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Cover image for Developer with New Baby Coming Soon — HELP!

Developer with New Baby Coming Soon — HELP!

johnsalzarulo profile image John Jacob ・1 min read

I'm incredibly excited that my wife and I will be having our first baby girl in a month or so.

Also, pretty scared.

Looking to get a good thread going with practical tips and tricks.

My top questions / concerns:

  • How do I balance supporting being there for family and pushing my career through ongoing learning?
  • Am I really going to be able to balance my Engineering Manager job and a new baby?
  • My job is remote, how do I make myself available for wife and baby and also have clear work time?
  • Will I die of lack of sleep?

Other parents — Please help!

Discussion

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At the start, for the first few weeks you'll probably have zero extra time to do any learning outside of work. The exception for me was when I would take our baby downstairs early in the morning if I woke up so that my wife could definitely sleep properly. He would carry on sleeping while I did some reading.

As time goes on they aren't generally so all consuming time wise.

The hard thing with current working from home is making sure that you make time to get out of the house during the week as your partner might not get the usual support that they would get from family and friends (depending where you live)

 

Super helpful. I am totally expecting that first few weeks to be a shit show. 🤣

How many weeks / months was it until they weren't so "all consuming time wise"?

Yea this idea of "getting out of the house" seems important, although a bit more challenging in a Pandemic. Luckily we've got a bit of family close by.

Thanks for the thoughts / tips!

 

Maybe I can answer the weeks/months for you. The milestones for things getting progressively easier look something like this:

  • 3 weeks (you are able to add more hours to your total sleep)
  • 3 months (better sleep)
  • 4 months (easier bonding as the baby starts interacting more, also more sleep)
  • 6 months (pretty good routine at this point. As a mom, I was able to get even 5-6 hours of sleep. Mind you, mine was (and is) a pretty good sleeper, or at least consistent)
  • 8 months (even better routine, outings are easier)
  • 12 months (congrats, you have a toddler now!)

It helped me to look forward to these milestones when things were hard. Keep in mind, these are not set in stone, and every baby differs.

I found that in some ways, my productivity increased at work because I must accomplish certain tasks in a given timeframe (when the baby is sleeping, etc) because there is literally no other time to do it.

 

Good question, and I really don't remember. That's the other thing, time elapses in a very strange and different way. Especially when mixed with working from home!

It partly depends when you manage to put them down for daytime naps. Keep trying at that and it will (hopefully) suddenly be possible when it seemed impossible before. Then again every baby is different!

 

Mine is 1 year and a half now, first 11 months basically did not sleep...everyone baby is diff tho so hopefully you wont experience that. During those months he was up every 2-3 hours all day and all night.....so we would take turns on the night shift(hardest things ive ever had to do in my life). Flash forward to now things are way easier.... I work from home....and we take turns waking up with my son every other day, he gets up at 7am...i watch him till i start work at 830 and go into a different room that has a door. I pop out through out the day but mostly am able to focus on work. After work i take over until he goes to sleep which is 8pm then I have my free time, usually go to sleep around midnight. But I am not going to lie that first year will be challenging. Also during all this i started my journey to learn to code.

 

Let me start with the most obvious.

All babies are different, but worst case, you will loose sleep. Your wife will be able to cope with it better, as she has been dealing with change for much longer than you. And she will adapt quicker.

Just buckle in for the long haul and be ok with the fact that coffee may not solve your off day. People are typically understanding.

As far as making time, that really depends on how you can step away. Find small breaks if possible. The good news is they sleep a lot, so when they are young it’s actually easier assuming they don’t have complication or colic. But start small and often. It could be stepping up to feed with a bottle, to rock the baby to sleep, or change a diaper. Good news, it does not smell until they start eating solids really. Though the first two days it’s like black tar.

Kid first, career second. Focus on paying bills these first few months, use the time to bond. People don’t talk about this often enough, but it’s REALLY hard to bond with the kid sometimes as the father. My wife carried both my kids for 38 weeks. By the time they came, she was vested and bonded right away. With my first, it took me almost 4 months and was when she first smiled at me (it was gas). It will happen, don’t be frustrated, just focus on going through the steps. Skin to skin. Changing diapers. Feeding. Holding and cuddling. Etc. After you bond you will figure out quickly what you can and can’t do. The first few months will actually give you the most time to be honest.

I am a director of engineering. So I am right there with you. Believe it or not, you got this. Focus on keeping your team unblocked and there growth while you work. Then focus on the baby and your wife’s need. Then yours.

It is trade offs. Schedule time for yourself to do what you want to do. Make it transparent with your wife with her agreement. That is your time to do a side project, attend a remote conference, etc. But do it with her. But I would focus on doing this slower at first, and then you can pick the pace up.

For me, I game or watch movies less. My kids are not 3 and 1, and I do find time still. That being said my wife does a lot of her growth, while they are distracted. But her stuff is more portable than mine. So it’s about transparent compromise and your solution may be different.

On sites like dev, it’s easy to think everyone chases there career at all costs. But that isn’t true. Most don’t. It’s sad, but true. People here are trying too. So your in good company. But it’s ok to take a step back for your health and your families.

Also remove your wife is going through something wonderful but difficult. Be sensitive and put them first until you get into a a good place.

 

Wow. So many incredible nuggets here. Thanks fo much for taking the time to write this up. It really means a lot.

To me a huge takeaway (with career) is:

Focus on keeping your team unblocked and there growth while you work.

It's easy to forget how high leverage investing in the team can be 💪

The other part that's so crazy to hear is this idea that bonding can take so long. I did not expect that. That sounds tough.

Again — thanks so much

 

And don’t stress about it, you will bond in time. It is different for everyone. For me I never even held a baby or babysat a kid. So it was some real personal growth for me to welcome this thing into my life. But I would not trade it for anything. My oldest is easily becoming my best friend.

 

Excitement and fear, I would say, is an appropriate response 😉

I have recently gone through this myself. I am 25 with a 15-month-old - but to be honest I remember the struggles of the first year vividly.

I imagine it might be harder being an engineering manager, with a team relying on you (depending on how self-sufficient they are). I was really struggling from about 2-6 months when my son was at his most demanding (he only wanted me to put him to sleep, and he needed that 5 or 6 times a day). My boss at the time had a 9-year-old, and some of the best advice he gave me to give me hope, was that remember things start getting easier after 6 months and by 1 year it will be significantly easier. There are new challenges as they get older, but the really hard ones fade away.

When my son was born I worked full-time, completed my university degree part-time, spent most of the rest of my time with my family. There will be times you can sneak in extra learning time if you want to. At those times it might be healthier either sleep or take some time to relax, but that's up to you.

Although I love my son deeply, the lack of freedom taking care of a child has been hardest on me. I now feel like having a baby takes away a huge amount of freedom all at once, and over the next 18 years, you are slowly clawing your freedom back. This can be challenging as far as work goes.

Everyone is different - and every baby is different. Although keeping your job is important, I would say try to keep in mind, when you look back on this time, the moments you'll never forget will be the ones with your baby: when they are born, the first time they hold something or when they fall asleep on your shoulder.

You CAN get through it though. It's pretty normal to worry about this and look for shared experiences online, in my opinion. Being a father hit me hard at times, and I did suffer from depression (with effects lingering even now). You will probably be constantly looking back and think "Wow, I remember when this baby was a screaming, slimy blob but now they can crawl, or walk, or say 'dada'".

Anyway, I really hope you do fine. I'm sure you will.

 

Sheesh — Working full time, new baby and completing university. That’s rough! Respect.

Lack of freedom seems for real. Sheesh. Especially as young as you were getting started. I’m 31 so I feel like I’m ready to be stuck with a baby. But we’ll see. 😬

Yea shit — baby first before career. This is so important to remember.

screaming slimy blob 🤣

Thanks so much for taking the time to write this up and your transparency. Means so much. ❤️

 

All good. When discussing children, many people are like "They will complete you! You'll be so happy! They are the light of your life!", but IRL it's not easy a lot of the time (this is especially bad for mothers IMO). I think it's better to be honest, so folks can manage their expectations.

That being said, the fact that my son can sit up on the couch on his own right now, and get up and down by himself is such a wild, amazing thing. He once could barely open his eyes and knew how to do nothing but eat and breathe. Machine learning is great and all, but you really see it has nothing on a human baby.

 

Also, don't be surprised if your daughter takes a few weeks/months to feel bonded to you. The man's role in baby-making is short and simple, and we're punished (or rewarded?) with babies generally being MUCH more attached to their mother's for a little while. Eventually, they like you though, like a friend.

Man — I'm glad that this thread is bringing this up. I did not expect this. Being less "bonded" than the wife. It makes sense though. Seems like it just takes longer. I've got time ¯_(ツ)_/¯ but that's an adjustment.

 

Focus on your wife and baby. Your career will be fine

 
 

6 months in myself. First 3 months were a blur it does get better after that. Working from home myself. Usually take him in the morning at 6:30am or 7am till I start at work at 8am. If he is awake at lunch I take him for a while. Keep a phone or tablet to hand as you can spend hours with them on lying on you and you may not be able to move, good time to start reading . Your going to become the bottom of the food chain at home its baby then mommy then you if you have guests tell them bring food.Night time wake ups change the nappy/diper even if its only slightly damp might give an extra half hour sleep. Enjoy its piles of fun when they start laughing. Baby's on Netflix is a good watch.

 

Ok cool — it’s helpful to know it evened out a bit after 3 months. (But I’m also learning all babies are different)

“hours with them on lying on you and you may not be able to move” 😂

You make it sound fun! "Piles of fun" hahah

Thanks so much for your thoughts

 

Many of the babies have specific rhythm/pattern that both you and your partner can catch/find and get the baby to do what they should be doing, like sleep/eat at a specific time. The only problem is when you start to catch on to that rhythm/pattern, they grow out of it and start a new one.

Just be prepare for a long period of time of just supporting your wife.

Congratz anyway.

 

Interesting about the "Patterns" sounds like I might be able to grab some moments of sanity.

 

You both probably could get a day or 2 of sanity, before the pattern starts changing again.

This is especially so when they are still a baby.

Once they get to about 1.5-2 years old, things will be a lot different. A whole different ball game.

 

Hey John,

First, congrats! This is a great celebration and a time of joy and reflection on life itself.

Second, it will be one of the greatest challenges of your life but totally worth it.

I have been working in web development and film/video production while raising two kids. Here are a few bullet points.

  • don't let work get in the way of time with kids and family. They really do grow up fast and the old saying "the days are long but the years are short" is very true.
  • you may not be able to do it all but do the best that you can and try to enjoy every moment.
  • when you "clock out" put away your phone and computer and just hang and rest and rejuvenate with your family. That will help you balance and decrease burnout.
  • I have never been more tired in my life and it seems to be never ending. but my kids are now older and things have evened out. The phase you are in will not last forever. Just keep moving forward and appreciate the small things.
  • Take it one day at a time. Each day take time for yourself, time for your family, time with just your wife and time for work and even continued learning. Break it into daily manageable chunks and before you know it you will be running smooth on all cylinders.
  • you can definitely balance the two you will just need to give yourself time to adjust.
  • working remotely is the best case scenario. You can be there for your wife and daughter when needed, you can take a break to be with the baby and give your wife a break, then jump back into work. Again, this is the best case scenario. As your daughter gets older you will need to set clear boundaries about when you are working and when you are not. This is something I still have to reiterate to my kids, that they have to respect the boundaries and let daddy work.
  • I will say again, if you are like me, you will be so freaking tired it will be overwhelming. Make sleep a priority and just take it one day at at time, enjoy your family, enjoy your work and don't take things too seriously. Parenting is full of ups and downs not matter how you look at it. Going with the flow and having a sense of humor will help you. Allowing time for yourself, time alone with your wife, time with your daughter and then work. And believe it or not, work actually becomes a respite from the demands of family and parenting. A necessary and welcome one to pay the bills. I assume you like your job, so this is amazing. You get to work out of your house, in a job you enjoy, which allows you to reset yourself before jumping back into family and parenting.

I will end with another congrats and a good luck. You can do it and it will be amazing!!

 

Wow! Thank you so much for the detailed reply. I've never heard this: "The days are long and the years are short" 😢 Makes tons of sense.

Interesting how work can be a "respite" makes tons of sense.

Yes, putting things away after clocking out is a good one. Already starting to practice that coming close to leave.

Thanks again ✌️

 

You got this John!! It is a wild journey, but one worth taking. All the best.

 

When our kid arrived, I took the first month parental leave. Babies usually sleep a lot more than most people anticipate. Having a full time job to work will be stressful, sure, but I'm sure you'll manage. Improvise the first few days until you can see patterns and routines, then plan out your days with your wife. Do that regularly, as your life will be constantly changing from now on. Having a plan helps a lot.
Block time for yourself and the kid. Bonding time is invaluable - never leave that out.

I guess most jobs are remote by now. The same rules apply as for everyone else. Try to have a room or distraction-free space. Use noise cancelling headphones. Take breaks to be with your family.

Yes, you will die of sleep deprivation. You'll continue to do so for a long time. And it'll be worth it :)

Since you're asking for advice online: every child is different. My tips might be absolute trash, because your parenthood is the polar opposite of mine. You'll find your own way.

Another thing: talk to other dads. Your wife will probably have some contact to other moms and have peers to talk about parent life. That's really helpful, try to do the same.

 

Hi John,

First off, congrats on having a new addition to your family coming soon! I was somewhat in the same boat as you a few weeks ago. My baby boy was born last Wednesday so I am figuring things out as I go.

My experience thus far has been hectic, to say the least. I haven't had much time for learning or projects since my wife came home with my son last Friday. Most of my days have been eaten up doing things around the house since my wife is currently not able to do a whole lot other than care for our son. So I would say that at least the first couple of weeks are really going to be spent mostly serving your family. Just do your best to be the best dad and husband you can be while your wife recovers from giving birth. Hopefully, you are on some sort of paternity leave for at least the first couple of weeks.

I haven't experienced any sleep-related issues yet. I am getting fewer hours of sleep than I normally would but it hasn't been all that drastic. My wife and I have pretty much worked it out that she takes care of our son at night and then I relieve her during the day when she needs some time to rest. It isn't perfect, but that's what has been working for us thus far. Our baby sleeps a lot during the day so we mostly spend our time snuggling on the couch and I really cherish the time I get to spend with him.

I can't really give a whole lot of advice on how to partition your time between work and family time. I can tell you that I generally get a couple of hours to myself during the day to do as I please, but only after taking care of all the necessary things (watching the baby, doing the laundry and dishes, cleaning the house and yard, etc...) and before I make dinner (I'm also cooking all the meals). I really can't get too deep into anything during that time but I try to stay connected to programming in some way (that's why I am here on dev reading blog posts 🙂).

I really wish I could offer you more advice on how to balance work with a new baby but I am currently without a job and not sure how I am going to handle the situation once I do start working again.

Good luck, and try to enjoy your time with the family as much as you can.

 

Last Wednesday‽ Damn! Congrats. I feel like you are beta testing this dad thing for me. 🤣

Yea, I’ve got 3 weeks, I hope that’s enough to be a help. I really want to help her have time to bond with baby and get back on her feet.

That schedule handoff sounds like a good plan. I’m an early bird and my wife is a night owl, so that might work out well. Good tip.

It’s good to hear you at least are able to grab moments to yourself / be here on dev.

Thanks so much for taking the time to write this up! Best of luck with new baby! Keep us posted!

 

We've got an 18 month old. It's so joyful to be around him. Honestly, he's always been a good sleeper and some babies are like that. We lost more sleep because of our dog than we ever did from the baby.

I work remote. We have a pretty natural routine: I help get the baby up and make his breakfast, then go downstairs to work. When I come up for lunch, if the timing is right, I help feed him again. I always finish work between 4 and 5 PM, so at that point I come up and the rest of the evening includes making dinner, playing with the baby, reading to him, bathing him, and putting him to bed.

You probably get this, but it bears repeating. Kid comes first, job comes second. Your team will understand if you're not there sometimes.

 

Congrats!!! Becoming a parent is one of the best things in life ❤️😀

I wrote about my experiences balancing parenting with software development a while back here:

barbarianmeetscoding.com/blog/2018...

And here:

barbarianmeetscoding.com/newslette...

Hope it helps!

 

First of all, congratulations!

I think you shoul actually talk about this with your wife. You both need to reach an agreement on when and how you are going to work/study, and when you are going to be taking care of the baby/do chores, etc.

I say this becaus you need to avoid things like feeling guilty because you are studying or working while you hear your wife struggling with the baby, the baby crying and screaming, things falling over and breaking, knowing that you could just get up and give her a hand, which some times you should do, of course, you are not in a sealed bunker, but you must try to draw a line somewhere. And obviously that same space and time should be available to your wife! Even if she doesn't work and is taking care of the baby full time, she will still need some time for herself.

You should start considering the possibility that you are just not going to have the same amount of time than before... ever. Or at least for a very very long time, and that's fine. You shouldn't feel preassure to be exactly as productive and to be able to do everything the exact same way as before, because 'before' is gone now, and now your life has changed.

Enjoy and good luck!

 

Really great thoughts, thanks fo taking the time to write this up.

Definitely having those conversations with the wife, and adjusting my expectations on how much time I'll get to invest in code.

 

Dad of 2 month old boy here. You should discuss with your wife how you will divide time between yourselves.

It's a zero-sum game. If you take 8 hours to work/study, that means your wife has to manage the baby and everything else for those hours, when she might need to be resting and recovering from childbirth.

For myself, the baby needs to feed every 3-5 hours. He feeds for 20 mins, nods off for 30 min when he can't be burped, then wakes up crying and need to be burped for 15-30 mins, then a diaper change and coerced back to sleep with some crying every 30 mins 1-3 times per feeding where he needs additional burping times. After feeding him, my wife needs to pump out any extra milk for storage and that takes 15-30 mins. You can see that I need to be the one to take care of after-feeding activities with the baby or my wife can never sleep. Even so, the middle-of-night feedings are still really hard on both of us. So what I'm saying is just block off at least the first month or longer to support your wife who'll also be dealing with post-partum emotions/depression and really shouldn't be caring for the baby alone for long periods of time.

I can't give any advice for after 2 months since I'm not there yet. I really don't see how someone can get a lot done before the baby turns 1 where his wife wouldn't complain about it. Maybe that's during pre-covid times where parents and other caretakers could help out more.

 

Congrats! 2 Month old. Sheesh!

Love this practical detailed answer. Super helpful. Remembering that time is a zero sum game is important.

Seems like that first month I need to be "All in" and support her all I can. I'm very thankful I have 3 weeks paternity leave when baby gets here. That should help a lot with me being able to support the wife.

 

Hello,
I have a 3 months old, born during the pandemic/WFH.
The first month was tough, from adjusting to the new lifestyle (parent) to losing the sleep pattern.
But you will adjust to it very quickly, as the parent instinct will kick in and give you extra energy and strenght.
I am overall very happy that i am working from home, as i spend more time with my familly, and i have the possibility to help my wife during lunch time or whenever i have a gap in my agenda.

Congrats and good luck.

Cheers

Imad

 

Congratulations! Your life will radically change for the better. All without being able to plan it. It's a miraculous time and everything will work out fine. I wouldn't worry about job stuff too much.

As far as continuously learning, books work great because they can easily be picked up and put away quickly.

 

I found the whole experience quite a charm to be fair, your wife can sleep you can work early! Teamwork is key, and the tumble dryer if you have one, My son would sleep in his basket on top of the tumble for hours, sure its the noise and vibration.

But just scatter your hours and the first few weeks take a little adjustment but remember the family comes first! Good luck and congratulations to you both!

 

The best advice i can give you , is be relax. Babies are feelings sponges and if you're stress she will be too and give you hell in return.
Every kids is different but if you are cool , it will help her.

Just after being born my son cut his nights in half , 2x4h , pretty easy to handle. At two month old he was sleeping 8 hours straight. Is now 1 years old and sleeps 12h at night and 2 to 4 hours during the day.
I never been sleep deprivated. I obvisoulsy loss a bit of free time but not that much.

What worked for us is setting a strict sleep schedule for the baby , it helped him find a cycle and gave us time to rest. If you let them decide you usually end up with a kid crying and too tired to sleep wich lead to angry and tired parents ...
Babies love routines !
Last but not least , (and i know lot of people don't understand it) we don't live for our kid. Meaning we did not change our life style that much. And that helped tremendously when you have to return to usual thing like work !

 

I had my son 7 months ago and for the first couple of months we were knocked for 6, but we recovered. I would accept now for the first couple of months you will have to put other things on hold. All sorts of things can happen in this period and your partner will need a lot of support and so will you.

After that I've found developing a routine which allots time for certain task has worked well for me. I also work from home and my day now is get up between 5 and 6, shower, breakfast, do some housework until about 8, then work begins with some reading and learning. At lunch I take some time to spend with my partner and son. The work day finishes some time between 4 and 6 dependent on how it's gone and I try to end it with some reading or learning, but then its time with the family for the rest of the evening, nothing else.

This sounds quite regimented, but its not. I have to accept sometimes that structure won't always work out, like I was tired yesterday and I woke up at 7 today. And every day is interspersed with five minutes tasks for my son, like make a bottle, change his nappy, hold him while my partner does something, etc. Basically the time spent at the 'water cooler' in the office is now spent doing odd tasks for my son, which is great.

And finally the sleep is fine, it's amazing how quickly you get used to it, especially if you reduce your alcohol intake.

 

Congratulations for becoming a proud 👨‍👩‍👧
Now coming back to managing work and personal life, initially it will be difficult to manage work and personal life along with the learnings you have talked about. Take it easy. Let the time pass, you will be able to manage everything. Make sure that you have someone elderly beside you to help out. Having a baby brings a different set of challenges that you will love to face. 🙂

 

I'm father of 2 yo remote developer expecting a second baby in autumn. I'm happy to see you started a thread on this. Nobody told us how hard it is and we caught unprepared in a new city we just moved that we know nobody, no relatives, no friends. It is hard, don't be scared but be prepared so that you can handle it well.

First of all always keep in my mind that everything is temporary (although some of them takes months). You'll have a new baby every week (sometimes everyday). How she needs care and how you live will change a lot during the first year. Things will change a lot. You'll be looking after a different baby every week and every month. On gold advice is update yourself as much as you can. After she is 1 year old, things will stabilize pretty much. It will still be difficult but you will be more certain about expectations from you and your life.

I don't know how this fits life with Covid 19 but seek assistance from relatives, friends, professional day care... whatever you can get.

Forget about the first weeks. Prepare your work in advance that you can disappear for that period. My manager had 2 kids and when he asked about how much time do I need off, I said a couple of days would be good and he laughed for how I underestimated it. He said give us a notice when she is born and then they won't be expecting anything from you until I call them back.

Also prepare your work that first 3 months may be unstable. Prepare your colleagues for more asynchronous work and communication. This is especially important if you cannot get continuous in house help from a relative or a professional. Be open about your situation and update the team about the positive and negative changes in your situation all the time.

About first 3 months her cycle is about 2-3 hours. Sleep-diapers-feed. Rather than a 24 hour cycle adapt to this cycle. You need to fit your sleep, work and housework to this cycle. It is tiresome but doable (just don't forget it is temporary, sometimes it will feel your life will be like this until you die at 80). I should say luckily my work that time was 20h per week and I didn't look for more until 3-6 months old.

First 6 months, when she sleeps a lot and these are extremely valuable times. The more she grows up, the less she will sleep during the day, which means you'll finally get a nice 24 hour cycle, but she will completely occupy someone when she is awake. This means more labor hours for her, less hours for you.

After the first 3 months, biggest challenges are teeth and breastfeeding. Rest well when she is comfortable. When teeth are growing sometimes she wakes up in the middle of the night and play with you (or breastfeed) for hours to get relaxed (for a couple of days in a row).

Support your wife. She needs a lot. Honestly you will have hard time psychologically, especially when working from home, there is no possibility to isolate yourself from any drama taking place at home, and this rises tension. On the other hand being available all the time is also a something gold. Talk to a friend, a psychologist, a relative, whomever you can. Not just for support, but don't feel alone when you are having hard times.

After baby, there is no home office. Entirety of the home is hers. Especially after she started walking around 1 year old it is time to move out. She will ask your attention and she will think that you prefer something else over her. Babies are extremely paleo and circadian creatures. It is easier for her if you go and come back with same schedule everyday.

After baby you become extremely picky about what you do with your life. This first feels restraining at the beginning but actually it turns out to be good thing that you don't spend your time (and your life) for anything in low quality. Most people live the most efficient times of their lives after the baby.

You won't notice much when she is only a tiny creature that only needs care, but she will be your best friend when she gradually become a human being over time. Then it is worth the fatigue.

Open invitation to any fathers (or potential ones), at any time you feel like it, if you need any advice, or assistance, or just want to talk and share something write me an email namesurname@gmail.com. I'll be happy to share.

 

Congrats! I am 2 month in with a baby girl myself and it’s been a lot of ups and downs so far. The “leaps” they go through can be pretty noticeable. The little things that become joys are her sleeping more at night (7 hours!!) and the smiles. I work as a freelance developer so for the most part I can work my own hours. I can only imagine it would be tougher being a manager, but you can do it! One big thing that I have taken from all this is that every baby is definitely different. What works for some people didn’t work for us, but we found our own way and adapted. Congrats again and hope all is well!

 

Congratulations!!! That is so exciting, but I definitely remember the terrifying feelings of having my first kid too!
First of all, you got this. Don't let doubt enter your mind. It'll be a little chaotic, at first. But it will start to become second nature.
Usually babies start out with sleeping during the day and being up at night (my theory is it's because in the womb when Mom is walking it is likely swaying them to sleep).
My advice is definitely coordinate a schedule with your wife - if she chooses to breast feed, it might be a little more challenging for you to help in the middle of the night, etc. So, keep that into consideration. Sleep when she sleeps for the first few weeks or take turns on duty. You can get creative and create apps that help you too!
Hopefully you are taking paternity leave, if so, once you've adjusted to having the baby (and baby is well and not colicky) the first few months are easiest (at least that is my personal opinion) because they eat, shit and sleep. It's when they start getting mobile that shit hits the fan.
Definitely lean in on people who offer to help - or consider a Mother's Aide to hire for help a few hours a day. You'll definitely want a bouncer (the ones that bounce on their own ) and a swing of some sort.
Each baby is so different so it's really hard to say what will work and wont work - but once you've adjusted and found the things she likes (ie like the way she likes to be swayed to sleep) you will find your own creative little hacks to things! Just keep asking for advice and help when you need it.
You got this!!!! 💪

 

It's all going to be fine. You won't get much sleep but that's not instantly, it takes a couple of weeks.

Everyone WILL cut you quite a lot of slack!

If your wife asks for help, get up and do that, then get back to work.

Have a clear routine, I do Thurs, Friday, Sat nights and then I sleep in Sunday and I also get up every morning and get him ready and she sleeps in most mornings. This works for a 2yr old but you get the point.

I do work to learn every evening but I would imagine you won't want to do that until your ready.

Most importantly nothing anyone says will help you because everyone gets a different experience, you will make it work and be shocked how much your baby changes you.

 

I was going to write a post about that but writing a comment here will be more beneficial I think.

tl;dr: Don't take too much responsibility at work in the first year.

The first year will be filled with sleepless nights. You will be constantly tired, because of sleep deprivation your mind will be foggy. My advice is taking simple issues instead of going to big epic developments.

In my opinion first year is a defence year. Defend your position do not try to expand the frontier. Do not try to learn new technologies or programming languages. Because of that, I postponed my promotion request to be team leader in my first year. I wanted to stay as only a developer.

Just focus on using your existing knowledge efficiently. Mostly this efficiency comes from finding place and time for sleeping. For example, I've always carried a pillow in my bag and slept in a bank in launch breaks. Sometimes on the bus while I'm going to work.

You and your wife will be exhausted and some marriage crisis can appear. Hold your breath until the first year passes.

I know that I've displayed a dark scene to you but Gandalf will come from the east when you hear his/her first laughter. You will have your best friend until age 3.

 

Hi John,

Congratulations to you and your wife! Exciting times are coming. The first few months will be the most changing. Try to enjoy the moments with the baby, even at night.

The lack of sleep affects differently for each person. You will have to find your rhythm to get yourself up and set yourself down after a sleepless day/week/month. Just don't be too hard on yourself when you can't get it today. Just try again tomorrow.

Just look after yourself and you will find time and energy to learn/work.

We had three from 2016 to 2019. One piece of advice I got really stuck with me and it is as simple as: 'just keep going forward'.

 

We have two sons with my wife. Older one is 5,5 years and youngest one is just 9 months old. I always thought about the "process" of birth and after in Scrum stages - forming, storming, norming and performing. During "Forming" stage, the baby is still not born, you prepare for a new "team member" to arrive, you paint the room, buy cloths and such to be prepared. You still don't know (fully) what each team member will do after the birth. Especially with first baby. "Storming" phase is the birth and couple of days/weeks afterwards. Baby suddenly consumes all your free time. There are some conflicts between parents. After this "norming" phase comes. After couple of weeks, family is organized, everybody knows its place in team/family. Baby still consumes lot of free time but is already used to play alone so use this time wisely - reading books,watching e-learning courses and such. Try to go to sleep as soon as possible. After couple of months the family is again in "Performing" stage. Especially when baby can walk already alone. You can go to trips for longer distances without hearing crying the whole trip. But at the end - It's worth every single sleepless night, every single second spent with your kids, every moment you haven't spent on your career. Kids deserve it. Hug from them will pay back everything "bad". You will forget about these "bad" things and only remember the good ones. Career is just career. Family is the biggest "asset". Birth will not ruin your career, it will maybe just slightly slower it...

 

I have four kids including a set of twins. Looking back in a few years, the version of you before kids will seem like a different person. You lose sleep and the concept of spare time but gain much more. Enjoy the ride and don't let your job get in the way too much.