Parenting

I’ve got a little one on the way, due date is 1st of July.

We are preparing the house this and ourselves. I’m going to use a full half of my annual holiday allowance to get two weeks off when they are born. On the one hand I can’t wait and on the other we want to make sure we get some of the cool things we want to do done before.

Are you planning on having children?

What are your experiences with parenting?

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Read a bunch of books. Don’t trust old people.

If you are on the ball, you can pretty much do anything you want for the first 6-9 months. They are a just a lump that poops. Strap them to your chest and go about your normal life. Go places! Play games! Do all the things.

Know that there are good times and bad times, and the extremes extend themselves with age. The good gets better and the bad get worse. Cleaning a shitty diaper isn’t fun, nor is waking up at 2AM, but just get over it and do it. The good times of an infant aren’t all that exciting either. You get some smiles, some laughs, it’s nice. Fast forward, and now your lump is accomplishing major real-world things that you are so proud of (yay!) but also struggling with real world shit (oh no!). Enjoy each step of the journey.

Brace yourself to enter the world of “other parents.” Up until now, you have selected the people you associate yourself with. Now, you are lumped into a group with a very low bar to entry: unprotected sex. You don’t need to be friends with all of the other parents.

Make a list of all the things you learn, and all of the potential strategies you could be implementing as a parent. Should you be really strict about bedtime, diet, or any of a hundred other different parenting areas? Make a giant list of all the shit that seems important. Then rank it. Draw a cutoff line somewhere in the middle. Above it, you will be really strict. Below it, you will do the bare minimum but generally be lax.

Know that (especially in the early years), something that is “below the line” for you might be someone else’s number 1. This will probably be a dumb old person or another dumb parent, but it could be anybody. They will treat you like you are murdering baby for not being strict about item #72 on your priority list. Fuck these people. Disassociate yourself from them. Hold your line.

Maintain your boundaries with family. Don’t let them smother you. Don’t ghost your friends.

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Congrats on parenthood.

I’ll second reading books, but trust old people you respect and trust in general so long as they have parenting experience. They won’t necessarily know everything and some of their stuff may be outdated, but a lot of their advice will be helpful. Assuming you have good relations with your parents and/or your S.O.'s parents, then yeah, they may have good advice. Don’t follow it blindly, of course, but at least give it a fair listening to.

A lot of what you do in the beginning may be related to how well they sleep. You may need to tone down things if they are very sensitive sleepers who wake up to the slightest noise. Still, things like gaming and stuff should be fine.

Going places should be fine as well. Just make sure the kid is properly dressed for the weather and make sure you leave appropriate times for their naps and such. An overtired baby is never fun.

Find someone you trust as a babysitter. Again, if you live near the kid’s grandparents and you’re on good terms with them, they can be invaluable. If you happen to be friends with any other parents nearby, perhaps you can work out some sort of “babysitting trade days” where they babysit your kids for a night so you can get out and vice versa. You will need to be able to get out and be a couple every so often, hence the need for a babysitter you trust.

Read to your kid every night at bedtime, no matter how young they are. Get them interested in books and reading and learning early.

Set up a bedtime ritual and stick to it as much as possible. Our ritual was a bath followed by storytime and then bed. That’s not a bad ritual IMHO, but of course feel free to tweak it based on what works for you as well.

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My wife and I do not want kids, but all of our friends from college who we hung out with even afterward just disappeared into the aether literally the day their first kid was born. We’ve tried reaching out but it’s always “Sorry no time.”

Yes, it is tricky, but you can sort of make it work out.

One thing we did was invite some of our friends to our house. It helps that said friends happened to like kids, even if they didn’t want any themselves.

That’s also part of the importance of finding a good babysitter. You may not be able to spend as much time with your friends as before, but a babysitter will at least let you spend some time with them.

Nah, ghost your friends and don’t worry about it. Not seeing friends due to children arriving is just part of life. If people hold it against you, tell them to grow up and get over it.

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Well, I assumed “ghosting” means “vanishing from their lives without staying in contact.”

You can not see your friends due to kids having too much time without ghosting them. Yes, you can say, “Sorry, too busy, maybe next time,” when they ask if you’re available to do anything, and that’s fine. Just vanishing from the world from their point of view is not if you wish to remain friends with them.

So maybe they aren’t going to be close friends for a while. You’ll probably catch up with them again in four or five years. It’ll be fine.

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True, so long as you at least nominally keep in touch.

Anyone have their kids surprise them in odd ways?

My daughter’s deep fondness for horror movies was unexpected, especially when it surfaced around 6 years old. Her current favorite is The Conjuring Cinematic Universe but she does enjoy the classics, like A Nightmare on Elm Street and Alien.

My son’s deep dislike of needles is definitely common for kids but his ability to nick his finger while chopping produce then just ignore it to get back to chopping after bandaging up stands in odd contrasts to his needle issue.

They both have rather firm grasps on math at a young age, though in different ways, like with patterns versus an innate understanding of algebra.

It’s fun to watch them grow in unexpected ways.

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Resources to keep kids entertained and learning while out of school.

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Since both my spouse and I will be home for a week or more, we plan to ramp up potty training for our 2-year-old. Any advice, tips, tricks, or methods that others can provide?

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How do I get my kid in the cot now that we’ve lowered the base? If she’s asleep and I’m holding her flat on her back my arms just aren’t long enough to set her down like I usually would. I could sort of do it if she’s sitting up and lie her down but that wakes her up. Or I can lift her in by her sides but when she’s asleep that seems wrong.

This may be too late now but if you still need advice/tips my wife and I had great success with the book Oh Crap! Potty Training by Jamie Glowacki. Her method is fairly hardcore (ditch diapers day 1, full naked for the first “block” which hopefully translates to a day and just running them to the potty when they start to go til they figure it out) and you definitely have to commit to it, but it worked really well for our son. It requires you to stay home for at least a few days straight but now is the perfect time for that for a lot of people. We definitely had a couple times where we thought he just wasn’t getting it and had to clean up some accidents but it eventually just clicked and now he’s doing great.

It’s been a lifesaver having him all but sleep trained now (didn’t want to deal with that yet and will work on it later) since he just goes to the potty instead of us having to be constantly changing diapers. We do pull ups at nap and bed time now and he usually wakes up dry at nap time.

2 years old is the right time frame per her method so if you still need it hopefully this will help. Only thing I’ll say is to follow her advice about not mentioning you’re doing this method to other people. We got a lot of push back from people (mostly grandparents) on it, although now that my Sister-In-Law is doing the same thing she told us my MIL kept telling her it would never work and now realizes she was wrong. Good luck (assuming you haven’t already gotten it down)!

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Lay them down drowsy but still awake after bedtime routine. You may need to do full on sleep training and go back in every 15 minutes half the night, but they’ll go right to sleep in a couple days. So painful but so worth it.

We found this book to be helpful.
https://www.abebooks.com/9781903458358/Good-Sleep-Guide-Baby-Angela-1903458358/plp

Then we had to do it all again when the rail came down and she could just climb out of bed :frowning:

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Just caught this thread. Our little Max is pretty much a month younger if you were near your due-date :blush:

Anyways; sleep training is certainly the key. Slightly differently to figleaf, we never put him down asleep or drowsy so he has to learn to put go asleep by himself. If he struggles we go back 5, 10, 15, etc minutes later to sooth for a couple of minutes until it works. Only the first few nights did we even get to 15 minutes. Just got him sleeping a full night with no feeds last night too and hoping for a repeat :muscle:t2:

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I will check out the book you recommended. We are actually holding off on potty training until toilet paper is less scarce. He sits on his potty and pretends to do his business, is working on pulling his pants up and down, and is beginning to communicate when he is about to urinate or defecate. We have a bunch of potty training books for him, an Elmo potty, and a Sesame Street potty training chart.

Regarding that hardcore method, we recently put A LOT of money into redoing the floors throughout our house. Did you sequester yourself(selves) and the kiddo to a couple of rooms with tarps/shower curtains on the floor? Also, did you diaper at naptime? If so, did that cause confusion?

A step stool for you and sleep training for your little one. We tried Ferber, but found the check-ins were more upsetting to our kiddo. We switched to extinction. The first night and nap were hard. The next two days got better. After three days, the most we would get is a quick protest whine.

So oddly toilet paper hasn’t been an issue with our son, because we just use wipes for when he has a bowel movement (had a ton left over when we did the switch). BM’s are way cleaner when not in the diaper so it uses a lot less wipes than before and we just toss them in his diaper pail which we’ve moved to the bathroom. So that really hasn’t been an issue for us.

We have the Elmo Potty book too which was a big favorite and as an incentive we only let him read it when he was using the potty. Another good resource (which we watched probably 6-7 times day one of training) was the Daniel Tiger episode on potty training. Available free on Amazon Prime Video (I believe it’s Season 2 Episode 1), it has a song that my son still sings to this day (we trained around Christmas) that teaches going right away and cleaning up after. Good lessons on dealing with the kid who doesn’t want to go to the potty cause they want to keep playing. There is a corresponding sound book for that episode like the Elmo book that was again a potty only book.

For the floor issues, we were lucky and didn’t have accidents until we moved to clothes which pretty much absorbed everything, although YMMV. We did not sequester and have hardwoods in most of the house, with rugs and some tile in areas where it’s not hardwood. If you get to it right away, it doesn’t make a huge mess that you can’t clean up (we already had a dog before so we were used to the occasional accident), but again I don’t know what your floors are so if you need to sequester yourself you can do that. The book basically recommends having a potty near where you’re hanging out and we had 2, one in the bathroom and a travel one that we kept in whichever room we were hanging out in so we had a super short distance to go if we needed to get on the potty ASAP.

We did diapers at nap time and bed and still do. The book can explain it in more detail but you basically explain that while they’re doing a great job, nap and sleep are a long time to hold it so we do this just for nap and then when we wake up we take it off and go potty right away. The book goes through methods for night training but we didn’t want to deal with the wake up and it says if you want you can do that later. We’re still in a crib and are holding on to that as long as we can for containment reasons at nap time, and the book recommends for sleep training you have a potty in their room that they can just get up and go to themselves once you’ve shown them how (not really possible or preferred while still in the crib). Our son took to it pretty well and understands that he’s a big kid now and that diapers are for nap/sleep and underwear/potty is for wake up time. You might have some confusion in which case doing the sleep training might make sense but the plan laid out in the book worked really well for us.

The only thing to note is that the book says the key time to do this is between 20 and 30 months, as from her research older kids get set in their ways and are a lot harder to train. We did it when our son was 2.5 and it seems like you’re still in the good window, but something to consider. Hope this info is helpful! Since you haven’t started training yet, you might try reading the book (assuming you have time chasing a 2 year old around) and seeing if you think it’ll work for you. Happy to answer any other questions about this issue/method you might have.

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@rbanders Using wipes would definitely work, and we have a ton because I buy in bulk.

I have ordered the book and will get cracking, because he is 27 months old. I think we will put tarps down and keep him contained to a couple of rooms for the first day at least. He is a heavy wetter.

Now that he is eating some raw vegetables on top of his major love for all fruit, he poops often. It would be nice not to have to deal with so many poopy diapers.