Man's view: Every trick in the (baby) book
So you’re pregnant and about to become a parent for the first time. Leigh Sanders hits the books to get some top tips. . .
The saying ‘calm before the storm’ could not be any more apt than right now. Sorry guys, but no matter how much we protest to our other halves we are working hard too, it’s not true.
This period once the ultrasound is safely passed and we are waiting for that little bundle of joy to arrive isn’t the toughest of shifts we have ever put in.
In fact, there is plenty of time to immerse yourself into the ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ of pregnancy with a little help from the professionals.
Yes, that initial period is chock-full of hints and tips from those around you. But now you have sieved through these in your head and picked your idealistic path of parenthood you may want to see what some of the experts say. Am I making the right choice? Or am I heading straight into disaster?
A good starting point is Roni Jay’s Pregnancy For Beginners. She splits everything down into simple sections that you can dip in and out of with ease when something preys on your mind.
Decisions about you, your home or your forthcoming child – they are all in here. This one is aimed more at the mother (birth is covered in detail), but men can take plenty of tips too. Particularly on where the baby should sleep.
Being critical it perhaps oversimplifies things and leaves you with questions as much as answers. Babies becoming ill can leave you feeling as confused as when you type your symptoms into Google. But as a starting point it’s great.
Another we loved was Mark Woods’ Pregnancy For Men. This handily breaks the pregnancy down month by month. It offers comic looks at some of the issues you may worry about, while giving you advice from other fathers, and tips on how to decide the big purchases such as ‘the dreaded buggy’. It makes it all seem a little less stressful. And it also crams in some of the fun facts like how big your offspring will be at this point, and what it might be getting up to inside mummy’s tummy.
It also has some useful tips on easing her pain. But more on that later. . .
As you can imagine, there is also a wealth of material online – but only some will be useful to you. Particularly after that initial news (especially if it’s a shock), you can do worse than heading over to www.pajiba.com and reading their guide on ‘30 Practical Tips About the Horrors of Raising a Baby That You Will Never Learn from Movies and TV’.
It had me laughing – a lot. And makes you realise that there are people out there with the same worries as you, the same questions, the same confusion. Looking at things more comically can really calm you down when the fear takes hold.
And as alluded to before, that waiting period can be put to good use by making things a little more comfortable for the walking incubator. By this point – the four/five/six-month period – she is starting to properly show. Physical tasks are more difficult and the stress levels rise along with insecurity. So do the simple things to ease her day. Make her the drinks, carry bags for her, try and make her comfortable. It shows a willingness to be involved and an interest in her wellbeing.
And then when she falls asleep (this will happen a lot) and you’ve finished your reading, you can get on with doing the things you like to do. With added brownie points in the bag.
Top (non-serious) tips picked up from reading baby books
- If you use the internet to search for symptoms, Yahoo Answers will invariably show up at the top of the listings. Never listen to these people. They are crazy.
- Make sure the books you read to your child are tolerable, because you will read them 1,000 times each over the course of their first few years.
- Cat poo can pose a very real danger to your pregnant partner.
- Travelling is never the same once your child arrives – I mean anything that involves going out of the front door.
- What is your budget?
- Forgetfulness in pregnancy has been around for an awfully long time, but has only relatively recently made tentative steps towards becoming a bona fide, fully recognised symptom.