Articles, advice and tips for fathers - Reluctant Dad

Babies drool

Babies drool a lot. Like a river. It’s not so bad when they’re small and immobile, but once they’re crawling or walking the drool gets spread all over the house. When I’m walking through the house and my feet are sticking to the floor I’m always reminded of the creatures in the movie, Aliens. Those were seemingly able to build structures down in the depths of their incubation chambers presumably out of bodily fluid excretions. I’m sure, given time and the inclination, one could do the same with baby drool (you’ll find numerous opportunities to make comparisons between the Alien films and pregnancy, child birth and child rearing).

Teething is the cause of much drooling. Apparently it is natural to create drool while the baby’s teeth are coming in. I certainly wasn’t prepared for the copious nature of the drool. Then imagine this combined with the kid having a cold. You’ll either need to wrap yourself in a tarp or walk around naked at this stage. Someone should really design clothing for parents that repels fluids but is fashionable enough to wear all day to work. It’s always happens that once you’re dressed in the morning and just about to ready to head out, late as usual, for work that the kid will careen into you and rub a snotty, drooly face all over your crotch area.

Speaking of work, make sure that your clothes are not only baby fluid repellent, but also comfortable enough to wear until you collapse into bed. Definitely buy wrinkle and stain resistant clothes. I’ve found the Arrow line of pants available from Meijer stores, and the Croft and Barrow shirts from Kohls, both in the USA , to be well priced and durable enough. I have yet to find a suitable alternative in Australia.

If you have to wear expensive suits to work, change at work before you leave for home. Alternatively, if you can, work from home (with the kid in day care. Otherwise ‘work from home’ is contradictory) or just get another job. I say this because the moment you walk in the door the family that you helped create will be making such demands on you that there’s no way to casually change your clothes, wash up, and prepare for the onslaught of Parenthood. I sometimes get to undo my top button. I used to hate wearing my work clothes for 14+ hours a day, but now it doesn’t bother me so much. You’ll get used to it.

Buy a universal remote. A baby’s drool is very destructive to electronics. I discovered this combination to be lethal to my brother’s Nokia cell phone that I borrowed. The same will happen to the remotes for your various electronic entertainment devices that you won’t get to use anymore. Get a good universal remote, and put the original remotes away in a safe place. It is essential you do this BEFORE the baby arrives, or you’ll never get a chance to program it or learn how to use it. If you own standard products by mainstream manufacturers you won’t need to program the universal remote, but you’ll still have to teach your partner how to use it. She’ll never get the hang of it after the baby is born as she will probably get even less sleep than you. I’ve found Philips/Magnavox makes the best of the affordable universal remotes. It features learning / programming capabilities and support for a wide array of manufacturers.

While you’re at it, you might as well take the surround sound speakers down from the wall. You’re not going to need them anymore, and if you don’t take them down the kid will find a way to rip them down.

Make sure you buy lots of bibs. Don't get the ones that use velcro. Make sure you buy ones with a metal snap for clasping around a babies neck. It takes longer for them to figure out how to take those ones off. The velcro ones can be ripped off fairly easily.

Double Bibbing - At meals times use two bibs. Not only are you contending with the regular drool, but the mess of food as well.

Making sure you follow these steps will keep outfit changes to a minimum 4 or 5 times a day.

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