Nora

Your baby has no control of what he is doing and cannot by reasoned with, any threats of anger or outbursts are useless and terribly damaging. Physical aggression or force is never okay and can lead to broken bones, brain damage, or worse. It's not malicious, or spiteful, or mean. It's just how they are, and it's all they can do to communicate.

Your child needs you to be his protector, not predator. Parental aggression (especially from the father) is a real phenomena, especially with colic babies.

Recognize when your frustration is rising and quickly remove yourself from your baby and wife (assuming they are in a safe place together). Sleep in the living room, or even out in your car to separate the possibility of physical contact between you and your child.

Return only when your temper is back down.

Talk to your wife so she understands what's happening at moments when you suddenly need some space. Trying to explain in the moment could result in you just getting more frustrated if she's not understanding quickly enough.

Breathe deep, take a break, step away. Parenting is hard, and if you act out when your child needs you it can be even harder.

Nora

Our 5 year old is obsessed with it and it really bothers me, for two reasons.

I'm talking about the YT Kids app.

For one the content is mostly garbage. It is primarily parents exploiting their children for hopes of Internet fame or monetary reasons and I really can't stand it. I don't want her to learn that being a spoiled brat or being showered with gifts is the norm. Beyond that the strange daddy finger remixes with strange spider man cameos are nothing short of disturbing.

Not to mention the creepy adult "hands only" videos where they basically just cover some popular figurines in play doh and unwrap them, endlessly.

We don't let our son watch it on a phone or tablet. He gets so sucked into it that he totally forgets about the rest of the world. The one way we found to compromise is to cast YouTube to the TV. Somehow, he's distracted enough by his surroundings that he doesn't turn into a little zombie like he does when he used to watch on the tablet.

Plus, we control what gets played.

If he is to use the iPad we use the app Cakey. You create your own play lists of YouTube videos so only videos you add can be seen. You can also download pre-made playlists by other cakey users.

Highly recommend!

Nora

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the unexplained death, usually during sleep, of a seemingly healthy baby less than a year old. SIDS is sometimes known as crib death because the infants often die in their cribs.

SIDS is not the cause of every sudden infant death. Each year in the United States, thousands of babies die suddenly and unexpectedly. These deaths are called SUID, which stands for “Sudden Unexpected Infant Death.”

SUID includes all unexpected deaths: those without a clear cause, such as SIDS, and those from a known cause, such as suffocation. One-half of all SUID cases are SIDS. Many unexpected infant deaths are accidents, but a disease or something done on purpose can also cause a baby to die suddenly and unexpectedly.

“Sleep-related causes of infant death” are those linked to how or where a baby sleeps or slept.

These deaths are due to accidental causes, such as suffocation, entrapment, or strangulation. Entrapment is when the baby gets trapped between two objects, such as a mattress and a wall, and can’t breathe. Strangulation is when something presses on or wraps around the baby’s neck, blocking the baby’s airway.

These deaths are not SIDS.

SIDS is not:

  1. SIDS is not the same as suffocation and is not caused by suffocation.
  2. SIDS is not caused by vaccines, immunizations, or shots.
  3. SIDS is not contagious.
  4. SIDS is not the result of neglect or child abuse.
  5. SIDS is not caused by cribs.
  6. SIDS is not caused by vomiting or choking.
  7. SIDS is not completely preventable, but there are ways to reduce the risk.

Facts About SIDS:

  1. More than 2,000 babies died of SIDS in 2010, the last year for which such statistics are available. 1
  2. Most SIDS deaths occur in babies between 1 month and 4 months of age, and 90% of SIDS deaths occur before a baby reaches 6 months of age.
  3. More male babies die from SIDS than girls.
  4. In most cases, no sign of distress is identifiable. The baby typically feeds normally prior to going to sleep.
  5. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) may be initiated at the scene, but evidence shows a lack of beneficial effect from CPR.

"Why does SIDS happen?"

In the past decade, researchers identified how low oxygen levels, combined with an underlying brain defect, can cause SIDS. Scientists believe a triple-risk model explains many SIDS cases: A baby has a defect in an area of the brain that controls breathing and arousal; the baby is at an age when those brain areas are still immature; and the baby is exposed to an external stress that compromises his breathing or oxygen levels, or that causes overheating.

“To have a SIDS death, you have to have at least one of those [factors], and you have a higher risk if you have two or three of those happening at the same time,” says Fern Hauck, a professor of family medicine at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville.

Sleeping face-down on a soft surface or with soft bedding that can press up against the face can decrease a baby’s oxygen flow too much. When this happens, a normal baby will auto-resuscitate by gasping, crying, turning his head or moving. “It’s thought that SIDS infants have a defective arousal mechanism, which means they stay in that position and gradually suffocate,” Dr. Fern Hauck, a professor of family medicine at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville says. "Overheating is thought to lead to SIDS in a similar way, by suppressing an infant’s arousal response."

The connection between brain defects and SIDS was raised definitively in 2010, when researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston discovered that SIDS babies were deficient in the brain-signaling chemical serotonin in the brain stem. In fact, according to some research, 50 to 75 percent of infants who die of SIDS have a serotonin defect.

Other researchers have found that about 10 to 15 percent of SIDS deaths can be traced to babies with a genetic predisposition for a heart rhythm disorder that can go undetected and lead to cardiac arrest, says Marta Cohen, a pediatric pathologist at Sheffield Children’s Hospital in England. http://www.dallasnews.com/lifestyles/health-and-fitness/health/20130902-new-research-into-sids-gives-parents-clearer-guidelines.ece

How does breastfeeding reduce the risk of SIDS?

Researchers identified 288 studies on SIDS and breastfeeding from 1966 to 2009 and narrowed their analysis to 18 studies that met basic research quality criteria. The results showed that for infants who received any breastmilk for any duration, the likelihood of SIDS was 60% lower.

  • For infants who were breastfed at 2 months of age and older, the risk was 62% lower.
  • Exclusive breastfeeding without any use of formula for any duration appeared to provide the biggest benefits. The risk of SIDS among exclusively breastfed infants was 73% lower.

Although these findings are based on observational studies and cannot prove a direct cause and effect relationship between breastfeeding and SIDS prevention, researchers say there are several plausible biological reasons. For example, breastfed infants may be more easily aroused from sleep than formula-fed infants at 2-3 months of age, which is within the 2-4 months peak age of SIDS cases. In addition, breastfeeding delivers antibodies known as immunoglobulins that may help protect infants from infection during the period they are most at risk for SIDS.

Nora

Hmmm... new dad tips... where were these when my husband found himself holding a precious bundle of joy?

If you have a spitter put the baby in the carseat to leave before you get dressed, or expect to have to change your clothes again.

If you are working and your wife is staying home make sure she gets a shower before you leave in the morning (if she wants one, this helped me break up days and nights in the early days).

Keep your wife hydrated.

Newborns are noisy sleepers. Don't freak out about all the noises they make when they are sleeping.

So many issues you are going to cross (pacifiers, bedsharing, Cry it out) are going to have people who believe a whole range of different things. Research it a little on your own from an as unbiased source as you can. Follow the safety rules involved if you decide to go for that practice and then don't beat yourself up for the choices you make.

Different things work for different families and that's ok.

Little humans gets sick. And when they do they run a temperature.

People aren't judging you most people couldn't care less about what you're doing. If someone does say something about your parenting, consider what they've said, see if it has any merit to it (for example, maybe you didn't know that you shouldn't put the baby's carseat on top of the grocery cart) if it does yay you learned something.

If it doesn't tell them why your doing things the way you are (I had to explain to quite a few old ladies why my babies weren't wearing coats.

We have a garage, coats aren't supposed to be worn in a carseat, my children spent less time in the cold if we hightailed it into the store than if I stopped to put their coats on them) then move on with your life.

Having a baby changes everything (that is so cliche but it really does). Becoming a parent totally changes your identity. Your no longer you for awhile, your someone's mom or someone's dad. It takes awhile to adjust to being a parent and being a person. But remember happy parents help make happy babies. Make sure both you and the baby's mom get time to just be themselves for a little while.

Whether it is 20 minutes a day which is pretty much all you might get in those early days or a few hours a week. Kids suck the life out of you so there isn't much you can do about that. Make time for you and your wife, she will appreciate it and it will make life better for the two of you.

Nora

A lot of this depends on the kids. That age gap can be pretty intense. If the 18 month old sleeps all night and you have a fairly calm 5 year old, then probably the housework etc. should be a little easier for her to get done.

My 5 year old puts his dishes in the dishwasher, puts his laundry in the hamper, puts away the clean cutlery from the dishwasher, picks up his toys at the end of the day, puts away his own clean clothes, and cleans up his own messes.

I tend to cook and do the laundry, and run most errands (grocery store, Target, etc). I'll also usually sweep/mop the kitchen while he is out of the house and the child is napping since it needs to be done constantly.

We do a deeper house clean (bathrooms, dusting, vacuuming carpeted areas) every couple of weeks together on the weekend. This usually involves doing it during nap, else plopping the child in a gated room with toys and TV for an hour or two to get it all done.

I'd say the only point of contention I have is the damned dishes.

I need to be pushier about this.

My youngest is just shy of one and half.

He helps pick up his toys at the end of the night, he "helps" sort the laundry and put it in the washer and out of the dryer, likes to hand me silverware out of the dishwasher, etc. Mostly at this point it's just getting him to see that chores are a part of life, not actually getting assistance. The only thing he doesn't actually slow down is toy pickup, and even then he puts away like, one puzzle while I clean the rest of the room.

I expect as my child gets older, he will take on some chores.

I also plan to go back to work (probably not for 5 years or so honestly, we want a second child), and when that happens, a lot more is going to have to get done on the weekends, like it used to before my son was born. Whichever of us gets home earlier is going to have to cook, or we're going to have to cook together.

Right now I choose to shoulder the chores that I do because it allows for us to have more free time on the weekends and evenings, which I value.

But if the baby is up at night, 2 year old is into everything, baby is clingy and doesn't let her get much done, well she is going to quickly move into survival mode. Those are some young kids and it's not going to get much worse than it is now.

In my oppinion you should address any marriage problems first. These tend to be the things that will start to rub once your start raising children together.

Raising children? It's something we do together. It works for us.

Nora

You'll be fine. But do not be afraid to accept help from your parents/friends/family members.

Realize that it's a marathon, not a sprint. Children are resilient and it is OK to learn as you go. Remember to take some time for yourself, as well as for you and your spouse as a couple. Having children can make you forget why you got married in the first place.

What I can tell you is that it will be a lot harder than you have begun to realize, but it will be extremely rewarding. There are going to be times where it seems you can't do anything right and the baby is going to cry and scream. Have patience and stay calm.

You are nervous and want to be sure that everything you do is perfect for your baby.

You already love your child and that's all that really matters. Give your child your heart; love your baby fully, unconditionally, and with every fiber of your being and nothing else will matter. Your child won't remember how the nursery was decorated or the brands of clothes that they wore.

The will remember the true love that only a parent can give.

Remember to cherish every moment. Babies don't keep and before you know it your little one won't be so little anymore.

Take thousands of photos and videos and relish in every minute of watching your little one grow. Don't ever be afraid to shower your child with love and emotion because you are the dad. There is not a stronger love on this planet than that between a parent and their child. Be nurturing and loving to your partner and your new addition and let your heart overflow with the love you will experience for the first time.

Don't stress about diapers, night feedings, or anything else, just enjoy the journey and all the other things will fall into place.

Enjoy the ride.