As a dad of a 3-year-old son and a 5-week-old daughter I can tell you straight up that almost all the stuff you read about parenting, from books and magazine, is full of crap.
Sure, as a new parent you start off holding your child like they’re a Faberge Egg, but it doesn’t take long before you’re passing the kid around like a game of dirty diaper hot potato. Recently a group of dads were asked to share the one tip they would pass on to a new dad now they have actually real world dadding (I know that isn’t a real word, but it should be) under their belt.
A wet, soapy baby is the slipperiest substance in the known universe.
Keep this mind during bathtime. Don’t pick up a soapy baby
You and your child might not form a bond with each other right away. That’s okay. You shouldn’t feel guilty about it. It will happen in time.
If your wife is using a breast pump, do not, under any circumstances walk into the room and moo at her.
Read to your baby. Even as a newborn. And keep reading. Now, as a newborn, is a great time for you to read books to them that you want to read. Soon enough you will be reading “Goodnight Moon” every night for months. So enjoy this time
Don’t over react when they fall. They read your reaction first. Seriously, giggle first and they won’t wail- unless they are really hurt.
Be involved. I don’t mean just coming to an event. Take an interest in their studies, their social lives, their problems
Ask them questions.
Have family dinners with no TV.
Take lots of pictures and video. They grow up really fast.
Split the duties with your wife, if applicable. Feeding (if bottle and not titty), baths, changing diapers, getting up in the middle of night for whatever reason, laundry, cooking/doing the dishes, washing bottles, etc. The kid is 50% you, so do 50% of the work. Your wife and kid will love you for it.
Spend as much time as you can and cherish the moments when they are snuggly, tell you they love you…etc. That won’t last. And don’t forget to make them smile and laugh everyday.
- Wipe front to back
- Talk to them like a human, not a baby
- They will take in everything you say, so be careful
- You are going to hate every other kid
Build something with your kid. Treehouse, fort, little bike ramp, whatever – just do something constructive with your kid.
Create an email account (ie email@example.com) and then you, your wife and family can send them emails and pictures as they grow up. Then at a point in time when you feel they are mature enough you turn over the email and password. My kids are 2 and 3 so i’m not sure while i’ll give them access but it is neat to ‘talk’ to them now and know they will grow up in the future and see how they were and what they were like from the emails and pictures.
Try to teach them something new everyday. My daughter is 3 and everyday we go over something new. Some of it sticks some of it doesn’t but she loves learning about it.
Know what a child that is about to vomit looks like, and know how to react without thinking about it.
Oh, and if you have a boy, point the penis down when you put on the diaper, otherwise they pee “up” and leak. That took us a couple of days to figure out
zippered onesies >>>> button onesies