New parents, understandably, have a lot of things to worry about. The truth is that most of these worries will, in retrospect, seem silly, trivial, or downright funny.
1. Birth Plans – There are many resources about how to “plan” your child’s birth. All the details are prescribed, from music selection and lighting in the delivery room, to birthing position and pain relief choices. The Truth: The only plan is that there is no plan. All the assumptions you used to come up with your “plan” will be off, and you’ll want a completely new plan the moment contractions begin.
2. It’ll All Be Over After The Delivery – There is great anxiety and focus on the “event”. Baby showers, getting the nursery ready, birth plans (see #1). Dads especially are prone to this worry, after living with a pregnant women for so long and all that entails, they think, Ok, once the baby arrives it’ll be back to normal, exept now there will be another person. The Truth: The pregnancy and delivery are the easy part. It’s what comes next that you should really be worried about. Sleepless nights, uncontrolled crying, bathing, endless feedings, flaring tempers. After a few months, you’ll both long for the peace and quiet of pregnancy.
3. All Cribs Are Created Equal – There are fancy cribs with French and Italian names. Princess Cribs with canopies. Not to mention the special, upgraded, high-tech crib mattress so junior can sleep like a baby. The Truth: All new cribs sold today must meet certain safety standards. As long as you are buying from a legitimate retailer, it is safe. Babies will sleep (or not sleep) just as well in a basic crib without the deluxe mattress.
4. Clean Enough – New parents are obsessed with cleanliness. Bottles must be free of bacteria and anything that drops on the floor goes in the garbage. Sterilizers with digital displays that “communicate each phase of the sterilization cycle” are commonplace. The Truth: Soap and water gets bottles and toys plenty clean. Babies have been born all over the world for thousands of years before sterilizers came about, and somehow the human race managed to survive. The best advice when it comes to cleaning bottles? Buy a couple dozen so you never run out, and let the dishwasher do the washing for you.
5. All Carseats Are Created Equal – See #3.
6. Warm Enough – Bottle warmers are right up there with sterilizers. If you are bottle feeding, don’t get your kid hooked on warm milk, because that’s all they’ll want. Instead, mix the formula with room temperature water. There is a huge payoff when you go out with the baby, because you can keep a bottle of water handy and mix some formula anyplace, anytime, without worrying about warming it.
7. Disposable Is King – Thinking about using cloth diapers because they are better for the environment or baby? Get over it. Disposable diapers are up there with electricity and the automobile as something that made modern life better (that is, until the effects of global warming are upon us), and people will think you are a neanderthal if you choose not to use them.