1. People will have conversations with your kid, and then tell you what to do. Something magical happens when people see your baby: they are blessedly endowed with omniscience. Strangers, friends and family members will all know what is best for your child and will have no sense of humility when telling you exactly what that is.
Two days ago, a neighbor barely acknowledged me but spoke to my 14-month-old baby during the entire elevator ride. "You're so cute! You're going outside now? Where are you going? Can I have your toy?" In my best baby voice, I answered, "Thank you! Yes, we are going outside. Just for a little trip. Looks like I want to hold onto my rattle ball for now." Then, as the elevator door opens, she turns her attention to me, not to say "Have a good day" or "God bless your baby," but to command me, "You need to put that down. It's cold outside." I kindly smiled and said, "Yes, thank you. Enjoy your day," but I was raging on the inside, "I KNOW it's cold outside. That's why he's wearing three layers and winter pants. And so what if I don't put his stroller windshield down? We are only going across the street. Maybe Equis wants to feel the wind on his face!" Then, not even seven minutes later, in the waiting room of my destination, another client yells at me across the room: "Take his jacket off. He's going to get sick coming into the heat from the cold like that." I could barely keep my annoyance hidden this time as I responded without looking at her, "That was my plan."
Do not be surprised when such incidents recur on a daily basis. Also, do not be too shocked when someone turns away from your child to stare at your still swollen belly and ask how far along you are into your next pregnancy. Try hard not to let them sour your mood. Whether a woman wants to have a three-block-long conversation with your baby or a family member insists Equis must wear shoes at all times, you will have to work really hard to accept their advice with grace. Don't worry, you can do it.
Yes, traveling with a baby and all his baby gear is difficult, but it gets easier with time. If you're a parent in the city like I am, you'll learn which routes have the least cracked sidewalks and no high curbs without ramps. You'll learn how to hold a squirmy baby and a stroller while keeping your balance on a bumpy bus ride and you'll know exactly which position works best when carrying your child in his stroller up and down train stairs. You'll figure out how to hold doors open and get in and out of places without banging yourself up too much. Expect traveling with baby to be a tad frustrating but expect to get better at it!
Surprise! The options for baby only seem to increase after birth. The choices of formula, baby food and snacks and clothing seem endless, but eventually you'll figure out which ones you and baby like best. Expect to buy more than one stroller because your baby will grow out of that first one rather quickly and chances are the second one just may lose a wheel. My advice - talk to other parents who have already been through it all; they usually know what is necessary (high chairs are helpful) and what is not (color-changing water temperature monitor).