When my wife, Susan, was pregnant with our first baby, Isabelle, and then again with our second, Lorelei, she watched a lot of television geared toward expectant and new parents. Her favorite haunt was a cable channel called TLC, which features shows like A Baby Story, Bringing Home Baby, and Surviving Motherhood. She used to beg me to watch the shows with her, clearly hoping I'd pick up some useful tidbits that I could bring into the delivery room or, later, into the nursery. I admit, though, I watched only a few episodes with her. It just wasn't my thing.
But now that the reality parenting genre has exploded, I decided to watch a week's worth of television aimed at parents of babies and report on what could be learned. (Mostly, I wanted to get paid for sitting around in my underwear and watching TV.)