My wife and I are expecting a daughter, due on Christmas (had it been a boy, I would've insisted on naming him Jesus and then declared myself God, but alas…).
Everyone we talk to has advice. And as many of these people have children who are intact and not incarcerated, it seems worth taking.
(It doesn't take much to know more about parenting than I do: the one time in my life I tried to change a diaper, I ended up with mookie sticks on the floor and a 2-year-old mocking me.)
The problem is that the advice often contradicts what someone else suggested just hours earlier. So far the only consistent guidance we've received about our child is never let it near bright light, never a let water touch it and never ever feed it after midnight (but I might be thinking about something else).
Here's a smattering of the counsel we've received. Have some recommendations? Please post them in the comments--and don't worry if they contradict some of the other comments.
Circumcision (as we're not having a boy, this topic doesn't come up much anymore)
- Take the epidural as soon as you legally can and pick a hospital with a neonatal intensive care unit.
- Have a natural birth, delivering in an inflatable pool blown up in your dining room and instead of a doctor, have it attended by a she-wolf.
Getting help from your parents
- Get one--the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says, "several types of research have documented that male circumcision significantly reduces the risk of HIV acquisition by men during penile-vaginal sex."
- Foreskin is natural, keep it--those CDC studies were conducted in Africa where "people are dirty."
Teaching a child to fend for itself in our horrible world
- Your parents are a great resource; ask them to help, they'd love to do it.
- Don't ask your mothers for a lot of assistance, much has changed since "their day."
- When your baby cries, make sure it doesn't need to be changed or fed; then let it be so it learns to get by on its own.
- Keep the child attached to you for the first year, letting it feel both your love and your indigestion.
For more information: Now it's my turn to give advice: here are the top three 2009 Halloween costumes for Louisville.
- Parents who let strangers raise their kids are bad.
- Kids love daycare, it does a great job of socializing them, and people who tell you otherwise just want you to feel guilty like they do.
(Photo: Flickr/Zach Everson