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The 7 Habits of Highly Annoying New Dads

By Meredith Carroll |

Father and daughter

He’s sweet and all, but there’s room for improvement.

I’m the first one to roundly praise my husband for his Herculean baby daddy efforts. (He lets me sleep in! He loves that little baby to bits!)

However, he’s not perfect (unlike me, of course). And I suspect some of his highly annoying habits are universal among new dads.

Take a look and see if your husband or partner’s highly annoying habits are like my husband’s when it comes to caring for the baby:


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The don't's of daddy-hood

1. “I’ll watch the baby.”

You’ll watch the baby? It’s your baby. You’re not a babysitter. You’re the dad. When it’s your kid, you’re not “watching the baby.” You’re “being a parent.” That’s how that works.

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Images: Meredith Carroll


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About Meredith Carroll


Meredith Carroll

Meredith C. Carroll is an award-winning columnist and writer based in Aspen, Colorado. She can be found regularly on the Op-Ed page of The Denver Post. From 2005-2012 her other column, "Meredith Pro Tem" ran in several newspapers, as well as occasionally on The Huffington Post since 2009. Read more about her (or don’t, whatever) at her website. Read bio and latest posts → Read Meredith's latest posts →

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37 thoughts on “The 7 Habits of Highly Annoying New Dads

  1. Bre says:

    my husband left a 6 oz bottle of breastmilk on the counter overnight when we were weaning and I cried for 20 minutes! He couldn’t understand, but I thought it was grounds for divorce!! To add to this list, “Does he need a hat?” – I don’t know honey, is it cold outside? is he having a bad hair day? there are going to be a lot of parenting decisions that don’t need a group concensus to decide…this is one of them. be strong. make this decision for yourself.

  2. Meredith Carroll says:

    @Bre — LOL. Yes, a hat can never hurt!

  3. Melissa says:

    you must have been spying into my house when writing this. How can my husband hold down a debanding sales job, but not know where the burp clothes are? They are in the same damn place everyday. Men.

  4. Roni says:

    OMG – NAILED IT! lol

  5. Meredith Carroll says:

    Thanks, ladies! It’s nice to know I’m not alone in a misery-loves-company kind of way. ;)

  6. Jenni says:

    Hahahaha. I REALLY dislike the high-pitch-I’m-talking-to-my-baby voice. From a man, that is, who has a wonderful, deep voice that our baby likes batter anyway.

  7. Brooke says:

    For me it’s the over-protectiveness he can have from time to time. Like I have never spent any time with my six month old, and have no idea what I’m doing. Um, hello, I spend nearly every waking hour with her.

  8. Brigette says:

    Wow… not to sound braggy, but I haven’t had a single one of these problems.

  9. the Coconut Girl says:

    Oh, this is so spot-on rich! The sense of time-entitlement some dads have is staggering. As in, Dad carries on with work/exercise/projects/sleep, while Mom’s life has been thrown in the Cuisinart. With this relationship dichotomy in mind, enjoy this bittersweet valentine candy:

  10. lauren says:

    My husband will try and be helpful on the weekends and let me sleep in and when I get up the baby has a giant diaper still on and the diaper will have started to leak big time. I don’t know how he’d miss something like that when it’s not like babies are the only people that have to pee. Drives me crazy! He always says he forgot! :-/

  11. Meagan says:

    ZFor the most part, no, though I could probably write my own list if I wanted. :-) I will point out that I don’t think “watching” the baby is the same thing as “babysitting.” In my house anyway, it is just the verbal confirmation of which parent is currently responsible for keeping track of baby. “Will you watch the baby while I get my laundry in the dryer?” I’ll watch him while you get lunch ready.” And I watch him all day while his dad’s at work!

  12. Michelle says:

    Or the random, not-at-all-helpful advice. Did you REALLY just instruct me on how to diaper our 9 month old baby?? The proper way to go down the stairs holding the baby??? REALLY??

  13. Sara says:

    This is so funny! My husband can’t find his own shirts hanging in his closet! So true.

  14. vanse says:

    i think you stupid !!! he’s just a guy!!!! that’s why you delivered the baby!!!! is a lot what he already does , u should be proud of your man and stop criticing him !!! you are a lucky women !!!

  15. Ashley says:

    My hubby is always away for his job or with the military and he still did none of those things! He needed a little help with some things that changed while he was gone but that is to be expected. For the most part thought he is wonderful :) It will be interesting though when he comes home because he left when she was 10 months and will be back when she is 1 1/2 !

  16. Jenn says:

    While amusing (and I know that’s the point), I can’t help but notice some hypocrisies…

    You say that he’s “not a babysitter”, yet you claim to tell dad what needs to be done while you’re gone-as you would a babysitter. I think that most dads could figure out when to feed/change/have the baby take a nap without a detailed list of instructions. Perhaps if you had some faith in your significant other, they wouldn’t feel like they had to act like a babysitter?

  17. Cyndi says:

    my partner is great, but can’t figure out the diaper COVER is supposed to COVER the ENTIRE cloth diaper. “Another wet spot?” “yep…honey… the diaper is half sticking out and it’s soaking wet.” But something he does that is super adorable is he puts him in any outfit that says “daddy’s best friend” or something similar, no matter how small or how big lol sometimes it looks like he’s holding up just a big ol’ baby pajama, but yep!… there’s a 7 week old in there somewhere! Daddy’s Buddy….”it still fits!” “honey he can’t bend his legs!”

  18. Corey M says:

    I must have the perfect husband when it comes to being a father. He always watches the kids for me when I need and sometimes when I haven’t even asked him, he changes diapers, feeds, puts them to sleep for me, helps with baths, and much more. Now only if I could get him to pay that much attention t me. lol!

  19. Jen says:

    I think you have been watching in the windows….but instead of the belt, DH has the lovely habit of leaving used Kleenexes all over everywhere, and dishes, and soda cans…*sigh* I do feel like the maid in this house…and the Mommy, the Shopper, the Cook, the Baby Whisperer, the DH Babysitter….

  20. Hellen says:

    Hahahah this is dead on. With my husands and I’s first child this was soooo him.. Then we had Twins…that straightened his ass right out. He is so independent w/ them now. Just wish I could get more rest still tho..:/ lol such is the life w/ 4 kiddos 3 under 2. :) I <3 them!

  21. Heather says:

    The title of this really caught my eye because I thought, “Now, what can be annoying about a new dad?” Then as I read through each one, I thought, “Yeah. Yeah! Oh, yeah, I remember that. YEAH!” Although this drudged up some unresolved (and very old) feelings, it was very funny. ;)

  22. Krystina says:

    My hubby all the way… I also love when the few times he does change the diaper he asked me to get a diaper and wipes. Not once do I ever ask him to grab a diaper and Wipes. He also does that with pjs when I tell him to get the kids ready for bed. I always get “wheres the pjs” and then i either tell him or I tell him he can find some and then he gives me the line, ” well i dont know which ones you want them to wear?” REAALLY!!!!!

  23. Gabrielle says:

    All that matters to my husband and I is that your husband is wearing a Saints Super Bowl Championship shirt. Very cool.

  24. Bern says:

    My SO is a great dad but he has NO idea how loud he can be. Can’t count how many times he wakes the baby, says “Oops sorry” then sprints out the door for work! haha! His other favorite thing to do is ask “Is she hungry?” every time she starts to get fussy.

  25. Lia says:

    My husband does not enjoy changing diapers, and the few times he does, he always says: “I think it is time to start potty training the baby” (the baby is 19 months old now!)
    Great article!!

  26. K Jones says:

    I totally relate with #4! With both our kids, when they were newborns, every single time they cried, it was straight to my boob. Nevermind it had only been 30 minutes since the last feeding! I think men become especially inept when they hear crying.

  27. Clark Nelson says:

    Wow, could you complain any more?!

  28. Sheila Cohen says:

    FYI grandfathers are worse. When you come home next weekend to see us (your parents) and leave us with the girls and I ask your father to change a diaper.
    , he looks at me as if I just asked him to fly to the mom. Same thing with feeding. Some things never change

  29. Meredith Carroll says:

    Did Dad ever change MY diapers, Mom? I can’t picture him doing it! xoxo

  30. Ken says:

    Amazing… Seems you need a new husband.. or he needs a wife who can help teach him how to be a better father and not constantly bring him down for every little thing you “think” he should know.

  31. John says:

    Get a little ranty much? We get it, you have a short patience when your husband says he’d like to help instead of just doing it. Maybe if you weren’t ticked at everything having to be done your way he’d take that initiative without looking for approval first. You could probably communicate constructivley but I’m guessing you like to complain instead of doing that. How’s that working out for you? Probably not well since your ranting here. Food for thought.

  32. Matt says:

    Wow, how utterly condescending. I think you need a little ego-check there, mom. Half of your husbands annoying tendencies are probably directly related to your gigantic attitude problem.

  33. Mark says:

    Here’s the number one annoying habit of mothers: picking such trivial and insignificant fights as these and harping on your husband for it. Get over yourselves and appreciate all the good things your husband does instead of fishing till you find something silly to nag him about.

  34. Dave says:

    I concur with John 100%.

  35. Meredith Carroll says:

    I should have added an 8th annoying habit — when dads get all defensive and try to deflect the blame. Oh wait, my husband doesn’t actually do that. Just you guys on this comment thread . . . ;)

  36. Nic says:

    Nah, I agree with the guys here. You sound bitter and and condescending. At least you’ve got a partner around to fail to live up to your standards; my husband was deployed for the first three months of our daughter’s life.

    1. me says:

      Guys shush!!! You have no idea how hard it is. My ex used to get home from work, turn on the news and wait for dinner, whilst I’m cooking n entertaining baby in bouncer simultaneously. Down the track, I’m showering, hair makeup, I rush to be ready and organize everything the baby needs for the day, along with my own things, I come out and find dad playing n having a great time. That’s all good but is never get play time because I was always doing washing housework cooking shopping making baby food etc.
      These women aren’t complaining you jerks! They are venting frustration….because most guys lack initiative!!!! And then they’re partner vents frustration, and u consider it whinging…. Thanks for disregarding the way ur woman feels. And u wonder why she is too tired for loving.

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