“Excuse me, our one appears to have come without a manual”

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Healthy baby, check

Healthy mum, check

Excitable dad, check

Ability to care for this incredibly fragile little person, er, erm, hhhm

It’s a strange feeling driving home from hospital for the first time with an extra person that you don’t really know but love more than anything. It was great at hospital, it was a bit like being in a hotel, “Room service, please. Yes could someone come and take this screaming baby for us so we can get some sleep, no that will be all thanks”. I don’t know what I thought I would be doing, what my role would be in those first weeks but I felt fairly redundant. Try as I may my nipples were milk-less. You have never seen anyone so excited to change a nappy, I was Mr Nappy, over time the excitement has worn off as the pooh has become increasingly smellier and sloppier, bring back those little black ones I say.

Notable memories of the early weeks include, falling asleep to the soothing sounds of a breast pump, contorting my body into all manner of positions on the sofa, baby on chest and mum in bed, England giving Australia a damned good spanking in the Ashes, wondering what breast milk actually tastes like, refusing to taste breast milk and feeling extremely protective of my little man. The turning point for us was a recommendation from a stranger, the best stranger we ever met, a book called “Save Our Sleep by Tizzie Hall”. Within a week Max was in a routine (that magic ‘r’ word) and everything made sense after weeks of stumbling around in the dark. If anyone finds themself in this position of uncertainty my advice is to choose a prescribed routine and stick with it through the sleepless nights and the crying fits. I met a Dad recently who said his 18 month old son had spent every night from birth in the bed with them – ouch!

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  • Kat

    Couldn’t agree more, the great R word always worked for us, routine, kids love it and need it, just like in the toddler phase they thrive from set boundaries and good rewards and discipline. When ours were little we also always differentiated between day and night from the word go if it was night I fed baby in bed in the dark and both ours slept through from 6 weeks. But then it could be my magic milk simply knocked them out!

    • http://daddownunder.wordpress.com daddownunder

      Could you send us some of your magic milk Kat?

      • Kat

        Mmmmm magic milk… bluuuuuuuuuggggghhhhhhh… Yak!
        I can send you some magic whiskey??

  • Sophie

    “It’s a strange feeling driving home from hospital for the first time with an extra person that you don’t really know but love more than anything. ”

    True that. What a perfect way to describe that feeling. Nothing like it is there?

    • http://daddownunder.wordpress.com daddownunder

      There certainly isn’t Sophie, it was a very cautious bit of driving on my part.

  • http://CarlyFindlay.blogspot.com Carly Findlay

    Hello! Found your blog via BabyMac and wow, I’m impressed! You are an engaging writer, a cook and a dad – could you be the perfect man?!
    I read this post and thought of a podcast I had heard lately – Life Matters. It was about the first ride home after the birth of a baby, and was told from a Dad’s point of view.
    I think you’ll like it.

    • http://daddownunder.wordpress.com daddownunder

      Thanks Carly thats very kind of you, I will definitely check it out. Unfortunately I’m terrible at putting together flat packed furtniture and am a reluctant ironer

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