The top 29 things I’ve learned as a new dad

Nuclear OptionI’ve had my little girl with me for almost ten months now, and in that time I’ve gone from handling her like I could break her with any move to picking her up like a sack of potatoes and zurburting her belly.

In this time I’ve learned a few things that I thought I would share to new dads.

  1. You’re not prepared. You can try but you will fail.
  2. Sleep is just a memory for the first few months. Take shifts or go insane.
  3. Don’t play with a baby immediately after feeding, they tend to barf.
  4. Expensive toys get ignored, wet rags are far more interesting.
  5. Teething sucks, plan for some Advil and baby numb gum/Orajel
  6. Orajel can suppress the gag reflex, don’t give it before feeding
  7. If a baby under five months is suddenly smiling, point it toward somewhere the impending vomit stream can land without ruining things.
  8. You’re going to pull muscles you didn’t know existed, get your tub in shape for a man bath
  9. Telling a baby you want to sleep is the same as saying “hey kid, want some sugar and coke?” it doesn’t work. Get up, feed and change the baby, start playing, they’ll pass out at some point when it’s time for you to be at work.
  10. Worrying about things you have no control over is useless unless it actually helps you identify problems with your situation.
  11. If your child shows a fever at a daycare, chances are good they’re just not wanting to deal with your crank monster that day.
  12. Although there is no correlation between fevers and teething according to doctors, your baby will have a fever and be cranky when teething.
  13. Your plans should always be contingent with either one parent ready to go back home with the baby or people who understand.
  14. You will not see a movie that’s currently in theaters unless you pirate it or be those bastards.
  15. If your baby is calm and collected in areas with a crowd such as a trivia night or packed restaurant, people will assume you’re notorious drunks who drag your baby to bars constantly.
  16. The five second rule does not apply to pacifiers, but the rub it off on your clothes rule does.
  17. If you say or do it, there’s a blog out there that will claim you’re a horrible parent. This includes putting your baby to sleep in a crib, letting them cry for five minutes while they go to sleep, feeding them formula because after four hours of pumping there’s nothing, vaccinating your child, not encasing their room in WiFi-blocking tinfoil, letting them watch a little TV, letting them listen to music while they sleep, sleeping in the same room as a vaporizer, etc.
  18. Baby doesn’t know. Baby doesn’t remember.
  19. Changing diapers is actually not that hard. Changing diapers while in public places is.
  20. You will be asked whether there’s going to be a brother or sister in the near future. This will be asked after you’ve not slept for 5 days, are sick, and want to end someone. Try and not kill anyone with your answer.
  21. Everything you learned in that two year old book of baby has been changed slightly with new recommendations. They won’t really do anything, as they haven’t for a while, but there will be a correlation with lower infant mortality due to medicine just getting better and they won’t discount that in the statistics.
  22. Your phone is interesting and amazing, a baby flip bright color cell phone is not. What is that crap daddy?
  23. Keys are amazing and will get jammed in baby’s face the instant they’re able to.
  24. Wolverine has nothing on a baby’s claws.
  25. As a parent you’ll start making lists of projects that can be accomplished in ten minutes. You’ll chain these together and spread them apart over the course of a day. Hopefully you’ll get what you needed to accomplished.
  26. When you start getting genuine joy and love from a baby, the hellishness disappears.
  27. Seeing what goes into keeping a little one alive and happy you’ll really solidify your views on parents and substance abuse, and smoking. If you don’t have a solidly anti-smoking view around kiddos at this point you’re probably a lost cause.
  28. You’ll discover exactly how much strength it takes for a baby to yank out your hair.
  29. At some point you quit obsessing over the numbers: ounces drank per day, food eaten, weight, length, etc. and start looking at the baby: happy, proper color, bright eyes, etc.

That’s what I’ve learned, there’s more but the baby is inbound and I’ve got to get out in the cold and help unload her.