Following on from the success of Part 1 (we’re up for a Croydon Council ‘Services to Men’ Award, alongside Jasmine’s Massage + Spa and The Pig and Whistle), here’s the second installment of the Let’s Dad! Top Tips for New Dads. Just like Part One, it’s chock full of practical know-how and dadding wisdom courtesy of the Let’s Dad! readership, so you can safely navigate the maze of early parenthood. Start your engines and away you go. Oh, watch out, someone’s left a massive pile of sh*t where the A258 joins the A3…
(As before, I’ve interspersed the tips with some old fashioned advertisements, to remind us men that we had our own way for many, many years, much to the detriment of fair and kind women the world over. So if you’re feeling put upon because you have to run the odd bath, clean up some breastmilk from the glovebox or remove a piss stain from the changing bag, just deal with it.)
Top Tips for New Dads – Part Two
– When you change your baby’s nappy, put a light coating of olive oil around their bottom before putting the new nappy on. It forms a barrier, making it easy to wipe off any poo next time around…and it keeps their skin as soft as…well, a baby’s bottom.
– It is ok to put on a Disney movie, CBeebies, or anything for that matter, if you need a break. It won’t instantly undo all the hard work you’ve done reading to them, buying wooden toys and dressing them exclusively in organic cotton.
– Your baby is not as cute as you think they are. Really, they’re not. To most people, it’s just a baby, which they already have or don’t ever want.
– Take the leap and buy a nappy bin. You’ll save approximately 6 full days of your life that would have otherwise been spent fiddling around with nappy bags. Your nursery is less likely to smell like ‘My First Sh*t Factory’ too.
– Kids bring up themselves. Your primary function is to keep them alive. Don’t fuss, just leave them to get on with it. They’ll let you know if they need something. You can read the paper.
– Make a note of those special moments, as they can easily be forgotten. The first song you made-up to get him off to sleep, the fortnight where she dragged her bum along the ground whilst simultaneously punching herself in the head or the first time they woke themselves up with a fart. They’ll want to know one day and you’ll want to be able to tell them. Or they won’t want to know one day and you’ll definitely want to be able to tell them (and the boy they’ve just brought home).
– Take a holiday around the 6 month mark. They’re not mobile, still snooze a lot and have all the food they’ll need handily stored in their Mum. It might just be the easiest family holiday you ever have. Unless, like Peter, you go camping in the New Forest…and they wake up at 1am…and you spend 3 hours, lost, pushing them round in the dark.
– In most cases, having a child will drastically alter the dynamic of your relationship, so try not to lose sight of your girlfriend/wife/partner. Make an effort to communicate, be considerate and spend quality time together – just the two of you – as often as you can. Please note, quality time does not mean pestering her for a hand-job whilst you watch Doctor Who re-runs.
– It doesn’t take two people to bath a baby or get them to sleep. Don’t get into the habit of always doing it with your partner – or just one of you being able to do it – as you need to be able to run the routine independently, so that either of you can get out of the house now and again without chaos ensuing.
– Whenever you feel yourself growing frustrated or angry with your little one, try to remember that children, as a rule, are not very bright. Worse still, this stupidity is almost always down to genetic factors, which means that you yourself are not very bright either.
– Be open to advice, as sometimes, amongst the sh*t there shines a diamond. However, it’s important to trust yourself and don’t be pressured by other people or opinions, only you know what is right for your kids. Unless it’s a doctor telling you that your baby’s faeces really shouldn’t be that colour. Definitely listen to her.
Let’s Dad! would like to say a massive thank you to all of the dads who chipped in their great tips. Great Dadding! These old ads were found on likeables.
Last week, in an interview with Vanity Fair, Bruce Willis likened the first six months of fatherhood to “Die Hard meets Willie Wonka and The Chocolate Factory. Except it’s not chocolate.” If Bruce has struggled – despite surviving four newborns and four Die Hards – then what hope for the rest of us?
Well, with the help of the Let’s Dad! readers, we’ve put together this essential two-part guide to the first year of dadding. Packed full of life-saving practical pointers and heartfelt emotional – and waste-management – guidance, it’s a handy reference point for anyone lucky enough to have knocked-up their special someone. Part Two will appear in the coming weeks, but in the meantime, feast on this buffet of knowledge, whipped up by a kitchen full of wise and worldly dads…
(I’ve interspersed the tips with some old fashioned advertisements, to remind men that we ran the roost, for many years, in a manner that wasn’t particularly fair to womankind. So next time you’re moaning because you’ve got to change a nappy, mush up some mush or clean a drop of milky-white vomit off the couch, just suck it up.)
Top Tips for New Dads – Part One
– In the first six months, you’re there to support your wife or partner. The time for Dads to shine comes later. Don’t feel bad if you’re not particularly interested in babies, they’re really not particularly interesting…unless you have a massive sh*t or vomit fetish that is. But once they start walking and talking, it’s fascinating.
– Taking a buggy over uneven ground/gravel/a skate park is a great way to get them off to sleep, as it mimics mum’s movements from their time inside. Similarly, get a buggy with one handlebar, so you can drink/use your phone/wave whilst on the move. Maneuvering a buggy over rough terrain whilst texting is an essential dadding skill.
– Keep wet wipes and muslin squares everywhere, as you never know when you will need them. As a combination they can clean just about anything, from a 6month old boy’s scrotum to a 1988 Ford Capri.
– Your peace of mind and well-being is crucial to ensuring the peace of mind and well-being of your kids, so don’t sacrifice your own happiness for the sake of your children. If you’re a grumpy, unsatisfied sh*tbag, then chances are your offspring won’t be particularly happy either.
– According to Bill Odie, molten lava, the evil cop in Terminator 2 and a newborn’s poo are the three most formidable – and unstoppable – liquids on earth. They get everywhere. Sometimes just hopping in the shower with your newborn is the easiest way to clean them up.
– When it’s 4am and they’ve been crying for a solid hour, despite being clean, dry and full of milk, try to think happy, loving thoughts as you rub their little chest for comfort. If you’re wishing they’d get sucked back up into their mums soundproof chamber, or even back into your ball-sack, so you could merrily continue with the much less complicated – and quieter – life you had before they arrived, they will sense it. Seriously. And knowing that daddy wished they were never born will only make them cry harder. Think happy thoughts. Happy thoughts. Happy thoughts.
– Record plenty of half-hour TV shows. You’ll rarely get time to watch a whole movie/match/documentary, but when you do find a few minutes of time to yourself, and you need to switch off, it pays to have something decent ready to go…so you don’t end up watching Hollyoaks, snooker or anything hosted by Richard Hammond.
– Train yourself to think that 6am is a lie in. By drastically reducing your sleep expectations, any uninterrupted sleep that last more than 4 hours will become a luxury. Manage your drinking accordingly.
And finally, for Part One at least, a very specific method of getting your newborn off to sleep, which you’ll hopefully remember when it’s 4am, they’re screaming the house down and nothing seems to work…
– Place the tip of your nose on the bridge of their nose and your forehead against theirs (as you’re holding them in your arms). They should find your closeness/smell comforting and, more importantly, if you breathe gently through your nose, the breath that you exhale hits their eyes and encourages them to close them.
Let’s Dad! would like to say a massive thank you to all of the dads who chipped in their great tips. Great Dadding!
These old adverts were found on likeables.