22 January 2018

Lessons From a New Dad. Part 1.

I’ve been a Dad for 3 months. I’m almost certain that I am now qualified to tell you everything you need to know about parenting. In those 3 months, I’ve seen my baby blossom from a tiny crying, pooing blob of delightfulness to a slightly larger crying, pooing blob of delightfulness.

From my experiences so far, I want to share some things that I have learned.

1. Babies Aren't That Fragile

When my baby was born, he weighed 8lbs 13oz. By baby standards, that's relatively hefty, but by normal human standards, it's absolutely nothing. To put it into perspective, an adult-sized poo is probably about 8lbs.

Basically, I'm trying to get across the idea that babies are quite small. But you probably already knew that.

Before my son was born, my biggest fear was that I would inadvertently harm him. I am big and clumsy. He is tiny and fragile. I thought that with the simple action of picking him up, I would accidentally shatter some ribs.

As it turns out, babies are pretty robust. Just like you and I, they have a skeleton inside of them which makes them fairly robust. Despite treating my baby like he was a delicate piece of parchment for the first few weeks, I quickly learned that my silly man hands are not going to hurt him and that babies actually like being bounced around. I currently enjoy holding my son on his front, in the Superman pose, whizzing him around the house and taking him on adventures. Currently, these adventures consist of moving from the front room to the kitchen and back again, but he's a baby. He's easily amused.

2. You Don't Have to Become a Hermit

When we first got our baby home, I felt as if we’d never step foot outside again and that we’d emerge, 18yrs later looking all emaciated and pallid, blinking into a world that had left us behind. As it turns out, I was being a bit overdramatic. Although you do need to keep your baby inside for a bit, it is important to go out as much as possible, even if your baby is being an uncooperative little so-and-so.

Our first trip outside took place a few days after my son was born. We gently laid him into his pram and put a blanket over him. We then took our first tentative steps outside and ‘WAAAAAAHHHHHAAHAHHAHAHAH.’ We looked at each other and assumed that the motion of the pram would lull our baby to sleep. It didn’t. If anything, it made him even more angry. We got about 10 minutes into our walk before turning back. Although it didn’t go to plan, we went outside. Although it’s easier to stay inside, your body, your mind (and eventually your baby!) will thank you for it.

3. Eating is Not Optional

As your baby’s primary caregivers, 99% of your time will be spent, looking after your baby, looking at your baby or worrying about your baby. This all goes to show that you’re doing a super job and are putting the needs of your baby first. The thing is, a baby is not going to benefit from malnourished parents.

Before baby is born, go crazy in the kitchen and make a bunch of meals that can be frozen. Then, when baby arrives, you don’t have to piss about with ingredients and can just bung something pre-prepared into the oven. It saves having microwave meals 3 times a day, and is a lot better for you than fast food which has the nutritional value of Ronald McDonald’s pubes.

4. Don’t Be Too Proud 

Like all new parents, we bought our baby a bunch of cute outfits to wear. Like all new parents, we quickly realised that we were idiots and that most of the outfits were impractical. Trousers for babies are the single worst thing to happen in my life. They are impossible to get on, then when your baby inevitably shits themselves 10 seconds after you put the trousers on, you have to spend 14 minutes trying to get them off. The only people who buy baby trousers are naive parents and people who hate you.

After realising that buying all brand new outfits is for silly people, we happily accepted donations from family and friends. Realistically, baby outfits will have only been worn once or twice before they grow out of them. Don't be too proud to accept pre-loved clothes.

5. Buy EVERYTHING in Bulk

Tiny babies aren't that expensive to look after. Aside from the pram. And the Moses basket. And the cot. And the car seat. And the IsoFix sysyem. And the changing table. And the toys. And the Ewan the Dream Sheep. And the boob pump. And the sterilising kit. And the changing bag. And the endless things you buy off Amazon just because you read 1 review where someone said that their baby stopped crying after using it.

So yeah, aside from those few small expenses, babies don't cost much at all.

Early on, we learned to bulk buy the things that we were going to use on a regular basis, such as wipes and nappies. We have used our Amazon Prime subscription to save 20% on nappies which are shipped to us every month. The upside is that we will never run out of nappies. The downside is that we have about ONE BILLION NAPPIES in our house. If you want to come round mine and build a nappy fort, then sit on a throne of nappies, let me know.

I hope this post has taught you some important baby tips. Although you’ll now feel that you know everything about babies, there is still a lot to learn. I’ll teach you more in a future post.

If you enjoyed this, please follow @earlymorningclb on Twitter and @dvdjmskng on Instagram!


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