Monday was my first day back at work after twelve weeks of parental leave. It was a wonderful experience that I highly recommend. In case anyone else cares, I figured I would give a few recommendations.
Take parental leave. It is a great time to be with your son/daughter.
Take the full 12 weeks if you can afford it. The Family and Medical Leave Act requires employers to allow employees to take off 12 weeks. At Microsoft, the first four weeks are paid. After that, you can get pay by using vacation, or take the time unpaid. I used two weeks of vacation so that I got paid for half my leave.
Take the leave latter rather than sooner. I started my leave when my son was four and a half months old. As much as I loved him completely since prior to day 1, it was nice to get to take the time when he was a bit more of a person then he was during that beginning time when all he did was scream, sleep, eat and poop. As a side note, I found it amazing how much I loved Keshav during those first few weeks. Here he was laying there, doing very little except screaming, and yet I loved completely, and really missed him when I was out of town. I have never missed anyone else like that.
Take the time when no other adult is around. I really liked being a stay-at-home dad for the twelve weeks. I think I would have been board if my wife was at home as well.