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By: John Adams, author of Dadbloguk.com
Posted on: May 2, 2019

Five Baby Hacks for New Dads

Becoming a dad is exciting. Although exciting, it can be a very daunting and you may want some practical advice to help in your efforts to become an engaged father.

No matter what you see on Instagram or how well some fathers present themselves on Facebook, the perfect parent does not exist. Every mum and dad is on a steep learning curve when they first come home with a newborn baby.

To make things that bit easier, I have produced a list of five hacks for new dads. These are practical, simple hacks that I followed myself and should make your life that bit easier.

Start with a dad approved changing bag

You need somewhere to keep diapers (nappies), bottles, formula or expressed milk, phone, keys and so on. Considering the amount of time you will spend taking care of your baby, you need a bag that fits your style. Some changing bags look like handbags and being seen with one of these may not appeal to the new dad. Shop around; there are some great changing bags designed for men that look like courier bags or even casual backpacks. You should also make sure the changing bag comes with a changing mat and keep cleaning products in there, because not every changing room is the cleanest. You will also stock the bag with a supply of wipes and extra clothes so you are prepared for those complete blow outs that happen every now and then.

Make the best use of that dad approved changing pad by looking for Koala Kare changing stations in public restrooms. Featuring built-in antimicrobial technology, these units stay cleaner and fresher for longer.
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Use nap time wisely

Make the most of baby’s nap time. In the first few months babies sleep a lot. Nap time provides a great opportunity to expand your involvement as a father. This is the time to clean the house and do housework, call friends, prepare meals and so on. It’s also a good time for you and your partner to get some rest if you need it. Making the best use of your child's nap time will help you be better engaged and focused during their waking hours, so you can make the most of your time as a father.

Experiment with white noise

If you are having trouble getting baby off to sleep, try playing some white noise in the background. Better still, you might find some womb music that will remind your baby of the safety and security of being inside mum’s body. In my experience womb music works better with the very youngest infants, but it can be very effective for any baby that cries. You may have to explore a few options - nature sounds, whirring fans, etc. - before you find what works best in your child's life, but the searching will be worth it when they are sleeping peacefully.

Keep a changing mat and changing items downstairs

If you live in a 2-story house, keep a changing mat and basic changing and cleaning items downstairs. This way you won’t have to carry baby upstairs to the changing station in their room every time you need to change a diaper. Trust me, if you child has had a spectacular blow out, you won’t want to carry them up the stairs! It also saves your back, as over the next few years you will be holding your baby a lot, so make life easy for yourself! Plus, time becomes a precious thing when you have a newborn. You don't want to waste time walking up and down stairs that you could be spending building a stronger relationship with your children.

A little known fact about all-in-ones

All-in-ones, those basic baby onesies that newborns wear, are designed so they can be rolled down top to bottom, off the shoulders and then off the legs. Not every new parent realises you can do this. It took me a while to appreciate this and if your baby has produced a particularly hardcore nappy, it saves you from pulling the onesie over their head (trust me, you won’t want to do that!).

I hope you find these hacks useful. Just keep in mind that you won’t know everything as a new dad (no parent does), but a father's involvement is key to making a smooth transition into parenthood. Do not be afraid to ask health and human services professionals, visitors, friends or your own parents for their own hacks or advice. You might be surprised what knowledge they can pass on. Regardless of what advice you choose to implement, the most important thing is your presence as a father figure in your newborn's life. Good luck, Dad!