Two of my dearest friends had their first baby yesterday, and as I was on the phone with the new Dad I found myself trying hard not to give any of the usual advice. You know, "Sleep when the baby sleeps" (virtually impossible in general, and especially if you have older kids at home) and "Be sure to ask for help!" (easy to say, hard to do), and the like.
It got me wondering... what advice did you ignore when you had your first kid? And, in retrospect, what do you really wish someone had told you?
I wish someone had told me to learn how to nurse the baby lying down... it's harder than it looks, but once I figured it out I could actually snooze a bit (and that's as close as I ever came to "sleep when the baby sleeps.")
I also wish someone had told me to take more pictures during that bleary first month. I don't remember much, but the few pictures I did manage to snap brings some of the awe-struck feeling back -- especially when I look at my Amazonian 4-year-old wearing her size 6 clothing, and think about the tiny, 4-pound, 14-ounce baby I brought back from the hospital four years ago.
So... what do you wish someone had told you when you had your first child? What advice did you ignore?
Lylah M. Alphonse is a Globe staff member and mom and stepmom to five kids. She writes about juggling career and parenthood at The 36-Hour Day and blogs at Write. Edit. Repeat. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.