Excerpt: 'Eat, Sleep, Poop' by Scott Cohen

Eat, Sleep, Poop: A Common Sense Guide to Your Babys First Year

Having a baby can be overwhelming for any parent. But in "Eat, Sleep, Poop," Dr. Scott W. Cohen, a doctor and first-time father, offers a common sense guide to help answer parents' questions and guide them through that exciting first year.

Check out an excerpt of the book below, then head to the "GMA" Library for other great reads.

CHAPTER 1 - Prepare - Save the Date
The period before your first baby is born is one of the most exciting times in your life, but also one of the most anxiety-producing and nerve-racking. As anxious parents-to-be, we try to control a situation that is already out of our control, and we find it nearly impossible to focus on what is most important—looking forward to the baby's arrival. In this chapter I'm going to help you focus by offering Common Sense Parenting advice on preparing for your baby's arrival. Hopefully, you'll then be able to cut down the anxiety and concentrate on the excitement.

VIDEO: Dr. Scott Cohen reflects on how fatherhood changed his medical work.
Baby's First Year: 'Eat, Sleep, Poop'

Here's what we'll focus on:
• What to buy
• How to choose a pediatrician
• Cord blood banking
• What to bring to the hospital

Nesting—What to Buy
If you're like most couples, as soon as you find out you're having a baby, you are immediately inundated with advice. Everyone with kids tells you what you absolutely must buy for the first year. Unfortunately, most first-time parents have trouble cutting anything from the list of "must have" baby items, which is why many end up with a bedroom like my friends'. I remember visiting them shortly after the birth of their first child. They took me on a tour of their new apartment, and when we walked into their bedroom, the three of us could barely squeeze in among all the baby paraphernalia. Along with their queen-sized bed, the room was cluttered with a crib, a co-sleeper, a sleep nest, and a bassinet, all of which they said they bought because everyone told them they absolutely had to have them. My friends worried that if they didn't buy everything everyone had recommended, they wouldn't be properly prepared and their child might suffer. As it turned out, their baby ended up sleeping in their bed with them for the first six months, leaving all of the baby contraptions unused. Now they look back and laugh. Like many other well-meaning first-time parents, my friends had allowed their anxiety to overwhelm them. I have to admit: I was also one of those anxiety-ridden first time dads who fell into the too-much-stuff trap. When my wife and I were preparing for the arrival of our child, it seemed like we were constantly buying new stuff for the baby. In every store we went to, the salesperson would tell us what we needed to buy and then point to a wall of infant items that appeared to reach to the sky. Even though many of the suggested articles seemed to perform the exact same function, we bought them anyway. Our baby's room soon became the most expensive room in the house.

So how can you prevent the too-much-stuff scenario? The following is a list of Newborn Must-Haves. The purpose of this list is not to tell you what kind of crib or bottle to buy, but to make sure that you remember to buy one. These items are the Common Sense Parenting essentials; anything you choose to add to the list is up to you. In the resources section at the end of the book you'll find a handy checklist that you can tear out or photocopy.

Newborn Must-Haves Checklist
___ Crib
___ Crib mattress
___ Mattress pad cover
___ Fitted sheet

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