What advice would you give a new parent?

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I recently attended a baby shower for a first-time mother. After the oohing and aahing over the mom-to-be's belly, we all grabbed a plate of snacks and sat down to watch her open her gifts. Before she opened each gift, the giver was asked to impart a bit of wisdom or advice about parenthood for the new mom. I listened as each woman gave practical advice on which diaper works best, how to burp a baby and the importance of taking care of yourself and getting enough sleep.

When it was my turn, there was one thought that kept running through my mind: slow down and appreciate this time because it passes so quickly.

I was the only woman there who had raised a child to adulthood and therefore had a different perspective on motherhood. Diapers and burping are important, but those issues are fleeting. What I wanted this new mom to know is that her child will grow up so fast she won't know what hit her. I told her to take lots of pictures and pause often just to look at and hold her child. Sooner than she thinks, she will find herself rummaging through a box full of the tiny clothes she received that day, wondering where the time went.

What would you want a first-time mother -- or father -- to know about parenthood?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.