Bet You Never Thought of These Five Ways to Prepare for a Baby

babd-baby-names-crying-baby-e1333102292894Jim Halpert on The Office said it best: “Having a baby is exhausting.”

So for you people who haven’t had a baby yet, here is a list of things I wish I’d done to prepare before bringing Baby A. home:

1) Practice smiling. A lot. When you’re changing a diaper at 3 in the morning, the last thing you feel like doing is smiling. But think about it, if you’re a baby stuck on your back and some person comes up and starts tampering with your personal space, you’re already going to be a little uncomfortable. So practice smiling in unusual or stressful situations (I don’t recommend doing this when you’re arguing with your spouse). A little smile could go a long way while your baby’s helplessly looking up at you while his southern region is flooding.

2) Learn to do things one-handed. I write and edit books. And Baby A. needs to be held a lot. So I’ve had to quickly master the art of typing with one hand. Move over, Mavis Beacon, I’m getting up to 35-wpm! (Really, it’s like texting on Zack Morris’s phone.) You’ve got to learn to do other things with one hand as well. As soon as we brought Baby A. home, I coined a phrase, “Gain a baby, lose an arm.”

3) Learn the lyrics to songs. I’m awful – absolutely awful – at remembering the lyrics to songs. I sound like this in the car: “Let it go, let it go. Bum-dum-dee-dum-anymore…” So when I’m trying to sing Carolina on My Mind to Baby A., and I reach the verses I don’t know the words to, I start making up ridiculous lyrics that can tend to be offensive or just plain nonsensical. Baby’s don’t need to hear that stuff. And I refuse to do nursery songs because once you start down that road, I know it could take years to get them out of your head.

4) Watch all your R-rated movies before the baby comes home. I’ve always got to be either working, watching something, eating, or reading. And, living the the 21st century, you’re probably the same way. While feeding the baby, watching something is the only realistic thing I can do without making a stinky, formulaic mess all over the couch (“Feed a baby, lose both arms”). It’s generally not a good idea to have John McCane yelling, “Yippee Ki-yay, mother —-er” with the baby nearby. So baby proof your home by getting the R-rated movies out of your system before she comes home.

5) If possible, take a stealth class. When it’s midnight and the baby is finally falling asleep in your arms, you don’t want to be jostling him around while standing up from the couch and walking him to his crib. Learn to move with poise and grace. Learn to open the refrigerator without making any noise. Get good at tiptoeing. Be okay with not flushing until later (just kidding). And, if applicable, learn to craft anonymous notes with cut-up letters to tape to your neighbor’s door telling them to keep the noise down or you’ll set their poodle on fire and leave the remains in their pantry.

That’s all I’ve got for now. If you think of any more, share them in the comment section below.

*Note: The picture above is not our baby (ours is much, much cuter – no offense,  baby in the picture). I just googled “crying baby” and choose the funniest one.

Published by Andrew Toy

Writer when I'm not being a husband or dad. So mostly just a husband and dad.

27 thoughts on “Bet You Never Thought of These Five Ways to Prepare for a Baby

  1. You’ve barely scratched the surface. For example — learn to multi-task. I know I’m not the only parent who noticed themselves changing a diaper with one hand while eating a PBJ with the other. Or taped a cracker back together while driving. Or wore the same pair of jeans for three weeks straight because the washer was running 24/7 with items that Baby had worn for 2.3 nanoseconds before barfing/pooping/or drooling pureed yams. And these are the good months, the precious golden moments before Baby is mobile and you have to move every item you own to at least six feet above ground, unplug and seal off all electric outlets, and gate off all stairways so that for years to come you automatically do a cartoon leg lift every time you come to a stairway. Or before Baby is verbal and suddenly the child whose vocabulary that morning consisted of “Dada, Mama, and NO” can repeat verbatum what Daddy said when that truck cut him off.

    Maybe I should stop here. You definitely don’t want to hear how you’ll be preparing for those adolescent years…


    1. Oh my yes, Barbtub, I done pretty much all of that! I’m on my third baby so I’m practised at the baby thing – it’s the teen thing I am working on now; my oldest is 13!


  2. Well the second you mentioned Jim from The Office, I knew it was going to be an amazing post! Really though, thanks for the tips, I will send them along to my brother and sister-in-law, who are expecting this September! Also, I am taking notes for myself, so they can guide me when I come to the decision that I no longer require two arms!


  3. Mine is this – Get used to watching Junior Disney Channel / CBeebies early – that way you can sing along to the songs etc while switching your brain off… it can be quite restful, not having to think about anything more taxing than the words to the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme.


    1. It’s a good thing I like Mickey Mouse. I’m already doing Mickey impressions to get her to like him too. 🙂


      1. 🙂 My ten week old is already hooked on Sofia the first and Doc McStuffins… I wish I’d watched it while I was pregnant so that it didn’t feel so alien…


  4. For too long I had 2 kitchen chairs in front of my stove to keep my son from pushing the buttons on the front. I can still remember the incredible sense of freedom I felt when I was able to move them away permanently!


  5. Oh, how I wish I’d known this before my bundle of joy arrived. It’s true – nothing prepares you for the rigours of parenthood. I’d recommend new parents begin practicing The Stoop as soon as possible – we need to know how to walk around hunched over for hours, clutching tiny hands as baby becomes a toddler.


  6. Thanks for the follow. As for babies … been there, done that, got the t-shirt (with baby sick and dribble down it). I’d add a sixth thing to your list: learn the ability to be able to go nap, quickly and just about anywhere, because you never know when you next quiet half hour is coming …


  7. I have often wishes for a Uni-armed Olympics. I could cook the pants off just about anyone, given a 15 lb sack of live ferrets to hold in one arm the whole time. 😉
    For kid’s music that will not give your ears cavities, try Sandra Boynton (really, she’s terrific), Barenaked Ladies (Snacktime!), John Lithgow, TMBG (though if you hate them normally…it’s no different). I secretly listen to these myself sometimes. Keep on truckin’–this glamorous life is worth it.


  8. Though I wasn’t the one, who got it, but thanks to circumstances I get the joy of living together with one – expect the unexpected. It really isn’t without reason they have the funny stories of your childhood cracking folks up even 20 years later…


  9. God Willing, my No. 2 will be on his/her way and these are good reminders for those late nights and for the grouchy moods.


  10. That post was so funny, and you are right looking at things from your baby’s point of view, A smiling face at all times is much pleasanter and less intimidating, especially when she’s woken up in the middle of the might. I’m so happy for the two of you. Even though you’re both probably sleep deprived, taking care of a newborn is just about the best thing in the world.


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