What to Expect from Friends Wanting to See Your Newborn Baby

What to Expect from Friends Wanting to See Your Newborn Baby

Have you seen the baby yet? Ya gotta see the baby! — Shortly after bringing the baby home from the hospital you are ready for the next part of the new-parent ritual—people stopping by to see the baby. This time-honored tradition once featured on a Seinfeld episode is required of all new parents. Of all the experiences from finding out my wife was pregnant through present day, I dreaded this one most—more than hormones or changing my first drippy diaper. Throughout my wife’s pregnancy, I was haunted with images of guests showing up in large groups.  I pictured them taking turns riding my couch while taking selfies using the baby as a prop before posting to their Instagram page.  “Who’s next?”  Okay, maybe my protective instinct kicked in a wee bit early. Who me? After spending a week locked up like a sequestered juror on a high-profile trial, hosting guests provided a welcome change of pace. Here is what you can expect. The Revolving Door — Visits started small—first it was the grandparents stopping by to see the baby. Then a few college friends showed up after work.  Before long friends and relatives called like they were making dinner reservations at a fine restaurant. “We have on opening on Thursday at 7:30.  How many will that be?”  It was like our lobby had a revolving door, I’d be walking two guests out as another group was arriving.  “Don’t forget to stop at the gift shop on the way out.” Don’t Be Shy When People Ask What Can I Bring — Lamaze class taught me many things, breathing, pain management and that...
New Research Says ‘Cry It Out’ Doesn’t Harm Babies — And They Sleep Better

New Research Says ‘Cry It Out’ Doesn’t Harm Babies — And They Sleep Better

‘Cry it out’ sleep method doesn’t harm babies, research finds A new study says “graduated extinction,” the practice of allowing an infant to cry itself to sleep, commonly known as “cry it out” or “The Ferber Method” will not cause any lasting psychological damage. In a study of 43 infants between the ages of six months and 16 months, those who were sleep-trained with the cry it out method didn’t show any emotional, behavioral, or parental attachment issues — and woke less during the night than infants who weren’t. The study also tested a sleep training method known as “bedtime fading.” This is when a child’s bedtime is pushed later and later with the hope that the child will be sleepier and fall asleep easier. Both sleep training methods worked. (But the former allowed parents to watch Scandal uninterrupted, so is clearly superior.) The infants whose parents used them slept longer and woke less during the night than those whose parents were in the control group and stuck to their own routines, like rocking children to sleep. One of the goals of the study published today in Journal Pediatrics was to test the claims a previous study made that infants who were sleep trained with the sleep extinction method had elevated stress hormones. This new research showed no elevated stress hormones in infants during the treatment, or 12 months after. Make up your minds, researchers. We’d like to know how badly we’re screwing up our children. Is that too much to ask? “It looks like you’ve got two effective treatments that don’t necessarily lead to negative outcomes,” Michael Gradisar, the lead author of the study and an associate professor at...
Hey Dads: You’ve Got To Pitch In At Night

Hey Dads: You’ve Got To Pitch In At Night

My husband wakes up at 5 a.m. every morning before the sun rises. Then he boards a train and heads to the city, where he works his ass off teaching high school English. When he comes home, I throw our two loud, monkey-boys in front of him while I finish cooking dinner. Then we eat, finish up chores, and I retreat to the bedroom to work while he wrangles our boys into their pj’s, and helps them wind down for bed. Sounds like a pretty decent guy, huh? I mean, I think he’s hot enough as it is, but fatherhood looks damn good on him. Here’s the icing on the cake, though: This man—this exhausted man who works his butt off to provide for his family—doesn’t stop parenting when the lights go out. He helps out when the kids need us in the middle of the night, and he always has. Our kids aren’t the world’s best sleepers. Night waking of some kind is pretty common around here. Whether it’s babies who need to be rocked, burped, or soothed; toddlers who need another glass of water; or kids puking or having nightmares, my husband wakes up to help almost as much as I do. And you know what? That shouldn’t be notable at all. I mean, it definitely makes me all hot and bothered when I think about what a good dad he is, but listen up: All dads should help at night. All partners should. If you and someone else made a kid together, adopted one, or are in charge of one in any way, shape, or form,...
9 Reasons Parenting is the Best Job in the World

9 Reasons Parenting is the Best Job in the World

Being a dad is one of the best things that will ever happen to you. I don’t mean to brag, but it’s cool. You won’t always be happy, but who cares. You get to share life with some other cool people. I know there are probably a thousand things about parenting that are awesome. Here are my nine reasons that parenting is the best job in the world: You laugh with your kids. Sometimes at them, and sometimes they laugh at you. It’s not mean, it’s just family. You all have your stuff. Family lets you just have your stuff out there. You will have days when you feel like you are going crazy. You aren’t. Just hang in there. It gets better. At least, that is the message on the bathroom wall at the gas station on the corner. Your stupid stories and insane episodes become teaching moments. They probably learn more from these stories than all of the lectures and rules. Hugs. They are just great. Unearned and unburdened. Emerging personalities. My son likes coffee, death metal, and action movies. My daughter hates the color pink, loves pop music and avocados. I don’t share most of their interests, but it’s cool to see how they are growing up. Sleeping in. When your kids get older, they sleep in. You can reclaim the mornings. Trust me, you will want to get up early. You won’t have to get pets. Whenever I am asked if we have pets, I tell people “No, we have kids instead.” Kids don’t eat your shoes and they won’t pee in the corner. Those...
15 “Luxurious” Things I Took for Granted Before Becoming a Parent

15 “Luxurious” Things I Took for Granted Before Becoming a Parent

I didn’t live life in the fast lane before I became a dad. I didn’t drive fast cars or jump out of airplanes. In fact, my pre-dad life was pretty mundane. My wife and I had an apartment. We made middle-class salaries. We didn’t make extravagant purchases. We regarded ourselves as very, very normal and middle-of-the-road. And we were fine with that. However, as soon as I became a dad, everything about my pre-parenting life just felt so LUXURIOUS in comparison. Did I really used to sleep in that late? Was that really my old bank account balance? How had I not realized how lucky I was? How had I not appreciated all of the plentiful bounties that were lain at my feet? It just felt like a whole other life, like something a movie star or a childless tax accountant might experience. Because I like to taunt myself into remembering how easy life used to be, here are the 15 most indulgent, most decadent things I used to do before I had children. I used to see R-rated movies. In the theater. On the weekend they were released. And, on special occasions, I’d see TWO in one day. I would eat at restaurants that didn’t serve chicken tenders or mac ‘n’ cheese. I would buy toys. Expensive, impractical toys. Just to sit on my desk. Only because I wanted them, I wasn’t allowed to buy them as a child, and I had disposable income. I celebrated New Year’s Eve … at midnight … without turning on the fake countdown on Netflix and pretending the ball dropped at 7...
7 Things Guys Need To Expect Before They’re Expecting

7 Things Guys Need To Expect Before They’re Expecting

New dad Frank Priegue breaks it down for the pre-baby crowd. — Parenthood is a life-changing experience, and I love being a Dad. That said, any parent, or more specifically, this parent is letting you know your life is going to change because you WILL make sacrifices along the way.  I knew this coming in—at least I thought I did. If you are thinking about starting a family this is a must read—it will give you some insight on what lies ahead. Pregnancy – You want a sneak peek on parenthood? Pregnancy is a good place to start. There’s weight gain, sleepless nights, and moodiness—and that was just me. Prepare for a rollercoaster ride of Lamaze Classes, baby registries, and unsolicited advice from all sides. I don’t know what was rougher—dealing with my better half’s hormones or agreeing on the baby’s name. Don’t worry about the sleep deprivation—you’ll catch up once the baby’s born. New Baby/Clueless Parents – The first days are a blur of baby bottles, dirty diapers, and caffeine (mine, not the baby’s). Bonus points if you survive without getting peed on.  After a week of this your friends and family will want to see the baby.  Hopefully they will do more than post selfies with your child on Instagram.  Helpful hint, don’t be shy when someone asks, “What can I bring?”  It’s a limited-time offer so forget the chicken nuggets and go for the big ticket items like surf and turf. The Baby Tour – Once the baby’s older you’ll be required to take him on tour.  This is done for the relatives who couldn’t make it to your home or were afraid of the cranky...