Lifesaving Equipment For The First Time Dad

You may not think of baby items as ‘equipment,’ but the items below will be just as important to you as a first time dad as a hard hat for a miner or a scalpel for a surgeon. There is a lot of junk out there in the world of baby stuff (baby holster?). For example, why on earth would anyone in their right mind buy a wipes warmer? It’s not like we are living in the ice age or something. I was raised with cold wipes and I turned out alright. Anyway, I digress. Let’s get to it.

Diaper Disposal

Munchkin Arm and Hammer Diaper Pail with Refill Bags, 10 Count

This is an amazing invention. Diaper pails seal in the smell from rotten baby diapers. Instead of having to take each diaper outside to the dumpster or trash can (because just one will literally stink up your entire house), you just open the radiation leak-proof lid and pop it in. Once the sealed bag is full, remove and replace. There are a couple on the market, with the Munchkin Arm and Hammer Diaper Pail and the Diaper Genie Elite Diaper Disposal Pail leading the way. The Munchkin sprinkles some baking soda on each layer as you dump in the diapers. This is truly a game changer, and every home should have at least one if there is a poop factory (baby) living inside.

Baby Carriers

There will come a time when your wife or partner will need a break from her baby. This doesn’t mean she loves it less. She will just go nuts if she doesn’t get out and do something normal. So you will come home from work one day and she will hand you the baby and say “it’s your turn, I’m going out for a while.” You have never been alone with your baby and you won’t know what to do. This is where a good baby carrier comes in. You could either hold the baby the entire time while sitting on the couch (not a bad way to go), or you could put the baby in a carrier and free up your hands to multitask. You’re probably asking, “guys don’t multitask.” Well, a baby carrier allows you to do other things while your baby sleeps securely on your chest. Need a new beverage while watching the big game? No need to try to lay down the baby. Are you grilling up some burgers or some random meat? Flip away. Your buddies won’t have to skip your turn to shuffle when they come over for poker night (ok, that might be a little loud for a newborn).

Anyway, these carriers aren’t expensive and your wife will love them as well. BabyBjorn, Infantino, Beco, Britax, and Boba Air make great carriers, and she will love the Mobi Wraps.

Play Pens

While your baby is still small and new and immobile, play pens offer you a place to change diapers while on the go or in another room from your changing table. It is also a good place to store baby essentials, like lots and lots of diapers and wipes. But as your baby gets more mobile, the play pen becomes a lifesaver. If you are alright with watching your baby every second while they are awake, you might not need one. If you have other things to do (and don’t think this makes you a bad dad or anything), invest in a play pen, and particularly, a travel play pen. Just plop your baby in there, and it will play with toys for hours at a time. You know that everything inside is safe, so no need for constant watching. As your baby gets older, it might feel like it’s being put inside a prison, because that is essentially what play pens are – walled enclosures with soft, dull objects and finger food. But they have the potential to keep your baby entertained well past the 1 year mark.

Travel pens are great because they can double as a crib away from home. Set it up outside at the lake while you fish, or on the green while you work on your short game. Gracco’s Pack ‘n Play is a great option, but others from Joovy and Cosco are great as well. As your baby outgrows the pen, there are other options that expand the walls like the North States Super Yard or the Baby Kids Play Pen.

Sleep Aids

Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor With Interchangeable Optical Lens, White/Biege

Some babies sleep well on their own. Some. Most hate bedtime even from a very early age. This is a time of the evening that you and your wife can get some serious things done, like cleaning up all the messes from the day, or not doing anything and just relaxing, or spending some alone time together (oh yeah!). Bedtime is sacred time. But it won’t be sacred if your baby doesn’t go to sleep and just screams bloody murder all night long. Sleep aids will keep your sanity, because without everyone (including your baby) getting a good nights sleep, you will go insane, hate life, and have a miserable existence (my experience anyway).

Download some white noise, rain sounds, or other soothing tunage to play for your baby all night. You can also buy those white noise devices, like the HoMedics sound relaxation machine. Lights are also great for babies to look up at. The Munchkin Nursery projector and sound system projects night lights and plays soothing sounds for your baby. There is also a toy that plays sounds and projects stars on the ceiling, which is my daughter’s favorite. To appease your wife, you will need some kind of baby monitor (video or just sound) so she doesn’t feel the need to check on your baby every 3 minutes during the night to make sure it’s still alive.


Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper Cambria Bassinet, Toffee

Unless you want your newborn baby sleeping in bed with you every night, you will want a bed height bassinet. This item is a true lifesaver. Your wife will thank you for knowing the baby is right beside her, but not in bed with both of you. Enough said about that. The Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper Bassinet is a great option, but there are several others available as well.

Final Thoughts

These five pieces of baby equipment will become some of your favorite toys. They save you time, patience, and sanity. Not only will you greatly appreciate their existence, but your wife or partner will be grateful for them several times over. If you are preparing for your first baby, make sure you add these items to your arsenal sooner rather than later. Good luck –
What are some baby gear items that you cannot live without? Let us know below. Thanks for reading!

New Dad 15 – Expect Weight Gain As A First Time Dad

Most people know about the freshmen fifteen, or the common weight gain that afflicts new college students. Studies now show that new dads are in for the same type of body mass increase to their body mass index. If you are an expecting first time dad, expect weight gain in the near future.

Science Says Yes To Dad Bod

Not only must you prepare the nursery, the diaper changing station, the pantry, and play room, but now you need to be extra vigilant with your own diet and overall health. A large scale study covering 10,000 men over 20 years shows that men who didn’t become dads lost weight, while men who became dads gained weight over the same time period. These findings were published in the American Journal of Mens Health.

Notable findings include: resident dads (new dads who end up living with their new children) gained an extra 2.6% weight versus non-resident dads (new dads who don’t live with their children) who gained an extra 2.0% weight versus non-dads who lost weight. The study equated the percentage to a 6 foot tall man gaining 4.4 pounds versus 3.3 pounds versus losing 1.4 pounds.

Lead author Craig Garfield noted that the change might be attributed to lifestyle changes as a new and first time dad. “You have new responsibilities when you have your kids and may not have time to take care of yourself the way you once did in terms of exercise. Your family becomes the priority.” The extra weight gain can potentially lead to health problems down the road. “The more weight the fathers gain and the higher their BMI, the greater risk they have for developing heart disease as well as diabetes and cancer.”

Researches note that the numbers might be conservative when it comes to weight gain, and they could actually be much higher in some men. Couple this with the fact that married men are also more likely to gain weight, and the problem can compound over time and additional children.

My Experience As A First Time Dad

I agree with the study, especially the part about it being conservative. I gained around 10-15 pounds (it fluctuated) from a few months before the baby came to about 6 months after D-Day, when it kind of leveled off. I will admit, I wasn’t really paying attention to my health a whole lot over that time period. But the weight gain was definitely there. Here are a few things that really stick out about that time period:

  • Sleep deprivation – I didn’t end up getting a lot of sleep until my daughter turned one. She was a terrible sleeper, had bad acid reflux (which was pretty terrifying early on since she would spit up and choke on it if we layed her down), and was a poop machine during the night. Since my wife had to get up to nurse, this also woke me up and I tried to support her by helping with the diapers in the night so she could get some sleep. Science also shows that poor sleep habits can also contribute to weight gain, and in this case, I think this was as big a contributor as any.
  • No energy – This point is directly related to the sleep deprivation point. Because I wasn’t getting my 8 hours of shut eye, I had little energy after getting home from work (which for me is an 8 hour shift with 2 hours of commuting) to exercise. I know, exercise is supposed to energize you. Maybe it was a lack of motivation. Either way, I neither had the energy nor the gumption to get off the sack and work out with any consistency for basically that first year.
  • Poor diet – It seemed like there wasn’t even time to cook real meals. We ate a lot of pizza, frozen meals, and junk food. No time, no energy, no motivation to eat right.
  • High stress – This one is pretty self explanatory, but definitely a contributor to the weight gain. As a first time dad I thought “I am now financially responsible for a new human being.” Even though I was exhausted every day, I often found myself thinking into the night about our budget and finances. Things were pretty dicey and we were walking a fine line with our budget before having our daughter, and after there were just so many new expenses that I hadn’t considered before.
  • New lifestyle – Gone were the days of doing what we pleased. No more Netflix binge sessions, hanging out with friends late at night, and the active lifestyle that we enjoyed together (snowboarding, hiking, fishing). We pretty much stayed at home for the first year and didn’t get out hardly at all. I take that back, the Netflix binge sessions were still there, and probably actually increased.

Now that I look back on that time period, I’m surprised I didn’t gain more weight than I did – ten pounds actually looks pretty good at this point. It took pretty much that first full year to take my life back and get into a more healthy routine, and it wasn’t easy. Part of it just took time to get used to having additional responsibilities (financial, dad related) and getting into a groove with the new chores and duties. Once things settled down, the stress started to go down, which helped with the sleep deprivation. Those in turn brought back the energy and motivation to get my diet and physical self back into shape. I think the key was establishing a routine that dedicated time for taking care of my physical self every day by exercising and cooking/eating healthier.

I had no clue what I was in for as a new dad when it came to my role and duties, let alone the fact that it was going to throw my health out of whack. Had I known, it might have been easier to establish healthy goals up front. If you are a new or expecting dad, stay out in front of the “New Dad 15” or “Dad Bod” by proactively setting health goals and heading off the points outlined above. Expect that the new lifestyle changes will adversely affect your health unless you do something about it ahead of time. Good luck –

Did you experience new dad weight gain? What tips do you have for avoiding first time dad weight gain? Let us know in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!

3 Keys To Supporting Your Pregnant Spouse

Stress is probably at an all-time high in your home right now if you recently found out you will be a first time dad. You probably didn’t think you could feel so many different emotions all at once. I was scared and excited, anxious and happy all at the same time. If you are feeling all these different emotions, imagine the emotions your spouse is going through. She is already more in tune with her emotional side than you are, and now with the increased hormonal chaos, those emotions are about to roller coaster all over the place. So how do you handle this time of your life when you and your spouse are awash with emotions?

There are three important concepts that I think every first time dad should understand about this time, and they will be discussed below.

#1 – Slow Your Reaction

With stress and anxiety at all-time highs, patience will be at an all-time low. You and your spouse are experiencing something completely new, which is exciting and scary at the same time. Train yourself to slow your reaction to what confronts you. I am not talking about delaying your defensive driving reaction or evasive maneuver reaction. By slowing your reaction, I mean slowing how you respond to things your wife says or does. It is natural to jump to the defense of yourself or your actions/words. But in this heightened state of emotions, slow that reaction and think about your responses and actions carefully.

Pregnancy Hormones

For example, here is a typical scenario from my wife’s third trimester. It was hot outside, she was craving random food that we didn’t have in our pantry, I was tired from a long and particularly stressful day at work, and we were dealing with financial stresses involving getting ready for a baby and finding a tenant for a rental property that we can’t afford to pay for if it is vacant. An argument could have erupted from just about anywhere, about anything. Topics like the temperature of our house, the comfort (or lack thereof) of our bed, our pantry’s food supply, and my lack of support were frequent topics of contention.

The key is to remember to diffuse the situation. It’s all about being humble. Think to yourself that your spouse is always right, and more often than not she is anyway. Slow the reaction to be defensive. Think about your response carefully. Think about the raging hormones coursing through your spouse’s veins. Say to yourself ‘she isn’t behaving normally, and arguing with this aberration of her isn’t worth it.’ She probably knows she is being overly sensitive, overbearing, and impatient, so going along and giving in will win you some serious points, and really show that even when she behaves like a succubus, you still love her for who you know her to be.

#2 – Support With Praise

We all know that women love to hear how great/skinny/sexy/smart/funny they are on a regular basis. Even if they protest your praise, they secretly love to hear it. Fellas, this is the time to really lay it on thick. Some may argue that there is a point that it becomes too much, or even creepy. But I disagree. I tend to be in the camp that women are never satisfied with verbal praise.

Tell her regularly how she has a different ‘pregnant glow’ about her. I don’t know what it is about this ‘pregnant glow’ thing they talk about, but it is a big deal. So even if you don’t really see a ‘glow,’ tell her she has it.


Refrain from commenting on her stretch marks, cankles, or anything else that has to do with gaining weight. I mentioned above that she will be in a heightened state of sensitivity, so just don’t mention anything in this category. Even if you think it is a positive thing to mention, like the fact that her boobs keep getting bigger, just keep it to yourself. Keep everything positive, even if she bombards you with questions like ‘do I have cankles?’ or ‘are my stretch marks bad?’ Lie if you have to. She knows you’re lying, but she will appreciate your attempt to keep things positive.

#3 – Support With Action

We all hate people who say things, but don’t do things. Back up your words of support with actions that support her. Remember that this is probably the most uncomfortable time in her life. It is hard for her to be comfortable anywhere besides a swimming pool, it is probably always too hot (even in the winter), and she is always hungry for food you don’t have on hand. Early on, she might be suffering with morning sickness, so nothing sounds good to eat, and any food you cook or eat might send her heaving to the toilet.

This is an important time to step up your game gentlemen. By stepping up your game, I mean doing things for your spouse. Choose to act. Here are some great things that you can do for her during this particularly rugged time:

  • Fix meals
  • Clean the house
  • Wash the dishes
  • Go grocery shopping
  • Laundry
  • Back rubs, foot rubs, and massages

Basically, this list comprises of all the household chores that she might be doing all of, or you might be already helping out with. Just do all of the chores. Don’t wait for her to ask you or for messes to pile up or for the fridge to be empty. She will notice these acts of service and will greatly appreciate your efforts to help out.

Final Thoughts

Keep in mind that your spouse got the short end of the stick when it comes to bringing a new baby into this world. She gets stuck with carrying the baby for 9 months, dealing with the cravings, hormones, pains, and discomforts associated with carrying it, birthing the baby, and taking care of roughly 95% of its needs once it is born for at least a year. We really have nothing to contribute, which is why it is our job to support her as much as possible. Remember to slow your reaction, support her with praise and support her with actions through those trying 9 months and beyond. She will see you as a real man, which you will be if you step up and support her the best that you can. Good luck-

How To Deal With Bed Time As A New Dad

Bed time. It can be a great and terrible time. Great because with a sleeping baby or toddler, you can finally get done the things you wanted to accomplish, or spend some quality time with your wife. Terrible because it can be just terrible getting your child to sleep on their own. Below is how we dealt with bed time (or how we are dealing with it currently), so read on if you are fresh out of ideas and at your wits end as a new dad.

Which Sleep Method?

Bed time is highly disputed throughout parenting blogs and books. There are different methods for putting your baby or toddler to sleep. For example, a lot of ‘experts’ preach by the ‘cry it out’ method. This involves leaving your baby to cry themselves to sleep. This can be a painful way to break the habit of their sleeping in your room, whether it’s in your bed or in a cradle or bassinet. Others swear by the ‘monitor’ method, which involves checking on your baby every so often to make sure they are alright and to comfort them a little. Another method is to slowly and gradually remove them from your room (by a couple feet per night, for example.)

What method is the right method? Hands down, the ‘cry it out’ method. Why? Because that is what is working for our one year old right now. And by working, I mean sort of working, or working better than the other methods, because bed time is terrible for us right now. Let me explain.

Our daughter slept in our bed for the first 7+ months of her life. I know. Shame on me for not putting a stop to that earlier, but it happened. She had acid reflux as a new born and the doctor told us that she needed to sleep sitting up so she wouldn’t choke on her vomit. The problem with that is that she wouldn’t sleep in a car seat for more than 20 minutes before not wanting to be in a car seat any more. Ditto for other rocking and vibrating chairs. She was too little to lay down on her belly by herself, so she started sleeping on my wife’s chest. This made it easy to nurse her at night and to make sure she was still breathing and generally alive during the night, which put my wife at ease.

But the day would eventually come that she would have to sleep on her own in the crib in her bedroom. I knew that the longer she slept with us, the harder it would be to break the habit and the comfort level to start over in another foreign room. I fought a losing battle for several months, until our doctor backed me up and scared my wife into giving it a try (he basically said we had until she was around one year old to help her establish healthy sleep habits or she would be ruined forever).

The first night we put her in the crib, she just stood there and screamed for over 2 hours. Blood curdling screaming at the top of her lungs. It was as if we had abandoned her. My wife finally gave in and brought her to bed with us. Failure. The next night was more of the same. This went on for the better part of a week until my wife decided that she couldn’t bear the ‘cry it out’ method. So we adopted the ‘monitor’ method. This meant that we stayed with her until she fell asleep on her own in her crib, and each time she woke up we checked in on her until she fell asleep again. This sort of worked for a couple months, but eventually our daughter could sense when we left and would immediately wake up and scream again.

After another visit to the doctor, which helped reaffirm that we just needed to let her figure this sleep thing out on her own, we revisited the ‘cry it out method.’ We now just let her cry when we lay her down, when she wakes up in the night, whenever. It’s hard to listen to it, but let me tell you, it is so much better than springing up at every whimper or cry. Your wife will have a harder time with this, for sure. The key to this working is for her to stay busy and occupied. So keep her busy. *Wink wink*.

Does this method produce a baby that will always 100% sleep on its own? Possibly. Our daughter still has nights when she wakes up and cries for what seems like hours before going back to sleep. But for the most part, she is pretty good at going to sleep.

Sleep Aids

Sleep Easy Sound Conditioner, White Noise Machine

Now that the method talk is over, what sleep aids are there that help? We use an iPod with 10 hours of rain. Someone actually recorded rain for 10 hours so it isn’t like a loop or white noise machine. It’s pretty effective – it’ll knock me out pretty quick. But any white noise that works is a godsend. I left the iPod in my brother’s car for a week, so we didn’t have anything that would play the rain and that week was hell at night. Another sleep aid is this little turtle night light that shines blue, green and red light through star shapes on its shell. It is awesome until the light goes out. If our daughter is still awake, she freaks out and cries until we turn it back on, defeating the purpose of the ‘cry it out’ method. We are currently looking for a plug in night light that does the same thing and doesn’t have a shutoff timer.

There are a lot of other tips that will help your baby establish good sleeping habits, which include establishing a bed time routine with some order of the following:

  • Warm bath
  • Clean, dry diaper
  • Clothes that aren’t too warm
  • Dinner, then nurse (bottle), then bed

Regular schedule

I can’t stress enough the importance of a regular schedule. My baby is aware when she is up past her bedtime, and little kids are different when they are sleep deprived. As adults, we can usually catch up. Kids just get cranky and grumpy. Keep as regular a bed time schedule as possible, as this is one of the most important items on this list. Our daughter’s bed time is sacred, and only rare occasions (family vacation, holidays, etc) disrupt it. The bed time routine of feeding, new diaper, then bed is another great way to wind down. We don’t often read stories, but will probably add that to the arsenal as she gets older. A warm bath helped earlier on, but doesn’t help as much anymore for some reason.

50 Children’s Bedtime Stories

Bed time = Sacred time

If you do this right, you will have several hours before you and your wife go to sleep to get a mountain of things done, or to spend time with each other. Movies, shows, romance, hobbies, and chores can all be accomplished after your little one is asleep (especially if you establish bed time is as early as 7 or 7:30). Treat this time as sacred time. Don’t put it off to play some more with your baby. Don’t disrupt the routine. And take advantage of the evenings together. Good luck-

What bedtime routine works for you? Let us know in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!

What To Expect With Food and Meal Time

As a new dad, you are probably unsure how meal time will go. First of all, you need to remember that if your wife is going to nurse, you really have no role until 4-6 months down the road when your baby starts eating real food (and by real food I mean mushed up or pureed real food). There might be a few exceptions with this rule.

Exception #1

If your wife is a professional woman, after her maternity leave, she will probably return to work. If this is the case, she will pump and leave the caretaker (which may or may not be you) with enough breast milk to get through the work day. If your wife is your baby’s mama as well as your sugar mama (meaning you are a stay at home dad), you will be the caretaker of your baby, which means you will be feeding the baby while she is at work. This means becoming acquainted with a bottle. It isn’t hard to feed a baby out of a bottle. They are born with the instinct to suck at a nipple, so just put it in their mouth and keep baby and bottle upright for the duration and you’ll be fine.

You could pull a Prince William and wear this man-boob contraption if you want to ‘bond’ with your baby. I won’t judge.

Male breast feeding

Exception #2

Your wife may develop some kind of pause or stop in her milk production. Even if you both plan on her breast feeding your baby for the first year, it might not work out physiologically. The milk may never come in, or it may suddenly stop for no reason. My wife had mastitis (infected mammory glands), which is super painful. One of the best ways to deal with it is to pump and continue draining the breasts, but it isn’t uncommon for this condition to stop the production of milk. In this case, you’ll have to settle for formula and bottle feeding.

Here is a breakdown of the most likely scenarios you’ll face as a first time dad:


Months 1-6 – you will have no major role in feeding your baby, unless you are a stay at home dad and your wife returns to work after maternity leave.

Somewhere between 4-6 months – baby foods are introduced. This is where you can chip in and help feed your baby.

Sometime after 1 year – your wife will wean your baby off of breast milk and onto more and more solid foods as teeth grown in. You will have a larger role as they grow up.


Months 1-6 – you can split the feeding duties with your wife, especially at odd hours of the night. It is as easy as mixing up some formula, warming it up, and sticking the bottle in your baby’s mouth.

4-6 months past 1 year – the same as above.

Meal Time = Mess Time

No matter when you start to contribute to the feeding of your baby, you need to understand something. Babies are messy eaters. They have terrible eye-hand coordination, poor patience, and don’t mind wearing their food like grown-ups do. It goes with the territory. Feel free to develop your own meal time routine. Mine goes something like this:

My daughter is 1, but since 6 months we’ve been feeding her at least liquefied Gerber baby food. Before I even put my daughter in her high chair, I make sure I have everything I need to feed and clean up within arms distance. Not her arm’s distance, because she will grab and throw everything on the floor. I have a pack of wet wipes, paper towels, and a wet rag at the ready depending on the mess. Under her high chair, we have two worn towels to catch most of the mess. They help with the clean up since all you have to do is shake them off outside and throw them in the wash.

During the meal, I have to hold one of her hands, because she gets real excited and wants to grab everything, including the spoonful of gooey food. She has gotten to the point where she won’t eat unless she feeds herself now, so it is basically impossible to keep her general area clean during the feeding.

There are a ton of feeding techniques to get your baby to eat what you are selling. We’ve all seen the airplane technique, which doesn’t work for my child. What works for her is to distract her by making a ton of noise and then sneak the bite in. It doesn’t always work. When she doesn’t like what she’s eating, she spits it out. Be ready for a lot of that. Just experiment until you find something that works. It may work for a while or for a few days. Don’t get discouraged; your baby is getting just about everything it needs from breast milk or formula.

Sticky, wet food is a pain in the ass to clean, especially when it dries. So utilize those cleaning tools right away (wet wipes for sticky food, paper towels for spilled juice, warm wash rag for your baby’s face, arms, hands, hair, clothes, etc.). Resist the urge to give your baby food and walk away. You might come back to food splattered on the walls and all over the kitchen. Stay in the area and you will better keep things under control while teaching your child proper eating technique and etiquette.

What Should You Feed It?

If you are ever left with the decision of what to feed your baby, don’t panic. It isn’t that hard. Remember that a warm bottle of formula milk is a good choice, and will always help sooth a crying baby. If they are old enough (once they hit a year), they can really eat anything you are eating as long as it is in small enough bites for them not to choke on. Before, go with liquefied baby food. Think to yourself “would I eat that?” Taste what they are eating. If it tastes terrible to you, it probably tastes terrible to them. But sometimes you can sneak healthy food to little babies because they don’t know anything other than the taste of milk.


One quick way to ruin your child is to give them sweets when they are little. It is tempting to give your baby a swig of your Mountain Dew or a bite of your dessert from the restaurant. But DON’T DO IT! If you do, good luck getting your baby to eat healthy for the rest of their life. My baby has a taste for sweet things, and basically spits out everything else. Except she likes salsa. Weird.

Don’t Give Up

Meal time gets worse as your baby gets older. It is much harder to feed my daughter at 1 then at 6 months by far. And I have a feeling it is only going to get worse from here on out. Kids are picky, messy, and generally grouchy when it comes to food and meal time. But don’t give up! If all else fails, find something they like, and sneak some protein powder or vitamins in it. That’ll Ensure they don’t go wanting for nutrition. Get it? Ensure? Good luck –

What is your meal time routine? What foods does your baby like? Leave a comment below. Thanks for reading!

10 Tips For Changing Diapers Like A Pro

Does it scare you to think you will probably have to change diapers in the near future? When I say probably, I don’t mean probably at all. I mean most likely. And by most likely, I mean definitely. You will be changing diapers on the reg in a few short months if you are an expecting dad, or you are already waist deep in baby poop right now. But don’t fret – changing diapers isn’t that bad. Except for when it is.

As a new dad, there really isn’t a whole lot for you to contribute. Basically all you have done up to this point is provide some essential genetic information via sperm. The rest your wife has done. Even birthing the thing is all on her shoulders (or hips rather). Afterwards, you probably won’t be very involved in feeding it. Or clothing it (unless that’s your thing – I’m not judging). Indirectly, you are sheltering it, unless your wife wears the daddy pants and brings home the bacon (again, not judging). She will most likely take care of bathing it and putting lotion on it and manicuring the nails and fixing the hair (if there is any), etc. etc. Hell, she will basically hold it 95% of the time and leave you one chore and one chore alone.

Changing the diaper.

I bet you thought you would never change a diaper. I bet you put your foot down and said ‘I’ll never change a poopy diaper.’ You might still think that, even after the baby is born. That’s fine. I did.

But what the hell are you going to do? How are you going to contribute to raising this child of yours? Sure, you can take your son fishing or hunting or to sporting events or teach him to be a man, yada yada yada. Or if you are having a girl you can take her fishing and hunting and to sporting events and teach her how to be a woman (notice how fishing, hunting, and sports will teach a boy to be a man and a girl to be a woman). But what will you contribute for the first – say – year? Your wife has pretty much everything else covered.

You know what I say? Embrace it. That’s right. Embrace the diaper. Think about it – we kind of got off easy on this one. We don’t have to carry a baby inside us for 9 months while dealing with the crazy hormones. We don’t have to birth the thing, which to me seems like a mix between taking a baby sized deuce and torture, with lots of blood and screaming. Once the baby is born, we don’t really have to be responsible for keeping the thing alive, since your wife will be all over that. To me, changing diapers seems kind of ‘easy’ compared to those things.
So I say embrace the title of ‘diaper changer.’ Become a diaper changing pro. I can tell you one thing right now – I change a better diaper than my wife. Hands down. Everything about the change is better, the speed, the efficiency, the quality of the new diaper’s placement. Everything down to the butt cream application. I am the diaper master. And I’m not knocking my wife’s diaper changing skills, because she can change a mean diaper. But I’m just better. The funny thing is she is OK with me being better. I guess that has something to do with making me feel like I am contributing. Or that she doesn’t want to do it.

real men change diapers

Do you need to practice before the baby comes? Hell no. If someone else gives you their baby to ‘practice on,’ politely refuse that job. Trust me, you will get plenty of practice once it comes. No need to practice on someone else’s baby.
Below are 10 tips to help you become the diaper changing master.

10 Diaper Changing Tips

#1 – get a changing table. This table will become your workbench, if you will. It will organize all the different tools for changing a wet or soiled diaper in a jiffy. Make sure the table can strap your baby in, you don’t want it to roll off while you are reaching for a new pack of wipes (once again, no judging if it happens).

#2 – establish a routine. I am all about routines, whether it’s bed time, meal time, or diaper changing time. I lay my baby on the table a certain way, remove the onesie and hold the legs/hands a certain way, and have the wipes, new diaper, butt cream all in a certain place. Your baby will get used to ‘the routine,’ and eventually it will ‘assume the position’ for you.

#3 – prep the new diaper before you change the old one. This is a no-brainer for me, but my wife never does this. It is why I am so much faster. Unfold the new diaper, pull all the side creases out and lay it flat under your baby’s old diaper (unless it was a blowout). When you remove the old one, your baby is already on top of the clean one.

#4 – what if you are on the road? This is tricky. My wife organizes (or doesn’t organize) the diaper bag, so finding what I need can be a challenge. It’s all about prepping your space before you dive in. Simulate your changing table on the ground, bed, couch, public bathroom, or wherever you are. This will increase your speed and efficiency and will keep you from scrambling to hold onto your baby while digging for whatever.

#5 – keep your baby occupied. Kicking legs and wandering hands make for an unefficient and unpleasant diaper changing experience. Give them a toy to play with. My daughter likes this Winnie the Pooh book, which is totally appropriate in this situation.

#6 – time yourself. Since you are making this your domain, become the pro. Time yourself like it’s a 40 time. Under a minute is pretty good. Under 30 seconds is approaching pro territory. But don’t cut corners. Remember ‘quality over speed.’ If you can do a 30 second change while applying butt cream and making sure the diaper provides full coverage, without leaving any shat behind, you truly are a master.

Diaper Genie Essentials Diaper Disposal Pail

#7 – proper disposal. Wet diapers are OK going into the regular trash. Soiled diapers are a big no-no. Get a Diaper Genie or take them immediately outside. Proper diaper disposal is just as important as proper wiping technique.

#8 – wiping technique. Speaking of wiping technique, I can wipe clean a pretty bad pooh with one wipe. Sometimes it gets dicey and I’ll go with two. But for the most part, it’s all about where you start and how you fold. You want to get the most mileage out of each wipe, so get full coverage on one side before folding. Then fold in half, then in half, and keep going until it’s all clean or you run out. Also, remember that for girls, you always wipe AWAY from the front. Front to back. Front to back. Get all the cracks.

#9 – butt cream. When is it necessary? It depends on your baby’s skin. Mine has awesome skin. It is never dry. I rarely put it on. If it is red, or if she has been sitting in pooh for a while, it is a good idea to apply a little bit. If the rash doesn’t go away after a while, it might be a fungus (yeast infection). A little athlete’s foot cream or Vagisil (sorry, I hate that word) will do the trick, but consult your pediatrician.

#10 – wipes for wet only? This is a good question, and is a toss-up I think. If it is what I call a ‘heavy pee diaper,’ or if it is so completely saturated that any more might come leaking out, I say a quick all over wipe is a good hygiene practice. Otherwise, I usually don’t. Bonus tip – you don’t have to change the wet ones right away. Let them fill up a bit. Our daughter sleeps almost all night without a new diaper (as long as she doesn’t soil it).

Blow Outs – A Bad Day

There is no mincing words about blow outs. They are a bad day all around, for you, your baby, your washing machine, everybody. I once went in to get my daughter in the morning and there was poop everywhere. In her hair, in her hands and in between her fingers, smeared on her cheeks and lips, all over her onesie, covering the sheets and her teddy bear. About the only place there wasn’t a ton of pooh was inside her freaking diaper. It was a bad day all around. In those situations, you might use up an entire pack of wipes and still leave some feces behind. When this happens to you, and it will, just strip your baby down and take them into the shower. Or give your naked and stinking baby to your wife to shower with while you take all the sheets, onesies, diaper, and teddy bear to the dumpster.

On a related note, your baby might decide to finish what they started while their diaper is off. This is especially true with little boys, as the cooler air ‘activates’ their little fire hoses into full throttle. Don’t panic. Quickly cover up the eruption and minimize the damage. It doesn’t have to be just number one. My daughter routinely blasted poop once her diaper was off. Cover and minimize the damage. These events will slow down your efficiency, but they happen. Good luck –

Which tips from above do you use while changing diapers? What’s your speed? Let me know in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!