Wow! This is such a fast and easy solution to an all to common problem.
The guys at Key|Smart have come up with this simple solution that anyone can use, and the magnet is super strong. The price is so cheap that you could put these on any switch you wanted - in the garage, by the front door, a closet. You could even change out a a screw somewhere else to hold small tools - a screwdriver or a bottle opener, just to name some useful items. :-)
Their other Life Solving product is their Key|Smart keyring. It's a pocket knife for your keys. No bulk. No sounding like a janitor walking down the hallway. Just a sleek and simple solution. I need one!
Here is a taste of the live tweeting DaddyO did during our first Christmas travel across the country as a new family.
OK, I know what you're thinking. "Yeah right". Honestly, I thought the same thing when my Dominican neighbor suggested we take Vick's Vapor Rub with us to the pediatricians and apply it after the shots to sooth our baby.
Well, we thought we would try it and IT WORKED! After the shots were complete, we rubbed in a small amount to each injection site and put the band aid over that and our baby felt much better.
We decided to space out our vaccinations by a week or so, so we only had two shots to deal with at the time, but our son was happy as a clam after the little "life hack" we tried.
Maybe it's luck, maybe it works, maybe it's Voodoo. When you have a kid, you go take any small success you can muster.
Welcome to the club! You are now part of a wonderful family and a member of committed brethren of men aiming to raise healthy and happy children while managing the daily tasks of being a loving husband and respectable man. Congratulations!
I know you are feeling more proud, more love, and more joy than you have ever felt in your life. I also know when there is even the tiniest of breaks in the day, you are feeling the most dread you have ever felt in your life. What to do, how to do it right, when to do it, should you do it, why do you even do it, and what does it cost to hire someone else to do it. :-)
There are many books on the topic of new fatherhood and you should read them . But I wanted to put together a short list of the immediate bits of knowledge that you will need to help you through the next month in your efforts to keep another human being alive.
1. Keep a log.
A notebook (paper or digital) is a great place to log when you feed and change the baby. Keeping track those first few weeks will be important to make sure your child is doing well and acclimating to living in this new world. You can also write down questions for the pediatrician to ask them when you bring your kid and your notebook to your appointments. Trust me, sleep deprivation will sap your memory so write down anything you want to remember.
2. Sleep when the baby sleeps
Seriously. I know you are going to want to use that time to catch up on email, update your Facebook, or even just watch T.V. DON'T.
SLEEP. NOW. That little 30 minute nap will make you such a better person and allow you to get through the rest of your day. Everything else can wait.
3. Control the legs during a diaper change.
Have you ever had to actually hog tie a squealing pig? Imagine you are trying to put a pair(s) of pants on a squid. (I'll give you a sec to let that image manifest)
But first you have to change it's diaper.
Those little legs can be everywhere in an instant and so can the contents of the diaper when they kick it all around.
The best method is to take one hand and grab both their ankles and lift up raising their butt off the changing mat. Now you can use your other hand to remove the diaper and wipe them down. You'll be a pro at it in no time. It's a simple trick, but it prevents you from have THAT story.
4. When the baby is crying, check off the list.
Here is the list:
- Change the baby. (diaper and outfit, if needed)
- Feed the baby.
- Comfort the baby. (swaddle, rocking, holding, carry)
- Whatever specific task your child may require.
- If you have done everything to make sure the child is fed, clean and comfortable, then you may just need to let them cry it out.
Put them down where they sleep and let them be. Come back in 30 minutes and try the list again.
5. Baby helpline.
Here is a baby helpline you can call with questions. Set your phone to voice dial it if you can. Yelling "Call Babyline" at your phone while holding a distressed baby will make your life a lot easier! I also have it set to "Call Batman", but nothing has happened yet...
Here is the number to the Hoag Hospital Babyline. (PST) You can call and leave a message and they will call you right back.
6. Stress management.
Yoga, workout, bike ride, swim, walk, run, meditate, etc.
Whatever you need to do to give yourself even just 20 minutes of focused YOU time built around relaxing and calming your body and mind DO IT! Let your partner have that time and they will give it to you.
Keeping a human being alive is immensely stressful and it will get the better of you on more than one occasion. You must find a way to manage your anger, exhaustion, depression and frustrations in an effective way. It is not the child's fault that they cannot take care of themselves or even know what they need. It is your task as a parent to take the higher ground and put the child's needs first while caring for your own well being in a positive way.
Here are some good online resources:
10 minute Yoga Flow
20 minute workout
7. Buy diapers? Good. Now buy twice as many.
Whether you are using cloth, G Diapers, disposable, or old t shirts, it doesn't matter. You will need more than you think you need. Babies will go through a lot of diapers. Below is an Amazon link to a ton of 'em. 216 diapers for $36 with Prime and there in 2 days. Amazon will become your very best friend.
8. Help your partner
It is not easy for dads. It's not easy for moms either. Make sure you are helping in whatever way you can. This is a team effort. Take out the trash, walk the dogs, clean the kitchen, clean the bathroom, vacuum the living room, make the bed, make dinner, buy the groceries, order take out, watch a movie she wants to watch, bring her food and drink while she is breastfeeding, clean the bottles.
Anything helps and you will be surprised how efficient you become at all of these tasks. You can get a lot done in 20 minutes of focused effort.
Become the man you know you can be - all capable, all caring, all powerful.
9. Ask for help.
It took me a little bit before I let myself reach out with questions and concerns I had. Maybe pride stopped me, maybe naivete, maybe I just never found the time. But when I did I found a resource in my friends, family, neighbors and online that helped answer simple and even complex questions. Never be afraid to say "I don't know, but I will find out". It will save you.
10. Enjoy this.
This is a beautiful time in your life. You love this new human and feel like you have never felt when you hold them in your arms and look into their eyes. Yes it can be tough, but loving and raising a fantastic person makes it all worth it. Take lots of pictures, go on walks as a family, and enjoy just being together. You'll be great.
- Daddy O
So you have the stroller. You can pack a few things into it, but let’s face it - carting around a kid requires a military quartermaster to keep track of all the things you will need from bottles, wipes, snacks, pants, toys, hats, and oh yeah, room for your stuff.
You have to find a way to keep all your accoutrement organized, and it is not easy to find a stroller organizer that can fit all of your demands.
Joe, founder of Ethan & Emma, suffered the same struggle and endeavored to create his own solution.
Joe wanted an organizer that offered more storage space, cup holders that could hold something bigger than a soda can, and a way to attach this organizer to any stroller on the market. His background in manufacturing gave him the skills to see the product through to production and years of retail experience led him in his course to bring this fantastic idea to the market that needs it. This organizer is a wonderful example of a superior product developed by parents for parents.
Now for the details of what Ethan & Emma has brought us.
Out of the box, it’s clear how compact this organizer can get. Folded up it takes up no more room than a fanny pack, remember those? So it’s easy to travel with this product anywhere you plan to use any stroller.
Two large flaps on either side of the organizer allow you to mount the stroller on any handle bar set up by wrapping the flaps around attaching the velcro back on itself.
Ready to roll, you now have everything you need right in front of you. There are two deep and insulated pockets for holding drinks. These are great, thought out features. Insulated cup holders, big enough to hold your steel water bottle and deep enough to make sure that large iced coffee travels securely.
Between the cup holders is a parent friendly square pocket as deep as the cup holders with a flap covering that has a mesh zipper pocket built into the top. This mesh pocket is a perfect place to keep a metro card, easy pass cards for theme parks, or even a grocery list. I currently use it to store blog business cards.
That same middle pocket keeps the flap closed with a magnetic strip to allow access without the noise from ripping Velcro to wake a sleeping child. Obviously this was a function a parent knew needed to be featured.
If you are looking to store a few more items beyond the necessities, there is a large zippered pouch attached to the main organizer with a zipper. Put wipes, plastic bags, pacifiers, or anything else you would need and then need to bring around to the front of the stroller. Easy on, easy off.
A deep mesh pocket next to the zippered pouch completes the main unit with a perfect place to stash your cell phone.
But wait…THERE’S MORE! That’s right, just as you packed all your belongings and are ready to head out, your kid brings out his two dinosaurs that have to come with us, or her magical flute that travels everywhere with her now. If you need more space there are TWO MORE pockets that are cleverly stashed with Velcro right under the main compartments. Pull the Velcro and roll out two large mesh pockets that hang securely below everything else and stay out of the way while walking.
You’re set! Once you find your way back home after an afternoon of excitement, all the pockets easily fold up, close up and create the simple streamlined organizer you started with. A quick wipe down with a damp cloth will clear any messes you find at the end of your day.
For my money, this organizer checked all the boxes without sacrificing necessary space for gimmicks. Infinitely useful, infinitely practical, and infinitely adaptable, the Ethan & Emma Stroller Organizer is an excellent purchase that you will be happy with and touting its perks to your friends the first chance you get.