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Thread: tips for new parents. what to buy/know/do/avoid

  1. #17
    Super Moderator Jonj1611's Avatar
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    Re: tips for new parents. what to buy/know/do/avoid

    I think however the best advice and to give you the best protection against shock is to remove from your memory the words 'disposable income'
    Jon

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    Re: tips for new parents. what to buy/know/do/avoid

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonj1611 View Post
    Without knowing how long ago people had babies its hard to say about nappy quality, for me it was 20+ years ago. We used Pampers which were excellent, we did try other cheaper brands at the time and had no end of problems with leaks etc
    Mine are 3yrs and 18 months, and we're still using nappies with the younger one. We also have friends who have younger kids, so we're in a relatively current loop.
    Every child is different, of course, and some will wiggle out of what stays rock solid on others.
    Best option is to try different things and see what works for you...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonj1611 View Post
    I think however the best advice and to give you the best protection against shock is to remove from your memory the words 'disposable income'
    More of a re-focus, I think.
    As a dad, you'll initially feel like ^this... but then your little one will start showing a real liking for 'stuff' and before you know it, you're buying explorer hats and activity vests, sewing dinosaur patches on shirts and hand-crafting light-up electronic 'Gizmo' arm-computers, so your darling can go play Andy's Dinosaur Adventures!!

    The best part is when they take an interest in your interests. There is perhaps nothing cuter (so far) than when you give your daughter her very own Swiss Army Knife toy... and she immediately names all the tools on it!!
    _______________________________________________________________________
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Tyson
    like a chihuahua urinating on a towering inferno...

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    <Insert witty one liner> Kanoe's Avatar
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    Re: tips for new parents. what to buy/know/do/avoid

    I'm a bit late to the party on this thread but our little one has just reached 5 months. I keep meaning to post in the dad's sign in thread but have yet to get round to it.

    The maternity experience we had was not a positive one and I keep re-writing this as I don't want to bring a lot of that baggage to this thread (apologies if some spills over), might include that in the other one in time.

    So some things I have learnt in my limited experience of being a dad so far:

    - Enjoy it! If it is your first time, it will be a shock to the system but when you are holding them and they are smiling at you there is no feeling like it on earth

    - Everyone, even people you know who don't have kids, will have an opinion about what you should do / how you should care for your baby. By all means hear them out but at the end it's totally up to you how and what you do so politely tell them to do one. That goes for everything I am about to say too!

    - If you are being classed as an elective c section, try and get them to book it as close to 39 weeks as possible to reduce the chance of going into labour beforehand but do not let them book you in before 39 weeks as there is a policy ( national I think) of not doing it before this point due to concerns over lung development. Now you would think that the hospital would know this when booking you in but unfortunately that's not always the case and we didn't find that out till we were half way through the pre-op when they decided to cancel it and move it back a week.

    - Do a bit of reading around differences between a c section and an emergency c section

    - If born by c section they may have a bit of fluid on the lungs (apparently natural birth squeezes this out but they obviously don't get that benefit if born via c section). If they sound a bit gunky when sleeping angle the cot (feet lower than head) to help them drain. We did this for a week and it helped them a lot.

    - There may be lots of waiting around in the hospital and if anything like ours there was no phone signal in the hospital and no WIFI, so no access to the internet, Netflix etc so take something to do

    - Covid restrictions meant visiting was limited to 10 till 5 for me and no other visitors were allowed

    - If you are planning on breastfeeding, it can be a challenge. The baby has to learn to do it and they might not be good at it to begin with. You can get nipple shields to help if they are having issues latching and they were a god send. Also there are WhatsApp support groups for breastfeeding. That's where the wife got info about nipple shields from, no one in the NHS ever mentioned them and there is always someone active in it day and night so it can help feel a little less isolating.

    - I got a microwaveable bag for sterilising and so far that has lasted us fine, don't need to do as much sterilising when breast feeding

    - Don't be afraid to go second hand for stuff, most of the stuff won't have been used much if at all and it saves some money

    - When the baby sleeps, you sleep. Sleep deprivation is no joke. For about a week I couldn't actually finish sentences I was trying to say cause my brain wasn't working. All the household jobs you think you can get done whilst they are asleep, sod them, they can wait get some sleep

    - In relation to the above, IT WILL GET BETTER. Hopefully they will settle into a pattern, maybe only for a week or so before they change again but it will get easier over time.

    - Get a copy of a book (or the app) The Wonder Weeks. Really useful if you want to understand what the baby is going through at different points. I try not to read too far ahead, only reading the chapter that we have just hit for the time period for

    - Amazon baby list. I think they still do but they we found an offer where if you ordered £200 of baby stuff from them they gave you 20% off the whole order plus a free nappy bin. The items had to be in the baby section and sold / dispatched by amazon to qualify but if you make a list of items over the next few months it was very easy to hit that mark. (but still shop around, even with the discount they were more expensive for some items than going elsewhere)

    - Nappies. We had planned to go re-useable but didn't get on with them in the end and have gone for disposable ones. We are using Tesco brand ones and they have been OK.

    - Wipes. Although we didn't manage to go reusable for nappies we have for wipes. We use Cheeky Wipes, basically has one box were you store damped clothes and another box that you put the dirty ones in and every few days stick them through a wash. Have been great.

    - Car seat. Because they will need a car seat for a long period of time we went with one that can go through most of the different groups without us needing to buy a new one as they get bigger / older. However, I really really wish I had got one that rotates 90 degrees to make it easier to get them in and out of the car.

    - Baby tracker app / Spreadsheet on google drive. Post birth midwifes and health visitors will be obsessed with asking you how many feeds a day they are having, how many wet / dirty nappies. Due to lack of sleep you probably wont remember, there are free apps to track that info for you or if you are worried about data being shared set up a shared spreadsheet on google drive that you can both access from your phone to log the info.

    - Clothes, don't get too many they will grow out of them fast. Wouldn't even bother with new born, just go straight to 0-3 and just fold cuffs back on arms until the grow into them.

    Speaking of clothes I have a bag of 0-3 and 3-6 months clothes that are in really good nick that you can have if you want. Just let me know. We had originally wanted to donate them to various baby related / women's charities but all the ones we contacted told us they had enough already and didn't want them. We don't have any friends or family to pass them on to so you are welcome to them.

  4. #20
    MCRN Tachi Ttaskmaster's Avatar
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    Re: tips for new parents. what to buy/know/do/avoid

    There's a lot of things I'd agree with, there, Kanoe!!!

    One VERY important thing to consider:
    Quote Originally Posted by Kanoe View Post
    - Wipes. Although we didn't manage to go reusable for nappies we have for wipes. We use Cheeky Wipes, basically has one box were you store damped clothes and another box that you put the dirty ones in and every few days stick them through a wash. Have been great.
    Make sure you put the Cheekies in one of those zip-up laundry net-bag things. Otherwise, they can work their way round the drum and into other parts of the washing machine, resulting in either expensive repairs or outright killing of the appliance... Ask me how I know this one...!!

    But yeah, Cheekies are great. Carrying a small box of them (I have a half-sandwich sized tupperware thing) in the nappy changing bag, you'll find them perfect for washing face, hands, bums and all the other baby bits that get messy. This carries through into the toddler years too, by the way!
    _______________________________________________________________________
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Tyson
    like a chihuahua urinating on a towering inferno...

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    Re: tips for new parents. what to buy/know/do/avoid

    Thanks all for the advice so far. It's all really really useful and has given us some good things to research. The teatowel tip has already been passed on to some of our friends whose wee boy, well wees everywhere during changes. I must say I'm not looking forward to having to deal with a free shooting hose and all the clear up that will come with it.

    Anyone got any tips on baby monitors? Some of our friends are using a wifi enabled one via their phones but I can just see that being 1) security risk and 2) when it's asleep I'll probably want to be able to use my phone!

  6. #22
    Super Moderator Jonj1611's Avatar
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    Re: tips for new parents. what to buy/know/do/avoid

    Things have come a long way since I last used baby monitors, we had some Tomy ones, did the job, could hear when the kids woke up etc.

    I don't have any experience with video monitor ones
    Jon

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    Re: tips for new parents. what to buy/know/do/avoid

    Quote Originally Posted by ik9000 View Post
    I must say I'm not looking forward to having to deal with a free shooting hose and all the clear up that will come with it.
    Heh heh... girls are awesome!!

    Quote Originally Posted by ik9000 View Post
    Anyone got any tips on baby monitors? Some of our friends are using a wifi enabled one via their phones but I can just see that being 1) security risk and 2) when it's asleep I'll probably want to be able to use my phone!
    We have a couple from Annke and Ezviz, basically the exact same model from the exact same factory, but with different branding. Both are standard IP cameras and can be accessed via the internet or just LAN. Software includes various MFA options, cameras have IR and the image quality is pretty good - Can read a 1" LCD thermometer screen on the side table quite clearly.
    Best part is that you can record vide and take pics, stored on cloud, MicroSD or local PC drive, so they can look back when they're old enough and see all the cute-crazy-weird-funny stuff kids do when asleep.

    I have an app for the phone and tablet, a desktop version of the same app, and I can even access the cameras through VLC player which gives me further options.
    Video is pretty essential in modern times, I think, as you will often see problems arise before it gets so bad that they actually make noises - Smothered face, limbs trapped, etc
    _______________________________________________________________________
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    like a chihuahua urinating on a towering inferno...

  8. #24
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    Re: tips for new parents. what to buy/know/do/avoid

    Went with a basic BT (as in british telecom not bluetooth) Audio one as didn't see the need for video and also wasn't happy with most of them sending the image to cloud and then phone app gets it from the cloud as too much of a security risk so went low tech

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    Re: tips for new parents. what to buy/know/do/avoid

    As a father to a 7 and 5 year old these are some good tips.

    I'll add:
    1) Make friends. Having other parents to talk to (and Mum to hang out with during maternity leave at the coffee shop etc) is invaluable. This is even more the case with post natal depression should the worst happen. Add to this join groups - council/church/charity - whatever. Being a parent to a new born is isolating - even more so to mums in maternity leave with no work.
    2) Say good bye to your life for the next 10+ years. Its no longer your own. Saying that its the best feeling in the world when you can cuddle your own kid (but save these moments in your memories for the lows)
    3) Say good bye to sleep. Its gone - accept and move on. I survived on ~5 hours a night for years (my wife was unwell with postnatal depression so I did most of the night stuff)
    4) Don't buy new everything. You'll feel the pressure to get the best pushchair, car seat, cot etc money can buy but it is NOT needed. Get something second hand in decent condition and it'll be fine. Trust me the baby will not notice the difference and it'll all be covered in poo/sick in a week anyway. We found with pushchair it was hard to know what style we wanted so ended up with about 6 different models over the two kids but most critical was - does it fit in the car boot! Ones you can drop the car seat in too are also good for short trips out.
    5) Say yes to help. We got very little help but each meal cooked or baby taken for a short walk was the best thing in the world and kept us sane.
    6) Just remember when its tough - nothing last for ever. Colic/bad nights etc. Its all fleeting. It'll be the terrible 2s before you know it, then preschool and school and you'll wonder what happened to 5 years!
    Trust

    Laptop : Dell Inspiron 1545 with Ryzen 5500u, 16gb and 256 NVMe, Windows 11.

  10. #26
    Super Moderator Jonj1611's Avatar
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    Re: tips for new parents. what to buy/know/do/avoid

    My youngest turns 18 this year and while I have done my time I would do anything to go back to those younger days.
    Jon

  11. #27
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    Re: tips for new parents. what to buy/know/do/avoid

    Just been on holiday with a group of friends and 4 children from a couple of months to almost 4. Interesting to see the development. Youngest was just a cute blob, second was only a few months older than that but even the basic interaction was so rewarding. At 2 our one interacts well but the step up with another year and a half was massive to the level of conversation you can have (they knew everything, or so they said). So many good times gone already, so many more to come before they decide they're too cool for you Also had my mum over for the weekend - was very weird just popping to a supermarket with tother half just the two of us, we could have a conversation and hold hands, very surreal!

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    Re: tips for new parents. what to buy/know/do/avoid

    Quote Originally Posted by ik9000 View Post
    Please can people share their nuggets of wisdom for first time parents feeling like rabbits in the headlights? ...
    Erm, many congrats .... or commiserations (for the impending lack of sleep).

    But my main advice is don't take advice from me. My views on child-rearing are that they're great when young .... provided you can hand them back.

    Then, aged about 10 or 11, you stick 'em in a barrel and feed 'em through the bung hole. At about 15, drive in the bung.

    And if they're girls, start saving for the shotgun you'll need to be visibly cleaning when they start bringing boyfriends home - gotta focus the lad's attention on consequences.


    Yes, I may not be being entirely serious.
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

  13. #29
    RIP Peterb ik9000's Avatar
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    Re: tips for new parents. what to buy/know/do/avoid

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen999 View Post
    Erm, many congrats .... or commiserations (for the impending lack of sleep).

    But my main advice is don't take advice from me. My views on child-rearing are that they're great when young .... provided you can hand them back.

    Then, aged about 10 or 11, you stick 'em in a barrel and feed 'em through the bung hole. At about 15, drive in the bung.

    And if they're girls, start saving for the shotgun you'll need to be visibly cleaning when they start bringing boyfriends home - gotta focus the lad's attention on consequences.


    Yes, I may not be being entirely serious.
    I hear you brother, I hear you.

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