1. Unless you live in the rainforest, buy a humidifier.
2. Babies’ onesies don’t just have that special neckline with overlapping shoulders to accommodate their large heads, even that that is the primary reason. These necklines also make it possible to pull the whole thing DOWN and off in case of a huge mess. Also, you can pretty much never have too many onesies.
3. Buy swimsuits in the summer. If you think your kid is going to need a larger swimsuit anytime during the year before next summer, get the larger size before all the summer-clothing disappears from stores or you will have to search long and hard for a swimsuit in November. This also applies to other seasonal-items (if you are going to Greenland in June or something). Thankfully, there is number 4.
4. Check Amazon. Whatever it is, before you go out and try to find it in person, just check Amazon. This way, you have not only an idea of what commonly exist, but a reference point for price so that you know if you are being ripped off. This is probably a good lesson even if you don’t have kids. (And I do mean amazon.com, not amazon.ca which sucks.)
5. Cloth diapering while an environmentally friendly choice is also a great choice for your pocketbook. Even if you use more expensive options, like BumGenius, you will still save loads of money. If you don’t use them all the time (like me), you will STILL save money. Better yet, if you treat them right, the cloth diapers/diaper covers hold a lot of value and can be resold when you are done! There is a Cloth Diaper Swap on Facebook that is one of the most aggressive sale-sites I have ever been on. Those ladies are freaking serious.
6. You can’t wear heels, you need more flats. I always preferred wearing heels. And I tried to continue, but hauling around my baby and all her stuff while wearing them made my feet ache (a feeling I am used to and can usually ignore), my shins feel bruised, and my knees feel like two delicate little girls who were about to pass out. Eventually, my back got word of all of this muscular-skeletal distress and joined the strike. So, I had to buy more flats. It is preferable you get ones that you could climb a small mountain wearing and that you can put on in under 1 second with no hands.
7. Someday, you will be *that* person that everyone in the restaurant/train/plane/store is staring at thinking “what a terrible parent, why can’t she just get it together?!” You may be lucky and only have it happen once. But it will happen.
8. And a continuation of 7, you will never really feel like you have your shit together. I fondly remember the days before the kid when I really knew that I was capable of accomplishing a series of tasks. I was on time, I was presentable. I had my wits about me. If you are a child-less person and considering having children, you should ask yourself how important it is to you that you always feel like you are “with it.” Because even on the days you are doing a great job, as a parent, you are always one kid-mess away from total functional breakdown. You will also have to lower your standards on house cleaning. Or lose your mind. Your choice.
9. That you will physically hurt when your baby cries: in your boobs (if you are nursing), in your stomach, in your brain.
10. That it’s not you. I spent about 10 months completely obsessing over my daughter’s (lack of) sleep predictability. She was one of the worst sleepers I’d ever encountered. She used to wake up 24 times a night sometimes, from about 6-8 months old. Naps were hell. She is still a bad sleeper compared to her peers. But several months ago, I finally realized: It’s not me. There is basically nothing I can do to make her sleep. It’s just a milestone she will meet when she’s ready. I drove my self crazy trying to make everything perfect. Now, all I do is try to give her a consistent schedule, keep her room dark, quiet, and comfortable, and just hope. If she wakes up, I go get her and do whatever she wants me to do to get her back to sleep. I never “sleep-trained” her since I know it would never have worked. I’m glad I didn’t. The crazy idea that I had any impact on her sleep habits at this age had to be put to bed, pun intended. I wasn’t me. Took me a long time to learn that, but now I appreciate the many areas of her life that this lesson covers.