Here are a few practical, no frills pointers to help out any new and soon-to-be parents.
Photo Storage System
In about a weeks time you are going to have taken more pictures of your new baby than all the other pictures in your life combined. You will need to figure out a good way to store all of these digital treasures. If you don’t you’ll end up like me with 5 Picasa accounts and a drawer full of flash drives. There are plenty of options out there for digital storage. Also think big, a terabyte sounds like a completely unnecessary amount of storage capacity but I promise you, your baby is going to be really cute. You are going to end up taking a lot of pictures. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Read to your child
One of the best ways to help your child succeed in school is to read to him/her. In addition to it being great for your kids brain development, it’s fun and an excellent way to wind down for bed and have some nice cuddle time. Story time is special time around our house.
Pick out a few cool ideas for the long haul
There are so many cool ideas floating around the internet of cool projects parents did with their kids: Having each teacher sign “Oh the places you’ll go,” take an annual photo, measure their height each birthday, etc. Poke around Pinterest and you’ll find a cool idea or two (or 3 thousand) Pick one or two ideas you like and commit to doing them. Years later when your child leaves home and has a blanket made out of a shirt from every year of their life (or whatever you picked) they will have something they will cherish forever.
Some parents have a journal, some use a calendar but you should pick something along these lines to track your child’s milestones and record some of the things they’ve done. This will be fun to look back over in later years when you can’t remember when little Timmy first said “mommy” but if you wrote it down you can go back and look it up.
Decide on a few trusted/respected people to take advice on
Everybody and their mom is slinging internet parenting advice (me included). You need to pick one or two people who you respect and trust and can go to for advice. The rest of the parenting advice noise you need to ignore. You can’t make everyone happy but you can make yourself crazy if you try to listen to everyone in your friends list give you advice.
Don’t incessantly compare your child to everyone else’s
It’s fun and natural to want to cheer our little munchkins milestones and as proud parents we will swell when our little bundle starts walking early or knows more words than the 3 week older boy at the playground. But you will drive yourself insane if you nonstop compare your kid to everyone else’s. All kids are different and will develop at different times. In 5 years (or less) most of these things won’t really be that important. Don’t stress yourself out.
I hope some of these “words of wisdom” are helpful to you. Have a great week and please do me a big favor and answer my poll question. I appreciate it!