Baby advice for grown-ups

by Harry

I was just talking to the wife about the best way to flush baby poo. It turns out that poo is still the dominant topic of conversation in this house. Who could have known? Even before we had kids and just had dogs, we’d talk about their poo. And before dogs, we’d talk about our own. Well, I’d talk about mine, at least. It’s a wonder the girlfriend ever became the wife, really. But it got me thinking that we’ve probably got a few tips to share by now. Things you just naturally pick up, but worth sharing in case they are helpful. So here we are, 7 items of baby advice that might just help you in your darkest hour.

a baby looks confused as his mum has a pot on her head

Child maintenance advice for fathers and mothers

1. The poo thing

Let’s just get this one out the way. So we use reusable nappies, probably like the ones your old great-granny used back in “the day”. Except now they are super easy to use, don’t need to be washed in a bucket of bleach and help reduce massive amounts of waste going to landfill. 

One drawback is the poo scrape. This is a dreaded chore, but one you soon become numb to, much like having to watch the same episode of The Wiggles over and over again. Whilst the nappies can be washed in the washing machine like anything else, you don’t want to stick in a pound of poop, so it needs to go into the toilet first. Often, it is sticky, and so won’t roll off in a convenient fashion. Thus, the Poo Knife was initiated. This is a very special knife which, once designated as the Poo Knife, will never again enter the kitchen. It is used to scrape said poo off the nappy. But sometimes the aim if off and it will stick to the side of the pan. This can mean a poor flush result. 

Now, us men, we enjoy the challenge of peeing bits of poo off the side of toilets. I don’t know who needs to hear this, but we need to entertain ourselves literally every second of every day, and this is one way of doing so. But the wife isn’t a fan, so she covers the pan in toilet paper before scraping. Turns out, it’s a super idea. A nice clean flush! It also means you don’t get any unfortunate splashback in your face during The Scrape Off.

And with that I, Harry Loney, do hereby promise not to write about poo in this blog for at least three more months.

2. Poppers on jumpers

top with poppers

You know how you get metal or plastic poppers on the shoulders of some jumpers? They work so that your baby’s absolutely massive head can fit into stuff, then you clasp them closed to make the clothes look normal. 

Well, they are always on the left-hand side. So if you have something that has no label and no other identifying features, and its five in the morning and you haven’t had a coffee, then this will help get the little delights dressed.

3. Undershirts

undershirt for baby

Little undershirts keep babies warm. They have poppers at the bottom, to ease with changing. There’s always a long tail, and this, my friends, goes at the back. Again, reasonably obvious but if you are trying to get a baby changed in a stolen Mercedes travelling along the North Coast 500 in order to pay Knuckles George what you owe him, it could save you time. 

4. Give it till tomorrow

a compass with today, tomorrow and yesterday

One of the rules we’ve found that works well for our anxiety levels is to give something until tomorrow. Meaning, if one of the boys has a sniffle or a scrape and it looks red or we’re worried, unless an arm is falling off or they are showing symptoms of something awful, we’ll give it until the next day to take it further. We’re always amazed at how many things sort themselves out with a bit of Sudocrem or Calpol.

So don’t panic over every little thing that looks wrong. Use what remedys you can and monitor it, but it’s not always needed to jump on the phone to the doctor. However in saying that…

5. Trust your gut

a baby dressed as a doctor

Your gut just knows when something isn’t right. Something will feel a bit weird, and it won’t sit well. Even if you have given things overnight to sort themselves out before, sometimes doing that just won’t feel comfotable.

In these cases, always go with your gut. If there is something wrong, and you don’t listen to yourself, you’ll feel awful. Get the doctor on the phone, or seek other reliable advice.

Your parenting instinct will grow and develop naturally over time. It’s a really powerful too. Listen to it!

6. Give kids time to process thoughts

a child thinking

As grown ups, we’re used to having discussions that are back and forth at a decent speed. We can generally get an answer from someone straight away. WIth a kid, that’s not so certain. 

Children need a while to process things, especially questions they need to answer. So make sure you give them a good ten seconds before asking again, or asking something else. This is also true for when you ask them something and get an immediate “NO!”. Sometimes that’s the first thing that comes to mind, and isn’t their honest reply. Give it a moment and they might change their mind.

7. Redirect

a boy has a tantrum in a shop

When a child is playing up, it’s generally for a reason. Maybe their nappy needs changing, or they are hungry, or they are bored. They usually aren’t being awful on purpose – rather it’s how they cope. 

So when that happens, try not to get frustrated. That’s harder than it sounds, but by attempting some redirection, it can all end without tears. If your child is shouting for no reason, redirect them to one of their favourite toys. If they are acting up, redirect them to reading a book with you.

Perhaps try a snack or a drink. 

Shouting at them rarely works. Trying to find out why they are acting like that, and directing their attention elsewhere can really help keep the peace. 

What are your quick tips?

So that’s my seven baby advice tips. How about you? What have you learned to keep you sane when the kids are little? Let us know if you have funny baby advice for new parents or parenting tips for toddlers below or on our Facebook!