Dads Share Their Best Parenting Tips For Soon To Be Fathers
Having a baby can be a very exciting time, but also very nerve racking for first time parents. Especially for new dads, who may feel left out of the parenting conversation.
Though, it's actually critical for the child's development to have a positive connection with their children. Having a father figure can help develop emotional regulation skills, cognitive behavioral function, and general health and well-being.
Well, how does a dad really do that? Redditor spektorboi wanted advice from real dads who have been through those early, critical stages of development with their kids.
Reddit user spektorboi asked:
"Dads of Reddit, what's a tip you can give a soon to be father for the first year of fatherhood?"
If you're wondering about keeping calm during crying fits, bonding with your child, or disciplining your child, these are some amazing answers,
Don't fall for it, Dads.
"90% of the toys and accessories 'you must buy' will go unused. It's a cliche but your kid will play with the box more than anything."
"I highly recommend books as it's good learning and bonding time."
"I firmly believe that one of the biggesr things that lead to my mental development is that my parents bought legos for me. When i was little and a choking hazard, they got the jumbo sized blocks. It really helps your imagination and understanding of 3d space and dexterity. They also bought these neoprene foam blocks for the bathtub. There were always things like this to keep me stimulated growing up."
"I graduated from large legos and block sets to tinker toys and link-n-logs and large-piece puzzles, to regular legos and regular jigsaw puzzles, to knex. If they had it back then I probably would have moved on to those kinematic and robotic kits."
Sometimes the toys you buy are influential!
"One of my sons who had (still has) a crazy amount of LEGOs is now an architect doing design & build work. I can't think of a better investment for kids, though I guess the easy bake oven and kitchen set was pretty solid too for one of my other sons with mad culinary skills now…"
It's backed by science!
"Well have I got science for you!! There's a few studies on the influence of childhood play on spatial reasoning in adults. Here's one studying college students, and it basically says that spatial reasoning was better in those "who played action, construction, or sports video games in childhood" or "played with construction-based toys." – doi:10.1130/GES01494.1"
"I started with those big legos too, then moved on to mapping out my lego towns with my My Little Ponies and Barbies, and now if I get drunk and a mahjong rubiks cube is around I tear that shit up."
"Reinforcement of learned skills during crucial developmental periods is what creates most "natural" ability."
Please, keep calm.
"No matter what happens don't shake the baby."
"And it's absolutely OK to walk away and take a break from a crying baby, if you're feeling frustrated."
If the baby is in a safe place, it's okay to walk away.
"Adding on to this; if you're frustrated and starting to vigorously rock a colicky baby, stop. Put the baby in their crib or somewhere safe. Leave the room, close the door and take a shower. This works for a number of reasons."
"1. The hot water is soothing."
"2. You're probably not on a consistent shower schedule with a colicky baby and you smell."
"3. The sound of the water will drown out the cries, which is a good thing!"
"The baby is safe, it's okay if they cry for 10 minutes while you reset your brain. You can't help them if you are stressed, you have to calm down before you can help."
Be creative with your coping.
"This is seriously great advice. I found myself repeatedly frustrated with a my first daughter had serious gas issues for the first couple months and struggled to sleep at night because of it. She had to be rocked or carried around to fall back asleep - which was tiresome to do night after night. She had no control over it, it just was."
"Lacking any healthier outlet, I sang to her about how I was tired and wanted her to go to sleep. Turns out, she was soother by the singing and I was soothed by letting my frustration out. Find some silly and healthy way of coping - be creative. It worked for me - and helped a lot in terms of bonding."
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It's all about perspective.
"Understand that to your child you are a giant. When you get mad, realize that you yelling at the kid is like a 30 foot giant standing over you. Really try to imagine how scary that would be."
"If you do it right you'll picture that every time you get angry and it'll give you some perspective."
"It is all about perspective. A baby/child doesn't know anything. They do not do things to p*ss you off. Be empathetic to their issues. The baby phase is easy as they generally only cry if they're hungry/tired/full nappy. Obviously there are more reasons but generally. Not the rule. If you approach them empathetic to their plight, not only will you be calmer and better equipped emotionally to deal with them long term with more complex issues, but they will want to talk to you in future because of that empathy and showing of compassion regardless of how trivial you may think it is"
Three conditions for saying 'no.'
"Be patient. Every skill you want your child to master needs time to develop and space to flourish. They can't just 'copy' your way of doing things, because they won't make sense to the child the same way they make sense to you."
"Always discipline out of love, never hate! Never forget that you're a parent first and a cool friend last, though."
"I agree. I was very lucky in that I had pretty great parents. I try to emulate mom in a few ways and say no under three conditions: it isn't safe, there isn't time or there isn't money.
"'Daddy can we play outside' isn't something I always want to do, but she's three. How can anyone say no to that? Kids should be outside more! We'll go hit the trampoline or play tag or something."
"If by discipline you mean hitting your child, then just don't. Hitting children is not good for anything. This is recognized in a large number of developed countries and forbidden in a number of countries in Europe."
"Also, 'discipline' only really works in the moment and only teaches them what not to do (and they can be unclear on generalizing). Yelling at them for drawing on the walls with crayon may make them stop doing that, but won't prevent them from practicing graffito on another wall like praising them for drawing on paper will."
Headphones for crying.
"An excellent pair of noise-cancelling headphones can be a life-saver the first 3-6 months. Not to ignore them obviously, but if you need to walk them around to calm them down it helps A LOT."
"'No baby has ever died from crying' really put it in perspective for me. If you're too frazzled, it's okay to step back for a few minutes to collect yourself and calm down. In fact, it's not just okay, it is what you should do."
"The corollary to this is 'no baby ever fell off the floor.' My wife and I used that one with both our boys if we needed a short break. Put the baby on the floor, go do what you need to (take a breath, go pee, get a drink, prep a bottle, etc) and come back. For the first few months at least, they aren't going anywhere."
Duck and cover!
"When changing diapers:"
"If it's a girl, wipe front to back."
"If it's a boy, assume it's loaded and will unload at anytime and at max range."
"For a boy, wipe his lower belly with a cold wipe before taking off the diaper, most of the time it tricks him into peeing. Most of the time."
"For all other times, leave a washcloth or (if it's not too gross) the nappy/diaper you just removed over the penis as an intercepting shield."
"Lots of good advice already. I have 2 things to add about breast feeding. You can't! But you can help. For the middle of the night feedings, whether planned or unplanned, I would get up, get our daughter, check the diaper, and bring the baby to mom while mom does whatever to make herself comfortable. I nap while they feed. When done, I took her back to bed, checked the diaper and went back to bed where mom was asleep again. Its not much, but my wife appreciated it."
"You can't get that mother/baby feeding bond, but I took a different approach to getting that bonding moment-diaper change! It has to be done, so make it a dad/baby bonding thing. Don't race. Its not the Daytona 500 where seconds count. Play with her/him while you clean them up. Find their feet, their nose. Laugh when they giggle. Bond. Mommy makes the tummy better, dad makes the bottom better. Both are very important to baby. Of course I don't mean you have to change all the diapers, just make the most of it when you do."
"Have fun. Remember, you're not going to be perfect. There's a heck of a learning curve. Babies are tougher than they look, but still delicate."
"Oh, that first morning you wake up and baby slept through the night is scary. You'll be happy when it happens and everybody is fine, but it is scary when it happens."
"The breastfeeding was huge for wife and I. We did it in the babies room, but I made it a point to get up and go with her change the baby's diaper and then hand her to my wife. I laid on the floor and played game boy while wife and baby fed in the rocking chair. Then when all was done swaddled baby back up put her in bed and crawled my a** back in bed with the wife. But also important and you kind of glossed over it."
"Keep calm and relax. All babies are different some are chill AF and some scream all night. Neither one spells doom and gloom. Just do your best to understand that sometimes it's fine to put baby down in a safe place like crib and walk away for a few minutes to regain yourself. Being a first time parent is very hard so try not to listen too much to other people who tell you the baby should do x or y by z date."
"Finally yup. even though my last baby in story above was my second baby to raise and care for first night she slept through terrified me when I woke up."
By the way, don't forget your wife.
"When my wife was breastfeeding she would get super thirsty the moment our baby latched on. Have a glass of water ready when she sits down with the baby."
Though, are we gonna trust someone with a username like Yeeteth_thy_baby?
The first 8 weeks.
"The first 8 weeks are not representative of the overall experience."
"Some people say the first 8 weeks are the hardest. Some people say it gets easier after the first 8 weeks....but that's almost...an oversimplification of the transition to 'parenthood.'"
"What in trying to say is: there will be days during the first 8 weeks that you think things are going badly, don't despair in those sleep deprived emotional moments: you've got this!"
"The first 8 weeks are the most straightforward. They're not easy but pretty standard across babies, for the most part. When they start crawling and walking, then you got problems."
"Oh lord. I look back at those first 8 weeks with envy. So easy. I wasn't working. My husband had lots of holiday. My parents were around. People came to coo over the adorable baby and bring me stuff. And the baby did basically nothing. Eat sleep poop. It stayed where I put it and it didn't sass me. And you're kinda riding the high of the new baby you've been waiting for for so long."
"Then they learn to move. And talk. And all bets are off."
"You settle into routine, real life comes back and you have to actually figure out your schedule properly and work out how to fit the new baby in long term around everything else that hasn't just magically vanished..."
"I'm more exhausted now trying to out logic the damn child and figure out how to be at work and school pickup at the same time!"
There are plenty of tender moments to be had with your new born, even if at times you're ready to throw in the towel. I really appreciate what know_vagrancy had to say:
"Share your stories, connect with others, and don't be afraid to join social circles / groups to connect with other new parents. It makes us realize we are not alone with our struggles."
You're not alone!
"Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here."
We all indulge in fast food from time to time.
Even if we know what we're eating isn't exactly healthy, sometimes the salty, fatty mass-produced food is the only thing we want.
Resulting in our making weekly, if not daily, visits to a nearby chain.
Then, of course, there are the chains that we make every effort to avoid.
We've likely tried places at least once simply because everyone is always talking about them.
But after having one bite, we have trouble seeing exactly what all the fuss was about and vow to never return.
Even if it might be the only option at a rest stop or even the only available food for miles, we instead opt to wait and be hungry.
Redditor BungOnMimosas was curious to hear what people considered to be the most overhyped fast food chains around, leading them to ask:
"What do you think are the most overrated fast-food chains? Why?"
"Food As It Should Be"... Or Not...
"I know it's not technically 'fast food', but Panera Bread pisses me off."
"Insanely expensive for extremely average food." - Reddit
"Their quality has decreased so much in the past few years and they’ve added weird sh*t to their menu like pizza and chicken sandwiches."
"Massive identity crisis and crap food."- asm233
Things Ain't What They Used To Be...
"All of them, now that they charge real restaurant prices."- P00pf4rt5
"As much as I hate to say it, McDonald's is the only place that I can think of that the quality hasn't changed much."
"I mean, that's a pretty low bar, but it is what it is."- gnatman66happy ronald mcdonald GIF by McDonald's CZ/SKGiphy
"The majority of them, especially the really big ones (McDonald's, Wendy's, BK, Pizza Hut, etc)."
"The prices are no longer fast food prices and the quality is not there like it used to be."
"Far better local options that cost roughly the same at the end of the day."- senorita_diablo
Consistency Is Key...
"You can go to the same location three separate times, have the food made by the same staff, and receive 3 wildly different results."- AndrewLampart
Not So Popular Anywhere, It seems...
"KFC in France became so bad."- SterBout
"KFC."- calm4ufried chicken animation GIF by octavioterolGiphy
Likely Won't Go National...
"Idk how wide spread they are, but in the Buffalo NY area there is a chain called Mighty Taco."
"They were even voted best tacos a few years ago."
"It is absolutely terrible food."
"I’ve tried to like it and given them 3 chances."
"Each time I couldn’t eat more than a couple bites."
"Absolutely terrible and I’m disgusted even thinking about their sour vomit in a tortilla."- aa-2020
"I think I’ve answered this question before but definitely for me, it’s Subway."
"Nothing but a giant hunk of bread."
"I’m editing this to add that part of my anger about Subway is how good it used to be."
"I can remember the days of nearly a whole can of tuna salad delicious sub."
"And a Veggie sub with Swiss cheese and piles of yummy veggies and the sweet Vidalia onion sauce."
"It’s all gone to sh*t."
"I would’ve been perfectly OK with increasing price but the big drop in quality pissed me off."
"Oh woe is me with my first world problems."- Mysterious-Region640football ok GIF by Subway ColombiaGiphy
Quantity Doesn't Guarantee Quality...
"Starbucks is a scam."- cmkeller62
Tasty, But Not Worth It...
"I’m going to say Five Guys."
"Not because the food isn’t good, but because I’m not paying $20 for a burger meal."- 2PacTookMyLunchMoney
"Dairy queen grill and Chill for sure."
"I worked at one for a lil' while and 1 burger combo is $14.56 CAD."- lolidk13Ice Cream Miracle Treat Day GIF by Children's Miracle Network HospitalsGiphy
And Not In A Good Way...
Big Kahuna Burger, it kills you."-Darklock2022
No two people have the same taste in food.
Some people know to avoid crappy food, while others eat literally nothing else.
There are several movies I've watched so many times I think the viewings outnumber the days I've lived.
And much like a favorite tv series or movie, who wouldn't love to start again anew?
Experiencing that first time but with that feeling of... "I'm gonna love this forever."
We never appreciate the first time enough.
But that's life.
Warning: there are spoilers below.
Redditor Jacale1 wanted to discuss all the movies we wish we could experience new all over again, so they asked:
"What is one movie that you wish you could watch again for the first time?"
There are a lot of mystery movies I'd love to redo, just to figure out the killer sooner.
Gasps!Raining The Shawshank Redemption GIFGiphy
"The Shawshank Redemption."
"A great nominee. Will never forget gasping when that rock went through the poster, and again when the warden pushed his arm through and ripped it down.... wow."
Over and Over
"Edge of Tomorrow."
"Is it bad that I got enjoyment knowing Tom Cruise died a lot in that movie. Never on screen, but it happened. Over and over. I hate that guy. How the hell was he the same height as Nichole Kidman in the movies they acted in together. Rhetorical question."
"Honestly the whole reason I watched the movie to begin with is that he kept dying over and over."
“'Stardust'- if you don’t know you’ll never know."
"I’m surprised that a fantasy romcom can be so enjoyable, for a straight guy. It’s just the right balance between fantasy, comedy, drama, and romance. Most of the female cast are very easy on the eyes too."
"I swooned when Yvaine glows while dancing on the ship, and when she talks emphatically to the mouse in the caravan. This movie has a lot of A listers, and they deliver. I’m not gonna lie, I have probably watched it half a dozen times."
"The book has so much more in it, even having seen the movie you'll feel like a child again."
"I watched this with my wife, who has never seen it, and that's about as close as you can get to watching it for the first time. It really displayed just how good the movie is. Also I love Aliens just as much for different reasons."
"Came here looking for this! I watched it for the first time with my dad when I was 11, and it’s one of my favorite childhood memories. Amazing movie."
Hey Arnoldsci-fi GIFGiphy
"I first watched this as a kid when I knew Arnold was the good guy in movies, and I had not seen T1. I wish I watched T2 for the first time after having watched T1. The mall scene would have been even more mind blowing."
T2 was definitely bada**!! I'd redo that.
"Bro, I'll go further. If I could watch the Nicholson covered in blood scene or the final scene between Damon and Wahlberg, I would be so freaking happy. The sheer acting clout on display for the first is near a masterclass while the last scene was just so business like, I'd love to relive that scene with fresh eyes. I love this freaking movie."
"The original Star Wars. Man, that blew our minds! It totally changed movies from then on. We'd never seen such incredible special effects. The story was so fun and the experience was amazing."
"Even though I’m not a franchise fan, I can get behind this answer. Because when I saw it first run, I was fourteen, and nothing like it had ever been done. I think it was the first movie where the special effects were the movie? Now that’s standard. It’s a reason people see many films now."
"So, for sheer originality, I’d watch it again, but only for the first time. I barely recall the second movie."
"The 6th Sense. I audibly gasped in the theater. All the clues are obvious on rewatch but that first time, before anyone knew M. Knight Shyamalan was a twist guy... wow."
"I never got to see it the first time. My girlfriend at the time (now wife) inadvertently let slip the ending thinking I had already seen it. I have never seen the point in watching it knowing the ending. But I did enjoy The Village."
"I watched it again and it was more of a sad film than a thriller."
"Spirited Away. I was blown away by how beautiful and bonkers it is."
"Saaaaame! Every single Studio Ghibli film, but Spirited Away especially! I’ve still watched it a million times though, and it’s always special. If I’m in a bad mood that film always cheers me up!"
"Also, Avatar-the last air bender. I know it’s not a movie, but I felt like it deserved a mention. I’ve watched the whole thing several times, and it’s always great, but I do wish I could forget it and rewatch it. I’m 35 btw... lol."
Great Scott!Doc Brown Shock GIF by Back to the Future TrilogyGiphy
"Back to the Future."
"I'd love to watch that in the cinemas... Now from the future."
Now I want to go to the movies.
There is no one way to anybody's heart or libido.
Sexy doesn't always have to equal raunchy.
I've known people turned on by music, books, nature, and even funerals (don't ask).
What starts someone's engine is a mystery.
Redditor asexyjohn18 wanted to hear about all the things that get people in the mood, so they asked:
"What is a non sexual trait that turns you on?"
I love a walk. A little strut. Nothing like getting the heart racing.
Tingleshair GIF by SB NationGiphy
"Getting my head scratched or having someone run their fingers through my hair."
"Same. It’s so pleasant when the tingles run down your spine... ;-) "
"When a girl genuinely laughs at jokes I make."
"I remember being on a first date with a beautiful woman and I made a bit of corny joke/comment and she laughed at it. I remember thinking, damn, wait till I get to my good stuff. I did get to my good material apparently as we were married. She gives me as many laughs as I give her."
"Kindness. When I see someone going out of their way to help others for no other reason than it’s the right thing to do… that is some truly attractive vibes."
"Apparently it's vanishing from this world really fast. People who show kindness often end up in losses (of course not everytime but most of the time yes). It really breaks my heart."
"Probably the sexiest thing out there. Someone can be smoking hot, funny, talented, etc. But if they're not kind, they're unattractive."
"Smiling right at me, and men stretching. LAWD HAVE MERCY!!"
"I have trouble smiling at women. Is this a turnoff for them? And ones I like are really hard to smile at. Because I know it's always going to be some really weird big smile if I am crushing which makes me feel like a super duper creep."
SimplicityHappy I Love You GIF by Warner Bros. DeutschlandGiphy
"Sorry if this is too kinky but i like it when they care about me."
"Too far man. You need to rethink your choices."
Sometimes it's all about the heart.
Eye 2 Eyei see you GIF by VH1Giphy
"When a guy explains something to you in a calm and understanding voice. Bonus points for gentle eye contact."
"Being crazily intelligent. Screw dirty talk, I want you to explain some unexplainable s**t in my ear."
"Heck yes. My best connections have been with a philosophy/history professor turned chancellor, an environmental engineer, and a neurosurgeon, all 3 Summa cum laude grads and conference speakers in their fields. The downside to genius though is complete absorption in their fields leaving little time for in person connection."
"Everyone should know how to cook. Hunger knows no gender. I like to eat good food so I learned how to cook. I asked my mom one day and she reacted surprised. She was more than grateful to have an opportunity to teach me the ‘finer’ aspects of cooking, as she called it. Lol. I love food."
"My girlfriend, now wife, likes to jokingly say I got her into bed with a well seasoned steak and homemade fries. I mean we did sleep together almost immediately after we finished dinner so maybe she’s right. That old saying comes to mind. 'The quickest way to the heart is though the stomach.'"
"When I ask my husband for help when I repot my plants and he delicately cleans and moves the leaves. He is a mechanical engineer and he works with huge pieces of industrial equipment, seeing him so tenderly caring for my plants just makes me melt."
Limbs A LotExcited Thomas Lennon GIF by ABC NetworkGiphy
"Men doing intricate work with their hands."
"I second this, also someone who can play guitar/bass real real well... just watching their hands, whoa mama."
Well, it seems that just about anything can get someone in the mood, especially if you're kind, courteous, and especially a good cook.
Anything to add? Let us know in the comments below!
Even just in the past decade, items that used to seem too luxurious or expensive for "average" people to purchase are now incredibly affordable. And inaccessible produce and personal hygiene products are close to a distant memory.
It's fun to think back about how far we've come.
Redditor Repulsive_Ad_1163 asked:
"What previously luxurious thing is now considered normal?"
"Vanilla. It’s the second most expensive spice by weight, even today… but for some reason, it’s associated with bland or mundane flavor. Go figure."
"Today's produce is a crazy luxury."
"You are telling me that in Ontario Canada, I can get perfectly ripe bananas in January? Insanity."
Car Bag Phones
"I remember my dad having a bag/car phone in the '90s for his business and people thinking that was a huge deal."
"25 years ago, I was in high school, and we watched a corporate video in class. It was one of those of how the future will be all bright and shiny, as long as everyone uses brand X."
"The video was by Motorola, and it described the future. And they weren't that far off, stuff like zoom calls from the beach. But the one thing that had everyone in the class laughing and dismissing the video as bulls**t?"
"The eight-year-old with her own cell phone. Because 'no parent would ever spend that much money on a phone for a kid.'"
"The only way there used to be to get aluminum was to find native deposits of it. Meaning, basically, pure nuggets or otherwise tiny little deposits. Which were exceptionally rare. Hence the precious nature of aluminum."
"Aluminium didn't become the ridiculously disposable commodity it is today until we learned how to break bauxite with electricity."
"Running Water. I live in a rural part of Alaska in the summer, it is still a luxury there."
"Power windows in a car."
"Car backup cameras. I think they're mandatory standard features on cars now."
Readily Available Food and Water
"I LOVE that I can buy pre-butchered meat and vegetables I didn't grow and pasta I didn't make, etc."
"I read 'Little House on the Prarie,' I'm not butchering the pigs and preserving the meat in barrels/smoking it over two weeks, and it's awesome!"
Flat Screen TVs
"The first flat screen TV I saw was at a Bose store in the Spring of 99' and it was 42" for $15k! By today's standards, it was a fat flat screen of lower pixel quality. Crazy how cheap you can get one for now!"
"Eating meat every day, my grandfather was born during WWII and he told me that he only ate meat once a week when he was a kid. I can't speak for other countries but in the French countryside that was considered a luxury post-WWII."
"If there was one random thing I remember from middle school social studies/history, it’s going to be the fact that purple pigment was for the elite."
"I'm old enough that when I was a girl, most sanitary napkins still had a suspender belt that you attached the pad to; the 'beltless' maxi pads that arrived in the '70s were a game-changing deal."
"And tampons? Revolutionary, although they required a large body of marking reassurance that girls' virginity wouldn't be ruined by tampon use..."
"Agatha Christie once said, 'I never thought I would ever be so poor that I would not have servants, or so rich that I would own a car.'"
"But Honestly this statement is still quite true around the world."
"In places like southeast Asia, many families have live-in helpers or servants and they are quite poor themselves. Yet they can't afford a car."
"My dad used to always put an orange in my stocking and explained that it used to be a big deal because the fruit was hard to find."
"I carried on the tradition with my own kids. My 20-year-old, who I still make a stocking for, told me this past Christmas that it doesn't feel like Christmas if he doesn't get an orange in his stocking."
"He said when he has kids, he'll carry on the tradition and explain why. It made me feel good to know that it was as important to him as it was to me."
It's amazing to think of how the economy and our lifestyles have evolved over the years, and how expenses have changed to reflect that.