I am the proud father of one bouncing newborn baby boy! This is my first blog post so hopefully you will enjoy it and I would love to hear your feedback, any comments would be greatly appreciated. Here I am going to give you some advice of being a father, the following contains 10+ things dad should know about after birth.
You have slept for about half of your life which is most likely because you are going to have a baby at some point. Probably the number one cause of late night online shopping in the UK happens with a baby in the household*. You have had enough rest in the first half of your life. Time to cut the beauty hours down (I use to sleep 9 hours a night, now I am lucky to get 3 or 4 overall). Take afternoon siestas – you are now allowed to siesta – being the father of a never ending crying nightmare (it’s not that bad). There will be a lot of nights using the spare bedroom or couch, in my case, so best keep blankets and pillows for getting some rest.
Buy A Gas Mask
You need to know after birth it’s yucky, there are more graphic words which could be used to describe the mess you will have to deal with but please heed the advice of buying a gas mask. The toxic and extremely flammable liquids, solid and vapours that emit from you new bundle of joy only get better too! Your baby hasn’t ever had a poo before and has had it locked inside for the last 9 or so months. This can cause a real mess upon the ancient material exiting the little human. Your partner now assumes the role of not being able to poop (in some cases 10 days plus), best trick is prune juice when its the right time.
- All of the things on the list you currently have
- PPE Hazmat Suit
- Probably not this gas mask, I am wearing a Moldex 9000 in the photo above
- Rubber gloves
- Lots of baby grows
- Burp cloths
- New pair of shoes
- Get sizes +1, +2 and +3 from current age, they grow super fast
Your whole body is now prime real estate for all the imaginable materials that exit a human being. After its seeped through your jumper, trailed down your new t-shirt, trousers and the cat too. Finding it in all kinds of weird and wonderful locations, it is time to invest in a carpet cleaner. Common mistakes we have found to be making are:
- nappy / diaper not being secured properly
- your baby has a really big appetite
- too much movement
- just plain old karma for eating the last bit of ice-cream your spouse was saving to eat while watching the last episode of Grey’s Anatomy.
A great tip when baby needs a nappy change is to open the nappy up. This allows some air and close it again. Your son or daughter will pee after feeling a fresh breeze down there. Warning there is still a 50 / 50 chance you and your surroundings will get pee’d on. Even when using this tactic.
I never expected to see such hues and shades of colour come out the other end of a human. Such a wide range of colours when a baby eats only breast milk. Who would of though there could be olive green in the morning and a shade of blue in the evening. Followed by some pale yellow somewhere in-between. We love to use 100% cotton terry towels as nappies for the little one. This is because they are super absorbent, holding about as much liquid as your local pub. Being washable and reusable too which is a big plus. Going out, in case of an emergency or sometimes at night we use these nappies. We have found them to be very good and eco friendly alternative to disposables.
The Infamous Baby Brain
You will find that you are creating a new language that no one else has spoken before. Maybe you might find shower gel in the fridge or perhaps you put your boxers on wrong today. You probably will put them on wrong tomorrow too. This phenomenon is aptly called “baby brain”. This is why coffee costs pennies to grow and retails for extortionate prices. Thankfully, I don’t drink coffee but if you are looking for an alternative, eat an apple. There is supposedly enough “caffeine” as to the same effect of drinking a cup of coffee that and it keeps the doctor away or so they say. Your brain is changing, I just found myself to be rhyming there. Mothers especially are subject to the baby brain who will say a “sentence” which has never been spoken before. I wish you the best of luck deciphering and answering correctly.
We are raising our child with only breast milk for the first 6 months of his life. This shall be supplementing his feeding to around the age of 18 months. Mums have this inexpiable look when feeding babies (at least my wife does). There is a delay between my question and her response, it’s like talking to the moon sometimes (yes same bad pun). Be prepared for no reply or receiving an unrelated answer (this can be caused by the foretold baby brain). She enters a “lights are on but nobody is home” trance-like state. With a face which could only be described as a prune (at least when our baby bites), it looks painful so step away unless you have indeed pee’d a golf ball.
Feeding time enables you to quietly slip out of the room while you partner is super-glued to the same spot for the next 5 to 30 minutes. Just kidding, but really pro tip.
Yes that’s right – cabbage leaves for your breastfeeding partner. With the little one chomping on sensitive, overflowing with milk boobs, the cabbage can be a real help. So I am told. Leave the leaves on for 20 minutes, no more than 3 times per day; discontinue use as soon as engorgement / oversupply begins to subside. Who would of though buying a cabbage would gain you valuable brownie points.
Support Your Partner
My wife and I almost never argue, literally never. We know each others boundaries and we talk to each other, it’s wonderful. But once the baby arrived we had some rough moments with all the hormones and both being so exhausted from the time at the hospital which was like a sauna. We worked it out though as we took our first steps towards our new horizon by talking to each other. Please do the same, great communication is key to a healthy and happy relationship. Help them even if they don’t ask for it. I can only imagine the pain of having a little monster wake me up every few hours and chew on my breasts 10+ times a day. They deserve all the love and support a spouse can give. This definetly means doing more of the house chores including:
- Making meals and drinks
- Cleaning the bathroom, living room etc
- And all other household chores you haven’t done before
And always remember:
Happy wife, happy life. Unhappy wife, stone-cold misery for the rest of your…
While your baby is super-glued to your partner, feeding your other half will earn you valuable brownie points. You should get used to having cold meals while your bundle of joy keeps you away from the more complicated things in human life, like eating and going to the toilet.
Put Down Your Smartphone
Probably some of the best advice for parents in the 21st century is to stop using your phone while baby is awake. I know you probably want to beat that impossible level in that smartphone game but your baby sees and does what mums and dads do.
But don’t worry your new TV set has arrived, it is powered by milk and love and has endless hours of entertainment and chores to keep you busy all day and all night. Don’t shout at your tender TV as if your team just lost the World Cup. Calm soothing voice and movement even if you are stressed out of your teeth. It takes practice but you will be able to maintain the 1000 yard stare of serenity even with a baby ripping the hairs off of your chest while screaming and bawling at all hours of the long 24 day.
Breastfeeding mums will run into troubles very early on. Having a brightly lit, distracting phone right beside the babies head is drawing their attention away from the important task at hand, boobs. Currently we are having issues with the little one chewing while feeding. We shall write about our personal experience with this in ways to fix biting while breastfeeding in the near future.
Dirty Baby Clothes
Be prepared to have your adorable bottomless pit be sick all over you (top ranking) or a piece of furniture (2nd place) and last but by no means least your friend’s brand new shoes. I am not just saying this because we sell them but you can never have enough baby clothes when the little one has three main exits in their bodies. Just when you thought you were safe after changing the nappy and baby grow they love to be sick all over it, again, and again. Especially when you are all cleaned, changed and ready to put them to sleep.
Our little one has a great routine of being sick after having a bath, so he normally gets a second bath!
No, not lube for making another baby but as a nappy rash magic eraser. Make sure you get the baby dry before using the petroleum jelly (Vaseline). We had some issues with nappy rash on the inner hips. Using the jelly cleared it up in a few days. Magic. Remember to check all the rolls and folds on their body, this includes; armpits, behind the knees and groin area.
- Use a warm damp soft cotton cloth
- No soap
- Gently pad dry the area
- Apply small amount of Vaseline on the effected area with a clean finger
- Repeat next day
The new hi-fi system that has arrived in your life comes with no instruction manual and there is no option to power the system down. There are also no returns on your new product. If you are having trouble with your baby sleeping, you have music my friend or your singing voice.
Do not let the baby just cry it out, pick them up and hold them until the crying ceases.Doug – Made in the Moon
I love to listen to classical music and thankfully our little one goes out like a light. It’s like a roll of the dice – with some Beethoven and gentle rocking on my shoulder. He also enjoys listening to lectures (also helps you sleep). Time to put some Neil deGrasse Tyson on. You will hear changes in the way you little one makes noises. I love the sounds, I am beginning to understand the differences between the little “uhhs” and “waas” and “gruggling”.
Skin On Skin
Straight after birth there are lots of articles stating the benefit of baby skin on skin. As new parents we are gathering as many great tips and facts as we can about the benefits and downsides to all things related to pregnancy and birth. Skin on skin is one that really makes sense. Thankfully we had a water birth (we talk about this briefly in Birth Plan Vs Reality). This meant our child came out almost all nice and clean.
It really is the most magical moment holding your newborn for the first time. As a man you probably feel like you are Mike Tyson. But at the push of a baby – you melt into a care bear. You may say and make some promises to your child. It is amazing how I would happily cut off every extremity on my being to make sure my kid was ok.
Wait I Have A Golden Ticket?
You will gain a lot of interest and meet some wonderful (and down right weird) people on this beautiful planet. All the more while yielding a baby strapped to your body. You have a golden ticket and I bet you don’t even know it. Men, women, kids, animals will want to have a look at your wonderful creation. You can see they are filled with the same baby love that fills your heart (F.Y.I. this is called broody). You may be very aware of them poking there fingers at your baby so we have created a design for do not touch the baby to warn people of the danger of such an act! We both use a sling to carry our child and it’s probably one of the best baby items we use. We got the sling along with a bunch of other baby items in the Scotland baby box.
Did I miss something out? I would love to hear what your top tips for a new father are. It is a constant learning curve and like always knowledge is power so read as much as you can.
*(sourced from my sleepless imagination)
Doug and Luna are parents to a newborn baby boy living in a tiny flat in Edinburgh, UK.