First-time parents: is there anything more exciting and delightful than the thought of a new gorgeous ickle baby making its way into your lives? A teeny little bundle of pure joy and cuteness, one that smells like nothing else on this earth? Awwww....
There will be magic, yes - but there will also be nappies and puke and tears. And wrecked homes and cars and nerves.
Here is some sage advice from those in the know (and by sage, I mean some good, some awful, some frankly terrifying!)
- “My best piece of parenting advice is: always buy the same colour plastic cups and plates! It won't seem much with your first child but when you've got more than one, it will save you from World War 3!” - Jayo
- “Never take a toddler's word for it, ever.”
- “Paula when your toddlers are teenagers don’t forget to wake them at 4am to tell them that your socks came off. I’m just biding my time!” - Anne in Dublin
- “No good ever comes from a toddler sitting naked on the couch.”
- “If a 2-year-old says, "I'm going to puke," FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON'T CALL HER BLUFF!”
- “It's ok to justify not meeting any of your goals, with, At least I remembered to feed the kids."
- “Get loads and loads of wet wipes there isn't anything they can't do!” - Tommy T
- “Regarding buggies; would have to recommend the Bugaboo –they’re more expensive than my first car but great for getting around the shops and folds nice and neat in to the boot!”
- “When you're tempted to buy EVERYTHING, walk away! You WON'T need a Moses Basket, no matter how cute it looks or what people tell ya, it'll NEVER be used! When the baby is here, don't go all quiet round the house, keep the noise levels as they ALWAYS are, otherwise if you even fart, you'll wake them! And finally, enjoy EVERY minute, the good, the bad, the tearful because it'll fly by!” – Shay
- “Paula cherish the day you bring the pram home, pre-baby. It’ll be the only time it’s ever clean. Ditto for your house!”
- “Tell your kids all the food you want to keep for yourself is spicy. Sorry, son, this Snickers is spicy."
- “Paula – just know you won’t be the first parent to throw a dry towel over wee and go back to sleep!”
- “A tip for good parenting is to try and make kids independent... most kids now aged between 15 and 25 are still dependent!”
- “Paula we tried the towel over wee thing at half 3 this morning and had to give in and change his bedding including turning the mattress over. Tis hard going lol. Also true about the Moses basket, Noah almost knocked it off its stand at one month old. Cot all the way!” - Niall in Tipp
- “One piece of advice is to listen to their stories and their worries, no matter how trivial, as they give a window to the innocence and wonder of their lives. Also they have this great ability to make us forget our own problems!” - Sean in Tralee.
- “Yeah kiss goodbye to a clean car! Wet wipes will be your new best friend. Start stocking up now!”
- “Hi Paula, when you first bring your baby home, make sure Mammy, Daddy and Baby spend a few hours together without anyone else to enjoy your little bundle of joy!” - Phil
- “Paula, don’t let any of those messages scare you. Enjoy absolutely every minute of parenthood. This is coming from a guy who was scared to ever think that he was good enough to be a dad, but is now head over heels about his little family. I would not change anything in the world about how my life is now. I cannot even imagine life without him. Cherish every hour every minute every second of the day. Before you realise it they will be out of nappies and off to Playschool. Capture as many moments as you can see via photo or video.” – John in Offaly
- “Let the visitors make their own tea and coffee, otherwise you and hubby will never get a rest, it was good advice to me anyway!” - Gearóid in Galway.
- “Paula, YouTube, white noise, 8 hours - that is all!”