Experienced dads share their advice for making diaper changes—and other aspects of child rearing—more bearable for all involved.
“Honey, the RAC route planner suggests we take the B2129 via Rotherham instead … .”
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.
This was previously published on Let’s Dad!