PARENTS

The 10 Best Things About Having A Baby (That No One Ever Tells You)

14/08/2014 16:48 | Updated 22 May 2015

The benefits of having a baby

It's not just the fact that your genes will now be carried forward into the next generation. No, there are much better reasons to have a baby than that.

1. YOU'LL NEVER BE SHORT OF AN EXCUSE AGAIN

Now you've got a baby you can get out of any social event you don't fancy going to.

Try these for size:

* 'I'm so sorry we can't come to your choral society's version of Les Mis tonight but the baby's not himself and I wouldn't be happy leaving him.'

* 'I'm sorry I can't do the triathlon with you on Saturday but the baby's being a bit clingy and I wouldn't be happy leaving him.'

* 'I'm sorry I can't come to look at your holiday photos slide show tonight but the baby's a bit off his food and I wouldn't be happy leaving him.'

Once you've secured your nice night in, pop in the DVD, uncork a bottle and r-e-l-a-x.

2. YOUR CHILD CAN FULFILL YOUR AMBITIONS FOR YOU

You've done your bit by producing the next generation – now it's their responsibility to live out your dreams for you. Dreams like becoming a professional footballer or the winner of X Factor.

Obviously, you'll have to help things along by buying a football or investing in a few singing lessons for your offspring, but it's up to them now. Put your feet up and wait for them to make you proud.

3. YOU CAN BOAST TO YOUR HEART'S CONTENT

While it's not socially acceptable to show off about your own looks, intelligence or abilities, it's perfectly OK to show off about your child's looks, intelligence and abilities.

If you feel a bit self conscious telling everyone that your child's the very first one in the baby group to crawl and therefore is probably going to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games, just put it on your Facebook page instead. Your friends from baby group are sure to be really impressed.

4. YOU CAN BE RUDE – WITHOUT PEOPLE THINKING YOU'RE RUDE

No need to feign interest the next time your mother-in-law starts 'giving you advice' about childrearing - just close your eyes and go to sleep.

She won't be offended because she knows you've 'been up with the baby half the night.' Whatever you do, don't mention the fact the baby started sleeping through weeks ago.

5. YOU CAN DRESS THEM UP IN RIDICULOUS COSTUMES AND HAVE A GOOD LAUGH AT THEM

One of the best things about babies is that you can dress them up how you like and they can't do a thing about it. Start with something simple like 'bubble hair' when they're in the bath. Move on to geek chic glasses and matching onesies.

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Heck, you could even see what your baby looks like in lederhosen or Welsh national costume – it's your baby after all.

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So long as they're wrapped up nice and warm it doesn't matter if you've got them dressed up as a meerkat. Make sure you take lots of photos so you can carry on laughing at them when they're a lot older too.

6. YOU GET TO CARRY ALL YOUR STUFF AROUND ON A BUGGY

One of the great things about babies is that you put them in a buggy. This is absolutely brilliant because, as well as putting your baby in there, you can also chuck in all the rest of your possessions.

Basically you've got years now when you don't have to carry anything. Even your can of coke, if you get the right model. You'll keep it going for years, taking it on outings when your child's five-years-old 'just in case they get a bit tired.'

Whatever you do, don't be palmed off with one of those baby slings – you'll end up having your carry your baby as well as all your stuff.

7. YOUR HOUSE BECOMES PACKED WITH MEDALS AND CERTIFICATES

Perhaps you've never won anything, not even a bottle of Retsina in a drinks' tombola. Maybe you never got your 25m swimming certificate or even a GCSE. Well, never fear, because that's about to change now you've got a baby in the house!

Just sit back, relax and watch those goodies come rolling in.

Keep an eye out for the certificate they get because they joined the library, the medal they've won because you've just bought them their first pair of shoes, the huge trophy because they painted a picture at play group.

The list goes on and on until the moment they face their first cross country race or school exam – and then they're on their own.

8. YOU CAN PASS ON FAMILY TRADITIONS

It's not just the antique christening gown that's come down three generations or the middle name your child gets to share with several members of your family, there are dozens of other family traditions you can pass down to your offspring. Traditions like spitting on a tissue and using it to wipe grubby marks off your baby's face.

Heck, you can even lick your fingers and push their eyebrows into shape – if that's what your parents did to you it's a tradition worth keeping.

9. YOU GET LOTS OF FREE CHOCOLATE

It's quite bizarre but people really do give small children huge chocolate eggs for Easter and vast selection boxes for Christmas. Now everyone knows how important it is for youngsters to eat their five fruit and vegetables a day and to save chocolate as an occasional treat and so, as a good parent, it's up to you to stash those choccie treats out of reach – ideally on top of the fridge or the kitchen cabinet. It won't be long until your child forgets all about these unhealthy snacks – leaving you free to eat the lot.

10. YOU REALISE YOU HAVE PRODUCED THE MOST GORGEOUS CHILD IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD.

There will come a wonderful moment when you realise you have given birth to the most beautiful baby on the entire planet. And, no, it's not just your hormones making you feel like that - it's actually true.

That's why you can't stop taking photos of them every second of the day and showing them to everyone you meet. Aren't you lucky!

Sally Norton is the author of '

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