9-month-tips

What’s up, Dad? Hope you’re feelin’ fine—it’s month 9! Your baby has been out for as many months as they were in—how’s that for an accomplishment? For those keeping track at home, that’s roughly 274 days or 1,100 missed hours of sleep, 600 what-day-of-the-week-is-it moments, 300 packs of diapers, 33 childproofing mishaps, 10 years-worth of stress, and 1 happy, healthy baby.

Again, I want to congratulate you on rocking it every day, even when things get rocky. Whether you’re at home in the trenches or grinding out the workday until you can come home and jump around with your bouncy baby, you’re doing what’s right for your family. That’s a hell of an accomplishment, and you’re appreciated for everything you do.

Jammin’ Out

Speaking of jumping around, have you had any dance parties with your baby yet? By now, they’re likely getting in the groove and moving to the beat. That might mean flailing their arms around like a maniac, scooting around, or bobbing their head. My daughter can head-bang and rock back-and-forth like she’s been touring with Ozzy for decades. I love seeing her so excited and animated.

Both of my daughters especially love it when I sit down and play the guitar. It was the only way I could get my oldest to nap when she was a baby. She’ll dance and rock out to this day when I play her song, and my youngest is following in her musical footsteps. Getting your kids involved in music at a young age is an awesome way to bond. Give it a couple of years and you can buy them their own little instruments to join in. As a bonus, they’ll never complain about how terrible your singing is.

Raising my girls has shown me just how instinctively in-tune with music kids are. As soon as they’re old enough to walk, they’ll run around in circles, shake their little butts, and throw their hands in the air with reckless abandon (kind of like Aunt Susan after a few Jack and Cokes). This is true in every culture, proving that music has always been the universal language.

Unfortunately, as we grow, we learn to be self-conscious, muffling that culture-crossing voice. As we get older still, some of us recapture that carefree vibe. Others, like Aunt Susan, need a little outside assistance to push past the awkwardness (and that’s okay, too). Just remember the lessons our kids teach us—it’s important to dance to the sounds of the world around us. Don’t get too caught up in your head.

Cough Cough

We’re almost through the majority of flu season (I promise I’m not here to scare you about the Coronavirus, which seems to largely avoid children, thankfully). If your baby is in any sort of daycare, or you have nieces and nephews, or you simply go outside your house once in a blue moon, your baby has probably had a cold or fever. Don’t worry, that means you’ll be getting sick soon too since your baby thinks it’s hilarious to sneeze in your face.

Don’t panic—all babies get sick eventually. Keep an eye out for diarrhea, dehydration, and vomiting. Make sure your baby is still eating and drinking. If medication is necessary, we usually go with a natural alternative like Zarbee’s, but your pediatrician will know best.

 

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 8

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