The role of dad encompasses a myriad of other sub-roles. Here are just some of them I’ve noticed myself playing.
- Bottle cleaner. I’ve spent so much time in front of the sink in the earlier months. I’m pretty sure all my fellow dads are now world-class champions at taking apart, rinsing, and cleaning bottles. I’d love to share notes with other dads on how they optimize their washing. We eventually got a dishwasher basket.
- Family clown. Baby’s about to cry. What-to-do-what-to-do-what-to-do? Make funny face. Dance. Make noise. Tickle. Laughs! Yes! Win!
- Cheerleader. Hooray for every single tiny milestone! Baby can partly-rollover! Yay! Baby can do pincer grip! Yahoo! Baby can grab a bottle from the wine rack…err… yay?
- Gear mule. So. Much. Gear.
- Driver. Ever since we started daycare, I’ve been behind the wheel daily with baby in the back seat. As a city boy who doesn’t typically do too much driving, this is a big change for me!
I don’t watch any shows with baby, but I’ve been starting to consume some media that are focused on parenting and/or the experience of growing up as a child to gain perspective and insights that I can bring into my own dadding.
- Bluey. It’s not necessarily a kid’s show: I think of it more as a parenting show. I think Bluey is amazing as a parent to watch, and it explores the space between what it means to be a kid and what it means to be an adult. I think it’s profound, and the production quality is superb.
- How Other Dads Dad. Listening to other dads talk about their styles, mistakes, wins, and everything else is educational as well as entertaining. I can get pretty emotional sometimes when listening to this podcast.
Here’s some of the things that have made dadding a bit easier/more enjoyable in no particular order.
- Baby Monitor. We got the Infant Optics DXR-8 PRO: no WiFi/internet needed, so we can bring it on trips or the grandparents’ homes without needing to do any reconfiguring. We’ve used this thing for every single day of baby’s life so far.
- Baby Susher. I thought this was the weirdest thing at first. Some person’s voice is recorded making sushing noises on repeat. Who is that person? Do they get royalties for every sush sold? This has been handy on road trips to help soothe baby.
- White noise machine. We have a white noise machine in the nursery, and we bring the Yogasleep Hushh with us when we’re going on trips or having baby stay at the grandparents’ homes.
- Apple Watch. Did you know the Timer app can run multiple timers at once? One for nap/wake windows. One for feeding. And any others you may need that won’t interfere with those.
- Name stamp. When it’s time for daycare, everything needs to be labeled so they don’t get lost. Make a stamp for baby’s name and save your hands from carpel tunnel.
- Playpen. When baby starts becoming mobile and exploratory around the house, it’s great to have a contained environment to just chill together in and not worry. I like to meditate with baby crawling around the pen. I love spending time in the pen with baby. We have the Toddleroo Superyard with accompanying mat.
- YOYO2 Stroller. When baby is big enough to be wheeled around in a smaller stroller, this is a great super compact option. We bring it when we travel on the plane with us and it folds into the overhead compartment. It’s become our go-to when we know we’ll need a stroller to pack in the car too. I haven’t yet perfected the art of the 1-handed fold/unfold, but I’m working on it!
- Flashlights. What? You didn’t think you’d get through this list without me mentioning at least 1 flashlight, did you?
To my fellow dads out there: Bravo! Good job! You’re doing great!