What I’ve learned in 11 months 10 days of being a dad

Me and Maggie on the couch at the Stone FoxI’m actually writing this at 11 months and 8 days and scheduling it for publication under the guise that it will be 11 months and 10 days of being a dad, will update if I find out anything new in the next two days however.

  1. The internet is completely full of harmful bullshit.
  2. Most forums are filled with judgmental assholes telling you you’re horrible for whatever it is you’re doing to make your or your baby’s life more comfortable. As long as you’re not smoking or drugging around ’em, fuck the haters.
  3. The anti-vaccine people are usually horribly misguided, and unfortunately sometimes right. When they’re right it’s usually when it comes to bad pro-vaccine reporting. The problem is when they’re right on one thing they use that to say they’re right on the rest. The argument can be summed up as “see, McDonald’s breakfast stops at 10am therefor vaccines are killing millions.”
  4. I do not understand how a baby could handle cloth diapers. The sheer amounts of waste an infant produces per day looks like it would overwhelm any normal attempts at laundry.
  5. Always use a night diaper. Day+Night ones are bullshit and useless, I’m looking at you Target. If you have a diaper that leaks in 10 hours of a baby sleeping it’s a useless piece of shit diaper and you should get a refund from the company.
  6. You are going to be angrier than you’ve ever been in your life. This will be from a combination of exhaustion due to sleep deprivation, blood pressure skyrocketing from baby cries, and frustration as nothing you do is good enough for anyone.
  7. You’re not a failure if you can’t breastfeed, don’t want to breastfeed, baby can’t breastfeed, you don’t feel that special attachment immediately, you can’t teach your baby sign language after 11 months. What matters is you keep your baby happy, fed, and learn to love them.
  8. Baby will require feeding at the same time you require feeding. Does not matter if you just fed them. Be social and carry Cheerios and a bottle for when you’re attempting to selfishly eat.
  9. If you don’t take turns getting sleep in the first eight months, nobody is getting sleep in the first eight months. Your number of months may vary.
  10. Carry an emergency kit in the car containing diapers, powdered formula, baby wipes, spare outfit. Don’t carry that as part of your baby kit, that’s separate and in any car. Baby will somehow manage to destroy your kit, trust me.
  11. If you’re a dad taking care of a baby by yourself there is no way you can safely hit most stalls. Handicap stalls are big enough for strollers, but if you’re pushing a shopping cart around and have a non-walking baby sorry. Using a chest carrier and hanging them on the coat rack is a really really bad idea.
  12. At some point in the first 10 months you’re going to realize that there’s a spot in your mental armor the size of a baby that’s really hard to handle when you hear about someone hurting a child.
  13. When your baby starts expressing joy is when you start feeling it. There’s finally feedback and you get to know what’s working.
  14. Baby shoes, while cute, were generally made by idiots.
  15. Pajamas that are all snaps – imagine fighting a kicking sleepy screaming infant who wants to go to bed naked and attempting to line up 13 snaps that can be undone by an infant’s pulling hands. Don’t get snaps.
  16. The ABC method causes a large number of children to skip crawling all together and go to walking. It also lowers the risk of SIDS by about 50%.
  17. A baby who’s rolled on their stomach sleeping isn’t going to explode and die. There’s also nothing you can do if you’ve got a baby who is determined to sleep that way.
  18. Babies make parents fight. Well, proper is to point out that people get angry when they get frustrated and are sleepy, and babies promote than environment.
  19. If your immune system isn’t good, prepare for a shock. During 11 months of baby I’ve been sick for three.
  20. The other parents are wrong, your child is obviously the cutest.
  21. Babies may or may not want to be cute and play together. There doesn’t seem to be any cohesive baby playing situation I can figure out.
  22. Diaper Genies suck, but they’re the best at keeping the stink away for the price of the base unit.
  23. If something is important to one of you, make plans for that one to go and do something IE one of you should plan to be the take-baby-home person. Baby is going to ruin a lot of plans.
  24. Open containers of powdered baby formula before you need them. When you need them your hands are going to be wet from washing a bottle, you’re going to be holding a cranky baby, and you’ll have to locate the scoop which is buried somewhere in the top inch or two. Just when you’re getting low on one can get another prepped and ready.
  25. Most formula scoops are the same size between brands. Check your label and see is yours aren’t 8.7 grams per level scoop.
  26. If you get 2.2 oz of water instead of 2.0 your baby will not explode. They’re remarkably capable of handling some variance.
  27. Homeopathic teeth aids appear to work by knocking your kid the eff out. They don’t seem to handle the pain that much. You’ll notice they don’t do much when you’ve got a freshly napped child and attempt to use them.
  28. Your baby’s toys, strollers, and safety gear will probably be recalled at some point. Keep on top of it. Most recalls are for minor things like snapping parent’s fingers off.
  29. If it looks remotely like candy it will be eaten if it gets in the hands of a baby. It doesn’t matter how bad it tastes. So keep your cleaning products like dishwasher packs locked up.
  30. It’s entirely possible to read a conversation into an infant only to discover that that moment of connection you’ve been experiencing was only a prelude to a massive diaper load delivery.
  31. Although babies are little humans, do not try applying any sort of logic to them.
  32. Cry translation applications are scams that prey on exhausted parents at the end of their ropes.
  33. Many if not most baby blogs that review a lot of product seem to be in with big baby and get product to shill. Never trust a blog with no bad reviews.
  34. There’s a specific way to make a baby room involving keeping the crib away from windows, the exit completely stuff free, vent positioning and keeping things out of reach of the crib. You’re probably going to fail if you don’t consider it before you put things out where you think they should be.
  35. You might think you can work around baby, and in fact you can, but baby makes things absurdly more difficult.
  36. The only way to make feeding baby not messy involves a bib, some sort of catching mat, and a plastic coating around all the surfaces that could get food on it sort of reminiscent of Dexter’s kill rooms.
  37. Viewing mirrors for infants in car seats can be distracting to you and are pretty bad if the car seat is on the passenger side as they create a blind/reflecting spot. However they’re useful for worried parents. So just be careful.
  38. Face the kiddos backwards as long as possible in a car seat. We’re not talking minor safety improvements in accidents, we’re talking major ones. After they’re forward facing, just try and not have a Subaru moment where you head on crash into something.
  39. Babies don’t care about the present, they care about the wrapping paper.
  40. Do not let your friends buy your child toys. Declare a ban on purchases and lay the law down early. Otherwise kiss all your space goodbye and prepare for far far too many things that are cute but take up space your baby needs to grow.

There are more, but it seemed like 40 was a good stopping point as if you’re reading this you’re probably not all that into reading this 😉