There's infinitely more information out there than you can ever hope to absorb and it's almost all incomplete. The best way I have found is to take in plenty of advice and use it to make a patchwork quilt of blag. Here's what I wasn't prepared for:
1) Being...AWAKENED! - That rapidly building baby siren that bolts you from a deep and peaceful place. It smacks you like a wrecking ball in your junk, I literally didn't know I could ache there from being woken by a noise... Nothing prepares you for it, seriously.
Advice: Nap, go bed after 'In the night garden' (if you don't know what this is you soon will) and simply accept that it's going to happen. If you're calm, methodical in addressing baby's needs and try different comforting techniques it will help. Each baby is so different but there will be a way, even if it's hanging them upside down like a bat with carrot sticks in each ear.
2) Relentlessness - Food, wind, change, play, learn, comfort, sleep...and repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat. Except that the goalposts move constantly, what works one second will not work ten seconds later (that fast, no joking). There's plenty of variety as they grow of course but there are always needs to address.
Advice: Remember that it's all quality time spent with your baby. It's okay to be fed up, quality time does not mean picture perfect and easy. It means time going through routine together, bonding both with your baby and your partner as you all find your feet! The smiles, progress and littlest things will make you melt and burst with pride.
3) The inconsolable baby - No matter what lavish presentation of milk, pitch perfect lullaby, comforting cosy cuddles or plush sleeping palace you provide the baby remains more hysterical than a gaggle of Beliebers in the front row at a concert.
Advice: This will happen (see year one jabs in particular). It's not only frustrating but extremely distressing. If you get agitated and impatient it only makes things worse, trust me tone of voice and body demeanour make a difference. Channel your inner creepily calm and annoyingly cheerful kids TV presenter. Think Smoochy (if you haven't seen Death to Smoochy, give it a watch and you'll know what I mean).