No one really prepares dads for fatherhood, so it can be a daunting reality to face if you haven’t done your research. While women have packed their hospital bag for weeks in advance, you’ll need to be just as ready and out the door with her.
To make sure you’re prepared for the big day, follow the newborn baby checklist by Simon, Instagrammer of father_of_daughters who shares first-hand experience that would help other dads through their journey.
Someone call crime watch! I took this picture of a guy getting mugged in broad day light today. The 2 confidence tricksters are known in the local area and ply their trade by pretending to love their victims and then, when their guard is down, scratching their faces to pieces, pulling their hair and dribbling on them until they are given milk or rice cakes. The suspects are described as looking exactly the same, to the degree that their father cant tell them apart. They are around 2.5 ft tall, talk with a strange accent and are incredibly cute. Some previous victims had said they smell like a childrens play centre toilets but that has yet to be confirmed. #muggedbybabies #twins #parentinginjuries #thelmaandlouiseinthemaking #callcrimewatch #fatherofdaughters #dadlife #instadad
As someone who is about to have a baby or recently had one, it’s all too easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff that’s out there in the baby marketplace. Some of it you need and some of it you don’t. As someone who’s had 4 girls, I’ve been through this many a time and have managed to cut through all the marketing and advice you’re bombarded with, to try and give you a definitive newborn baby checklist of things that you’ll actually need as a new father.
Let’s start off with the basics.
New Born Baby Essentials For The Birth
Food – most of labour can be pretty boring for guys, lots of standing around feeling like a spare part and occasionally being told to get things / say comforting things. It’s important that you get some grub down you so make sure you bring some (hospital food isn’t renowned for being Michelin starred).
A camera – nowadays everyone has a phone in their pocket so this shouldn’t be an issue, but you’ll want something to make sure you capture the arrival of your newest family member (you can then look back on it in years to come and exclaim – oh my god – my hair was awful back then!).
Deodorant / Toothpaste – this seems like items you might take for a weekend away, but trust me, no labouring women or (midwife for that matter) wants to smell your sweaty BO and the lingering smell of pickled onion Monster Munch on your breath.
Baby Shopping List For The House
@midwifeyhooper out with the older ones in shoreditch living it up so treated the Twinnies to a dads day out special to wickes. Slept through the whole thing and took up my entire flatbed trolley. Absolute waste of an opportunity to learn about silicone sealant and countersunk screws girls. Got some surprised looks pulling them around too! #cantleavetheminthecar #missedopportunity #mysecondhome #dadlife #instadad #fatherofdaughters #whatdidicomehereforagain
Food – make sure that you’ve got food in the house. For the first week you’re likely to be on lock down and the last thing you’re going to want to do is go to the shops, so stock up her favourite foods.
A Cot – this seems simple enough but there are so many choices out there. Keep it simple, you don’t need a cot with all the bells and whistles. What you need is a cot that has easy access for you so that you don’t struggle to get your little one in and out.
Muslins – these are essential if you don’t want your clothes to get covered in poo, wee, snot or regurgitated milk. They are also useful for mopping up spills and generally making you look like a parent (everyone has them).
A Baby Monitor – sure, you’ll probably be able to hear your baby crying from most places in the house, but for peace of mind, it’s good to have one (audio or video) so you know what’s going on when you’re not directly with them. Most of them allow you to play music through it which can help your baby relax and means you don’t have to be up and down like a yo-yo.
A Buggy – same as the cot, there are loads of options, but get something that will fit through your front door (I made the mistake of buying one that didn’t) and that folds down as small as possible for storage / putting in the car. You can spend anywhere between £100 and £2000 on these things so go with one that makes sense for you (also don’t get talked into buying a bright pink one with loads of sparkles on it, or you feel like a prize idiot when you’re the one pushing it around on your own!).
Nappies and Wipes – never underestimate just how many of these you’ll get through so stock up, or you’ll be finding yourself nipping out every couple of days to get more. And make sure you apply a good barrier cream when changing them or you’ll dealing with a nappy rash and a very unhappy baby (which in turn, will probably make you pretty unhappy).
A Checklist For You
Home with the twins while the others do fun stuff on Oxford street. Here’s a tip I’ve learnt – ever needed to chill out a fussing baby? #formula1 is the remedy. The noise and the visuals tick all the boxes, plus I get to watch qualifying. Too early for a beer? Her head is just the right height to use as a shelf. #howtorelaxababy #parenting #fatherofdaughters #dadlife #instadad #qualitytime
A photo posted by Simon (@father_of_daughters) on
Magazines – go and get a couple of magazines / books for yourself. If you’re on paternity leave, there will be moments when the baby is asleep.
Time for yourself – make sure that you avoid cabin fever and get some time for yourself. It might only be a 15 minute walk round the block, or just to go and get a coffee but getting a little breathing space is important. Likewise for your partner.
Now all you have to do is be ready for when she gives you the look, ‘it’s time.’ It’s never too early to start shopping for your newborn baby essentials at George.
Simon Hooper is an online Instagram blogger of father_of_daughters .You can follow his posts for busy dads on everything from parenting trends to baby fashion advice and much more.