What’s up, new Dad? Are you getting the hang of this parenting thing? Are you changing diapers with your eyes closed? Can you sling a bottle like you’re in a Wild West gunfight? Personally, if catching spit-up with a burp-cloth were a sport, I’d be the Michael Jordan of lukewarm vomit. Fun, right?
Take a second to reflect on how far you’ve come. Even if 5 months is just a small portion of the lifelong dad-journey we’re embarking on, it’s been a life-changing 5 months. Be proud of yourself and your dad skills that are growing every day.
Time for Teeth
Between now and 7 months, you may notice your baby seems more irritable. Mine has gone from sleeping through the night to a cranky, barely-sleeping, drooling mess. If your baby is chewing on anything they can get their hands on, chances are their baby teeth are on the move! A teething ring can work wonders in relieving some of that pain for your baby. Pop it in the fridge or freezer for best results.
Errands and Infants
As your kids grow older, even going to the post office can become an effort in patience and resilience. Last week I brought my girls to Aldi. After getting them packed into the cart, I taught my 2-year-old how to check for cracked eggs. A few minutes later, I looked down and she had a whole egg halfway in her mouth, seconds away from discovering that raw and cooked eggs taste a little different. Add in a crying baby, and all you can do is just laugh. Plus, Aldi cashiers tend to fling groceries into your cart with wild abandon, so you’ll probably want to wrap your kids in bubble wrap, just in case.
I’ve discovered that a lot of the big grocery stores have either a paid delivery or free pickup service. If you’re a stay-at-home dad or work from home, this can be a game-changer. If you’re strapped for time or you just don’t have the energy to go through the whole shopping experience with a cart full of kids, these services are for you. You can even have your wife order groceries then you swing by and pick them up after work in minutes, getting you home to your babies even faster.
It’s Game Time
The NFL season has begun, (and some of the roughing the passer calls are as soft as your baby’s bottom) but the real game time starts at home with peek-a-boo and funny faces. Your baby is starting to learn object permanence, which means they understand that things still exist even when out of sight. That means you can get an awesome smile or giggle by peeking around the corner and surprising your baby or playing peek-a-boo.
Finding the time to engage with your baby can be hard when you have a full-time job. However, coming home and winding down with them can give you something to look forward to. Make sure to get that last bottle-feeding or sit down and read a few books before bed. It’ll be the most rewarding part of your long day.
Missed the other months? If you’re new to fatherhood, there’s no judgment here. You can find the previous month here: