A quick Google search of 'tips for new Dads' will bring up a plethora of articles about what you should do like get hands-on from the beginning, learn your baby's cues, connect through touch etc.
It's all well-meaning stuff and more often than not, padded with fluff that most guys might spend a minute reading and go... "Nah, fuck this!". Guys are simple creatures and when it comes to keeping a human being alive, straight forward and to the point tips is what we are looking for.
So, here are my tips for New Dads after 5 weeks of parenthood. And lads, you don't even need to read it all, you can just glance over the headings.
Don't wear anything you don't mind getting shit or vomit on.
You will get pissed on, poo'd on and spat up on. Simple as lad, it will happen and there's no getting away from it. Don't wear anything you don't have any second thoughts about binning or setting fire to because you reckon your washing machine is not up the task of cleaning it.
Keep a cloth in your pocket.
Babies, well Erin anyway, is like a spitting up Ninja. She's been perfectly fine and settled for 10 minutes. You think to yourself this is a good time to turn your head to look for the remote only to look back to find spit and milk flowing out of her mouth onto her, you and the couch.
The last thing you want is to be panicking looking for a cloth. Keep one shoved in your pocket for quick wiping up needs. You'll thank me for it later.
Keep your phone on loud.
The only time your phone should be on silent is when you're lying in bed next to your other half. Otherwise, keep it on loud.
I'll say this, I hate having my phone on loud, my wife, however, hates that I like having it on silent. The reason for this I tend to miss texts or calls. This invariably annoys her as she might be trying to contact me to get something or to simply come upstairs as she has a baby hanging off her left tit and can't reach a glass of water.
Just keep it on loud and keep in mind "Happy wife, happy life".
Always have an Arm rest.
You'd be surprised how tired your arms can get holding something so small. This may be also down to you holding on tight with crippling fear you either drop them, disturb them from their sleep, and/or they start to scream & cry in your face.
You might be sitting for a while, make sure your comfy.
Power of the pinkie.
This is a great little trick I've used to calm a crying baby. Especially if they're waiting on a feed or bottle. Simply place your pinkie in their mouth and give the roof of their mouth a little tickle. They'll start suckling on your finger like a dummy and will calm them down quickly.
Obviously make sure your hands are clean.
Invest in a nightlight.
The best €5 I've spent was getting a battery-powered nightlight from IKEA that we can move around the room. I or my other half will always have it within arms reach. It's brilliant for night feeds as it gives out a dull light so Erin doesn't fully wake up due to a bright light.
Jug of water next to the bed.
You'll be up a few times during the night and instead of walking up and down the stairs to get a glass of water, just have a jug in the room. Breastfeeding women work up a thirst.
Remain calm their breathing is fine.
The first few nights you have the baby home, you will have one ear up all night listening to them. Be prepared for a shite nights sleep. Their breathing sometimes sounds like they're struggling but it's just the muscles developing. They're fine.
Also at some point, you won't hear them breathe or they stop for a brief second.
At that moment you will bolt upright with panic thinking they've stopped breathing only for your baby to wait the appropriate length of time for you to have a heart attack before breathing again.
Often times this pause is followed by the sound of them having a poo, they were just concentrating on that.
Changing Area Set Up
Have everything in arms reach and have enough of everything, always. Think of the changing area like the pitstop in a Formula 1 race. Baby/car rolls in, everything is ready and waiting for the change, done and dusted as quick as you can.
Also, keeping everything in arms reach is so handy at night when you're changing a baby. You'll be a bit sleepy yourself, you don't want to be looking for stuff and using your brain.
Snacks... for the wife.
She will be hungry. She will be tired. This will lead to a hangry wife. We do not want this. Snacks! Dear god man, always have snacks in the cupboard!
Trust me, YOU. DO. NOT. WANT. A. HANGRY. WIFE. (lesson learned the hard way).
Have no obstructions on the floor.
No brainer but... I have fallen victim to this when I tripped over a pillow on the way to the loo one night.
Saline drops for a blocked nose.
Pick up a bottle of Calpol saline drops fellas. When your little one gets congested these things work a treat to clear airways and let them sleep better. And in turn, you to sleep better.
I'll have more tips as I go along
There ya go, my Tips for New Dads. Well so far anyway, I've only been a Dad a little over 5 weeks. Give me some time and I'll have more in due course. Hopefully, these will be of some use to ye.