Parenting 101 – 10 Tips For New Dads (<em>It’s mostly about poo</em>)

Parenting 101 – 10 Tips For New Dads (It’s mostly about poo)

Having been a dad for just over a week now I thought I’d share some of the wisdom I’ve acquired on poo raising babies, just in case it can help another soon-to-be-dad to navigate the poo new little human in his house. The faint of heart (meaning 95% of men reading this) might want to stop here…

  1. Become comfortable with the idea of poo. Babies basically do four things: Eat. Sleep. Cry. And poop. Pooping takes a special place in this line-up, as it’s the one activity they can do at the same time any of the others are taking place. Yep. They poop while eating. It’s barbaric, I tell you.
  2. Related to #1, get comfortable with talking about poo. A significant percentage of conversations between the wife and I the past week has been about this topic. Regularity of poo-diapers, for sure (no one wants a constipated infant), but also colour and consistency. Squishy’s poo has gone from black and sticky (I’ll never be able to eat Marmite again) to yellow and runny (think butternut soup, which just confirms to me that it’s a vile concoction that shouldn’t be consumed by humans) – a normal transformation for breast-fed babies.
  3. Related to #1 and #2, get comfortable with touching poo. No matter how careful you are, in the course of changing a diaper you are going to get some on your hands. Especially if the diaper leaked (see #4), though that’s not a prerequisite. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to see new poo being generated while you’re changing the diaper containing the previous poo (see #5). If you’re really lucky, new poo generation will occur at the exact moment that you’re applying the barrier cream intended to prevent nappy rash (i.e. you get a finger covered with poo, in case that wasn’t clear).
  4. Diapers leak. I don’t care what the packaging says about tight fit elastic bands, runny poo pockets (yes, that’s an actual thing) or super absorbent layers. Poo is sneaky, and some of it will make it past the defences. Count yourself lucky if it’s only the baby’s clothing that gets soiled. More often than not you’ll need a change of clothes yourself.
  5. When changing diapers, don’t be all cavalier and simply remove the soiled diaper. Something about the feeling of fresh air on bare skin seems to encourage babies to let it rip and you might find yourself, your changing table/bed, your baby, your baby’s clothes, the floor – basically anything within spraying distance – completely soaked and smelling of pee (not quite as bad as poo, but still unpleasant). To prevent being drenched in pee, lift the diaper in the front, then put it back. You’ll be glad you did.
  6. Being drenched in poo is less of a hazard – poo usually dribbles out, though if you’re really unlucky… Anyway, it can still come without warning in the middle of a diaper change soiling your fingers (see #3), baby’s clothes, and whatever surface you’re using for changing. I have no advice for avoiding poo-finger, but as for the rest of the nursery, once you remove the dirty diaper, immediately place a clean one beneath baby to catch any unexpected runoff while you finish cleaning up baby.
  7. Buy more wipes. You think you have enough wipes. You poor thing. You don’t. You can never have enough wipes. Buy wipes in bulk. Get one of those people from Extreme Couponing to help you. Keep them in the car, in baby’s stroller, in every room in the house. Why do you need wipes? To clean up poo, of course (see #1-4 & #6). You can thank me later.
  8. Take photos. As many as you can. A week in and Squishy is already outgrowing of her newborn features. She’ll never look this way again. Neither will yours. Capture those moments while you have them.
  9. Hold your baby. Hold her and look into her eyes. Study his face, his fingers, his toes. As I said in #8, baby will never look this way again, and no photo can fully capture the wonder of the real thing.
  10. If you can’t already, learn to cook, do the dishes and do laundry. No, it’s not women’s work, you Neanderthal. It’s just work, and considering the hell through which your baby’s mother put her body to make that little human, the least you can do while she’s feeding, bathing and changing it is make sure everything else at home is taken care of. And volunteer to change a diaper once in a while. It’s only poo, after all 💩

Image courtesy of the missus.
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21 thoughts on “Parenting 101 – 10 Tips For New Dads (It’s mostly about poo)

    1. Ha! Already tried that. As I pulled the dirty one out a stream of poo followed it and almost hit me in the chest. Now I put the clean one under her first, before removing the soiled one so there’s always at least on diaper in position.

  1. Lmao! I’m so late to this but it was hilarious to read and the end numbers were so touching. I don’t have a kid but there are lots of little ones in my family so I know what you mean about the poo and fresh air making them want to pee. Lol!

    1. Glad if my misery can provide amusement to others 😛

      I’m working on another post about an epic pooping incident we had a couple weeks ago, but it’s taking a while to write – the trauma is still too fresh to try reliving it so vividly 😉

  2. re: To prevent being drenched in pee, lift the diaper in the front, then put it back. You’ll be glad you did. – so true. And this is particularly important if you have a son. I was warned before my first that “when changing a boy, always keep your mouth shut.” 🙂

  3. Everything you said helped me recall my son’s infant days. Thanks for writing this post and help me recall. And yeah, I clicked many pics of my son and I too tell people do it. And save the pics in multiple clouds. It’s amazing how time flies and the photos become invaluable as the time passes.

    Although, the thing with poo is that, from my experience, we can only tolerate our own child’s poo; not anyone else’s or their child’s. Eek. 😀

  4. Yep that changing mat is really important but was not always used by us. I wanted to emphasize how important it is to NEVER leave the baby without a diaper for your readers who might become dads soon/some day.

    Whoever thinks that they can get away with leaving the baby without a diaper during a change will be met with a mess more often than not. DO NOT RISK IT! 🙂

  5. As a father myself, I agree 100% with this post :). The sooner you get comfortable with poop the easier things will be. The poop cleaning missions will continue for about 2 years or so.

    WARNING: NO matter WHAT, NEVER leave the baby without a diaper while changing to avoid huge messes! Especially if change the baby on the couch or other surfaces that can be soaked…

    1. Among the many gifts we received was a very nice changing mat that unfolds to almost double the baby’s size. Very handy for avoiding spillage of hazardous waste. But even on the changing mat we still use the extra diaper as in point #6.

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