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Congratulations to Jared and Genevieve on the arrival of their son!  On the very, very, VERY off chance that either of them will read this, here are the "Top 10 Things A New Parent Should Know, From A New Parent."

I gave birth to my daughter, Rowan, in October, as some of you may remember, making her a little over 5 months old now.  And in that time, I've learned some very valuable lessons about babies and parenting that I'm going to pass along.  And in case you're wondering, yes, these pictures are of my own little angel.

10. Don't run out and buy lots of clothes or toys.  People are going to give you lots of that stuff, and babies really don't need that many clothes.  Plus, they'll probably end up liking paper or a cloth or a bright light more than all the fancy toys they have, anyway.

9. Taking your child anywhere will require an extra vehicle.  It's amazing the amount of stuff such a small thing needs.  If you feel like you're overpacking, chances are you're right on target.

8. People are going to have lots of opinions about how you should raise your child.  Don't let them make you second-guess your choices.  Just because they did it one way doesn't make your way wrong.  Smile and thank them for their advice and be on your way.

7. That being said, if you have friends or family with kids, their help and advice will be invaluable.  They've been through it before, and they're going to have great tips you might not have thought of, and they can help put your mind at ease about all the little things you might feel stupid asking your pediatrician.  But you might want to double check anything Misha Collins tells you, just to be safe.

6. There is no diaper style/brand/size/type on Earth that will contain your child's poop 100% of the time.  They're going to poop out of their diapers at some point.  The sooner you can accept this, the sooner you can go from being upset at the massive poop to being impressed by it.

5. Sleep deprivation does funny things to your brain.  You're going to feel like an idiot most of the time.  Just remember that you are a smart, capable person.  Repeat to yourself as needed.

4. Don't ever let your child know that the article of clothing you're about to put on them is something you like/want them to not spit up on because as soon as you do, they will spit up all over it.  It's best to pretend that you hate their entire wardrobe.  You might stand a chance that way.

3. Take lots of photos and videos.  Document everything, even if it's just a quick photo on your cellphone.  That old adage of kids growing up so fast is absolutely true.  If one of you is the main photo-taker, take extra care to assure the other parent has photos of them with the baby, too.  Make sure to take photos of the gross/silly things the baby does now so you have plenty of ways to embarrass them when they get older.

2. You'll wake up every morning thinking you can't possibly love your child more than you already do, but then they'll do something to make you realize you were wrong.

1. There's no such thing as a perfect parent.  We all make mistakes, we all have bad days.  Don't beat yourself up about it. All any of us can do is love them with all our hearts and do the best we can.

Best of luck to Jared, Genevieve, and all the parents out there, new and seasoned.


Tim the Enchanter
# Tim the Enchanter 2012-03-20 15:35
That first photo is so, so beautiful.

What a cutie pie. And so stylish! She is rocking those shamrocks.
# Ardeospina 2012-03-21 13:23
Thank you! I was so pleased with that photo, too. A friend of mine helped me edit it a bit. She had a hair of mine across her chin, and it was driving me nuts!
# digyd 2012-03-20 15:55
Being responsible for something has never been so wonderful. Awesome, accurate list, Ardeospina. As close to a handbook as any new parent can expect. Your angel is beautiful and clearly someone is quite the photographer in your fam.

My #11. Yes. Babies really are born with distinct, set personalities. Like Cabbage Patch dolls. ;-)
# Ardeospina 2012-03-21 13:25
Thank you! I'm a stay-at-home mom now, so I take lots of pictures of her to pass the time. The first was with my nice camera, but the other two were with my handy cellphone.

Yes, they really do have little personalities from the get-go, don't they? It's amazing.
# TeresaPezzino 2012-03-20 21:00
Your angel is truly beautiful! I can't believe mine is a whole decade already. Awesome list. The one piece of advice I wish I had followed that I would give now is-when the baby sleeps, unless you have no choice, you sleep! Congrats to you and J&G and and all other SPNFamily new additions!
# Ardeospina 2012-03-21 13:27
Thank you!

YES, sleep when the baby sleeps is such good advice. It didn't work for us, but we wanted to try it!
# Chenne 2012-03-21 05:35
hi! i totally agree with the list, being a new mom myself. by the way, is it okay if i re-post this, with credits to you, of course? Thanks!
# Ardeospina 2012-03-21 13:29
Congratulations ! Sure, go ahead and re-post. I don't see why not. But share the link, will you? I love to see where things go on the internet and who comes across them and how people find things. It's fascinating. Thanks!
# Junkerin 2012-03-21 05:37
Oh what a darling girl you have! I love you pics.

I remeber last year at the con in Mannheim Jared told us about NOT having a baby now. You know just they will take there time and stuff like that. I rember sitting there and thinking "Life is what happening while you buissy making plans" I thought he would make a great father and working parents is quite normal today. Congratulation to them.
Oh my advise is. There will be a time when you just can´t stand your little one. It maybe at 3am and crying for hours strait. Best thing to do then is put the baby down, leave the room and close the door for a moment, then you feel probebly better and find the energy to go agin.
# Ardeospina 2012-03-21 13:31
Yes, better not make plans like that because they will bite you in the butt! I have friends who got pregnant on their honeymoon. That's a quick change to your married life!

Yes, the old "I love you very much but I don't particularly like you right now." Walking away for a minute is always a good idea.
# Sylvie 2012-03-21 07:39
You have a beautiful little girl. That first picture is breathtaking.
# Ardeospina 2012-03-21 13:32
Thank you! I love it, too. So happy to have it in the old family album.
# Supernarttu 2012-03-21 16:38
Oh, Arde,

'gorgeous' doesn't even seem to touch a hair on you precious daughters head, she is that beautiful!!

Wonderfull pictures and I agree 100% on all your advices.

My gal is a little over 1 year old and I'm so flabbergasted how time has just flown by with the speed of light, it seems anyway:)

All your tips are very, very spot on, especially the one about taking pictures, there is never too many baby pics! The 1st year of ones life, so many things happen (to the baby and the parents) that you just don't seem to keep up with it all. Pics are a great way to "track" those events. See the evolution so to speak, from a tiny bundle to a crawler to a walker and so on.

Sleep when ever you can, is my only advice. And let's hope the guys will have a babyboy who will stay healthy and happy :)

Congrats again to Jared and Genevieve! And to you on your beautiful Rowan :)
Robin Vogel
# Robin Vogel 2012-03-23 14:33
Your daughter is gorgeous! My son, Brad, is turning 29 next month. He had better get married ASAP and provide me with a grandchild soon! I wanna be a grandma!

# elle 2012-03-24 01:41
As usual, I'm late to the comment game.

First - Rowan is absolutely beautiful. I love the first photo - it's stunning. I think it's so great that digital cameras allow people to capture so many moments. I don't have that many pictures of me as a baby, and I seem to vanish entirely between the ages of 5 and 10 in the albums, but my kids will have about 500,000,000 pictures to choose from by the age of 2 I'm sure (this is based on the number of photos I take of the dog).

I have no children (yet) but I have experienced them via extensive babysitting and/or friends and family with wee one, so your advice is spot on to this non-parent. Another thing I've picked up: sometimes a baby just needs to cry. That sounds cruel, but they are pretty smart little things and somewhere around 8 mths they seem to cotton on the crying = attention. I had a friend who nursed her baby everytime she cried, one night I watched her and did the check over: fed, clean diaper, no illness or irritating clothing, etc. Let baby cry for a bit and she fell asleep. First night that baby ever slept through the night - her mother was elated. So, sometimes a little crying is okay. Though I'm sure it's more difficult when it's your own baby. Do I sound heartless now? I'm not. Ask my spoiled dogs. ;-)


Lovely piece!