There are plenty of lists out there about things you need to take care of a newborn baby, I even have a couple of those lists on this site. Everyone knows you need things like diapers, a changing table, crib, car seat (you get the idea); this post is not about those types of items. This is a list of top 10 items for the new dad to help him in daily life while taking care of his baby. It’s more of a list for good ol’ dad!
Top 10 New Dad Essentials
- Coffee – There are many sleepless or semi-sleepless nights with a newborn. Personally, I’m lucky to get 3 hours of sleep a night. Coffee helps me transition from the over-night feeding sessions to my normal work day. Plus it’s just tasty.
- Comfy Chair or Couch – Having a place to crash in or near the nursery is key. You don’t want to wake up your spouse as you try to catch a few Z’s in between check-ins on the baby by actually going to bed.
- Diversions – You more than likely had things you liked to do before the baby was born, and it is important to try and squeeze these things in after the baby is born. You will not be able to spend as much time on your hobbies as you use to, but you should put in a few minutes here and there when you have the opportunity. Some of my diversions are hiking, camping, music, woodworking and photography.
- Exercise – I suppose this could also be considered a diversion, however it also needs to be considered on its own merit as an essential. Regardless of whether or not you exercised before the baby was born, you still need to find some way to be active. I was used to going to the gym 4 or 5 days a week, now I can maybe get over to the gym 2 days a week. I notice that I am more sedentary with the baby around and I think it is important that I make an extra effort to get some exercise.
- Time Away – Let’s face it, taking care of a newborn is difficult, and sometimes the crying can make me feel a little crazy. We have family and friends that will take care of the baby for a couple of hours while my wife and I go out for dinner, a movie or just to the grocery store. Getting away for just a little while can help to keep my sanity on an even keel.
- A Sense of Humor – There’s already a very poopy diaper, I’m just about finished cleaning up and have a new diaper ready to go, when out of nowhere comes another present from my little one to make a brand new mess. This seems to happen on a fairly regular basis. A sense of humor is a must!
- Compact/Mobile Computing Device – Laptop, tablet, etc. I use a Google Chromebook, which I am writing this blog post on now. My wife and I spend a lot of time in the nursery, we were even joking the other day that even when the baby is sleeping in another room, we still seem to hang out in the nursery. Having some sort a device to check email, news and such is very nice when hanging out with the baby.
- Wi-Fi – Item #7 does not work that well unless there is Wi-Fi available in the house.
- Support Network – Family and friends that will help you take care of your baby; this has been a lifeline for my wife and I. We have had family and close friends come over to help and even spend the night to help with nighttime feeding duties. See #5 for more info.
- God – This should go first, ‘nuf said.
I write about the rather unexpected journey of fatherhood, please join me!