A friend emailed today asking for input – he’s having a baby in the near future and was a bit lost about what to buy and what to avoid (particularly around clothes, which is why this post focuses on it. I wrote a long email, and then Kat wrote her bit of it, and by the time I was finished adding to it I thought we’d leave it here to serve as an update of sorts – in many ways it’s less about advice and more about our experiences… .
- you WON’T be able to move for people giving you new clothes
- they’ll miss out lots of important bits.
- A couple of good insulated cups. You are entering a phase of life where you keep finding half full cups of stone cold tea. Get some flasks. Recommended brand: https://www.amazon.co.
uk/Contigo-Autoseal-Stainless- Steel-Travel/dp/B0077IERKW/ ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid= 1530190403&sr=8-3&keywords= contigo+travel+mug
- Laser thermometer (our is apparently NO longer on amazon). Either have an argument four times a day about if your baby is too hot or too cold or buy one. It’s about a tenner and is fun to use.
- Two apps: the contraction timer, and the “baby feed timer”. Use them – otherwise one of you will delusionaly convince the other that your baby hasn’t eaten in three days.
- Going to the prenatal classes isn’t particularly good for information (Drinking game: take a shot every time the person in charge avoids a question by saying “Whatever works for baby”), but is good for relaxation – turns out that you guys are more ready that most of the people there (and you’ll find yourself *vastly* more ready than most to-be fathers). It’s also good for your partner to start making her baby friends. This is essential for lots of sensible mental health reasons and it’s amazing how much the mummy groups are the de-facto information source.
- Gender reveal scan – is fucking awful because it’s also the anomaly scan. It’s thorough and it’s brutal to go through. In advance agree to get the gender written down on paper (if you are finding out early) so that you can find out at home when you have calmed down.
EDIT for 2020:
Almost all the books directly aimed at fathers are complete wastes of paper and are more written for comedy than anything else. Reading ‘What to expect when you are expecting’ was good, and in general ‘Reading the same books as the mother because then you share a frame of reference’ is a good plan.I got more about parenting from Freakonomics (including names actually) than I have from any other book. In general I found that most books about ‘evidence based parenting’ weren’t anything like as useful as ‘normal’ pop-science books that happened to use parenting as an example for a chapter. I also got a lot of value out of this one, but it’s long term.Totally honestly – the best thing an expectant father can probably read is a big stack of ‘dealing with your emotions’ books, along with another big pile of books on sexism and gender roles. The practical STUFF – nappies and washing and the rest of it, is all trivial, particularly for people like us who naturally think in terms of processes – the books are for later.