Image courtesy of topstep07 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
As the dad, you might have been somewhat of a spectator for this pregnancy thing, but Coach is about to put you in the game. So, since Father’s Day is right around the corner, the Preggers team put together a list of tips for new dads – think of it as your playbook. Like football, parenting is a team sport and Mom needs you on the first string team. Put on your helmet and pads and keep your eyes open for trick plays. Kickoff will be here before you know it!
- Sleep – Forget about sleep. It’s nothing more than a fond memory. It may return again in . . . well, it’ll never be what it was. Your wife has probably already said goodbye to sleep, since housing your offspring often makes sleeping difficult. And once Baby is here, he’ll be up every few hours to eat – meaning that someone will have to get up to feed him. If you’re bottle feeding, you should take some of the feedings. And when you finally reach the point where Baby sleeps through the night, you’ll be so ecstatic, you won’t even notice that you’ve forgotten what sleeping in feels like. It might be years before you do this again. PLAYBOOK ADVICE: People have always told moms to sleep when the baby sleeps, but this should apply to everyone in your house. If your baby is sleeping, SLEEP. It may be all you get for a while.
- Poop – You will spend more time talking about and dealing with poop than you ever imagined. Most parents remember the first time their child had a full blown blowout diaper – the kind the poop goes up the child’s back and out the leg holes of the diaper . . . probably ends up in her hair. Just know that as you’re cleaning the poop off of everything within a mile radius, one day you’ll be laughing about this. This and the 18,563 other poop stories between now and your child’s high school graduation. Okay, we kid, you’ll get it figured out before that. PLAYBOOK ADVICE: Whether you’re going to the mailbox or across the country, always travel with extra diapers, extra wipes and extra clothes . . . for baby, but also maybe for you. Never know when that blowout is going to happen or where the poop will end up.
- Vomit – The baby variety is known as spit up and the very young ones will do this quite a bit. Eventually, they get the hang of things and won’t spit up. The really bad stuff is when they’re older. And when one of them says to you, “Daddy, I don’t feel so good,” you have exactly 5 seconds to get your child over a toilet or trash can before the vomit explosion. 5. . .4 . . .3 . . .2. . . .1 PLAYBOOK ADVICE: Be prepared. If it’s baby vomit, keeping a burp cloth handy is all you’ll need. If it’s the child variety, I suggest keeping your child in close proximity to the toilet/bucket/trash can . . . and possibly wear a rain poncho.
- Crying – Baby’s cry, everyone knows this. But, sometimes it feels like the crying has gone on forever and will never stop. You’ve fed him and changed him and you can’t figure out what could possibly be wrong. He won’t stop crying and he won’t go to sleep. PLAYBOOK ADVICE: Strap your little one into his carseat and take him for a ride in your car. It doesn’t matter where you go – driving around the block will work. Sometimes the vibrations of the car engine will sooth your baby enough that they will fall asleep. Hopefully, he’ll stay asleep once you decide to call it a night and head home. But if not, don’t get frustrated. Put him down in a safe place like his crib and step away for a few moments of peace. He’ll be okay if it’s in a safe place and you haven’t gone too far away.
- Children’s Shows – Whether it’s princesses and ponies or ninjas and cars, your TV viewing is about to change . . . drastically! Your DVR may be full of episodes of The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad right now, but it won’t be long before you’ll be sitting down to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Yo Gabba Gabba and Doc McStuffins. PLAYBOOK ADVICE: Embrace it! Learn the names of the characters and talk about the episodes with your kids. You’ll be the coolest dad ever! We promise you, they won’t be stuck on these shows forever. Their viewing preferences will improve with age . . . sort of.
Well that’s a good start to your Fatherhood Playbook. But, a good playbook always needs new plays. We encourage any experienced dads (and moms!) to add your Plays in the comments or on social media. #preggerspapasplaybook.
Happy Father’s Day, Dads – Rookies and Veterans – from the Preggers Team!