Do These Things Before Having a Baby

Caring for a baby is no walk in the park. In fact, it can be disheartening enough that I wouldn’t say it’d be fun to even try the baby-caring stuff any sooner than you have to. However, some training while you’re still baby-free will come in handy. These are some things worthwhile to your regular life and just happen to be helpful if you do find yourself living the #dadlife.

Polyphasic Sleep

Sleep is supposed to be simple, right? You get tired, you lay down, you fall asleep. Some common advice you’ll hear is to “get some sleep” before the baby comes because they won’t let you sleep through the night. My advice is instead to get used to the idea of sleeping more often for shorter lengths of time. The baby won’t let you stick to the tried-and-true schedules, but you should learn what it feels like to sleep briefly, wake up and work frantically, then go back to napping.

The first couple weeks were insanely unpredictable for our sleep, but more recently its been settling more into sleeping about 6.5 hours of sleep over the course of four segments.

Homebrew

Most folks live without giving much thought to sanitation, but your baby needs cleanliness. You’re destined to become a bottle-cleaning master, and the chore is not fun. What you need is a reminder of how ‘worth it’ all this cleaning time is.

When homebrewing, the most common mistake new folks make is inadequately cleaning and sanitizing their equipment. The beautiful thing is that as you clean better, your beer tastes better. You slack off? Crappy taste for you. Don’t make your baby drink your mistakes, make them with beer instead.

Workout

Good squat form should be a pre-requisite before being discharged from the hospital. When you have a sleeping baby in your arms, you’ll be glad you have the strength not only to hold them still, but also to sit/stand/jump/squat/carry-other-stuff-too at the same time. Cardio is all well and good, but strength training has been the single-most valuable thing I’ve done to prepare for caring for an infant. It’s not unhelpful for the baby-less either.

Cook Casseroles

Julia Child wouldn’t take the time to cook dinner every night if there was a baby screaming like yours will. Do yourself a favor and find multiple casserole recipes you enjoy. Cook once, eat a lot. That’s efficiency, people.

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