Your crawling, falling, bawling bundle of joy is 8 months old, and you must be one proud papa. Every day the laughter, smiles, and exploration increase, and every day you’re learning more and more about what it means to be a dad. To me, being a dad means coming home and having a little face smiling back at you. It means helping your significant other out with the chores when you can tell she’s beyond exhausted from breastfeeding (or working) late last night. It means teaching your son or daughter how to swap toys from hand to hand and explore their environment. It means seeing their little personality shine through. Being a dad is so difficult and so rewarding, and there’s nothing I’d trade it for.

I’ve Never Seen so Many Happy Strangers

As a new dad, one of the first things I noticed was how people treat you when you’re out with the baby. I’m the primary caregiver of our two girls, and while out running errands I’ve gotten my share of “you must be babysitting the kids today,” which is frustrating. I’ve even got “are you helping your wife with dinner today?” No—I’m cooking for my family, like I do every day, you old crazy. However, the results are usually pretty positive—“you’re a great Daddy,” or “your girls are such great shopping partners.”

What always impresses me is the joy that a baby can bring to someone on an otherwise dreary or monotonous day. Once your baby is waving (which is likely still a couple of months away), they’ll delight almost anyone who happens to be the recipient. How often in our society do we wave and smile at strangers? If we do, how often is it sincere? A baby’s smile and recognition are always sincere and meaningful. Just by taking your baby out and about, you have the power to brighten someone’s day. Use that power and pass that joy along.

It’s Time to Grub

We haven’t talked much about moving beyond baby food and tackling solids. It’s honestly a lot more convenient to cook up a bunch of eggs for you and your baby for breakfast. Just cut them into little pieces, put them on a tray, and watch her go at it. We love eating broccoli, eggs, wheat bread (rolled up into tiny dough balls), pasta, peas, bananas, and more. You’ll really enjoy watching your baby try brand new foods for the first time (just wait until they bite into a lemon, make a horrified, “what have I done” face, and then do it again three times). You’ll also save a lot of money and waste compared to buying baby foods.


Missed the other months? If you’re new to fatherhood, there’s no judgment here. You can find the previous month here:

What I Wish I Knew About Becoming a Dad — Month 7


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