A friend is pregnant and asked for advice in screened comments. After some thought, I realized I did have things to say that hadn't, IIRC, come up on the SteelyKid posts to date. So, for the record:
- I have tried all of the different method of taking temperatures out there and the only reliable one is, alas, a rectal thermometer.
- Even if you think you don't have space, it's worth buying a straightforward molded specifically-infant bathtub; slings and collapsible ones just don't work very well.
- One-piece outfits with feet are great but don't let your baby outgrow them by getting her toes pushed against them, or her big toenails will become chronically weird. =>
- If your pediatrician makes you feel stupid for coming in or expressing concerns, get another one.
- The Washington Post published a Pulitzer-winning article last year about children inadvertently left in hot cars. I am not linking to it because I'm not sure I actually recommend you read it: I read it shortly after it came out and it does not give me nightmares, it gives me the waking horrors. Regularly. Still. But the essential points are: ANYONE can accidentally leave their child in a car, usually when a routine is disrupted and they are under stress; death by hyperthermia is very horrible; so it's a good idea to make a habit of putting something in the backseat that will force you to open the back door every time, or a stuffed animal in the car seat that gets moved to the front seat when the car seat is in use, or some other such thing to force you to check the back every time.
- A friend has a rule that if her husband thinks she may have PPD, she goes to the doctor, which seems very sensible to me.
- Vibrating teethers. Seriously.
- Commitment to equal parenting + breastfeeding = need for additional conscious attention to the division of labor.
- The latest edition of the book Baby Bargains.
- I tend to be uncomfortable around other people's kids, but I know SteelyKid, I have spent more time with her than any other living being, and though it's a cliche, it really is different with her. While I have certainly gotten things wrong, I surprised myself with how competent and confident I felt from the start.
- Two very late ETAs, just so I have everything in one place:
Airplane hold for fussy babies: belly-down along your forearm, arms and legs dangling to either side, chin supported in your palm. I couldn't do this one-handed, but crossed my forearms against my belly, both palms up.
- Hair dryer set on cool is a handy white-noise generator for colic at 3 a.m.
Nb.: this for the record; I'm not asking for additional advice.