10 Tips for New DadsJohn Cave Osborne
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1: It's Going to Be Great
13 months ago, I was a carefree bachelor; now Im a father of four (one stepdaughter and newborn triplets). On the eve of the triple birth, I selfishly wondered what was going to happen to my life. How would I handle the transition? Well, Im happy to say that, despite the chaos, life means more to me now than ever before. So if youre about to be a dad (or a mom), trust me: It will be great. Theres a ton youll have to adjust to, but here are a few tips to get you going.
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2: Rock the Duck
Every adult in the world can make a Donald Duck voice, and no matter how bad they are, every baby still thinks theyre funny. So use your Donald Duck voice and anything else you can muster up to connect with your little one. The more bonding you do, the better. And sharing a laugh is a wonderful way to do just that.
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3: Avoid Errant Streams of Urine
When changing a diaper, if your sons ding dong is exposed for very long, theres a strong chance youll get doused. So do yourself a favor, fellas: Cover it up, preferably with a wipe. Only problem? Pulling a wipe from the plastic container doesnt go down as advertised; the one on top is almost always stuck and makes you dig for it. Practice, practice. And as to girls, remember to always wipe them front to back; its a lot more hygienic that way.
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4: Little Boys Wear Gowns
Babies wear gowns regardless of gender. These gowns are manufactured by companies with names like Kissy Kissy who seemingly want to turn your boy into the laughing stock of the baby community. But gowns are not your nemesis. All the other clothes are their fasteners in particular. So remember this: buttons suck, snaps rock, yet zippers rule and are by far the easiest to deal with.
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5: Yes, You'll Probably Buy a Booger-Remover
Becoming a dad means becoming familiar with all kinds of products and accessories that come along with your child. Gliders and bouncy seats look alike but do different things, and youll probably mistake a Johnny Jump Up for a bouncy seat, despite the fact they dont look alike. And that plastic squeezy-ball deal with the needle nose that plucks boogers out of your kids nose? Have fun with that.
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6: When Babies and Pets Collide
You know the dog youve had since before you got married? Hes about to get freaked out by your baby. Accordingly, hell act out and become Public Enemy #1 to your wife. In fact, youll be surprised to find that even you will occasionally be at odds with him. The good news? Hell teach you how critical it is to securely dispose of all soiled diapers as well as why it really is a bad idea to kiss a dog on the mouth.
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7: Upgrade Your TV Situation
Or at least maximize your current one. Although tending to a baby is time-consuming, its not like your child is going to be a total handful for the first few months. During that time, theres a lot of sitting, while holding him, burping him, feeding him, or (if youre in touch) bonding with him. This just in: you can do all those things while watching TV multi-tasking. DVR with pause capabilities highly encouraged, especially if youre a sports fan.
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8: When in Doubt, Keep 'Em Out
Or at least keep em away, because soon your little one will be dangerously armed with equal amounts of curiosity and mobility. Time for some serious baby-proofing, my friends. And the sooner you do it, the better: outlet covers, cabinet-door-locks, drawer locks, door-handle do-hickeys and, of course, baby gates. And dont go with the pressure-mounted ones. Your kidll cut through them like hes in the Oceans Eleven crew.
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9: As with Other Things, It's Best to Try Different Positions
Getting a baby to stop crying requires patience, finesse and imagination. Lord only knows what will get your little one to regain his composure, but it will almost certainly be a combination of holding and swaying. And the more combos your imagination can muster, the better your chances of success. My daughter liked being rocked back and forth, face down at waist-level, giving me the appearance of a seasick quarterback awaiting the snap.
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10: Don't Be That Parent
Many new parents treat their infant as if the very survival of planet Earth is dependent upon his well-being. Friendly reminder: you're like the umpteen-millionth couple to have a baby this week. They were once raised in caves, so not only is such fretting annoying, its needless. Your baby isnt gonna break; dont tiptoe around him as if he might. All thatll do is inadvertently deprive both you and your child of some of the joy your new life is bound to deliver.
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