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59 Things Parents Wish They Were Told Before They Had Kids

Find out now so you're not caught off guard.

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We recently asked members of BuzzFeed Community to tell us what they wish they’d been told before they had kids. Their responses amounted to a master class in parenting, so it's only fair that we share their tips.

1. "I would've liked someone to tell me to be really strict with my diet and exercise routine. Once you get on the gaining weight ladder it's hard to get off again."

- Submitted by Michelle Gazzardi (Facebook)

2. "For the rest of your life you'll have a 50/50 chance of peeing your pants every time you sneeze. And yes, I do my Kegels."

- Submitted by Colleen Mary Snodgrass (Facebook)

3. "For the first month after you have a baby you will basically have your period. Buy overnight pads and granny panties to keep comfortable. Also, take as many pads from the hospital as you can!"

- Submitted by jennac48dde8730

4. “Take a picture of your boobs now. They will never look this perky again. Honestly, just take a bunch of naked pictures before you get pregnant because nothing’s going to be the same after.”

- Submitted by kristens484c2baee

6. "Enjoy sleep now. Even once your baby sleeps through the night in their own room you will fight the urge to check on them a million times in the night. You will wake up in a panic for reasons you can’t really explain and just want to see them."

- Submitted by sarahs4672c807e

7. "Take turns sleeping in on the weekends, so you and your partner each get one morning a week to sleep as late as you want.”

- Submitted by Randi Weathers (Facebook)

8. “You won't sleep much at first. The old ‘sleep when the baby sleeps’ is really, really true.”

- Submitted by Marie Rhodes (Facebook)

9. "Make sure the baby is used to noise — the vacuum, TV, you talking, etc. Otherwise they'll be light sleepers and you'll never get anything done."

- Submitted by nicholet4134614cc

10. "I wish someone told me how emotional you will be after childbirth. God, I was a wreck!"

- Submitted by Natasha Tanji (Facebook)

11. "There are moments when you feel like the most loving parent, and then in an instant you feel like your head is spinning in circles because you're so upset over something so minor. Ahhh hormones."

- Submitted by Lori Sherman Montoro (Facebook)

12. "If it happens to you, THAT'S TOTALLY OKAY. If you don't feel overwhelming love for your baby, if you cry all the time, if you can't bring yourself to get out of bed, if you feel hopeless...IT'S OKAY. You are sick, not bad or wrong. Call your OB."

- Submitted by Jennifer Nelson (Facebook)

13. "Just like the warnings on airplanes: Put the oxygen mask on yourself before your child. If you’re not healthy you can’t take care of your child, so take care of yourself first."

- Submitted by jillylane

14. "A doctor once told me that 'no baby has ever cried himself to death.' Obviously, you shouldn't let a baby scream for prolonged periods, but if you are frazzled and totally burned out, take a break!”

- Submitted by Tracy Adams Messenger (Facebook)

15. “I wish I would’ve known that I still need ‘me time,’ without the kids and sometimes without my husband. And to not feel guilty about needing and taking that time.”

- Submitted by dannicarter08

16. “It’s okay and normal to not immediately fall in love with your baby. Not only are your hormones going crazy and you're full of anxiety over what to do now, but you and your baby are strangers who are still getting use to each other.”

- Submitted by Rachel Gesell (Facebook)

17. “Don't even try to be perfect in all things. A bottle never killed anyone, swaddling in non-organic clothing doesn't lower IQ points, a $400 stroller won't guarantee preschool admission, and preschool admission won't guarantee an Ivy League education.”

- Submitted by Marie Rhodes (Facebook)

18. "You cannot control your kids as much as you think you'll be able to. They will throw a fit when you're leaving the park, screaming 'Help!' and making it look like a kidnapping!"

- Submitted by jannallie

20. "There will be moments when you feel like you have let yourself or your children down. Nobody is the perfect parent, nobody gets it right 100% of the time."

- Submitted by Nellie Gillis (Facebook)

21. “Don't sweat the small stuff! As long as everyone is alive and relatively happy, you're doing a great job!”

- Submitted by Sarah Zehnder (Facebook)

22. "Just because something got 5 stars doesn't mean your baby will like it."

- Submitted by Randi Weathers (Facebook)

23. "Don't buy stuff new. First, you probably don't need it. Second, it's available used."

- Submitted by Katy Pearce (Facebook)

24. "The one thing you should buy new is a carseat. "They have expiration dates, and you never know if a used carseat was in a crash or not."

- Submitted by Leigh Reinhart (Facebook)

25. "People always talk about how expensive diapers are, but no one ever mentions how expensive wipes are. They add up!"

- Submitted by parisqueen

26. “If your kid gets really attached to one particular stuffed animal, buy a double ASAP and start rotating them. I did this way too late and my kid hates the new one. I fear what will happen if his current sheep dies permanently or is lost.”

- Submitted by pattys20

27. “I wish someone would’ve told me that I’d have to sacrifice every piece of food I want to eat for myself for the next few years.”

- Submitted by marisola4eaf5a3bd

28. “If you are mom you will never eat a warm/hot meal EVER again!”

- Submitted by nati1981

29. “No matter what you said before kids, when you leave them with a babysitter or relative you will have to fight the urge to call or text a million times. The first time is the worst, but the urge never really goes away.”

- Submitted by Candice Deming Cain (Facebook)

30. “Add at least an extra 30+ minutes when preparing to go out anywhere. I’ve given up on my obsessive need to be punctual now.”

- Submitted by David Sunshine (Facebook)

31. “Pack extra clothes for the kid… and yourselves. Kids are sticky for no good reason at the most inopportune times.”

- Submitted by Lynn Coultrup (Facebook)

32. “I wish someone told me that the baby's head would grow faster than the rest of its body. It’s okay, they will soon grow into their heads, but until then you’d better stretch out the neck holes on the onesies before putting it over that melon!”

- Submitted by Candice Alvarez Scheets (Facebook)

34. "Never say 'My child always….' or 'My child never….' because as soon as you say it, the reverse will happen."

- Submitted by candices483475d1b

35. “There’s very little you can actively teach a child for the first two years. Getting upset or trying to discipline a child under two is pretty pointless. Just try to do what you can by setting a good example.”

- Submitted by ExileOnDaytonStreet

36. “Store brands are usually just as good as name brands in everything except diapers.”

- Submitted by Squibbles

37. “Unless you’re trekking for more than a few hours, you really don’t need a fully stocked diaper bag. Just toss a pack of travel wipes in your purse with a spare diaper or two.”

- Submitted by erinn449936421

38. “Babies spit up through their nose. No, you did not give birth to Linda Blair.”

- Submitted by darcykrontz

39. “Cutting a baby’s fingernails is incredibly difficult, and no matter how good of a job you think you did, they will still most likely end up leaving scratches all over their adorable little face.”

- Submitted by squibbles

40. “Breastfeeding isn't always this easy natural thing that just happens. It's frustrating, painful, physically draining, and the whole world makes a new mom feel like a failure if she doesn’t.”

- Submitted by Aja Dumas (Facebook)

41. I knew that it might not be easy, but no one prepared for me a baby who refused to latch on.”

- Submitted by Elizabeth Shephard (Facebook)

42. “If you don't like nursing, then don't do it. Your baby will benefit more from a mentally healthy and happy Mom than a miserable, yet nursing Mom.”

- Submitted by Sarah Zehnder (Facebook)

43. “Breastfeeding does not magically melt the weight off. Biggest load of crap I’ve ever been told.”

- Submitted by Brittany McDaniel (Facebook)

45. “Parent shaming is awful and will only make you feel awful. Do not join any "mommy groups" on Facebook or sites likes Baby Center, some of those ladies can just ruin your day.”

- Submitted by Breaunna DeMastes (Facebook)

46. “Resist judgmental new mommies. They are NO better at this than you; they just talk better smack.”

- Submitted by Marie Rhodes (Facebook)

47. “You are the right parent for your kids, whoever you naturally are, and they are the right kids for you. If someone constantly needs to compete, it says more about them than it does about you.”

- Submitted by Laura Sanford (Facebook)

48. “Avoid purchasing complicated clothing. Think of your extremely sleep-deprived future self having to navigate an endless series of snaps, buttons, and zippers in order to reach your child’s diaper.”

- Submitted by nataliel20

49. “I received so many gifts and bought so many things, and I bet I didn’t use half of it. Some of it wasn’t needed, or he outgrew the clothes before I could take the tags off.”

- Submitted by caseyw

50. “Always buy/ask for the next size (or two) up. They grow out of those little clothes faster than you think.”

- Submitted by Kerry Arquijo (Facebook)

51. “Don’t be so caught up in taking photos of your kids that you miss participating in whatever event you’re trying to document. Take a handful of photos of the big moments, then put the device down and enjoy the experience.”

- Submitted by angels4d4906ef4

52. “Make and stick to a date night. Your relationship will thank you for it!”

- Submitted Tracey Rentner (Facebook)

53. “If you are still with the spouse/partner, don't forget each other! And if you can't deal with it, wait it out a year. It will get better, I promise. Check your ego at the hospital door.”

-Submitted by Dvd Bghm (Facebook)

54. “I wish someone had told me how much having a baby changes your relationship with your spouse.”

- Submitted by Laura Kerin (Facebook)

55. “The first two months are TERRIBLE, but it gets soooo much better!”

- Submitted by Sara Stevens Burnett (Facebook)

57. "People will tell you it's hard, but you will have no concept of how hard it really is."

- Submitted by Courtney HillVial (Facebook)

58. “If someone offers to help, take it.”

- Submitted by Angela Marie Williamson (Facebook)

59. “Don't be afraid to reach out for help, you’re not alone.”

- Submitted by Jenn Theriault (Facebook)

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