Any Tips for Expecting / New Fathers?

I like this comment with one caveat: Why use dubbed Russian youtube videos?

Babies will pick up the Russian on their own or at least become comfortable with the pronunciation. Practice some basic phrases such as time to eat, sleep, wake up, etc. and pretty soon you'll have a Putin oligarch after 2 years! :)

Other cartoons I recommend from the east include "Kolobok" (English dubbing is pretty good, I enjoy it along with the Russian version) and "Zhiharka". Get with subtitles and read aloud so the tyke can pick it up. Bolek i Lolek is also great. And don't forget Wolf and Rabbit!!!

Practice Russian! You'll be singing along in no time!
We speak Russian at home, and it gets reinforced at the grandparents home, so we watch them all in Russian.
But it’s good to see that there English dubbed ones. Of course up to a certain age the child cares little for what language it’s in.
 

ABeast

Sparrow
Get used to limiting the white/blue light at sunset. There are programs that will tint your computer screen and LED strings of red will work instead of the overheads. Lamps you can put a red bulb in. The more you do this the more their cycle will adjust and they will sleep like rocks at bedtime! It's amazing how much of an effect it has on a child's mood too, makes your job much easier.
 

Laner

Hummingbird
Gold Member
Get used to limiting the white/blue light at sunset. There are programs that will tint your computer screen and LED strings of red will work instead of the overheads. Lamps you can put a red bulb in. The more you do this the more their cycle will adjust and they will sleep like rocks at bedtime! It's amazing how much of an effect it has on a child's mood too, makes your job much easier.
Sleep training should be regimented with Nazi like efficiency.

Kids have a 'sleep window'. Miss it by even 30 minutes and be prepared to pay the price.

I live in a pretty loud and busy neighborhood. The sounds of people partying, bass blasting, subway trains breaking, emergency sirens, etc. We thought training our newborn might be difficult. But as long as we kept the regiment to the minute, he was fine. We could take him to pubs, wedding parties - pretty much anywhere - and as long as we went through the bedtime routine he was out in minutes.

It also carries through as they get older. That sleep window stays with them. Let me just say that being able to put your kid down to sleep in under 5 min and be back in your living room having some drinks with friends with no worry about sound is absolutely key. It gives you time to be with friends, and even more importantly, time to unwind with your wife. When guys tell me they barely get laid anymore, I usually ask what time their kid goes to bed.
 

Jaszczurka

Sparrow
Sleep training should be regimented with Nazi like efficiency.

Kids have a 'sleep window'. Miss it by even 30 minutes and be prepared to pay the price.

I live in a pretty loud and busy neighborhood. The sounds of people partying, bass blasting, subway trains breaking, emergency sirens, etc. We thought training our newborn might be difficult. But as long as we kept the regiment to the minute, he was fine. We could take him to pubs, wedding parties - pretty much anywhere - and as long as we went through the bedtime routine he was out in minutes.

It also carries through as they get older. That sleep window stays with them. Let me just say that being able to put your kid down to sleep in under 5 min and be back in your living room having some drinks with friends with no worry about sound is absolutely key. It gives you time to be with friends, and even more importantly, time to unwind with your wife. When guys tell me they barely get laid anymore, I usually ask what time their kid goes to bed.
We tried this with my daughter, but it didn't work. If she got too much (or little) exercise during the day, it affected her sleep window. If we try to force her to sleep (lock her in the room, threaten her), she gets emotional and THEN she's not going to sleep for a while.

We have had success with (natural) sleep supplements (melatonin) every once in a while to help balance things out.

I think a good set of discipline rules overall helps a lot. My wife sends my daughter mixed messages. She's getting better at it.
 

mjbravo

Newbie
Lots of good stuff here, not sure if I'm overlapping but:

-Close to bed is fine, but I wouldn't put them in bed with you for sleeping even if it is tempting. This can be an incredible challenge with the first one. Honestly if they can have their own routine and room, better in the long run so there aren't a bunch of transitions on top of their normal physiological sleep transitions.......get an Owlet if there is anxiety about breathing/sids and what not.
-Let them hear your voice as much as you can. Read to them as soon as you can.
-Play music a lot, especially in the car (or books on tape a little later)....try to avoid t.v., especially in the car. Make television more of a special thing or when you/wife really just need some time.
-Avoid mindless television at early ages. Favor shows that engage the kids by talking back to them.
-Read older books for kids from an early age that are lighter on the pictures and heavy on showing good and evil, consequences for bad behavior and actions. Actual Fairy Tales from Hans Christian Andersen, Perrault, Grimm, and others. It will be harder to get your kid off the cotton candy fluff picture books as they age if that's all you read to them in the early years. You should try to get them listening to you read good chapter books before they hit kindergarten like The Jungle Book, The Wizard of Oz, Pinocchio, etc. and save most of the heavy picture books at that age for THEM learning to read.
-If you're a man of faith, pray for them daily, with your wife if you can. Be intentional and kneel by your bed or their crib. You'll be so tired, if you try to lay on the bed, most of the time you can forget it.
-If you have some trustworthy people/family to watch them, try to get our with you wife for dates when you can, even if it is between feedings.
 

Stats

Robin
Educate yourself about vaccines BEFORE the birth.
Talk to your baby as much as possible and narate what is happening and what you are doing.
 

Oberrheiner

Pelican
This is a very good point indeed.
Talk to them, like adults, and make it interactive, ask them questions etc.
Of course at the beginning you'll only get baby talk in return, that's fine, but do not baby talk with them - always use your real language when talking to them.
 
Congratulations -- there is no greater pride for a man than having a son. I didn't have much in the way of tips or advice with mine but hope this helps:

- The first few months will be chaotic. Stick to a routine but don't get frustrated if it's broken (it will be). By 5-6 months you'll know when to wake him up, when to feed him, when he takes naps, when to go to bed.
- Buy a "Momaroo". It's this crazy chair that rocks your baby to sleep in different motion patterns and plays white noise.
- If you're bottlefeeding or using formula, get one of those Kurig type machines that pre-heat the milk/formula to a certain temperature. Nothing more frustrating than stirring powder around at 3 AM.
- Be a father. Let the mother be a mother. Both have equally important, but different, roles to play. Moms, by instinct, will comfort and coddle a boy when he falls down and scrapes his knee. Do your part in helping him learn to cope with pain, pick himself up, and learn from it. This is easier said than done and can be challenging but it's ultimately why single-mom households result in either softies or criminals.
- ALWAYS make time for you and your spouse. Whether it's 15 minutes or a few hours, work this into your routine and make it a fixed part of your schedule.
- Don't neglect your relationship. My wife had post-partum and was a nightmare the first few months, but you need to prioritize her and the relationship to maintain harmony within the chaos.
- Your son will hit a phase where he has questions about everything. What is that? Why? What does that do? Why? Always respond in a way that gets him to answer the question based on what he's thinking, no matter how repetitive or frustrating it gets.
 

HermeticAlly

Kingfisher
I don't understand why many people are so hellbent on keeping electronics away from children

My 3 year old watches cartoons everyday. We give him approximately one hour of iPad time per day. More than that is unnecessary. Our baby is too young for that stuff
I don't mind letting my kids watch stuff, but I would prefer to keep them away from it until they're a little older (probably around elementary school age) and their brains are a bit more developed. Then I'd let them watch some shows and play video games in moderation. My parents are big-time televisiophiles and I don't think that really did me any favors as I was seeing TV pretty much straight out of the womb. My biggest regret from my childhood was that I wasted so much time watching the same episodes of Nickelodeon shows over and over, when if I'd just had a time limit of something like 60-90 minutes of TV a day, I doubt I'd have felt too deprived and would have done more fun things with my time.

My wife is very interested in the Montessori method of raising kids, there's a lot of overlap with stuff in this thread like what Oberrheiner said a few posts above. It emphasizes teaching kids to be self-reliant and independent/basically treating them like small adults, like kids would have been treated back in the agrarian days where their contribution actually helped the family survive. This seems like it could be a crucial ingredient in raising capable adults who don't think and act like children well into their 30s.
 

La Águila Negra

Woodpecker
I don't mind letting my kids watch stuff, but I would prefer to keep them away from it until they're a little older (probably around elementary school age) and their brains are a bit more developed. Then I'd let them watch some shows and play video games in moderation. My parents are big-time televisiophiles and I don't think that really did me any favors as I was seeing TV pretty much straight out of the womb. My biggest regret from my childhood was that I wasted so much time watching the same episodes of Nickelodeon shows over and over, when if I'd just had a time limit of something like 60-90 minutes of TV a day, I doubt I'd have felt too deprived and would have done more fun things with my time.

My wife is very interested in the Montessori method of raising kids, there's a lot of overlap with stuff in this thread like what Oberrheiner said a few posts above. It emphasizes teaching kids to be self-reliant and independent/basically treating them like small adults, like kids would have been treated back in the agrarian days where their contribution actually helped the family survive. This seems like it could be a crucial ingredient in raising capable adults who don't think and act like children well into their 30s.
I read up on what some of the other members said above and they are right, theoretically at least

But parenting is much more than reading books and having a relatively stubborn outlook on things. There are many bad influences but you can't keep them out of your children's lives. That's unfortunately just the way it is. That's why I still go for moderation

Real life example: your 3 year old kid is playing with his neighbourhood friends and they move the playing into one of the other kid`s houses. Obviously you keep a side eye on them and have a trusting attitude towards the (grand) parents of other kid(s)

They play there for about an hour and a half, with your mother-in-law checking up on them every 20 minutes or so. After 30 minutes playing with toy cars someone turns on the TV and they start watching cartoons (and eating hotdogs, the processed ones)

What do you do? 1.Walk in there, order your kid back home, or 2.let him watch the cartoons for 30-60 minutes, eat hotdogs with his friends, develop his social skills, make friends and bond?
 

HermeticAlly

Kingfisher
Yeah, in that situation I wouldn't have any issues with him doing that at his grandparents'. I don't expect them to follow all my home child raising guidelines or whatever. I'm more concerned about what I have direct control over than external factors like that. Obviously it would be a different story if some local kid friend seemed like a really bad influence or whatever.
 
Thoughtful responses, here.

I'd like to add that especially in the early months after birth, your wife will be the primary caregiver. There is not much you, the father, can do when it comes to consoling the child or helping your wife with the motherly duties which natural order requires from her.

That being said, be the leader more than any before. My wife and I just had number 2 not three months ago and the number one thing that helps my wife the most is to allow her the time and energy to spend focusing on the children and to be ardent in commnading the family and being a source of unwavering strength and dedication to all the economies of the family outside of direct child rearing.

You need to live in God's law, in service of the Lord. Your wife shall then serve you and the children shall serve her. This helps alleviate a lot of overwhelm which she WILL face. And you cannot help her by helping the child (all that much) as the child knows you can't do anything. The child simply does not have the instinctual impetus toward father.

Enable your wife to devote her life force to the children and you devote your life force to her.
 
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