Things I’ve learned after 4 weeks of Fatherhood

My son Findlay was born on Wednesday 5th November at 4.10am and the last 4 and a bit weeks have been a big, exhausting learning experience. There’s been pure joy, a lot of stress with not enough sleep, some tears and a disturbing amount of poo, but I wouldn’t change any of it.

Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

  1. A penis is a psychological weapon
    Once it’s been unsheathed you are at risk. There is no hiding. You need to have your shit together and get that new nappy on stat or you might get covered in pee.
  2. Baby boys can pee in their own face
    This is both hilarious and disgusting.
  3. Dogs really can be your babies new best friend
    Daisy looks for Findlay as soon as she comes into the room and will check on him if he makes any funny noises. It’s adorable. She also takes the hump if he cries too much when she’s trying to sleep and she leaves the room. Dawwwwww.
  4. My wife is amazing
    I wanted to open with some funny ones but really, this list is about this one item. She’s pretty awesome. Heather puts up with my stupid crap while coping with exhaustion, a baby that needs her near constant attention for feeding and her inability to invest time in doing anything that she wants to do. Heather somehow found time and energy to put up a Christmas tree to cheer me up when I got home from my first day back at work. I’m stupidly lucky.
  5. My job is to tidy, change nappies and supply cups of tea
    While Heather is breastfeeding I have one purpose. Make sure the house is tidy, make her meals and supply cups of tea. I can’t do the feeding but I can change nappies.
  6. Babies love singing
    Even if I can’t sing, he doesn’t care. Findlay can be crying the house down and if I stand up, walk him round the room and sing the first verse of Ally Bally 10 times, he will fall sound asleep. I really need to learn the other verses though…
  7. Get organised before you change the nappy
    We’re using real nappies but the principle is the same for disposables. Get your wipes, nappy sack and everything you need ready and at hand before you put the baby on the mat. It’ll be a lot less stressful than if you realise half way through that you can’t find the wipes, then he starts peeing over everything, puts his foot in the dirty nappy and is sick — all at the same time. That is not the time to start scrambling for wipes or making up a fresh nappy.
  8. Real nappies are pretty easy
    If you’re organised they’re the same as a disposable. Sure you have to wash them but it’s really not that hard and the ones we use have a laundry bag, so you just chuck the whole bag in the washing machine and turn it on. Simples.
  9. Breastfeeding is hard and exhausting
    Guys, support your wives, they need it. It’s a demanding process and can be hard to get the hang of in the early days.

There’s lots more, but basically it just boils down to my wife being awesome, patient and lovely, while my newborn son is cute, sleepy and really good at farting. Honestly, they go on for minutes. It’s impressive.