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Baby Homecoming Tips For Dads!
Childbirth is obviously a female thing. Apart from the mother giving birth, there are the nurses at the hospital, the midwives and even all the female relatives flapping around cooing and hugging the new baby.
But what about the father of the new baby? He soon starts to feel left out. After the mother has given birth the whole world and its wife wants to give advice, send flowers and just go all gooey over the new baby.
Sometimes new dads just need to feel wanted too. Lets face it, they were part of the baby making scenario.
They have held their wives hand, helped her breath properly and sat down with the new screaming bundle with a look of bewilderment and joy on their faces. But then they start to feel a bit redundant.
What can they do now? Apart from wetting the babies head down the nearest pub with their mates it seems that their little piece of fatherhood has come to a grinding halt. At least until the new baby and mother gets home.
So here's a few tips on how to keep the new dad involved in their brand new offspring, and help their partner get home to a child friendly house that they can both enjoy.
Dad, Stock Up On Essentials Too!
First of all the house needs to be scrupulously clean and tidy. You can't bring a baby home to a house that has barf on the carpet! yes I know you went out to celebrate the birth with your mates, but seriously guys you need to start scrubbing. And yes that means washing up too!
As a guy living at home for a few days on his own, especially after running backwards and forwards to the hospital, the house is going to smell and look like a tip. Time to get scrubbing.
Check the fridge too. A couple of stale yogurts, a gone off pint of milk and a candy bar are not going to be sufficient for a first night homecoming. And no, you do not want that half eaten stale pizza, throw it away!
Throw everything, and I mean everything in the washing machine. This includes bed sheets, clothes 'hung up' on the floor, and cushion covers. Anything that looks or smells stale.
Don't panic, you may not have to iron all of it after washing. But if you do, the iron is that funny shaped thing under the sink that goes on top of the other funny shaped thing in the corner.
Just plug it in and follow the instructions, or lack of! Don't get it too hot, you don't want a dirty great hole in the bed sheets. Or cushion covers either!
Yes I know that the hospital has been filled up with flowers from the in laws, your parents and just about everybody else including the woman from the local deli who is just being nosy.
But that's not the point. The one person who hasn't sent the new mother and baby flowers is you.
You don't have to go mad and smother the house in so many bunches of roses and tulips that it looks like Kew Gardens.
Just a few vases of fresh cut flowers dotted around the house will look and smell lovely.
There's nothing like beautiful displays to make the house look welcoming.
Freshen Up The House
Open the windows and let the clean air rush through. Don't overdo it with the air freshener, but some of those plug in ones will do nicely.
If you are a smoker now is the time to quit. If you find that you can't quite give up those cigarettes, then make sure from now on that you only smoke outside.
There's not a lot of point cleaning a house from top to bottom, opening the windows and washing everything if you are going to puff obnoxious smoke around the house.
Smoking is dangerous for babies. It is a factor in cot deaths, and pulmonary problems in infants. So for goodness sake throw them away.
Clean the windows, doors and worktops. Along with stale smoke stains, dirt and grime gets in all the little nooks and crannies. Don't use too much bleach. It can stink a room out at fifty paces.
Just use perfumed cleaners or disinfectant. They smell great and get rid of all the long standing smelly stuff.
Fill Up The Food Cupboards
Now is the time to hit the shops. You need to buy essentials such as bread, milk, and basic foods. Think carefully about what the new mother wants to eat when she gets home. And no, a stomach churning hot curry will not do!
Soups, sandwiches and other easy to make foods are the way to go. She won't feel like cooking, and if you can't cook without burning water then its not a good idea to suddenly decide that Cordon Bleu cooking is the way forward!
Hopefully with all the in laws and your parents getting involved I am sure that at least one of them will be willing to provide food such as stews and soups for you both. If not, give them a hint. I am sure that they will want to do something to help.
Cots And Cribs
Have you put the cot or crib up yet? No? Why not? If you decided to leave it to the last minute, well, this is the last minute!
Whether its done or not, it's a good idea to go up and check that everything is safe. Check the cot. Has it any pointy edges?
Is the bedding all ready and clean? Check plugs to make sure they are fire safe. Make sure that lamps are fireproof and there are no wires running across the floor.
You and your partner will be doing a lot of walking up and down in that room trying to get baby to sleep. We don't want any accidents now do we?
Hand a mobile to the cot. No, not a mobile phone! A mobile is a hanging toy with balloons or airplanes on bits of string!
Lay baby wipes, diapers and cleansers on the nearest dressing table. I know this sounds obvious, but believe me, when you have a baby in one hand and the wrong stuff in the other its a real pain when you can't find what you are looking for. This is the time that you have to learn to juggle!
Did Someone Say Wine?
Now you have all the essentials put away, cleaned the house and finished the washing there are just a couple more things to do. Yes I know, you are totally worn out by this stage but bear with me.
Check to see if there is anything you have been putting off for months. Did you finish putting up that shower curtain in the bathroom? What about sorting out the dripping tap? Done? Great!
Now you can get down to the essentials. Go out and buy a couple of bottles of Wine. Believe me, your partner will appreciate the gesture.
She won't be able to drink a lot with the new baby, but a glass of wine will help her relax after she has been home a few days. Just the actual idea of sitting down and relaxing will help her settle back in.
I am sure that after all the hard work that she has done, she will appreciate the fact that you have gone to all the effort to make her and the new baby's homecoming really special. And hey, you both have to wet the babies head!
Dads, what did you forget to do?
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