Last week, in an interview with Vanity Fair, Bruce Willis likened the first six months of fatherhood to “Die Hard meets Willie Wonka and The Chocolate Factory. Except it’s not chocolate.” If Bruce has struggled – despite surviving four newborns and four Die Hards – then what hope for the rest of us?
Well, with the help of the Let’s Dad! readers, we’ve put together this essential two-part guide to the first year of dadding. Packed full of life-saving practical pointers and heartfelt emotional – and waste-management – guidance, it’s a handy reference point for anyone lucky enough to have knocked-up their special someone. Part Two will appear in the coming weeks, but in the meantime, feast on this buffet of knowledge, whipped up by a kitchen full of wise and worldly dads…
(I’ve interspersed the tips with some old fashioned advertisements, to remind men that we ran the roost, for many years, in a manner that wasn’t particularly fair to womankind. So next time you’re moaning because you’ve got to change a nappy, mush up some mush or clean a drop of milky-white vomit off the couch, just suck it up.)
Top Tips for New Dads – Part One
- In the first six months, you’re there to support your wife or partner. The time for Dads to shine comes later. Don’t feel bad if you’re not particularly interested in babies, they’re really not particularly interesting…unless you have a massive sh*t or vomit fetish that is. But once they start walking and talking, it’s fascinating.
- Taking a buggy over uneven ground/gravel/a skate park is a great way to get them off to sleep, as it mimics mum’s movements from their time inside. Similarly, get a buggy with one handlebar, so you can drink/use your phone/wave whilst on the move. Maneuvering a buggy over rough terrain whilst texting is an essential dadding skill.
- Keep wet wipes and muslin squares everywhere, as you never know when you will need them. As a combination they can clean just about anything, from a 6month old boy’s scrotum to a 1988 Ford Capri.
- Your peace of mind and well-being is crucial to ensuring the peace of mind and well-being of your kids, so don’t sacrifice your own happiness for the sake of your children. If you’re a grumpy, unsatisfied sh*tbag, then chances are your offspring won’t be particularly happy either.
- According to Bill Odie, molten lava, the evil cop in Terminator 2 and a newborn’s poo are the three most formidable – and unstoppable – liquids on earth. They get everywhere. Sometimes just hopping in the shower with your newborn is the easiest way to clean them up.
- When it’s 4am and they’ve been crying for a solid hour, despite being clean, dry and full of milk, try to think happy, loving thoughts as you rub their little chest for comfort. If you’re wishing they’d get sucked back up into their mums soundproof chamber, or even back into your ball-sack, so you could merrily continue with the much less complicated – and quieter – life you had before they arrived, they will sense it. Seriously. And knowing that daddy wished they were never born will only make them cry harder. Think happy thoughts. Happy thoughts. Happy thoughts.
- Record plenty of half-hour TV shows. You’ll rarely get time to watch a whole movie/match/documentary, but when you do find a few minutes of time to yourself, and you need to switch off, it pays to have something decent ready to go…so you don’t end up watching Hollyoaks, snooker or anything hosted by Richard Hammond.
- Train yourself to think that 6am is a lie in. By drastically reducing your sleep expectations, any uninterrupted sleep that last more than 4 hours will become a luxury. Manage your drinking accordingly.
And finally, for Part One at least, a very specific method of getting your newborn off to sleep, which you’ll hopefully remember when it’s 4am, they’re screaming the house down and nothing seems to work…
- Place the tip of your nose on the bridge of their nose and your forehead against theirs (as you’re holding them in your arms). They should find your closeness/smell comforting and, more importantly, if you breathe gently through your nose, the breath that you exhale hits their eyes and encourages them to close them.
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 adverts were found on likeables.