Having a baby is truly a wonderful thing. You and your spouse are creating the most precious thing you'll ever put your hands on. And while no two babies are exactly alike (not even twins), for the most part, moms have a natural instinct for taking care of the little rug rats. Dads, on the other hand, are a bit more clueless.
Sure, an owner's manual would be a monumental help to everyone, but until Apple invents an iBaby, don't hold your breath. No, new parents most certainly have their hands full. New moms are trying to get a handle on taking care of their newborn and their mostly useless husbands.
Are there things a guy needs to know before knocking up his wife? You better believe it! Here's a look at 7 things I wish I knew before my wife and I even attempted having our first child.
1. Women's bodies change. Well, duh. Of course they do. Their bellies get ginormous. But that's not what I'm talking about. During pregnancy, women actually get this vertical black line that runs down their belly. (AKA, linea nigra.) For sympathy, grab a Sharpie and do the same to yours.
2. Buy a cup. I can't tell you how many times I've been kicked in the family jewels. By my family, I mean. Specifically my kids. Babies loooove to kick, especially when they first realize they have legs. So my biggest piece of advice is to wear a cup. Always.
3. You'll have no idea what you're doing. Read as much as you want. Watch as many movies as you want. The instant you bring your newborn home for the very first time, chances are you'll sit on the couch, stare at your wife, and you'll both say, "Now what?"
4. Holy crap. No pictures, no books, no words can ever prepare you for how insanely monstrous and grotesque a baby's first poop can be. No joke, I nearly fainted the first time I saw my son's first diaper change. (And my wife almost burst her stitches!)
5. Naps are highly underrated. Ever get just five hours of sleep in one night? Spread out in small batches of 15-minute increments? Yeah, get used to it. Say goodbye to a regular sleep pattern for a few years and embrace the afternoon nap!
6. Making a belly button is disgusting. Belly buttons are cute. But when you see first-hand how they're actually made, chances are, you'll throw up in your mouth. When the umbilical cord is cut, it's clamped off, so newborns don't have belly buttons yet. They have nasty little wrinkled tubes of skin that dry up after a few days and eventually ... just fall off. If you're lucky like me, it falls off and you have no idea when or where. Gulp.
7. Pregnant women pee when they sneeze. Pregnant women do it. Moms do it. It's apparently pretty common but we guys have no clue. Women will often say, "I laughed so hard I peed my pants." We guys always thought it was just an expression. We thought wrong.
What words of advice can you give to expecting parents?
Photo via Joelle Inge-Messerschmidt/Flickr