1) Do not cross your legs when feeding a baby. I bottle-fed my first born and for every meal I crossed my legs in order to give him more support. Once he was about 5 months old, I really started to feel the pain. My husband and I went to a Penn State game and had to walk about a mile to get from our parking spot to our seats. I could not keep up with our group. I had such pain in my knees. So, please do not cross your legs when feeding children.
2) Do not sleep in the same room with your child. Not even a bassinet. Our first baby sleep right next to me for 6 months and every little noise he made I was right there to stick that nuk back in his mouth. Our second born sleeps much more soundly because the first night he was home he slept in his crib and had to go to sleep on his own.
3) I still struggle with this little piece of advice, but SIDS isn't as common as they make it sound. There are many ways to reduce the chance of SIDS but it seems to be something that many mothers lose sleep over. I still do. I no longer poke my baby to see if he's sleeping, but I do look for his chest to rise and fall if I can't hear anything. Back to my point. Once I was able to let go of the whole SIDS thing, I was able to let my baby sleep in a different room.
4) Get into a routine NOW. Babies want routine. They love it. It makes them feel loved. Both you and the baby know what to expect and you can plan around naps and mealtimes.
5) Go ahead and read a parenting book. I refused to read a parenting book with my first born. I was too embarrassed. If I'm reading one then I must be admitting that I'm a bad parent, right? About 2 weeks after my second child came home, my husband's back went out. I was on my own. Every feeding for everyone, all the laundry, all the dishes, all the meals, all the errands, everything!!! I needed help, but mostly I needed sleep. I bought a book to help get my second born sleeping through the night. What an incredible difference that book has made on our household. I can't help but kick myself for being so close-minded with our first child.
6) Take many pictures and write everything down. You are so busy with a baby that you basically remember nothing. Years from now you will wish you had taken more pictures and remembered moments.
7) Ask for help. We are so blessed to have the 4 grandparents live within a few blocks of us. If we need a break we ask for it.
8) Don't take advantage of any help that you receive. I hope that we have never done this, but I see people who do. It's not fair and you want your help to enjoy your children, not resent them.
9) Take advice. Many people are willing to give unwanted advice. Don't worry about who is giving the advice, worry about considering the advice. There are some people that we don't know or even that we don't like who have great advice.
10) Laugh. Laugh at the mess, laugh at the crying, laugh at the notion that you forgot to brush your teeth today. If you stay happy, your baby is more likely to be happy. Enjoy the ride!