Let’s face it, taking care of children is tough and the younger they are the harder it is. Babies can be especially difficult, they cant tell you why they are crying, what they want and when they are sleepy. Being a father of three boys, I know how difficult it can be.
Luckily I have picked up some tricks and tactics along the way that can make it easier for a new dad to take care of a child alone. Well, at least for a couple of hours.
Daddy Survival Guide
We are going to break this down the best way we can, chunks of easy to digest information. This is going to be your survival guide, short and sweet so memorize it!
Just like any thing else, preparation is key. So lets look into what we may need, when we may need it and how to make it easily accessible.
Pro Tip: Essentially, babies cry for 3 reasons – they are hungry, they are tired and want to sleep or they need a change of diapers. Well, OK one more, they got gas.
Food: Don’t just assume you can fill up a bottle of low-fat milk and toss it over. It’s not going to be that simple. Make sure to ask mommy what type of baby formula to use, if cereal is added and how much. Also, know how to warm the milk is necessary.
Sleep: When your tired, you flop on the couch and snooze. Once again, babies are not that simple, when a babies sleepy, the don’t just go to sleep, sometimes they cry about it. Find out whats the easiest way to put that little slugger to sleep. Some babies will just nap after having warm milk. Some want you to rock them, others don’t.
Diapers: This one may not be that difficult to figure out. If the diapers dirty change it, not sure when, then change it. No such thing as a too clean diaper. Have wipes, a few diapers and baby powder around at all times.
- Clean Bottles / Warmer
- Bath soap / Tub / know how to check the water temperature
- Change of clothing
The babies crying and I don’t know what to do
Don’t Panic!…. Keep your cool, remember babies only have three modes
- Calm and Cool
- Ear piercing siren
This is the test that separates boys from men. Your baby has been crying none stop and no matter how much you ask, he/she wont tell you why! Just remember the three (plus one) reasons babies cry, hungry, sleepy, dirty diaper and the bonus gas.
Calming a crying baby
OK, we are going to eliminate the obvious stuff first and work towards alleviation this situation by getting to the holy-grail of baby care, Sleep.
Step 1: Check the diaper, you can pull at the top back waist band or the leg bands for a quick peek. Best bet is to change it anyway and get this step out of the way.
Step 2: Babies need there bottle every 2 hours, how long has it been. It may just be time to eat. Make sure to use the right formula, Cereal if needed and get warm the bottle once filled. When feeding beware of gas. You can prevent this by using gas free bottles or holding the bottle up. Keeping all the air on top and not allowing the baby to suck any in.
Pro Tip: Always burp after feeding. No matter how hard your try or how much that bottle cost you. Babies will alway manage to suck in some air.
Step 3: Baby is feed, you burped him/her and the diapers clean, whats next? Sleep, its time for a nap. Its swaddling is great and will help most babies go to sleep quickly. Whats swaddling?, check out the video below.
How to Swaddle a Baby
Next Level Advance Putting Baby to Sleep Combo Technique
You and your baby have had some great quality time, but the games going to be in in about 30 minutes or less. Sorry Jr. Daddy needs some “ME time”. It’s time to get thin baby to sleep fast and at least for a couple of hours if possible. You need to know whats the best fastest way to get the baby sleeping, I call this the 1,2,3 knock-out combo!
Putting a Baby to Sleep Quick
Lets get a list of things you need ready, we got no time to waste!
- Warm bottle of milk ready to rock
- Tub ready with warm water
- Baby soothing sleep shampoo
- Towel and clean clothing
- Fresh Diapers, powder, lotion
- Baby blanket in swaddle ready position
Relax, this seems like a lot, but if your all setup its going to go by easy. Get the warm bottle, diapers, change of clothing and lotion on the bed near the swaddle blanket.
If you have never bathed a baby before, have never seen it done and are not comfortable with the idea, don’t do it. You can skip it all together or use a warm bath towel for a quick wipe down. Once thats done, place her/him on the swaddle blanket, lotion down, put on the diapers and clothing.
Swaddle the little guy/gal and carry in your arms. You can sit or stand and rock while you feed. I like walking around or pacing the room. For my children it always seemed to work the best. I bet Jr. will be asleep before the bottle is done.
Wait, don’t just put him / her in the crib just yet!, Remember to always burp the baby after feeding. Forgetting the simple step will result in an interruption during game time. Although the baby maybe sound asleep and your scared to wake’em. If you don’t burp the baby, he/she is sure to get up with in an hour and give you a hell of a hard time!
If the baby wakes up after burping, rocking for another minute or so should get her/him back to sleep.
How to Burp a Baby
You Made it Through Your First Day Alone with Baby!
Picture this: Mommy comes home, your on the couch chilling super hard, watching the football game. A beer in one hand, the remote in the other. The baby sleeping like a happily, like a little angle. Shes like, “O, how did it go?“, and your like, “How does it look, no be quite you’ll wake the baby”