Hospital Bag Checklist for Dads

hospital bag checklist for dads

All you have to do is open Google and search to find countless lists of what a Mum-to-be should pack in her bag for hospital, but what about Dads? I wanted to make sure we were ready to go so I started searching for a hospital bag checklist for dads. The information I was chasing wasn’t as readily available as I had hoped so I decided to put together my own list. After all this is a Dad Blog, so it should have advice useful for Dads!

Why Do you need a Hospital Bag checklist for Dads?

Those who have been following would know that the Down Under Family currently only has one toddler, however that is all about to change see – When 3 become 4 . While I like to think I learnt a lot the first time around, there are others out there with a lot more experience.

With that in mind I decided to reach out to the Dads on Twitter for some advice

While there were a mixed bag of responses, there was also a few common items which I agree with. So without dragging it on, here it is:

Down Under Dad’s – Hospital Bag Checklist for Dads

  • Snacks – this is an obvious one, chances are you are going to be in the delivery room for an extended period of time, and you can’t exactly order room service (although that could be a good business idea?)
  • A Pillow – Not only do you want to do everything you can to make your partner comfortable, but you need to look after yourself too. A simple pillow can make a big difference to your level of comfort.
  • Chargers – Whether its a charger for your camera or your phone that will double as one you want to make sure you have it handy. The last thing you need is a flat battery because you have been playing games for most of the day.
  • Comfy Clothes – While you may feel the need to dress fancy so you look nice in your first photos with your newborn, so one is going to be looking at you. So wear something comfortable, and make sure you pack a change of clothes too.
  • The Push Present – they say it takes 2 to make a baby but lets face it, giving birth is a 1 sided job. Women go through a lot to bring a baby into the world so they deserve to be rewarded.

The list could go on, but here are some honorable mentions:

 

So there you have it, while there is plenty of lists for Mum’s available online, there is finally a hospital bag checklist for dad’s.

hospital bag checklist for dads

 

 

Counting Down to a Newborn

counting down to a newborn

A newborn baby completely changes your lifestyle. You become overtired, your house becomes a mess, and the days all merge together. Counting Down to a Newborn you can prepare for this all you want. Those who have been there before will know no amount of preparation will be enough.

Counting Down to a Newborn

Down Under Dad has been a bit quiet of late. Those who have been around for awhile would know that soon enough our little family of three will become a little bigger. You can read the original announcement here – When 3 becomes 4 .

counting down to a newborn

The Down Under household has been busy lately getting ready for the arrival of Baby Number 2. That means making a list and checking off a little everyday – just kidding, you know you won’t be able to sleep properly until everything on the list is ticked off.

So as we’re busy Counting Down to a Newborn, here’s a bit of a checklist to get you started:

Counting Down to a Newborn Checklist

  • Wash the Clothes – Whether its your first time around and you are trying to make sure you have taken the tags off everything, or you need to sort through all the boxes of clothes you kept from the first time. This can take awhile, but you better get used to it, Newborns go through a lot of clothes.
  • Put the Capsule in the Car – My first time putting our baby capsule in the car took me close to 3 hours (rookie effort I know), by the time he grew out of it I could do it in 3 minutes. If you haven’t done it before or its been a couple of years, I suggest you do this early. I actually had to do it the first time in the rain as I’d left it too late. note, my wife and baby were in hospital at the time, I didn’t have the newborn in the rain.counting down to a newborn
  • Pack the Hospital Bag – When its time to go, its time to go. You don’t want to be frantically trying to pack a bag when your partner is in labour. Pack it early, add to it as you see fit, then leave it near the door. What should you pack in a hospital bag? I’ll leave that one for the Mum blogs out there, but you can check out a pretty good list by Corryn over at Milk and Love here – Hospital Bag Checklist for New Mums . What should Dad’s pack? I’m working on that, watch this space.
  • Clean your House – When counting down to a newborn this is probably the last thing you want to be doing as its not technically baby related. But trust me you want to do it. Your house is going to become messy for at least a few weeks, it happens to everyone, so you should make sure its clean to start off with. Sorry Dad’s this one’s on you, unless they recently added cleaning to the list of ways to induce labour.
  • Spend Time Together – As your spending everyday focusing on whose about to arrive its important to make time for those who are already here. Don’t neglect each other. If you can make time for a Date Night or 2 , if you don’t make the time now, you aren’t going to have the time for at least a month or 2. Also, if you already have children, make time for them too, the attention they are used to is going to be cut down as soon as your newborn arrives so make sure they still feel involved.

Sit Back and Enjoy the Ride

As you get closer to Go Day and you finish Counting Down to a Newborn, its important to enjoy the journey. It’s been a long 9 months, but I can almost guarantee you wouldn’t change it. Even if you already have children, your lives are about to be changed again with the arrival of your newborn.

I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, there will be good days and tough days. There will be days where you feel like your going a little crazy, but there will also be days where you feel like you have it all sorted. The Good days always outnumber the Tough days.

 

Weekly Wrap Up – Monday 6th August

weekly wrap up

Its Monday, which means its the start of a new week. It also means I am a day late with my weekly wrap up.

and while I could give you any number of excuses why I am running late this week, I’ve said from the start I would be honest with you and I simply don’t know why.

The Down Under household had a fairly busy week last week which partly attributed to the missed timeline, but also my thoughts have been thinking outside of just daily posts to keep you updated and trying to think about the bigger picture, big things are coming.

But enough excuses, here it is, the week (and 1 day) that was.

Top 10 Tuesday

Last weeks Top 10 was all about Twitter (way to many T’s I know), and the hilarious Dad’s that use it to share their real lives with the world. I say real lives as Twitter is where the truth comes out.

Just check out some of these Dad’s and you will know what I’m talking about.

top 10 tuesday twitter dad
By Friday the Down Under Household’s week had already been full so I called a time-out and updated you with

The Week So Far

Tuesday the whole family was overtired, thanks a lot Toddler Sleep Regressions

Wednesday started off as usual with our weekly Swimming Lessons and ended up with a hostage situation that lasted a horrific 15 minutes.

baby driver

Friday’s first stop was the tax man, a boring affair by all accounts, but a well behaved toddler meant it was followed up by a fancy breakfast.

You can read all about it here The Week So Far. . .

If you actually read it you would also know that Mr and Mrs Down Under also had their first child free night in months on the weekend. Why is it that when you finally have the free time without children, all you want to do is relax and sleep.

Don’t forget the Dad Jokes

If you haven’t realised yet this is a Dad Blog, and you can’t seriously have a Dad Blog without the Odd Dad Joke – or in this case, without regular Dad Jokes.

This particular Dad Joke is the perfect play on words, also a good example why you should think carefully about what you name your kids.

spontaneous dad joke

So that’s it for last week in terms of the blog. Obviously more happened in the week then I posted about. However balancing a full time job with being a Dad means sometimes there isn’t always time to let the world know about every little happening. If you would like to keep up to date though I’d suggest a quick follow on Twitter @DownUnderDadbg or on Instagram @downunderdadblog

Been away for awhile, check out my previous weekly wrap up here Weekly Wrap Up – Sunday 29th July 2018

 

The Week So Far. . .

baby driver

Its Friday! in this part of the world anyway, which means the weekend is here. Down Under Dad actually has this weekend off work so more time outside, more time for adventures, and more time with the family.

How has your week been? Considering the weather has still been unseasonably warm, the week has been relatively straight forward in the Down Under Household.

Tuesday

So while nothing overly exciting happened on Tuesday, you will understand why I brought it up in a minute.

Tuesday is daycare day for Oliver. From the reports we get back from the centre, some days it feels like he has more fun there then he does at home.

Normally on a Tuesday Mrs Down Under would go to work, with Down Under Dad not starting work til later in the day, it would fall to me to get the little guy up and ready for Daycare whenever he woke up.

This Tuesday however Down Under Dad had been asked to work during the day rather then the afternoon like usual. Normally this is a good thing, and this week was no different. However it did mean that the morning routine which usually doesn’t have a time limit, was rushed.

Now I won’t bore you with the details, but of course a 2 year old doesn’t really understand when there is a sense of urgency about getting ready. It also happened to be a morning after a night of interrupted sleep (see Toddler Sleep Regressions). This meant that not only were Mr and Mrs Down Under Dad tired, but so was the little guy.

How does the morning routine go in your household? Is it always organised chaos? or have you got it down to a fine art? I’m keen to hear your tips.

Wednesday

Regular followers would know that Wednesday mornings means Swimming Lessons with the little guy. You can see our previous experiences here Swimming Lessons .

The swimming lessons happen the same time every week throughout the year except for during school holidays. That means that we are 2 weeks into this term of lessons. It also means that not only did we have a 2 week break before this, but due to A Week with a Sick Toddler , we actually had 4 weeks off.

swimming lessons

For most people 4 weeks off wouldn’t be an issue, unfortunately when you are dealing with a toddler, 4 weeks off can seem a lifetime.

To summarise, swimming lessons aren’t exactly going swimmingly (#dadjoke) at the moment, fingers crossed another week and they will be back to the usual fun.

After swimming we needed to duck into the supermarket for some urgent supplies (literally wearing the last nappy we had), unfortunately getting back into the car with groceries in one arm and a toddler in the other proved difficult. If you follow me on Instagram @downunderdadblog you already know how this goes.

Our 2 year old’s fascination with cars has reached the next level, now he feels the need to pretend to drive the real ones. Oliver managed to climb into the drivers seat before Down Under Dad had a chance to strap him in and wouldn’t budge. What followed was a long ordeal (15 minutes or so) of Dad sitting in the passenger seat while the little guy pretended to drive.

baby driverWhile there is a smile on his face, every time I asked him to hop in the back I was politely told No No No!

Thankfully the hostage situation ended peacefully with the subject restrained.

Friday

This morning we had arranged for our tax returns to be completed. Again I won’t bore you with the details, but the little guy was surprisingly well behaved.

As we had left home in a hurry, we decided to eat out for breakfast. If you have read about Our Quick Escape – Part 1 then you would know we really enjoy eating fancy for breakfast.

The venue we decided on was Table 1 Espresso , we had been before but when the little guy was much younger. The difference now was we needed 3 meals between us not 2.

As before the service was great, as was the food.

Breakfast

As you can see breakfast consisted of Bacon and Eggs etc for Dad, and pancakes for Mum and Oliver.

The thing about eating at a restaurant with a toddler is that you never know just how much you are going to eat. If you don’t order them their own meal, then they will proceed to eat all of yours. If you do, chances are even if its a ‘kids’ serving, it will be too much.

Today proved to be a combination of the two.

20180803_1119041909921049.jpg

A combination of the two in more ways then one, in the picture above you can see the little guy’s excitement at mixing his ice-cream with Mum’s juice.

All in all everyone enjoyed their meal, the little guy didn’t eat much but his meal was finished off by Dad without hesitation.

The Weekend

As its Friday today, that means the weekend is tomorrow. What have you got planned? Mr and Mrs Down Under Dad are having a child free night, which means its finally time for another Date Night .

Enjoy the Weekend!

 

1/8/18 – Dad Joke of the Day

spontaneous dad joke

any resemblance to actual kids is purely coincidental

A woman has twins and gives them up for adoption.

One of them goes to a family in Egypt and is named Amal. The other goes to a family in Spain. They name him Juan.

Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of Amal.

He responds, “They’re twins! If you’ve seen Juan, you’ve seen Amal.”

spontaneous dad joke

For more Dad Jokes check out Dad Jokes of the Day

or follow me on twitter @DownUnderDadbg

 

Top 10 Dads on Twitter

top 10 tuesday twitter dad

Its Tuesday which means its time for another ‘Top 10 Tuesday’ segment.

This week’s topic is Twitter – or more specifically, Dad’s on Twitter.

Now I’m going to come out and say it, and if you don’t hear from me again you will know that the secret ‘Parenthood Illuminati’* have quietened me for making this secret public.

*may or not may exist

Twitter is where you find out what really goes on in Parent’s Lives. Its Honest and Unfiltered, and for the most part a judgement free zone.

But as this Dad Blog started off as a resource for Dads who need some support, I feel its my duty to bring you:


The Top 10 Dads on Twitter


Note this list is the Top 10 that I have found so far, given the sheer size of Twitter and the number of parents in the world, this list is by no means comprehensive. Here they are in no particular order.

1) Shaun Smith –  @Shaundsmith80

Shaun daily posts cover the hilarious side of parenting


2) Twinzer Dad – @TwinzerDad

If you thought having 1 toddler was tough, try having 2 the same age.


3) ThreeTimeDaddy – @threetimedaddy

As the Dad of 3 he has a lot of experiences under his belt, and has no problem with being honest about them.


4) Richard Dean – @dad_on_my_feet

Most of Richard’s daily funnies come not so much from what he does, but the responses it generates from his kids.


5) Dad and Buried – @DadandBuried

For something a bit different he tweets more about his life as a Dad, rather then what his kids do.


6) Modern Dad Pages – @moderndadpages

While normally a good source of retweets from various Dads, he can occasionally be found asking the real questions in life,


7) A Bearer of Dad News – @HomeWithPeanut

This Dad is great for supporting other Dads on Twitter,


8) Dad Bits – @DadBits

This Dad has some older kids compared to others I follow. While the stories are different, the themes remain the same.


9) The Real American Dadass – @R_A_Dass

Its the honesty of this Dad that keeps me entertained the most.


10) Mr. Dad – @parenthoodperks

As the Dad of an infant, these tweets bring back a lot of memories, and help prepare for the future.


So if you’re a parent on twitter, then definitely follow these guys for those days when you really need a laugh.

If you’re a parent and you’re not on twitter, you probably should be.

If you’re on twitter and you don’t have kids, use this as a way to see what parents are really going through.

After another Top 10 List? Check out last week’s Top 10 Random Facts about Newcastle

Weekly Wrap Up – Sunday 29th July 2018

Weekly Wrap Up

Ready for the week to start all over again? me neither.

My work roster gives me a 4 day week and a 6 day week, unfortunately this week was the latter of the two. That means less time spent with the family, less adventures, and less time writing for my readers, it doesn’t mean it was a quiet week though.

We should always spend some downtime reflecting on our day to day happenings, that’s what this is about,

Down Under Dad presents – The Week that Was.

The End of our Quick Escape

After a busy couple of weeks I finally got around to finishing my account of our short getaway, you can check out Our Quick Escape – Part 3

In case you haven’t been following, part of the reason for our little holiday was our family is about to become bigger, you can check out the details here When 3 become 4. . . . The other part was to celebrate our little guy turning 2 and Mr and Mrs Down Under Dad surviving 2 Years of Parenthood.

The main focus of day 3 of our getaway was our visit to the Hunter Valley Zoo. While we didn’t spend a full day there, it was well worth it to see Ollie’s reactions to finally seeing animals that he had only ever seen in books, in real life!

20180713_1129221649452515.jpg

Down Under Dad is Famous

Well, not in the traditional sense of the word, but hey, you gotta take the small wins when you can get them.

I was invited by Chris of Dad of Divas to be featured on his segment Dad’s in the limelight. A series of interviews with various Dads around the world answering questions to give you a deeper understanding of them.

You can follow the link to check out the full interview Featured – Dads in the Limelight

featured dad

How many Parties is Too many Parties?

You already know that our little guy recently turned 2 and the celebrations were out of control (well, as out of control as you would expect for a 2 year old).

What you might not know is that he has group of friends all with birthdays within 2 months of each other.

What does this mean? every year around this time the Down Under Family spends at least 1 day of most weekends attending a child’s birthday party.

You can check out our adventures at 2 of them here 2nd Birthday Bonanza

toddler playground megamania

If you can’t tell already they were pretty wild too.

And it Wouldn’t be a Dad Blog Without?

Dad Jokes of course!

If in need of a good laugh you should check out 25/7/18 – Dad Joke of the Day

and there you have it, the week that was!

Stay tuned for the week ahead!

or if you have been away for awhile and want to see what we have been up to, check out Weekly Wrap Up – Sunday 22nd July 2018

2nd Birthday Bonanza

toddler playground megamania

With a title like that you’re thinking one of 2 things, either:

  • I am one of those (insane?) parents who not only celebrates the birthday of their children but the entire month, or
  • We somehow had another child born within a couple of weeks of our first – now that would make for a good story.

note, you could be forgiven for choosing option 1 as we did go away for 3 days leading up to the little guy’s 2nd birthday, you can read about it here Our Quick Escape – Part 1

Or I could be wrong and its something completely different, either way I’ll offer up a third option;

More 2nd Birthday Parties to Attend!

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before but my wife has a group of Mum friends that she is really close with. They all met during antenatal classes before babies came along and stayed good friends, the Dads became friends too, albeit not as close as their other halves.

Anyway that means they have a group of friends all with kids around the same age. That’s means the kids all know each other and are growing up together (to a point). This also means that their birthdays are around the same time of the year.

Last year that meant every weekend for almost 2 months there was a 1st birthday party to attend – if we’re honest it was the most social any of the group had been in 12 months.

This year the calendar isn’t quite as fully booked, but there has still been some fun to be had, you can check out the celebrations for Oliver’s 2nd birthday here 2 Years of Parenthood

Want to see how we celebrated his friends birthdays?

Party Number 1

Well 2 if you count ours as number 1.

So our Party was held at a Pub, Party number 2 was held at a local Play Centre called ‘Megamania’ – Think Multi-Story indoor playground.

As far as a venue for a kids party goes, this would have to be right up there. Its secure so your kids can’t escape – not that they would want to, they provide party food, drink, and cake – because you can’t have a party without cake, and the fun is physical enough that your toddler will be worn out enough by the end to have a sleep – at least you hope so anyway.

toddler playground megamania

The playground itself is imposing enough for an adult (would be close to 3 stories tall), let alone a toddler.

No, don’t worry, the playground doesn’t have some inbuilt spy cameras, to give Ollie enough confidence to play by himself, Down Under Dad had to play with him for the first few times.

You can see below just how high the playground is

toddler playground megamania

After being forcefully removed by his Dad as cake was being served, the little guy ended up going back inside all by himself – #proudparentingmoment right there.

If you look closely you can see him up the top

toddler playground megamaniaIf you look over the right of the photo you can also see the large red slide. While this was the cause of much joy and laughter, it wasn’t without some bumps.

At some point Ollie decided to go down on the slide by himself. Long story short he ended up with a small friction burn on his chin. Like a true toddler though he continued playing like it was nothing, he did however drag Dad back up to the slide each time after that though.

Overall the Party was a success, although it didn’t quite wear him out as much as we would have thought.

Party Number 2

or is it 3??

The next party was something completely different again. The venue? a local park, if you have been following you would know that this is a dream come true for the little guy, check out Weekend Adventures .

Luckily at the moment we are going through a surprisingly warm time for the middle of winter. Not only is it warm but the sun is out and there is little wind. Perfect for a day at the park.

One of the bonuses of this park was it was also only a short drive away, no major planning needed and anything we forgot was a short trip back home.

note, not that we did, I did see that as a bonus though in case we needed it.

A feature of the park was a large network of paths connecting BBQ areas and playgrounds. This proved to be the perfect chance to try out one of Ollie’s birthday presents.

toddler bike

Before you say anything, yes he does have a helmet, but it was left at home – only a short drive away. Not that we did go get it, #parentingfail ,  to be fair he didn’t actually spend a lot of time on the bike.

He did however choose to eat freshly cut fruit over crackers and dip, already choosing the healthy option, that has to be a #parentingwin right there.

toddler playground park

Did we mention at earlier that this party was held at a park? part of the reason not a lot of time was spent on the bike was that he was distracted by the play equipment.

Here you can see him climbing up the netting, the first couple of times he got stuck at the top but once we showed him where to hold on, he did it all by himself, over and over and over.

Unfortunately our time at this party was cut short as Down Under Dad had to work in the afternoon, however a great time was still had.

 

Featured – Dads in the Limelight

dog bath

A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by Chris from Dad of Divas . He had found my ramblings through one of the social media platforms Down Under Dad uses (shameless plug incoming) like Twitter @DownUnderDadbg , Facebook Down Under Dad Blog , or Instagram @downunderdadblog. While it often doesn’t feel like it, its always nice to know someone is reading my work.

family roadtrip

He asked if I was interested in being Featured on his reoccurring Segment – Dads in the Limelight. In which each time he features a new Dad he has discovered and asks him a series of questions as a way to get to know him for his readers.

Of course my first thoughts were selfish like “What a great opportunity for some exposure”. You should know by now I like to be honest. Just check out Shopping for Kids Toys – With Kids and you will get a fair idea.

sick toddler

The more I thought about it, the more I liked what he was doing and read about other featured Dads. Its refreshing as a Dad to see how others have answered the questions, What Drives them? What do they see as challenges? and What advice they would give to others?

Anyway if you want to know more about what I’m talking about you can check out the post here Dads in the Limelight – Down Under Dad

If you have time I really encourage you to check out some more of Chris’s work over at Dad of Divas and I want to thank him for giving me the opportunity to be featured.

 

2 Years of Parenthood

birthday party

When you were young, 2 years seemed like a long time, now as adults 2 years can go by pretty quickly.

This Dad is proud to say the Down Under Family has made it through 2 years of parenthood, that’s right our little guy has just turned 2 years old.

There has been plenty of good memories made from the last 2 years, there was also plenty of tough days. As always though the good ones will always outnumber the bad.

“The next time you think you are struggling with parenthood, just remember the duck that let all 5 of her ducklings go away before going looking for them”

But that’s not what this post is about, this is about our little guy turning 2.

kangaroo

His Birthday

As part of his birthday celebrations we went on a short break into the Hunter Valley which you can read about here – Our Quick Escape – Part 1

The last day of that break matched up with his actual birthday and we started the day off by going to the Zoo! You can read a lot more detail about that in the final part of that series.

Oliver got to see many of the animals he had only ever seen in books or on TV up close and even got to feed some kangaroos. While he did get freaked out by Dad feeding an Emu, he was amazed when the lions decided to roar at each other for a good 5 minutes non stop.

To summarise though at the age of 2 no matter how many times we told him it was his birthday, it didn’t really click until later on in the day.

When we got home we wasted no time in giving him his birthday presents from us. If you read Vocabulary of a almost 2 Year Old you probably have a fair idea of what we were getting him.

car

That’s right, his presents were themed from his 2 favorite things, Cars (not just any cars, has to be the licensed stuff), and Dinosaurs.

Awhile ago I wrote a piece on Kids Toys – Kids Toys . In this you can read my thoughts on how strict parents should be with the age guidelines on toys. Given the size of one of his dinosaurs, lets just say we still don’t follow these strictly.

His Party

I never wrote about the party we held for his 1st birthday as this blog wasn’t around. To get you up to speed, it was in our backyard (our small backyard), we did all the food ourselves (with a little help from our family), and Mrs Down Under made a multi-layer cake herself (with many practice runs). While it ran smoothly and the weather was great, it was also a lot of work, something we didn’t really want to do this year.

Fortunately we had found a great venue to have it. A local pub that has recently undergone renovations has built an indoors playground next to a large beer garden area. We booked the tables closest to the only entry point to the playground so the kids could play as they pleased and the adults could relax – as much as possible at a kids party.

birthday party

After a couple hours of playing, snacking, and a couple of drinks it was time for cake

“A Party without Cake is just a Meeting”

A simple ice cream cake with his favorite car on top was certainly a hit. So much that when the car was taken off a few of the toddlers wanted to ‘share’ the car. I say ‘share’ because we know how good toddlers can be at sharing.

Most of the attendees at the party were actually friends that the little guy made before he was even born. My wife’s mum’s group became friends before any of their kids were born and are still good friends 2 years down the track. What does this mean? it means that 12 months ago there was a party every weekend for close to 2 months. It also means that this is the first 2nd birthday party of many in the coming weeks. Stay Tuned!