I have three children, and let me tell you, I’ve received some shitty advice. I often read lists of tips that make babies sound easy. They are always fluffy and full of little tricks that don’t work and make me feel like a parenting failure. Or they make me feel like there is something wrong with my baby, which is terrifying and untrue. Sometimes I wonder if people without kids write these lists. Anyway, I’d like to bring it down a level, so I put together a little list of my own. I won’t bullshit you. Here are the real baby pro tips.
1. Baby pajamas with a button crotch were designed by assholes. Ten years of college and I still can’t figure those damn things out. Make your life easier and buy PJ’s with zippers.
2. Babies cry, pee, poop, and puke. That’s it. Don’t expect them to sleep, care, or be interesting. Going into it with this mindset will help you realize your baby is normal.
3. Heads up: Baby boys will pee in your face. It’s a fact. Keep your mouth closed when changing their diapers.
4. The first time you change a diaper after transitioning to solid food will smell like death. Eat a light meal that day.
5. Don’t wear black. Boogers and spit up are basically neon lights on black clothing.
6. New parents often bounce their baby over their heads to make them smile until the little booger pukes in their mouth.
7. Keep in mind that until a child is 2, doctors won’t prescribe shit. That might help you be more selective on how often you go running to the urgent care over a sniffle.
8. If a baby has a blowout, just throw the outfit away. Doesn’t matter how cute it is. It won’t come out. And even if it does, by the time you get done fighting the stain, they will have grown out of it anyway.
9. People will tell you to let your baby cry it out. Others will tell you not to. Screw all those assclowns and make your own decisions. It will all work out.
10. If someone judges you for how you feed your baby, bottle or breast, you need to cut that person from your life. The reality is that in two years, that kid is going to be eating fruit snacks off the floor. You don’t need the stress of justifying the boob or the bottle to someone.
11. Sometimes babies cry and you can’t figure it out. In moments like that, set them in their crib for a moment and eat cookies. Then try again to soothe them. The key here is cookies.
12. If you are out of ideas, just lie on the floor and let them crawl on you. It’s the closest you will get to a massage for the next year or so, and babies think it’s a trip to Disneyland.
13. People will ask you which parent the baby looks like, but honestly, a new baby looks like a shriveled up Papa Smurf with dark eyes and wrinkly hands. At 6 months, a baby looks like a toothless Alfred Hitchcock. It’s a question you can’t answer, so just pick a parent and move on.
14. When you have a new baby, it’s okay to secretly hate non-parents for complaining about how tired they are.
15. Babies pull hair, lips, and eyelids. Hard. Watch their little sneaky hands.
16. There will be a short time (a week or two) when your baby can sit up and entertain themselves, but still can’t crawl. You can leave them in one spot and they won’t disappear. This is the best moment of parenthood. Period. Enjoy the hell out of it.
17. Strangers and irritating children will touch your baby without invitation. It’s okay to ask them, politely, to piss off.
18. You are on the baby’s schedule now. And they don’t give a shit about your job, sleep, or punctuality. The best you can do is line your pockets with excuses and apologies.
19. Screw pants with a legitimate waist. You don’t need that in your life. Jeans and a belt feel like a ball and chain after sleeping only four hours each night.
20. The secret to babies is caffeine. Don’t fight it. Just drink the hell out of that shit. It will be fine.
Sure, there are more pro tips — there always are. But this should get you started. And if you are reading this and you have something to add, please do so in the comments section. Because you know what they say: It takes a village.