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If you could give one piece of advice to a new parent, what would it be? What is the one thing you have learned as a parent, that you wish someone had told you before your child was born?

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asked 08 Oct '09, 15:05

mkcoehoorn's gravatar image

mkcoehoorn
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Don't strive for the ideal at the cost of your sanity. Instead, try to be content with what circumstances give you. As long as you have a healthy, happy baby, nothing else really matters.

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answered 08 Oct '09, 15:16

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Kiesa ♦
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Reads some books on parenting. Your self-instincts could sometimes be wrong (especially when it comes to sleep training.)

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answered 08 Oct '09, 20:58

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Ates Goral
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Surely it depends on the books. If you read every book on parenting you get a lot of conflicting advice. Personally I'd recommend learning how to be discerning about advice (in books or direct from people) - is it backed up by well researched evidence or is it just opinion, or based on one person's experience?

(30 Oct '09, 10:27) Meg Stephenson

My advice: "Hang in there. It gets better". Those first weeks of parenthood are really trying, and just knowing that things will settle down and get better is such a comfort.

It's also good to remind new parents that nothing is permanent. Babies change so quickly, so the idea of impermanence helps you savor the good and endure the bad at every stage.

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answered 09 Oct '09, 14:12

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Remember that the first three months are really the fourth trimester and that it really does get easier.

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answered 09 Oct '09, 16:55

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Michelle
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Realize that everyone has an opinion and quite often, these opinions will not coincide with your own parenting philosophies or general 'gut' feelings about parenting. Whatever works for you and your family is what is best.

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answered 15 Oct '09, 01:50

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heidiplusthree
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This is almost identical to my advice to new couples about marriage.

(18 Oct '09, 18:24) Dinah

Hmmm... good question. A lot of good answers have already been covered: relax, sleep, etc. but my advice would be to laugh & enjoy the moment.

When you're up at 5, enjoy the sunrise (ok, maybe you'll have to wait for spring for this one,) when you're up to your elbows in poop, give a little chuckle - in the big scheme of things it is a little funny. Enjoy the spit bubbles, the cuddles, the first smiles... it really does go quickly and as much as you say you won't forget - WRITE IT DOWN, because you will.

Have fun, and remember, Mr. Clean Magic Eraser takes pretty much anything off of everything.

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answered 18 Oct '09, 04:29

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+1: Mr. Clean Magic Erasers just cleaned some ink pen marks off the wall. Excellent! :-)

(18 Oct '09, 13:27) Scott ♦♦

Buy sleepers with zippers, not buttons. It will save you hours! :-)

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answered 29 Oct '09, 22:11

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Believe in yourself and make sure that you retain all your identities as an indivivual, a spouse and a parent, and each time you feel helpless just remember that no one is born into this life more prepared for parenthood than you. We are all in similar boats, but at different points of the journey.

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answered 08 Oct '09, 20:15

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(Assuming you're married...) Your first priority should be to your spouse and not your child. Obviously, this is not a call to go overboard and neglect your child due to your spouse's whims, but your spouse should never feel like they are 2nd -- and they should treat you the same.

There are practical immediate implications of keeping your marriage happy and supportive, especially in your child's early months and years when you both feel you need the most help. Help is right there.

There are also deeper implications of your child knowing that the foundation of the family is secure and feeling safe in that knowledge. Your love for each other will not go unnoticed (and neither will your neglect if that's the norm). Your marriage will deeply impact your child. When handled correctly, this is a wonderful thing and an invaluable gift to your child and to your spouse.

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answered 18 Oct '09, 18:21

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Dad's: The birth can be a major medical operation - be prepared to take a lot of time off work and care for your wife accordingly.

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answered 04 Nov '09, 12:08

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Asked: 08 Oct '09, 15:05

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Last updated: 05 Nov '09, 17:56