A New Addition to Our Family (Or Son of Neatorama Says "Hello, World!")

Hello everyone! I'd like you to say hello to the most wonderful Christmas present my lovely wife has ever given me: our new son, baby Zachary Graham, who was born just a few days ago.

The past few months had been a blur of activities preparing for the arrival of baby Z or Ziggy, as his grandparents love to call him. If you were wondering why I hadn't been posting on Neatorama, answering your emails and link suggestions, or had been missing regular collaborations (sorry, guys!) you're looking at the (very cute) reason!

Given that this is our first son, I'd appreciate any nugget of advice that you could give (yep, I've already been "sprayed" a couple of times while on diaper duty). And yes, before you point it out, let me say that I suck at making a baby burrito...

I probably won't be posting much for a while, so please have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Congratulations! This truly is the best gift you could recieve. He is one of the most beautiful and cute babies I have seen. I wish you, your wife, your baby and the whole family all the best and a Merry Christmas!

P.S. I'm expecting Zachary to start posting on Neatorama in a couple of years, OK? :-)
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)

First, you should realize that the baby recognizes your voices ( he had some great audio bytes of you and the Mrs. from inside of the womb - believe me!) and although he doesn't understand the words, he understands the intonation. I recommend talking with a smile on your faces and love in your hearts.

My personal style with my kids is to communicate through my eyes. My kids know what I mean by looking in my eyes and I decided from the beginning not to spank my kids. It is all in the eyes.

Enjoy this special time with your family, you won't get another opportunity with this child to be there, so make the most of it.

Wishing you the best of luck and sending you peace to your family on this holiday!

ps. Don't get stressed man, flow with it! ;)
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
If you cover his bits with a wipe during the change it'll keep the showers down. My husband also heard a tip from a veteran father: open the diaper a smidge, blow into it & close it quickly. The air will start the sprinklers going, hehe, but it'll be into the diaper instead of everywhere else. Swaddling is also a fine art that takes practice! Good luck and enjoy! They do grow up fast, something I thought was an exaggeration when said to me when we had our first.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Congratulations Alex and family! That's wonderful news!

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and all the very best for the New Year.

PS: I hope you get a lot of these:
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Congratulations. The best advice I can give is, if the baby is sleeping, you should be sleeping.

You'll want to get some stuff done while they are taking a nap, but you'll never get enough sleep if you don't take naps too.

And don't forget to stand back with your wife once and awhile and remember, you made that. :)
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
As a father myself, the best advice I can give you is threefold:

1) Get sleep when you can, whether it's in line at the DMV or waiting in traffic.
2) Score extra points with the Mrs. by offering to feed and change the baby every once in awhile at 3 am.
3) When you raise your son, keep in mind that you must be as supple as a reed, but not rigid as a cedar.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Congratulations. It only gets better and better, no matter what you might think in the coming months. Happy new year to you, and happy first year to baby z.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Congratulations! Your life has changed forever!

My best fatherly advice is this: Always, and I mean ALWAYS, completely wipe down (recommended: Vaseline baby wipes) your son EVERY TIME you change his diaper. No matter how "clean" he may seem. Trust me when I say that you do NOT want diaper rash in your house. If baby ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Congratufuckinlations! :)

My advice: be a teacher and friend not a disciplinarian. And protect him as if you love him, not as if you own him. Do the things he wants to do first, then do the things you wish you had done as a child.

Happy holidays!
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)

Remember, he is a gift from God. And as mentioned, set boundaries and keep them.

Reward the good behavior and ignore (as much as possible) the bad behavior. Kids will act in the way that attracts the parents attention. Do not give fake or excessive praise, though.

And when diapering the little guy, be sure he is "pointing south" so his urine stays in the diaper and not on clothes or people.

And Dreft Laundry Spray gets out all kinds of stains.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Oboy, oboy ! Fun City.....if you know baby language. Last weeks' Oprah show would have come in handy for me, 50 years ago, when I was just beginning to raise my five sweeties, (but didn't always know WHY they were fussing or screaming). This gal on Oprah shared what the sounds mean that babies make. Awesome !! Contact me or maybe Oprah.com if you missed this show. Sleep deprivation is not fun. Hope you have years of relaxing fun with your newborn.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Congratulations!! He's beautiful. What a perfect Christmas present. My advice--enjoy every moment. It is such a true cliche that they "grow up too fast". My little man is only 2 1/2 and it seems like yesterday we were celebrating his 1st Christmas. Echoing Ryan--it really does only get better.
My practical advice? If he's colicky-don't kill him, yourself or your wife until he's at least 12 weeks...they really do outgrow it :-) The 1st smile (between 7-10 weeks) really does make it all worth while!
Merry Christmas!!
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I have two boys in grad school. Some states have low-tax saving programs for college, you should look into them.

Do not allow your child to 'split' his parents as he grows up. Agree with your spouse on policy a priori.

Don't worry too much about arguing in front of him, learning how to argue is important.

Teach him economic independence. Paper route, seven-eleven job, that bit.

Teach him not to be afraid to be confrontational.

Behavior is the major half of cognitive/behaviorism. There are some things he will find difficult, causing trepidation. If he learns to do the things he fears to do four or five times, he will become able to do them, it is better to try than to fret.

Oh, and congrats!
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)

I just started reading the blog, and, well, thanks!

This may not be the best baby hack of all time, but it's certainly in the top ten:

When your little darling has to be burped, you may find that he, er, doesn't cooperate. When that happens, hold him with both hands under the arms and swing him (gently!) side to side like a pendulum. Like magic, 'BURP!'

Guaranteed to work or double your money back.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Congratulations! He's a fine, handsome lad!

As for advice, the no-duct-taping-to-the-wall pretty much covers it.

That, and singing. Babies usually enjoy any words to any song, just keep it fairly rhythmic. Repeat, as needed.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Congrats Alex - nothing in the world even compares, and everything else seems trivial...

Best advice I can give is to not listen to anyone else, and to trust your instincts. And the secret to getting plenty of sleep during the first several months is to just let him sleep in your bed with you. Your brain won't let you roll over onto him at night, and when he is hungry your wife just needs to sit up - later on down the road all she will need to do is roll over to him. Our son slept with us while he was breastfed and we never experienced any real sleep deprevation.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
There's no advice for a new parent(s) other than "hang on for the ride..." Your life has just changed in the most wonderful way. As you know there's no owners manual provided & only time will tell what will come... You'll all learn at the same time. There are no mistakes. The first phone call from the school to tell you that your child is waiting in the Principals office will break your heart, but all the other moments of pure joy will fill that "cup" more half full than half empty... Bon Chance...
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
What "auntiem" was referring to is this: http://www.dunstanbaby.com/ We received the DVD as a gift. We were lucky enough not to have a fussy baby, she rarely cries, but when she does it is exactly as they say in it - all newborns have the same cries universally, world-wide, for the same needs. Example: all newborn infants cry "NEH" to signify they're hungry. They cry "OWH" when they're tired. It's wild but true, I'm surprised this information isn't more common place. I'm guessing it will be eventually! You don't need to buy the DVD, just read up on the sounds and their meanings. It's really helpful. Our baby is 5 months old now and will occasionally cry "NEH" when she wants her pacifier, too.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
My son is now 23 (and my daughter 20). The years go incredibly fast. There seems to be this jump in time between toddler and teenager - and if you're not watching, you'll miss those years.

The most precious gift you can give your son, yourself, and your wife is time. Spend as much as you can with them. Hold your son as much as possible - there will be times when he's not around that you'll find it a comfort. Enjoy his language, his games, his way of explaining the world to you. Listen.

Given a choice between family and work, choose family. Yah, we have to earn a living, and we want to move up, and we want to succeed and we want to give them more than we ever had. But they're interested more in you - not in things.

When you're at work - work. When you're home, then be home. You know what I mean.

Remember to share yourself.

Nuff said for now.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)

Advice? As the mother of a 27 year old and a 23 year old, I think I'm qualified so... My advice is just enjoy life. There will surely be times when things don't go so well; there will be pressure from all sides to do everything just right; everyone will think they know more about your child than you do. Just ignore those people. Ten or twenty years later you'll wonder what all the fuss was about and you'll regret the time you wasted on things that seemed important at the time. If, when your child is an adult, he is one of your best friends you will have been successful.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Congrats! Here's just what you need - more advice!
(With full knowledge that not everything works for all babies):

Swaddling worked wonders for our boy. Blankets are a pain - get the Miracle Blanket. Absolutely the best $30 we spent on our newborn.

The DVD of "Happiest Baby on the Block" had tips that worked well for us, and just made a lot of sense to us.

Enough with the products. Best advice I got regarding a newborn? He is not crying to piss you off. He is incapable of using emotion as a tool (yet!). Infinite patience and a stout heart are required.

Don't use baby talk with them. Use normal words, though you can certainly spice them up with silly voices and general goofiness. Our 27 month old has the vocabulary of many 4 or 5 year olds, can form accurately assembled sentences and carry on complex conversations.

I second what all have said before: Structure and discipline will do more good than "letting them find their own way". Yes, it actually takes effort. Yes, you will all be happier on down the road.

Finally, two words: Sleep training. Likely to be one of the hardest things you can experience with a 6 to 12 month old, but it's better than money in the bank. After a couple of weeks, we could set our clocks by his internal naptime and bedtime clock, and he sleeps wonderfully.

Best wishes and good luck!
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Oh, enjoy your Zachary. Mine is a wonderful young man.

Here's a bit of advice: You and your wife are the experts on your children. Everyone else may think they know better, but they don't.

Here's what worked for us: we were "attachment" parents before we even heard of the term. Basically, we gave babies the love and attention when and how they wanted and needed. Our babies slept with us, nursed on demand, and were picked up when they cried.

Yes, it was a sacrifice, but we've reaped the benefits. They did not become "brats." As they grew older, we had rules in our house like everyone else -- see my post under swaddling/spanking.

But the bottom line is that our boys love us and each other, and they've grown into wonderful young men who are loved and respected by their friends, schools, and community.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Congratulations and well done Alex! As you surely know from your first baby their first 6 months or so are your most sleep deprived. But the great thing is that after the first baby the second is like falling off a log by comparison.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)

What an angel!

Start reading to him NOW, if you don't like to read out loud, get books on tape/cd from the library. My 8 year old can read at an 8th grade level because I started reading to her when she was born.

Don't start letting your baby sleep with you, they can cry for awhile, you are not being mean, you are giving them some independence. You will all sleep better in the long run.

Trust your instinct, you will be fine, they don't break very easily & most of the time you will know what to do.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Take lots of movies of holidays and "firsts."

I always told myself i would read "The Chosen," by chaim potok, "To kill a mockinbird," and "Raise High the roofbeams, carpenters" again when i'm a father. I hope you do too. There are things here to be learned from.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Biggest congrats!

My advice would be to "chill" and go easy on yourselves.

With the first child everything is ecstatic and stressful. You, as parents, need to learn a new trade and your parents and grandparents may turn into psychopaths.

Just remember that sonny boy is really not all THAT fragile and that you don't need to be worried ALL the time. :)
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Congrats... My advice as a recent new parent (I have a 19 month old) would be to not listen to too much advice. Funny... I know. Remember, YOU and your lovely wife are the expert on your child. Some things may work for you, others may not. We've taken a lot of flack from people about some parenting choices that we've made (co-sleeping, breastfeeding, babywearing... etc.) But these things WORK for our family. For others, the sleep training thing works for them, or the formula thing works for them. Just do what's best for your family.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Whee! Congratulations!

Two pieces of practical advice:

- When changing his diaper, have a cloth or clean diaper at the ready. The moment you flip down the front of the dirty diaper, drop the cloth over his front. The sudden exposure to cool air will often trigger him to pee, and that way he won't hose down the walls. (Mine once managed to pee in his own ear.)

- When he has a stuffy nose, stick a wedge (such as a couple of books) under the head end of his mattress. Having his head slightly elevated will help him to breathe a little easier and will help him sleep.

One piece of philosophical advice:

- It isn't as scary as you think it's going to be.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Congratulations to the new family!

Yes, let your baby sleep with you. Independence is not what a newborn needs, but confidence that his parents are there, and that his needs are met. If a little baby cries and cries and is not answered, he will stop, true enough. That means he has given up hope. Answer his cries, and he will become confident and independent rather than clingy.

Oh, and have fun! Take the time now for all the little things. Play cool tunes, go for walks, even when it's snowing.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Thank you, everyone!

Haven't had much time to read let alone post on Neatorama, nor did I get much sleep lately ... It's amazing how much work a little baby entails. ;)
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Best advice EVER:

Hug him. Hug him again. And again. Now a kiss. Again. 'Nother hug. Smile at your wife. Kiss her. Hug him again. Group hug. Group snuggle. Inhale deeply. Rinse. Repeat.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.
Click here to access all of this post's 90 comments

Email This Post to a Friend
"A New Addition to Our Family (Or Son of Neatorama Says "Hello, World!")"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More