Parenthood is a joyous adventure, but one that requires a bit of a learning curve. There is nothing you need to stress about, it will all come with time and experience. Here are just a few things to keep in mind while preparing to bring your baby home:
You'll be getting less sleep now than you've ever gone without in your entire life. Sleep when you can. If the baby is sleeping, you should be to. When my husband and I brought our daughter home, he literally stayed up all night holding her, staring at her. As you will have never seen anything so miraculous in your life, you'll be tempted to do the same, but don't. Sleep when you can.
I planned on breast-feeding our baby, but nature had another plan and we ended up bottle feeding our daughter. As with all children, be flexible as you may have similar luck as I did. When it comes to formula, remember that they are not all the same thing. Your baby will react differently to different formulas. You'll need to talk with your doctor to make sure that your baby is getting all the necessary nutrients to be happy and healthy.
Babies are expensive. There is no way around it. You would think that two people plus one other would equal three, but you're wrong. Be prepared to increase your expenses by 40 percent with the addition of a new child.
Just like poopy diapers, visitors are inevitable. They come whether you want them or not. Remember that it's your responsibility to keep your baby healthy and shield them from the germs that visiting relatives can bring. Carry hand sanitizer and have them wash their hands with warm water and soap if they are available.
Wash your hands. Hand sanitizer is great when hot water and soap aren't available, but nothing beats the good ol' fashioned way. Even if you're a healthy person, you'll need to consciously wash your hands more than you currently are.
Trust me when I say you won't take too many pictures or have too many minutes of video when it comes to your newborn. Every yawn, every curl of the fingers and toes you'll want to get some footage of. Do what you can, as these will absolutely be treasured moments that you'll never want to forget.
Not all diapers are created equal. Not all brand name diapers will fit your baby the same either. You'll have mountains of advice when it comes to diapers, but experiment with your baby to see which ones will offer the most comfort and protection from leaks.
You will get hordes of new adorable clothes for your baby, but very little of it will be useful on a daily basis. You're going to want to stock up on onesies and long-sleeve onesies. Since your baby will literally eat, sleep and poop in these; you can't have too many of them.
Take care of yourself
Because you're going to be crazy tired for the next 18 years, you'll want to take the necessary steps to keep yourself healthy like eating right, exercising when you can and as I mentioned before, sleep when you can.
Every child is different
Remember this. Never compare your kids to each other. As soon as you find yourself saying "I wonder why this type of discipline isn't working for baby two," stop and remember that every child is different and will respond to discipline and rewards in different ways. Customize and tailor the situation for each child so you can parent each one effectively.