are a more socially acceptable outlet than random strangers on the street, and so they often wind up hearing from me and every other parent a long list of sage 'advice'.
In the interest of sharing this with all of those who may care, as well as saving for the posterity inherent in the inter webs, I hear-by present my advice to expecting/new parents:
- You don't need any of that stuff. I can't believe how much stuff babies come with. You don't need any of it. Except: a car seat (seriously, they get agro on you in the hospital about that), and some swaddleclothes.
- Corollary to #1, the books are all of moderate to full on uselessness. Except: Happiest Baby on the Block. If your kid is fussy, it's a lifesaver.
- Extending on rule #1 and it's corollary, and frankly the golden rule: Ignore all advice from anyone. It turns out all the kids are different, and all the parents are different. Nothing more annoying than listening to people who 'know' what you need.
So listen to me, don't get anything, don't read anything, and don't listen to anyone. Except me. And everyone else who wants to give you advice. Because you never know when you'll hear the one thing that makes this insane journey just a little bit easier. It turns out that after a few hundred thousands years of raising kids Humans have generally become good at it, and listening to a few people won't kill you. Just ignore them if it does.