Over the years of being a work-at-home dad, I’ve picked up a few tricks that have not only made my parenting easier but safer as well. And as I prepare to take on the at-home parenting duties of our second child — a recent newborn — a few key elements of those earlier teachings have come flooding back. While they might seem minor in the scheme of my parenting day, the following tips make my life easier and things just a little safer for the little one.
I should patent my special diaper wrapping technique, but I guess I’m willing to share it for free. When I’m changing a dirty diaper, I find that once I have it free from baby that if I fold it over in half, then in half again, taking the side straps and pulling them out and then using them to wrap around and under the rest of the diaper, I can make a nice little bundled package of the contents.
I like doing this for several reasons. First off, it helps keep the smell and mess to a minimum after I put the dirty diaper into the diaper bucket. Second, it helps keep accidents before the diaper makes its way into the bucket to a minimum.
If you’ve ever watched the move There’s Something About Mary then you know what I’m talking about when I say, “Zipper slip”. There’s no way I want a child’s body part of any sort (yes, it happened to a five-year-old me once) getting caught up in an outfit’s zipper as I’m zipping it up. Therefore, when I’m zipping up baby, I place several fingers of the hand I’m using to pull the zipper up between the zipper and baby’s skin as a guide, acting also as a barrier between the zipper’s pinch and baby’s skin.
Having a portable carrier that fits a stroller and a car seat is super handy; however, such a device is useful to me inside the home as well. As an at-home dad without much help around on most weekdays, I don’t get much time where I can break away from baby. Even relatively simple events like doing dishes, throwing in a load of laundry or trying to take a shower suddenly become much more difficult with baby around. It’s not even that baby is actually always being fussy, I just don’t like being out of sight. And leaving her alone in her swing or playard — even just for several minutes — isn’t always the best idea.
This is when having that smaller more portable carrier really comes in handy. Being able to plop her in there, where she is secure and immobile, yet where I can bring her along into the kitchen, laundry area or bathroom means that I can keep an eye on her while getting stuff done at the same time.
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