50 Things to Know About The First Year of Parenthood


After writing the book 50 Things to Know Before Having a Baby, my friends talked me into making a list of things that I learned in the first year.  I am very excited to share this information with you.  I love teaching others so they don't have to go though some of the negative experiences that I have learned from.  Coming home from the hospital with a baby is a life-changing event. As I write this, I am a stay-at-home Mom with a 9 month old.  Many of my tips may be bias but come from my own experiences.  Please add your thoughts and tips if you already when though some of these.   



1. Sleep

Sleeping though the night may not happen very often for a long time.  You may enjoy the late night news while you are up.  Treat yourself by buying 
comfortable pajamas.  I did not co sleep with my baby but here is a funny "manual" on the subject.  


2. Nursery Rhymes

You may forget some of the words of nursing rhymes and just make up the words. Do you know all the worlds to your favorite Nursery Rhymes?

3. Memories

You may remember things from your childhood you may thought you forgot.  For example, I remember turning backwards to get off of the couch when I was little. You will be making new memories too.  The first time they smile, crawl, clap, and walk is amazing.  Better than any vacation you could take in your lifetime.   I don't like clutter, so keeping  An online calender for your child is a great way for keep track all the events of her life.  This is also a great place for medical information.  You can also purchase a baby calendar to remember all the small things that happen every day. Another fun idea is to keep a memory box.  I personally enjoy keeping most of the stuff digital so I do not create more clutter.  You can take pictures on special object and donate them to other people in need.  


4. Diaper Pro

You will learn to change diapers like a pro!  If you change 10 diapers a day for a year, that is 3,650 diapers. Make sure you are organized so these changes go faster. You will need to buy those 3,650 diapers.  Amazon has great deals on diapers.  This diaper bag can be nice for girls or guys to carry with all the amenities.   
 
5. Personal Shopper

Since babies grow fast, you will need to find, wash, and store new clothes about every 3 months.  Craigslist.com is a great place to find clothes.  They are expensive to buy but once they been washed, they are almost worth nothing. 
Here is a Baby Cloths Chart if you have trouble understanding sizes.  Sometimes you can find good deals on Amazon on baby clothes.  

Some things that we just loved are: Sophie the Giraffe - I know she was expensive, but this was the teether that our little girl used the most.  I think she like it because it was similar to a human hand.  Soft with different parts to chew on. Banana Tooth Brush- She loves chewing on this one too.  I hope this will help her in the steps to loving her brush her teeth.  Halo Sleep Sack - This is what our daughter slept in since night one!  We got 2 from the baby shower, then the hospital gave us one as we were leaving for a present.  Great gift!  Sleep Sheep - This sheep was given to us to our friends who were just first time parents themselves.  (They have a fun blog too).  Before every nap and every night we turn on this sheep.  We prefer the wave and rain sound.  I switch it up to the whale sound too.  

Our daughter is getting big enough that we turns the sheep on herself sometimes too! and a Infant Car Seat - After you get the hang of it, car seats are not that bad.  They let you have your freedom as a new Mom!

6. Staying Clean

You may forget to cut your nails, brush your teeth, or shower.  Here is a book of tips for modern moms.  
 



7. Medicine

Putting medicine in children's mouth or eyes can be very difficult when they resist. 
Here is a medicine basket checklist to keep in your house.  We tried to mix the medicine in with the food.  To put drops in our little girls eyes, we wrapped her in a blanket with her hands on the inside to control her movements.  Having some baby medicine on hand before it happens may make the day go more smoothly.  

8. Family Sickness

When someone gets sicks, you may all get sick.  You may then need help from family and friends who will also get the sickness.  Getting out of the house during these time may be difficult because you don't want to get anyone else sick.  Here is 101 things to do when you are getting better.  Here is a cute doctor kit to play with your kids before they need to go to the doctor

9. Pack Mule

Leaving the house to pick something up at the store requires a large amount of stuff. Leaving the house with a set of keys and a wallet does not happen any more.  You will need a organized diaper bag with all the right stuff.  You will need the normal parent stuff (Yes one time I did forget my wallet after grocery shopping for an hour).  And a  easy to fold stroller.  

Instead of leaving the house for diapers, I bought them on Amazon.  I could find deals with coupons for about .10 cents a diaper.  

If you are breastfeeding and do not need to carry around a pump, not having to carry around all the supplies are very helpful.  Read about my breastfeeding ups and downs here.  

10. Family Friendly Friends

You may start hanging out with friends that are family friendly more often. You can talk to these people about your closet eating junk food habits and different ways to take out aggression.   There are many activities to families to do together.  We like to play board games.  In particular setters of catan is our favorite game.  The game is similar to monopoly and risk together.  Not that dorky?  Try Yahtzee.  Our little girl would yell the world and make a touchdown hand jester when we did.  


11. Babysitter

When the kids are being watched you may not know what to do with yourself or what to talk about. Even a 15 minute break can feel amazing.  You can purchase baby sitter sheets to keep instructions on where you will be, where to reach you, and special instructions for each child.  Here is a Free Baby Sitter Sheet.

12. Cleaning

Your house will need to be clean so your child does not stick thing in their mouth.  This includes shoes and dust bunnies.  But, finding the time to clean may be more difficult.  If a baby find something that can fit in a paper towel roll, the object may be swallowed by a baby.  You can clean with an organic cleaners how that you have a baby in the house.  Here is a book to make your own household cleaners.  

 
13. Other Babies

You may continually see other babies that are younger than your child and think to yourself, could I really do this entire process again? Having a second baby books can help. 

14. Nutritiousness Dinner

Making dinner may be more difficult while taking care of a baby. Here is a food storage container organizer that may be helpful in your home.  Putting food in these containers when you have some down time, then finding them when you are hungry may make dinner and snacking easier.

15. Dieting

You won't be dieting for you but choosing the diet for your entire family.  Your eating habits may become your families.  A family meal plan makeover may be needed in your family.  




 

16. You Will Need Help

Yes, you could probably survive on your own.  But with help everyone will probably be a little happier. Just because someone comes over to watch the beautiful one for a while does not mean you failed!  It takes a whole village to raise a child is not just a saying.  Everyone benefits from you getting help including your baby, your helpers, and you!  Get Dad involved early by having him read some funny books on the subject.  Dads guide to pregnancy for dummiesDude!  You are Going to Be a Dad,  or The New Dad's Survival Guide is a good start.  These Pregnancy Bible Verses may be a help too.

17. Consider The Source

Many people may give you parenting advice.  You want want to look at the actual study yourself before you start following incorrect information.  Read materials from qualified doctors on parenting 

18. Scared By The Internet

Your child may have something that you are unsure of.  Then you check the internet, and you find information that may be untrue.  Don't let the internet scare you. Book written by doctors may be better resources   

19. Just Like TV
Most of the process won't be just like tv or the movies.  From labor to parenthood, everything will be more real.  
What to Expect When You Are Expecting movie may be funny and have some good tips but still nothing like the real thing.

20. Judgement

BreastfeedingCloth diapersMaking your own baby foodElimination Communication? You may have judged others on these same issues in the past but until you are in a certain situation with your particular child with 2 hours of sleep you will not know what you will do.



21. Magazine Moms

Your life with a child probably won't be like the woman you see in parenting magazines.  If you had a photo shoot, you could probably wear nice clothes and get your hair and make-up done for some pictures.

22. Weight Loss

As a stay-at-home Mom, I tried to use her sleep schedule for exercising. With insanity (the workout) I am now 10 pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight. Caring the baby with you every where you go helps too.  Your own new personal trainer.  The Insanity Workout is how I lost the baby weight and got back to my high school weight.  These workouts are great to keep you motivated to exercise while taking care of a baby.  I could just pause the DVD when I wanted to feed/change/play with the baby.  I also planned and portioned food ahead of time with these organized storage containers.  A great option if you are pregnant are these monthly workout DVDs.  Each month has a different workout. I also recommend a pedometer watch to start walking every day a little more when you can.  

23. Emotions

Your emotions may be like a roller coaster.  This may be normal now.  Listening to white noise may help you relax while your baby is sleeping.    

24. Teething

Teething sucks.  Here is a book on baby's heath and teething advice.

25. Happiest Baby on The Block

Amazing tips for first time parents. Read the Happiest Baby Book before parenthood begins while you have time.




26. Help


You may get the help you need but they do exactly what you want.  For example, you may not like what a person feeds your child or what they do when your child cries.  Be happy for the help you get.  It takes a whole village to raise a child.  


27. Love


Your relationship with your husband will change because you will both love a new person. This Love, at times, is amazing.


28.Comparing


People will start to compare your child to other children their age.  Your child may be more advanced or behind   


29. Identity


Keeping a separate identity from your child is hard when you spend so much time together.


30. Walking Zombie


You will be amazed at how much you can get done with little sleep.  If you had more sleep you could probably do what you are are doing much more efficiently.


* * * * *

Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children and no theories. - John Wilmot

* * * * *


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31. Falling


Your child may eventually fall when you are not watching.  That is ok.  Learning many new skills takes time.  


32. You Will Need Help


Yes, you could probably survive on your own.  But with help everyone will probably be a little happier. Just because someone comes over to watch the beautiful one for a while does not mean you failed!  It takes a whole village to raise a child is not just a saying.  Everyone benefits from you getting help including your baby, your helpers, and you!  Get Dad involved early by having him read some funny books on the subject.  Dads guide to pregnancy for dummies, Dude!  You are Going to Be a Dad,  or The New Dad's Survival Guide is a good start.  These Pregnancy Bible Verses may be a help too.


34. Consider the Source


Many people may give you parenting advice.  You want to look at the actual study yourself before you start following incorrect information.  Read materials from qualified doctors on parenting.


35. Remember Your Partner


Scheduled date nights can be fun even if you talk about your child the entire time.  My sister-in-law watched our baby every Wednesday night.  We usually go to dinner, a movie, or our local coffee shop to spend time out of the house together.


36. Don't Buy Too Much


Babies only need certain things.  I would rather spend time with my child then cleaning and organizing their things.


37. Scheduling is Difficult


If you are having lunch with friends at 12 you may get there 15 minutes early or late, and that is ok.


38. Don’t Let The Internet Scare You


Your child may have something that you are unsure of.  Then you check the internet, and you find information that may be untrue.  Don't let the internet scare you. Book written by doctors may be better resources   


39. Just Like TV


Most of the process won't be just like tv or the movies.  From labor to parenthood, everything will be more real.  What to Expect When You Are Expecting movie may be funny and have some good tips but still nothing like the real thing.


* * * * *
A two-year old is kind of like having a blender, but you don't have a top for it. - Jerry Seinfeld

* * * * *


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40. Judgment


Breastfeeding? Cloth diapers? Making your own baby food? Elimination Communication? You may have judged others on these same issues in the past but until you are in a certain situation with your particular child with 2 hours of sleep you will not know what you will do.


41. Solid Food Mess


However you try and feed your baby, there will probably be a mess.  Having a dog may help.


42. Sleeping Medicine


With a baby who may wake up at any time, this type of medicine may be difficult to take.


43. Magazine Moms


Your life with a child probably won't be like the woman you see in parenting magazines.  If you had a photo shoot, you could probably wear nice clothes and get your hair and make-up done for some pictures.


44. Weight Loss


As a stay-at-home Mom, I tried to use her sleep schedule for exercising. With insanity (the workout) I am now 10 pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight. Caring the baby with you everywhere you go helps too.  You are your own new personal trainer.  The Insanity Workout is how I lost the baby weight and got back to my high school weight.  These workouts are great to keep you motivated to exercise while taking care of a baby.  I could just pause the DVD when I wanted to feed/change/play with the baby.  I also planned and portioned food ahead of time with these organized storage containers.  A great option if you are pregnant is these monthly workout DVDs.  Each month has a different workout.


45. Emotions


Your emotions may be like a roller coaster.  This may be normal now.  Listening to white noise may help you relax while your baby is sleeping.    


46. Teething


Teething sucks.  Here is a book on baby's heath and teething advice.


47. Happiest Baby on The Block


Amazing tips for first time parents can be found in this book. Read the Happiest Baby Book before parenthood begins while you have time.


48. The Art of Swadding

Don't worry you don't need to swaddle your baby, they make  woobies and  Sleep Sacks for that. 


49. Enjoy Each Day


Your child will never be the same at they are at this current moment.  You may be amazed the things you talk about to your significant other.  Poop, snot, and feeding may be the topic in almost every conversation.


50.  This Too Shall Pass

A good phrase to remember in any situation.


The Happiest Baby on the Block; Fully Revised and Updated Second Edition: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer
The First Years Stacking Up Cups
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Safety 1st Fingertip Toothbrush and Case
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Fisher-Price BLT33 Rattle and Rock Maracas Musical Toy
Nosefrida Baby Nasal Aspirator with 4 filters and 20 Additional Filters
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About Lisa Rusczyk Ed.D.

Lisa is the creator of the book series that teaches young children that they are loved when their loved ones are away called Charlie the Cavalier.  She became a doctor of educational leadership in 2015.   Send Lisa Rusczyk and email at lbrennec@gmail.com.  

 The Insanity Workout is how I lost the baby weight and got back to my high school weight.  These workouts are great to keep you motivated to exercise while taking care of a baby.  I could just pause the DVD when I wanted to feed/change/play with the baby.  I also planned and portioned food ahead of time with these organized storage containers.  A great option if you are pregnant are these monthly workout DVDs.  Each month has a different workout. 



Charlie the Cavalier Travels the World

downloadJoin Charlie the Cavalier on his travels around the world. While away he will video chat, send post cards, call on the phone, and text the people he misses at home. He even brings home his best friend Lilly a present. A great way to show kids how you will stay connected while you are away from home. Kids will also learn different landmarks around the world.


Charlie the Cavalier Begs for Attention

unnamedIn this infectious rhyming read-aloud, Charlie the Cavalier travels with the little girls Mom to the airport and beyond when the little girl has to stay home. The little girl is confident that when her Mom travels with Charlie that he will protect, entertain, and get her Mom back home safely. Children will relate to the little girls need for comfort when a family member is away, as much as parents will appreciate Charlie the Cavaliers reassuring message.


Charlie the Cavalier Goes to the Amusement Park

Charlie the Cavalier Goes to the Amusement Park Join Lilly and her best friend Charlie on their next adventure to the amusement park. They enjoy the amusement park and your children can learn how act around others while they are there. In each picture is a hidden heart to find too!


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