March 31, 2009 by · 4 Comments
Because having a baby for the first time means you will be parents for the first time, everything is brand new and you are not quite sure when and how you should do everything. This is certainly true in the case of baby proofing your home. You have never done this task before, so you and many parents as well are not sure when they should begin.
Although you might be tempted to baby proof the instant you get your little one home from the hospital, you can wait a little bit. There is no need to proof your home until your baby starts crawling.
First, you need to be aware of what harm can be done to your baby because your baby’s safety always should be your top priority. You can start with the obvious. Get outlet protectors so your little one does not get hurt playing around the sockets. You should cover every outlet even if you do not think your little one will find it. Also, get latches for your lower cabinet doors.
You also want to keep your bathroom doors closed at all times when you are baby proofing your home. You do not want your child to fall into the toilet or tub because you left the door open. One of the best ways to protect your child is by putting child safety gates at the top and bottom of your stairs. These you will want to keep in place well after your child is in the walking stage. Now that you have protected your baby from the house’s dangers, you need to protect your house from your baby.
You can do this by getting down with your baby while he or she is playing on the floor and crawling around. Look for anything that you would not want broken. When you are baby proofing your home, be sure to move all small objects to a higher location so your child cannot choke on them. You also may want to take your proofing a little bit higher than where your child can crawl as well. It will be no time before your little one is pulling himself up. He will be able to reach higher things then.
Photo Credit: peasap
August 5, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
The first 24 hours of parenthood is the most incredible experience I have ever been through due to the raw emotions involved. Pure bliss, extreme exhaustion, skepticism and pride to name a few. It is the day you give up your selfish behaviors and you truly grow as a person.
Our first full day of parenthood began when the doctor asked: “Dad, would you like to call the sex of the baby?”. To which I responded with a little hesitation “It’s a girl!”. To be honest, I wasn’t 100% certain (maybe 95%), so I had to double-check!
You see, this was a big thing for us since we had decided at the very beginning to find out the sex of the baby. During the ultrasound, however, baby-to-be was less than cooperative. We were left with a 50/50 chance that it would be a girl/boy…gee thanks doc! Given that situation, we decided we would wait to find out. So, with this in mind I wanted to be sure I called it right.
The first few hours were the most surreal moments in my life. My wife and I had been building up to this moment for the past 9 months. I read the books, I went to birthing class, I should know what to expect right? Wrong! Nothing, absolutely nothing could prepare me for the feeling I had the first time I held my daughter. Remember this feeling. In the “difficult times” ahead (like 2am crying fits with no apparent end in site!) it will help you remember what it is all about.
After a while, the fact that we hadn’t slept in 24 hours started to kick in. We arrived at the hospital at 10:00 am on Wednesday and our daughter was born at 5:00 am Thursday. We’d pulled all-nighters before but this was different. We were running on fumes. The adrenaline pushed us for the past few hours and we were starting to crash. After we were moved to the postpartum room, which would be our home for the next few days, our daughter was brought to the nursery to be cleaned. Given all that had happened the last few hours I wondered if I would be able to sleep, well I did, and we slept well!
Some time around the middle of the day, I had a feeling that I wasn’t prepared. This, I understand, is as natural as taking your next breath. It’s foolish to think that you have all the answers and could ever be fully prepared at this moment. But with every passing minute, and every breath I took as a new dad, this feeling subsided
Throughout the entire day I felt an overwhelming sense of pride. I was proud of my wife for all she went through, I was proud of myself for being her support and I was proud of us for what we had created. All the proud moments in my life (awards, accolades, accomplishments) paled in comparison to this new feeling of pride. We had created someone (a child) and something (a family) that we would give up our own lives to protect. That’s the kind of feeling I am talking about.
If I Only Knew
There is a great article over at Dad or Bust that discusses the advice that you would give yourself if you could go back and visit with your “rookie, first-week-of-parenting” self. There is some great advice that I wish I had before the big day, go have a look. If you are a rookie dad or a seasoned veteran, what advice would you give? Feel free to leave your comments on this post or over at Dad or Bust!
Photo Credit: Freakazoid!
July 28, 2008 by · 3 Comments
For the first month of my daughter’s life, I pretty much fudged the words to every song I sang to her. Each one was sung with ‘monkey-butt’ or ‘little bear’ (our nickname for her) substituted as I had no clue what the real words were. Who does, the last time we heard those songs we were two!
Well it’s time to admit defeat and do a little research! Google is always a great place to start to research anything. Here is a good link to begin your search for nursery rhymes and also lullabies. The selection of sites is pretty scarce, but I am using Zelo.com for my nursery rhyme song lyrics info.
Here is a list of our favorites:
The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching one by one,
The little one stops to suck his thumb
And they all go marching down to the ground
To get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!
History: This song/chant was popular during the Civil War and is sung to the tune “When Johnny comes Marching Home.”
One little, two little, three little Indians
Four little, five little, six little Indians
Seven little, eight little, nine little Indians
Ten little Indian boys.
This old man, he played one,
He played knick knack with his thumb,
With a Knick, knack, paddy whack,
Give the dog a bone;
This old man came rolling home.
I think these songs are really soothing for her because they are very rhythmic, repetitive and without a lot of highs and lows. These reasons also allow you to sing your child to sleep without sounding like an idiot!
Photo Credit: hyperbolic pants explosion
May 7, 2008 by · 1 Comment
If the last 9 months and my wife’s large belly wasn’t real enough, we just completed our birthing classes at the hospital (MGH). Now it has really hit home…we’re having a baby! We are now certified to give birth! Well, not really certified but they did hand out certificates to those who wanted them. I should have taken one and hung it next to my college diploma!
Reading the “What to Expect” type books are helpful but nothing was more real than sitting in a room with 6 other pregnant couples learning about the birthing process. The instructor was great and the material was informative but hearing the stories and questions from the other couples was the most important thing.
Following along the “Now it Feels Real” theme, after the class was complete we came home to wash all the baby’s new clothes. If we didn’t get the picture yet about how close we are to being parents, trying to figure out how to fold those tiny little clothes was pretty interesting!
It’s almost baby time, stay tuned!
Photo Credit: dizznbonn
February 13, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
She’s expecting, congratulations! And now that the euphoria has worn off and you are done fielding calls of congratulations, what next? What do you do? Let me make it simple for you, the answer is: everything! Everything you can do to make life easier for her. It may seem like a lot when you have to start doing a lot more around the house but keep in mind, you have easy part.
This whole process amazes me everyday. From the ultrasounds, to the doctor’s visits and feeling the baby move it is absolutely mind blowing. This article is a summary of my life as a dad-to-be so far and I hope it can help you out too.
Some days are better than others
Especially in the beginning your wife will have good days and bad. Doing even the littlest of things can help her cope in the beginning. I must have lost 5 pounds in the first 2 months walking up and down the stairs every time my wife needed something. If your wife currently does the grocery shopping, jump in and get it done. Check out my grocery shopping tip here. Don’t complain about it, just do it!
Read the Book
There are plenty of pregnancy books on the market and I did a short review of the book I found most helpful. The book explains the changes that your wife is going through week by week. It also details what she should and should not do, what drugs she can’t take, how best to exercise and much more. There are plenty of tips in there for you too.
Go to the Doctor’s Visits
If you can, go to as many office visits with your wife as possible. I have found it very insightful to hear the progress from the doctor and also to hear about what to expect in the coming weeks. Also, there are plenty of times where she will have to get blood tests done and I know I felt better being there with her then if she had to go to the visit alone.
If you are going through this for the second time, what did you learn the first time around? What tips can you share with me or with the rest of the readers? I’d love to hear your comments!
February 7, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Bullied children show signs of depression, anxiety, isolation and are at risk of suicide. Researchers in England have set out to prove that bullying alone is responsible for these feelings and not the social settings (poverty and poorer neighborhoods) in which these children live.
The research team looked at over 1,000 twin pairs from a nationally representative group of children in England and Whales and found just over 100 where one child was bullied and the other was not. In that subsection of twin children, the bullied child showed significantly more signs of internalized issue. Read more on the study here.
Here are some great resources for dealing with bullies:
- Dealing with Bullies
- How Kids can put Bullies in their Place – without force of violence
- Dealing with Bullies and How Not to be One
January 27, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Do you want your child to have everything you didn’t? Providing a better home, more comfort and a better education than you had yourself should be the goal of every parent. But that doesn’t mean you need to give them everything or let them do anything they want. Here are a few real life scenarios and how to handle them to keep your kids from becoming the next Paris Hilton.
From time-to-time we all feel guilty for not spending enough time with our kids. Sounds like the perfect time to buy that Wii they have been talking about. Wrong. It’s time for you to take a time out and check your priorities. Fake a doctors appointment tomorrow afternoon and pick your child up from school to go see The Chipmunks (saw it, wasn’t half bad) or hit the batting cages or something else your child has been asking to do.
When you’re having a conversation with another adult does your child try to butt in take over? Unless you are discussing a recent episode of Sponge Bob Squarepants then your child has no business in the conversation. If the topic is appropriate, they can remain in the room but only if they understand the conversation does not involve them. Get them set up in another room with some art supplies or ask them to find a quiet place to read a book.
This last one is a big pet peeve of mine. When your child is struggling with something, such as finishing a puzzle or tying their shoe … let them. I’m not suggesting you sit their watching them bubble up to near tears, but make sure they have given a good effort before stepping in and showing them how to do something. Notice I didn’t say doing it for them.
The most important idea to remember is that children are more-or-less what we make them. Allowing seemingly harmless behaviors like the one’s above in your child’s early years can lead to much bigger problems later on.
January 23, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
For those road warriors out there whose jobs take them away on business, listen up! Just because you can’t be home, doesn’t mean you can’t help out at home. There are so many ways to contribute when you’re away on business; even the little things can go a long way when your wife doesn’t have to deal with them. You can either get a head start on the house chores while you travel, or hang out with Ted from accounting, raid the mini-fridge and watch infomercials.
Paying the Bills
This is an easy one and you probably bank online already. If not, see if your bank offers online banking. It’s a huge time saver to begin with and if you can take care of your bills on the road, that means more time to spend with your family when you get home.
You don’t need to be home to pick up the phone. See what calls need to be made, you may already have your list, but check with your wife to see if there are appointments to be setup (doctors visit, play groups, etc). If you are traveling between time zones, that may be to your advantage. You may be able make calls after hours your time and catch the Dr. while he is still in.
In the Northeast we have Stop and Shop and their Peapod Home Delivery service. I am sure there are similar services available in your area so check them out. With Peapod you can create a set list of the items you always buy which makes it easier to do your weekly/bi-weekly shopping.
This was just a short list of tasks you can take care of while you are on the road so your wife doesn’t have to. I’d love to hear what things you do from the road that help out at home.
January 23, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
As we are expecting our first child we began wondering how our two cats, Nikki and Dakota, will take to having a new addition to the family. Nikki is a crotchety old lady and Dakota is blind and curious, but we were mostly concerned that Nikki would use the crib as her new bed. So that got us to do some research.
Here are some good tips I found:
- Keep your pets nails trimmed (if applicable, obviously!)
- Introduce your pets to your newborn gradually. Perhaps greeting your pets without the baby first. Then acclimating the pets to their new friend over the next few days.
- Be sure to spend quality time with your pets, make sure they don’t feel neglected.