There's no way to really know that you're ready to be a parent, and while you might do all the research and get all the advice that you can before your baby arrives, you'll never know everything. In fact, there will always be a few things that you wish you knew - which is why we found this recent Reddit thread so useful and interesting.
We've pulled out our favorite tips and tricks from this extensive round-up of real world advice that parents wish they knew before they had a kid (and as a bonus, we've included a way to save all on your registry purchases as well!).
"Don't assume that whatever worked for you when you were a child will automatically work with your own child." Making assumptions is almost never a good idea, but it's especially important to remember that your kid is unique and it's good to look at things with new eyes.
"An ancient old lady who had six awesome kids told me "Don't ever forget your child is going to be an adult. Raise them to survive". Your precious baby won't be a baby forever.
"Read to your kid before they go to bed. It could literally be anything. Doesn't have to be a kids book. This will help them spend more time with you and improve their reading skills, and I'm sure they'll remember it when they're older." Reading plus some quality bonding time? Sounds like excellent advice to us.
"There will be times when you're at your wits end and it just. Won't. Stop. Crying.
It's ok to put the baby down, step out of the room, and take a moment to breathe/calm down/recenter yourself." Your baby will be okay if you let him or her just cry for a few minutes, really. Your sanity is vital!
On that note..."Make sure your own needs are met first. You can't do a good job parenting if you're totally frazzled from being on-call 24/7. Take breaks when you need them.
This past weekend, my wife and I and both kids were ill. The 1.5 year old was super-cranky and completely unreasonable. So we broke our TV limit rule, and basically used the TV as a babysitter while we rested."
Check out the rest of the thread for more excellent conversation about first time parenthood from people who've been there.