While there are the basic "do's" and "don't" that Chris and I were aware of before becoming daddies, we were never given the full list.
1) Always bring additional sets of clothing (for us... not just for Kensington). I ended up with white formula spit up all over my black sweater. At the mall. When we first arrived.
2) If you think it's a dirty diaper, just prepare yourself to change it. Don't do the, "pull the side of the diaper to check" routine. We bought the wrong diapers. Meaning... not the 'blue line' ones that we've been soooooooooo use to. Now we have to check instead of looking for the color indicator. If it wasn't a pack of 96, I would have just discarded the pack. I laid Kensington down to check her (after I had changed her diaper less than 20 minutes prior). The diaper EXPLODED on me. Poop EVERYWHERE. And then what happens? Kensi lifts her leg and not only does it go everywhere, but she sticks her hand in it. Then, in true Kensi fashion... she does her 'hands in the air' routine. I puke in my mouth. Now I'm trying to hold her and her dirty hand down with my clean hand and open the wipes container with my chin. It took 11 wipes to clean up the mess. I'm glad I own stock in Johnson & Johnson.
3) When designing a home, never plan on placing the nursery above a garage. Guess what happens the moment you put a little one to sleep (after a good 45 minutes of rocking her) and someone opens the garage when they come home. The soft music from her iPod can't mask the sound. Lets just say someone else had to spend 45 minutes in the rocking chair as soon as they came upstairs. We now use the front door after 7 pm :)
4) Trust your baby monitor (as long as it's plugged in). I have spent to many times running (okay... a stumble is more like it) when i don't see movement or hear anything for awhile. Last night she slept 8 hours - don't congratulate us yet... we know it won't be two nights in a row - and I ended up getting up at 1, 3 and 5 to check her. But again... it's the middle of the night and on many occasions I've actually woken her up by leaning in too close to her little nose to double check on her breathing. Most of the times she goes right back to bed, but on a couple of occasions, it's straight to the glider we go.
5) Make sure you have your duties assigned prior to going to sleep. Chris and I now split the evenings. One of us will get the 7 and 9 pm feedings, as well as anything after 6am. The other person gets anything that could (and often does) occur between 10pm and 6am. But there has been a couple times when I wake Chris up and he tells me it's not his shift. So, I simply take his "On Duty" pillowcase and try to smother him with it. He's learning. But not fast enough. (No worries... I've increased his life insurance, so Kensington and I will be taken care of if he ever stops fighting).
6) Forgive stupid people... like the ones who see her in a pink dress and say, "How cute. Is it a boy or a girl?" They know not what they say.
7) Stop worrying about the small stuff! As a new parent, Chris and I instinctively worried about things like spitting up, occasional vomiting (us, not Kensi) and crying spells (this time... us and Kensi). We even have gotten caught up worrying over her formula intake, and the frequency of bowel movements. It is (was) a waste of value nap time.
8) Who needs a $45 bottle of Aveda Sap Moss shampoo when you have Baby Shampoo available? Well. Okay. Somethings we are not giving up. yet. :)