OT - Future MGoDad

Submitted by lunchboxthegoat on May 16th, 2011 at 2:30 PM

So, really off topic but hopefully the community at large won't mind and will allow me a moment...


I am about to be an MgoDad for the first time. I'm  young, I was the youngest sibling to no experience with babies or child rearing. I know nothing about children and am a bit fearful. So, I ask you dear MgoReader any advice, suggestions, books/articles to read to help prepare me please share!





EDIT: Thanks everyone for the well wishes and great advice. This community surprises me time and time again with your willingness to help and sincere care for one another. Yet another reason why its great to be a Michigan Wolverine.


FTR: its a girl. Audrey Victoria (for Victors! Yes, I won that discussion)




May 16th, 2011 at 2:34 PM ^

I can only imagine what Sean Ornery is going to say...

EDIT:  Oh yeah, and congratulations!  Unfortunately I have no advice to give though


May 16th, 2011 at 2:36 PM ^

Your child to the games. Let him/her dream big dreams. Other than that, read the Bible together, teach how to communication, deal with conflicts, respect. Discipline, always firmly, and always in love. Raise your young ones eyes to a higher horizon, a greater calling, and God bless you!
Wish you the best.


May 16th, 2011 at 2:37 PM ^

the movie Knocked up.  If the doctor asks you if you want to watch the baby being born say no!!! (Still have nightmares), and go to the MDen and stock up on baby clothes cause all babies are beautiful in maize & blue.

Nicky Santoro

May 16th, 2011 at 3:28 PM ^

Think of a time when you got way too drunk the night before, and spent a good chunk of the next morning using every ounce of your mind over matter powers to keep from violently throwing up all over... then imagine doing that for a good solid couple hours.. that's witnessing childbirth.


May 16th, 2011 at 2:40 PM ^

Don't read "What to expect when you're expecting."

People have been raising babies for a long time without screwing most of them up too badly. So try not to panic, knowing absolutely nothing about you, I'm sure you'll do fine.

And congratulations!


May 16th, 2011 at 5:59 PM ^

As much as I agree with what you just wrote - having that in a book written by a doctor is priceless.  Whenever BabyMamainLA was freaking out about something (so, every day) we busted out the What to Expect book, and she was all calmed down.  When I told her not to worry about stuff, she either worried more or got pissed at me for not caring enough (or both).  When it came from the book, she settled down and had a chocolate milkshake.

Also - congrats man.  I became an MGoDad for the first time almost a year ago - it goes crazy fast.  My advice - if you don't already have one, get a Costco membership.  Between diapers, wipes, formula and baby clothes, you'll pay for that membership 100 times over.  Not to mention they have a lot of cool stuff for adults, too.


May 17th, 2011 at 9:11 AM ^

There is something called Amazon Mom (yes, it's open to dads too but they liked the name) that has up to 30% off baby items. That can come in handy too. Ordering from there gives you free months of Amazon Prime for certain dollar amount purchases.

Maybe not for a while, but unopened formula can be cheap on ebay as well.

Oh, and just love your baby more than you love Michigan and most situations will be easy


May 16th, 2011 at 2:42 PM ^

Congrats.  I'm a relatively new MGoDad myself.  My future softballer is 3 months old.  I'm not sure there's really any advice I'd offer other than to do what you and your sig. other are comfortable with. 

Ultimately, your new baby should enhance your life in every way, don't get bogged down with trying to be so perfect and trying to plan/prepare for everything that you can't enjoy the ride while you're on it.  It's hectic, confusing, and sometimes scary, but if your baby is sleeping, eating, pooping, and peeing then you're on the right track. 


I found that everyone has their own opinions, their own experiences, books that they followed, old wives tales, whatever, just listen to the people you trust, who have managed to raise kids without going obviously insane, and do what feels right. 


Good Luck!




May 16th, 2011 at 2:43 PM ^

Coming from someone with no experience in having a child, I would say the most important thing is to remember that they'll look up to you. Just keep that in mind; it could really fuck them up if you don't.

Also, at least from me growing up, it's the little things I remember. You don't have to get box seats at the Big House, but make watching the games (or whatever it is they'll watch) an experience.

Blue in Yarmouth

May 16th, 2011 at 2:43 PM ^

I had quadruplets almost 3 years ago ( three boys and a girl) and I can only say that no guide will truly prepare you for what is to come. It won't be able to accuratley portray the extreme lows nor the amazing highs you will feel as a new parent. The only advice I would give is get ready for the ride of your life. It isn't all fun and games, but from my experience I can say that the challanges I have gone through are more than made up for when I come home from work and get greeted by four little ones who think the sun rises and sets with their Dad (I can't imagine why they feel that way, but they do). Good luck to you!


May 16th, 2011 at 2:48 PM ^

get him in the weight room at the age of five, a speed coach at 8. always play him up a level in football so he can get use to bigger talent and then he will be ready to be the nations top recruit coming out of HS. how much you feed him depends on where he will play. Im expecting to see MGOson as the num 1 recruit in the class of 2028


May 16th, 2011 at 2:53 PM ^

...is to not be fearful. You're bigger than the baby.  It won't hurt you.

Seriously, it's all about being comfortable with yourself. Most of child rearing is instinctual, unless you have severe baggage from your own upbringing. If you're reasonably well adjusted, you'll be fine.


May 16th, 2011 at 2:53 PM ^

It's awesome being a dad.  The worst part was the hospital and thinking "how am I ever going to not have sex for 5 weeks?"  The actual 5 weeks wasn't terrible though.


Dont read any books.  Typically overblown and always worst case scenario.  Never things that happen to the average joe.

fire lloyd carr

May 16th, 2011 at 2:54 PM ^

Congratulations. But please remember this truth. All parents will screw up their children. Each of us will do this in our own loving and unique way.
<br>And have lots of fun with your kids. Every day is more interesting than the last and it gets more and more fun once they are able to speak. Just wait until you get into an argument about the hiring of the next head coach after Andy Moeller retires as head coach in 2030. And go on lots of roller coasters with your kids.

Six Zero

May 16th, 2011 at 2:57 PM ^

  1. Do not set expectations of who you expect the kid to be that a child doesn't even know he/she is supposed to live up to... in fact, throw all your expectations of them out the window, because the kid will develop in ways you could never imagine, yet wouldn't want any other way.
  2. Weird thing about kids-- they love rules.  They like to know what is accepted, and what is not.  It helps define their roles and the world around them.
  3. Conversely, kids love to break rules.  It is part of their exploratory nature.
  4. Patience.  If you do not already have lots of it, find a way to get much of it.  And no matter how much you have, you will occasionally run out of it.
  5. A child will remember you by his/her memories of the time you spent together.  Give them plenty of those times-- your life is no longer about you.
  6. You must be consistent.  If you say "one more time and I'm taking that from you," then you must take it after one more time.  Otherwise you are screwed and the kid will rule everything.
  7. When you have to discipline the kid, don't glare down at him while you are both standing;  it is instantly intimidating.  It is one thing to have a kid that is fearful of you, and another to be afraid of you.  Instead, kneel down and look him/her in the eye.  Calmly, if possible.
  8. I have found that the hardest thing about being a parent is walking the very fine line between being a disciplinarian and having fun with the kid.  You can't just be all about rules, but you also can't just be a play-buddy too.
  9. Finally, remember that the kid is constantly learning from you.  Your words, your motivations, your actions, even your posture will be absorbed by little eyes.  If you want your kid to grow up to be a good person, the easiest way to guarantee it is to be one, or at least don't let them be around when you are not.

Good luck and congrats lunchbox


May 16th, 2011 at 3:36 PM ^

Nicely done, Six Zero.  Working in education and coaching I have the "pleasure" of working with many who have been sold short by parents unwilling to parent.  They unfortunately have a hard time believing that anybody will ever actually discipline them, even when somebody says, "don't do that, or I'll . . ."

One of my favorite parenting stories comes from a friend who told his kid, mid-week through a beach vacation, "don't do that, or we'll go home".  The kid did it.  They went home.  The kid will believe him next time.


May 16th, 2011 at 4:14 PM ^

One thing about the "rules" point: kids are phenomenal at finding technicalities in rules. 

  • "You said I had to take three bites.  You didn't say how big the bites had to be"
  • "You said I had to go to my room.  You didn't say I had to STAY there."
  • "I didn't hit him.  The wiffleball bat hit him. You said nothing about that."


May 16th, 2011 at 4:23 PM ^

SixZero has most of it covered.

Try to remember that you aren't going to kill them if you only put six scoops of formula in bottle instead of seven.  He/She will be ok if he/she has a small tumble.  So don't obsess about every little thing.

[Non-Parents Please move to next paragraph]  Your wife is going to be very emotional and little things will get to her.  Not sure if she is planning to breast-feed.  If she is and it works out great.  If not, assure her that it is not a big deal and your kid is not going to be affected by it.  Your wife will feel so much pressure from outside sources to breast-feed and feel that she is a failure if she cannot. 

Don't be afraid to take the little guy out with you to dinner, the store, etc.  Kids can complicate doing stuff like that but they are not a ball and chain.

Buy a good jogging stroller (I recommend the BOB Revolution).  If you like to exercise, they are worth every penny!

Also and very important, make sure you and your wife have some time for each other.  Try to start lining up sitters, grandparents, etc.  Nights out without having to worry about the kid are very nice and necessary to maintain sanity.

Best of luck and most of all, have fun.  


May 16th, 2011 at 5:03 PM ^

I too am about to be a first time MGoDad.  I have helped raise two nephews when they were newborn and I have worked with Junior & Senior high at church for years.  I have had parents ask me advice despite my lack of kids. All that and I have to say, your summary was one of the best I have ever heard/read about being a parent.  Awesome & Thanks!


May 17th, 2011 at 1:07 PM ^

Six Zero has hit the nail on the head with virtually every bit of advice.

The only tip I can add has to do with your question about surviving childbirth.

First, accept these truths:

1. Your loving wife will most likely be emotional, exhausted, scared, and in pain (often, even if it's a c-section).  She will need your calming presence, and your strength.

2.  Lets face it, NO ONE really wants to watch the bloody, messy, gruesomeness that is childbirth.  (and you especially don't want to pass out or throw up).

3.  Being present for the birth of your child is a moment you will treasure yourself as well as a bonding experience for you and your wife.  It will also show how much you love and support her.

So, how do you manage to be present, support your wife, yet not throw up and pass out during the procedure?

Get in her face.

No really, don't just hold her hand, get right up near her face and never break eye contact.  
She may look to the doctor's & nurses during childbirth, but you don't have to take your eyes off of hers (which keeps you from looking at anything truly unpleasant).  You will be inches away, right where she needs you to be.  Count her nose freckles, her sweaty eyebrow hairs, whatever you want, but don't let your eyes go anywhere else.

This may sound like a deception, but it's not.  She really will appreciate you being RIGHT THERE with her, and it can make it more manageable for you.

Oh, and my 6 year old daughter was very excited to learn last week that she is going to be a big sister to a pair of twins due October 3rd!


May 16th, 2011 at 2:55 PM ^

Any single day will provide challenges that seem intensely insurmountable.  But kids, like us, survive and thrive.  Growth and experience happen over time.  So does vegetable ingestion.  Also, nothing that I nor the rest of the mgoblog community will be recalled during your first week as a parent, when you may very well find yourself questioning your decision making abilities and considering running away.  But then you'll fall asleep with the little one on your chest and it'll all melt away.

Also, don't feel compelled to listen to anyone else's idea of what is pure and great about childbirth, child-rearing, proper attire (except the admonition above regarding green and red), diets, schooling, etc.  You'll make the right decisions for you and yours.  At least I hope you will. 


Lastly, start pestering the hospital staff for pain medication as soon as you arrive there.  It's WAY BETTER to have your wife decline such intervention than want it and not have it IMMEDIATELY available.  Fetishizing the Blessed Moment is instantaneously hilarious during your first sleepless night with your crying child.  Remember: take the long view.



May 16th, 2011 at 2:57 PM ^

Some advice that has worked out well for me:

1.  When your kid turns 2 days old, start him on this.  It is a cute video that not-so-subtly indoctrinates.  Teaches numbers, sports, and shows kids playing, all set to the Victors. 

Team Baby: Baby Wolverine [DVD]

2.  Get your kid to watch as much Michigan football and basketball (and hockey if it is available and if you follow hockey) as you can.  I started my son watching the FB games when he was born (on replay the next day - too hard to watch them live with him) and so many people said "he is way too young to understand anything about sports or Michigan."  Now he is almost 4 and he LOVES Michigan football and bball.  When we play sports in the basement, if he makes a shot, he sings the Victors.  When he sees adults wearing Michigan gear in the street or on vacation, he gives the appropriate "go blue."  Hell, we saw a car with an OSU bumber sticker last week and he said: "look daddy, Ohio State - they suck."  I am proud.

3.  Go to Moe's (online if out of state like me) - pick up a whole bunch of infant Michigan clothing.  They have awesome stuff.

If you meant advice not related to Michigan, just try to enjoy it.  Having a kid is scary as hell, but it is also the most awesome thing.  Don't worry too much about advice that others give you (except me - I mean, come on, I am a random internet message board poster, so who better to listen to). 


tn wolverine

May 16th, 2011 at 2:57 PM ^

You'll do fine, there's really nothing you need to know that you don't already.  Some great advice though, get all the sleep you care to have now beacuse once the baby comes it's over for quite awhile. I know that the army claims to be the toughest job you'll ever love, but I say it's parenting. Enjoy every day because it goes by way too fast my oldest just turned 13 and my youngest (in my avatar) will be 6 in July. I assure you you can do it and it will be loads of fun, it just takes some time to get into a new routine. Congratulations.


May 16th, 2011 at 3:10 PM ^

Most important for you and Mom to be consistent - have your "house rules" thought out in advance and make sure that you two are in synch.  It's important for a child to know they can't play Mom against Dad.  This will require both of you to each compromise a little.  Never contradict each other - if Mom already said "no" then Dad needs to support this, and vice versa.

Always give a child a choice - but not unlimited choices.  Don't say "what do you want for lunch?".  Instead it should be "do you want hot dogs or hamburgers for lunch?"  Unlimited choices just confuse a kid - instead, give them a choice between two options.

When you tell a child you want something done by them, always explain the "why" and just don't give a blank order or respond with "because I said so".  Kids need to understand how things stack-rank and fit together in life.  They learn that from you.  Give them the right foundation so that when they are older they will be able to be self-reliant.

By the time they are age 4-5, most of their patterns will already be imprinted.  You have to start young, not wait until they are in school to start "molding" them.  It's too late by then!  Take the reigns early and then you can slowly lighten up as they grow.

Good Luck and have fun - parenthood is awesome if you are ready for it mentally and emotionally.