David Hines Profile picture
30 Jan, 32 tweets, 6 min read
thread on the stuff you need to be a new parent

the only reason I'm doing this thread now is 'cause you may know somebody soon to be in a similar situation

or you may be soon to be in a similar situation

and if you're in a situation like that there's only one thing you can do
sing "you can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant" and walk out

...wait, no, shit

okay seriously though I am a newish parent and I have not been at this long but I can tell you the stuff I wish I knew before Moose came along

so here it is
this is important:

your baby will not explode

I cannot stress this enough

your baby. *will not.* explode.

people will tell you your baby will explode if you do X or Y or Z or do not do X or Y or Z

some of these people will be medical professionals
you will start to notice that these people who are very concerned your baby will explode have a tendency to contradict each other

sometimes they will contradict themselves

nod politely


get their main point

use common sense, pay attention to the big things, don't do anything too stupid, but don't worry too much

your job is not to be perfect and Instagrammable

your job is to love the baby and meet the baby's needs

you will make mistakes

one of the things about being a new parent is that the world is convinced you will need a truckload of paraphrenalia

and you do but you also don't need everything in the world

in my experience so far here is the stuff you really need at the beginning
To leave the hospital, you need the baby to have a going-home outfit and a car seat.

What you want in a car seat is a "travel system." This is a car seat plus a stroller, plus a car seat base that stays in the car.

It is basically shipping storage containers for babies.
Get the travel system (we have the Graco Modes Element LX) EARLY.

Put the car seat base in the car, EARLY.

Practice taking the car seat in and out of the base, EARLY.

Get a doll (a Raggedy Ann is fine). Practice securing it in & taking it out of the car seat EARLY.
The hospital will not let you leave unless the baby is in a car seat. They will not help you place the baby in it, bc lawsuits.

Learn to put the baby into & take the baby out of that fucker before the baby comes. On homecoming day, you will be frazzled and distracted and floaty.
On clothes: people like cute outfits on babies.


You want footies that zip up the front, reasonably thick cloth, with a double zipper (zipper at the top, zipper at the left foot). Simple Joys are my faves so far.
The double zipper makes changing diapers easy (zip from bottom) & changing the whole outfit easy (zip from top).

Pants on babies are a nightmare. Pullover shirts are better but they ain't great.

Footies, footies, footies. Snap-crotch onesies for underlayering or for summer.
If they have hands that fold over into mittens so much the better (babies can scratch themselves).

On hats: Bae Bae Goods makes the only hats that stay on Moose more than a tenth of a second.
People who love you will want to deluge you in stuff. Be grateful, but prepare for a lot of it to sit around a while. Babies do not need much at the beginning.

They need a thing to sleep in that is stationary, a thing to sleep in you can move, and a thing to sit in you can move.
By move I mean "move from room to room," because your ass ain't going anywhere serious for a while.

It is handy to have a place to put the baby that is not you when you are in your office, when you are folding laundry, etc.
If you're breast-feeding (or if you're not), a My Breast Friend pillow is a great asset for moms. It's a pillow that straps to you and you can use to hold a kid a feeding height.
The other bit of kit I unreservedly recommend for new parents is a book called THE HAPPIEST BABY ON THE BLOCK, which explains how to calm babies, and lemme tell you guys *that shit works.*
the tl;dr of the theory behind it is that newborns are basically fetuses that had to be delivered before being done bc their heads would be too big to pass otherwise.

So the world is a lot for them to process. Solution: swaddling, white noise, relatively forceful rocking, etc.
That was a surprise to me: rocking babies gently is less effective than rocking them with a fair amount of G-force (be damn sure to keep tight head control). I rock Moose by holding him close and twisting my torso side to side. It chills him out.
You will want swaddle cloths (swaddling is not complicated) and burp cloths.

ME BEFORE MOOSE. "do we really need this many burp cloths?"
ME WITH MOOSE. "I want a suit made out of burp cloths"
oh yeah, I forgot: elephant ears

newborns do not have abs or neck muscles that work, so they can't sit up straight, so get an elephant ear pillow for the car seat or stroller or a rocker if you get 'em one
here is Moose chilling in his rocker with his elephant ear pillow
let's see, what else

you will want a floor mat they can lie on and practice tummy time and such

but really you don't need toys at this stage

as a college buddy of mine, a mom of two, put it, newborns are basically loud houseplants
you will literally see them develop and start processing the world, and start engaging with you and with stuff, and it's a slow process and it's fascinating

if your baby is a little slow in this, do not worry

remember: the baby will not explode
the last tip I have right now: sleep

here is the thing: the newborn feeding cycle is two to two and a half hours

the human sleep cycle is three hours

do you see the problem here
The good news is that the baby will start sleeping longer, at least on an occasional basis.

Moose now only wakes up for feeding once or at most twice a night now, as opposed to every two hours.

The bad news: this takes a while.
Here is my strongest recommendation to couples with a kid: THERE ARE TWO OF YOU FOR A REASON.

Somebody needs to be on night duty. Make that determination by how the kid is feeding. If a kid is breast-feeding, gotta be Mom. If a kid is bottle-feeding, it can be either.
The parent on night duty and the parent not on night duty should not sleep in the same bedroom.

Make one room the nursery, the person on night duty sleeps there with the baby.

Make sure one of you gets a good night sleep, so they can spot for the other.
If you can't keep one person on night duty, your only hope is to sleep whenever the baby does.

Remember what I said about sleep cycles? Right. *NIGHT DUTY,* people.
Maybe younger people can do this without trouble, but as a middle-aged new parent, hooooooo boy.

(Have babies while you're young, folks.)
Anyway, that's my quick run-through of stuff I wished I knew. Honestly, you'll be fine. Don't stress it too much, get as much sleep as you can.

And remember: your baby will not explode. /fin

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