50 Things to Know To Survive The First Year of Parenthood

After writing the book 50 Things to Know Before Having a Baby, my friends talked me into making a list of things that I learned in the first year.  I am very excited to share this information with you.  I love teaching others so they don’t have to go though some of the negative experiences that I have learned from.  Coming home from the hospital with a baby is a life-changing event. 

1. Sleep

Sleeping though the night may not happen very often for a long time.  You may enjoy the late night news while you are up.  Treat yourself by buying comfortable pajamas.  I did not co sleep with my baby but here is a funny “manual” on the subject.  

2. Nursery Rhymes
You may forget some of the words of nursing rhymes and just make up the words. Do you know all the worlds to your favorite Nursery Rhymes?
3. Memories
You may remember things from your childhood you may thought you forgot.  For example, I remember turning backwards to get off of the couch when I was little. You will be making new memories too.  The first time they smile, crawl, clap, and walk is amazing.  Better than any vacation you could take in your lifetime.   I don’t like clutter, so keeping  An online calender for your child is a great way for keep track all the events of her life.  This is also a great place for medical information.  You can also purchase a baby calendar to remember all the small things that happen every day. Another fun idea is to keep a memory box.  I personally enjoy keeping most of the stuff digital so I do not create more clutter.  You can take pictures on special object and donate them to other people in need.  

4. Diaper Pro
You will learn to change diapers like a pro!  If you change 10 diapers a day for a year, that is 3,650 diapers. Make sure you are organized so these changes go faster. You will need to buy those 3,650 diapers.  Amazon has great deals on diapers.  This diaper bag can be nice for girls or guys to carry with all the amenities   
5. Personal Shopper
Since babies grow fast, you will need to find, wash, and store new clothes about every 3 months.  Craigslist.com is a great place to find clothes.  They are expensive to buy but once they been washed, they are almost worth nothing. 
Here is a Baby Cloths Chart if you have trouble understanding sizes.  Sometimes you can find good deals on Amazon on baby clothes.  Some things that we just loved are: Sophie the Giraffe – I know she was expensive, but this was the teether that our little girl used the most.  I think she like it because it was similar to a human hand.  Soft with different parts to chew on. Banana Tooth Brush– She loves chewing on this one too.  I hope this will help her in the steps to loving her brush her teeth.  Halo Sleep Sack – This is what our daughter slept in since night one!  We got 2 from the baby shower, then the hospital gave us one as we were leaving for a present.  Great gift!  Sleep Sheep – This sheep was given to us to our friends who were just first time parents themselves.  (They have a fun blog too).  Before every nap and every night we turn on this sheep.  We prefer the wave and rain sound.  I switch it up to the whale sound too.  Our daughter is getting big enough that we turns the sheep on herself sometimes too! and a Infant Car Seat – After you get the hang of it, car seats are not that bad.  They let you have your freedom as a new Mom!
6. Staying Clean
You may forget to cut your nails, brush your teeth, or shower.  Here is a book of tips for modern moms.  
7. Medicine

Putting medicine in children’s mouth or eyes can be very difficult when they resist. Here is a medicine basket checklist to keep in your house.  We tried to mix the medicine in with the food.  To put drops in our little girls eyes, we wrapped her in a blanket with her hands on the inside to control her movements.  Having some baby medicine on hand before it happens may make the day go more smoothly.  
8. Family Sickness
When someone gets sicks, you may all get sick.  You may then need help from family and friends who will also get the sickness.  Getting out of the house during these time may be difficult because you don’t want to get anyone else sick.  Here is 101 things to do when you are getting better.  Here is a cute doctor kit to play with your kids before they need to go to the doctor

9. Pack Mule
Leaving the house to pick something up at the store requires a large amount of stuff. Leaving the house with a set of keys and a wallet does not happen any more.  You will need a organized diaper bag with all the right stuff.  You will need the normal parent stuff (Yes one time I did forget my wallet after grocery shopping for an hour).  And a  easy to fold stroller.  
Instead of leaving the house for diapers, I bought them on Amazon.  I could find deals with coupons for about .10 cents a diaper.  For a limited time, purchase $250 of qualifying nursery items shipped and sold by Amazon.com and listed below and receive a $50 promotional code via email approximately 32 days after the shipment date of your items. Save an extra $50 here.  This money can be used for other Amazon items for Mom! 

10. Family Friendly Friends

You may start hanging out with friends that are family friendly more often. You can talk to these people about your closet eating junk food habits and different ways to take out aggression.   There are many activities to families to do together.  We like to play board games.  In particular setters of catan is our favorite game.  The game is similar to monopoly and risk together.  Not that dorky?  Try Yahtzee.  Our little girl would yell the world and make a touchdown hand jester when we did.  
11. Babysitter

When the kids are being watched you may not know what to do with yourself or what to talk about. Even a 15 minute break can feel amazing.  You can purchase baby sitter sheets to keep instructions on where you will be, where to reach you, and special instructions for each child.  Here is a Free Baby Sitter Sheet.

12. Cleaning
Your house will need to be clean so your child does not stick thing in their mouth.  This includes shoes and dust bunnies.  But, finding the time to clean may be more difficult.  If a baby find something that can fit in a paper towel roll, the object may be swallowed by a baby.  You can clean with an organic cleaners how that you have a baby in the house.  Here is a book to make your own household cleaners.  

13. Other Babies

You may continually see other babies that are younger than your child and think to yourself, could I really do this entire process again? Having a second baby books can help. 
14. Nutritiousness Dinner
Making dinner may be more difficult while taking care of a baby. Here is a food storage container organizer that may be helpful in your home.  Putting food in these containers when you have some down time, then finding them when you are hungry may make dinner and snacking easier.

15. Dieting
You won’t be dieting for you but choosing the diet for your entire family.  Your eating habits may become your families.  A family meal plan makeover may be needed in your family.  



16. You Will Need Help
Yes, you could probably survive on your own.  But with help everyone will probably be a little happier. Just because someone comes over to watch the beautiful one for a while does not mean you failed!  It takes a whole village to raise a child is not just a saying.  Everyone benefits from you getting help including your baby, your helpers, and you!  Get Dad involved early by having him read some funny books on the subject.  Dads guide to pregnancy for dummiesDude!  You are Going to Be a Dad,  or The New Dad’s Survival Guide is a good start.  These Pregnancy Bible Verses may be a help too.

17. Consider The Source
Many people may give you parenting advice.  You want want to look at the actual study yourself before you start following incorrect information.  Read materials from qualified doctors on parenting 

18. Scared By The Internet

Your child may have something that you are unsure of.  Then you check the internet, and you find information that may be untrue.  Don’t let the internet scare you. Book written by doctors may be better resources   
19. Just Like TV
Most of the process won’t be just like tv or the movies.  From labor to parenthood, everything will be more real.  
What to Expect When You Are Expecting movie may be funny and have some good tips but still nothing like the real thing.

20. Judgement
BreastfeedingCloth diapersMaking your own baby foodElimination Communication? You may have judged others on these same issues in the past but until you are in a certain situation with your particular child with 2 hours of sleep you will not know what you will do.


21. Magazine Moms

Your life with a child probably won’t be like the woman you see in parenting magazines.  If you had a photo shoot, you could probably wear nice clothes and get your hair and make-up done for some pictures.

22. Weight Loss
As a stay-at-home Mom, I tried to use her sleep schedule for exercising. With insanity (the workout) I am now 10 pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight. Caring the baby with you every where you go helps too.  Your own new personal trainer.  The Insanity Workout is how I lost the baby weight and got back to my high school weight.  These workouts are great to keep you motivated to exercise while taking care of a baby.  I could just pause the DVD when I wanted to feed/change/play with the baby.  I also planned and portioned food ahead of time with these organized storage containers.  A great option if you are pregnant are these monthly workout DVDs.  Each month has a different workout. 

23. Emotions
Your emotions may be like a roller coaster.  This may be normal now.  Listening to white noise may help you relax while your baby is sleeping.    

24. Teething
Teething sucks.  Here is a book on baby’s heath and teething advice.

25. Happiest Baby on The Block
Amazing tips for first time parents. Read the Happiest Baby Book before parenthood begins while you have time.


26. The Art of Swadding
Don’t worry you don’t need to swaddle your baby, they make  woobies and  Sleep Sacks for that. 

27.  This Too Shall Pass A good phrase to remember in any situation.


To read all 50 tips view 50 Thing to Know About Surviving The First Year of Parenthood.  A great baby shower gift for a friend who is pregnant!  Also a great book for people that are thinking about having a baby. I ENCOURAGE YOU to borrow the book for free from the Kindle Lending Library for Amazon Prime Members.  If you want the book for free or would like to share these tips please email me at lbrennec@gmail.com.  You can also give this quick read as a gift to a friend or family member as a paperback book.  
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About Lisa Rusczyk
Lisa is the creator of the blog Charlie-The-Cavalier and His Friends, Family, and Home.  She is also the author of 50 Things to Know Before Having a Baby and 50 Things to Know.com.  Send Lisa Rusczyk and email at lbrennec@gmail.com.  
 The Insanity Workout is how I lost the baby weight and got back to my high school weight.  These workouts are great to keep you motivated to exercise while taking care of a baby.  I could just pause the DVD when I wanted to feed/change/play with the baby.  I also planned and portioned food ahead of time with these organized storage containers.  A great option if you are pregnant are these monthly workout DVDs.  Each month has a different workout. 

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