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.

 

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!

 

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.

 

Weekly Wrap Up – Sunday 8th July 2018

weekly wrap up

Its Sunday night, dinner is done, the little guy is asleep (for now), its time to relax before the week begins again, which means its time for. . .

weekly wrap up

Weekly Wrap Up

This week has been a bit of a long one in the Down Under Household. What began as a lack of sleep quickly escalated when we realised our little guy had become sick with not 1, not 2, but a combination of 3 different illnesses.

After a trip to the Doctors, antibiotics and house rest was in order. For an adult that doesn’t sounds half bad, for an active toddler who loves being outside, it makes for a tough week.

How did we cope? check out the post below:

A Week with a Sick Toddler

toddler wooden trainset

If a lack of sleep didn’t come from a Toddler Sleep Regressions then it definitely came from having a sick toddler this week, and what’s the best way to cope without sleep? Coffee!

This week we discussed whether drinking a hot cup of Coffee everyday was simply a habit that a lot of adults partake of, or a necessity for parents.

Everyone has their own thoughts when it comes to coffee, Just like everyone has their favorite type or preferred order, depending on the time and the place.

If you missed it you can read the discussion below:

Coffee – Habit or Necessity

coffee
Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

Finally what would a Dad Blog be without Dad Jokes.

This week rather then focusing on a standout joke for a day, we decided to visit StomperDad’s post from back in April when he did a A to Z blogging challenge.

When he got around to the letter J – J was for Joke, as in Dad Joke.

He then listed a couple of great Dad Jokes.

Reblog – J is for… #atozchallenge

j

It was a relatively quiet week from Down Under Dad. This week will be different though as we have a couple of major things happening:

  • A Short Break Away – The 3 members of the Down Under Family are taking a short 2 night break in the Hunter Valley. This will be a long over due break for both Dad and Mum, and the last time we will get away before When 3 become 4. . ..
  • Our little guy also turns 2 this week! – While his actual birthday occurs while we are away, when we get back we have his birthday party.

So if you don’t hear much from me at the start of the week, it will ramp up towards the end so stay tuned. If you want to keep up to date while we are away, follow me on Instagram @ https://www.instagram.com/downunderdadblog/. On top of this there will be probably be another Dad Joke or 2.

Thanks for tuning in.

 

Parenting Vs Leadership or Dads and Leaders

leadership

Leadership in the workplace is a lot like parenting. In the workplace you have a certain level of accountability and its your responsibility to utilise your team to get the job done. At home your children are your accountability and its your responsibility to raise them from the day they are born until they mature into adults.

When you examine both roles with more detail you can see they both require a similar skill set. To succeed in both parenting and being a leader in the workplace, you need; to have good knowledge in the field in question, the ability to admit when you have made a mistake, be able to show initiative and act without someone guiding you, have the compassion to be everyone’s go to person, and be a universal motivator no matter the situation.

Still stuck as to how they are similar?

followership

Knowledge

To be a strong leader in the workplace you need to have a strong knowledge of the work being completed. While an excellent leader could successfully lead in any field, they would still need good working knowledge of that area. Knowledge can be learned and information can be taught, but leadership  doesn’t come that easy.

Same as parenting. While you aren’t expected to know everything as a parent. A working knowledge of the basics is always a bonus before baby comes along. One third of your knowledge will come from experience (whether your own or someone else), another third will come from what you can learn yourself whether from a book or video etc. The final third which if we are honest is what most of us can relate to will come from doing the wrong thing. Not intentionally, but there are some things you only do once before realising maybe they aren’t a good idea.

Admit mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes. Its a fact of life. I could find a statistic to put in here but i don’t think its necessary. As a leader you are going to make mistakes. A good leader will openly admit they made the mistake. A great leader will learn from them. Its important not to dwell on the mistake but to keep moving forward and fix the fallout (if any) from that mistake.

Parents often make mistakes. They may not be obvious. Something simple like keeping the kids up too late and they get overtired, or forgetting to pack everything a toddler needs for an outing. Its OK to make mistakes, in fact in the early stages of parenthood when you aren’t getting much sleep, it’s almost a guarantee. What you need to do is not beat yourself up about it but move on from it.

Initiative

For a leader this one is obvious, how can you expect to lead a team if you constantly are looking to someone else for guidance. You need to be able to show initiative and think outside the box, go beyond what is expected. What makes you an even better leader is if you can get your team to do the same, the more they can act without your supervision the better. Leadership is what happens when your not there.

Showing initiative as a parent is similar. You won’t always have someone to hold your hand and show you the way. You need to be able to think on your own and make your own decisions. When life throws you a curve ball and something happens that you don’t expect, you need to be able to react to that situation accordingly.

 

leadership

Go to person

As a leader in the workplace people will look to you when they are unsure. If they are confused about their role or simply don’t know what to do next, they will come to you. Its important as a leader you are not only comfortable with this, but can then support the person in question and give them the answer they need.

As a parent your kids are going to constantly be at you with questions. Why are we going out? Why can’t we go out now? Why do I have to get dressed? Why Why Why? – sound familiar? The trick is to be able to answer these questions in a way that will either (A) not lead to anymore questions on the topic, or (B) lead to some questions to already have a series of answers for. Don’t get stuck in a never ending loop of Why!

Universal Motivator

This isn’t just about being able to motivate everyone, its also about staying motivated through tough times.

As a leader in the workplace, a key part of your role is keeping your team motivated and on task. Every office goes through difficult times where budgets are tight and team morale drops. A good leader will stop these disruptions from having an impact on production, or at least reduce that impact.

As a parent this skill is used a little differently. It becomes more about staying positive through tough times. Like days on end without little to no sleep because your toddler is refusing to sleep. If you can stay positive as a leader in the workplace, try using that skill to stay positive as a parent.

parenting

So why the comparison?

Being a working parent isn’t easy. Yes you may get a break from one by leaving to go to the other, but there is also a certain level of guilt you will feel by being away from your family, even if it means you are supporting your family. A leadership role in the workplace can put extra stress on you, as can parenting.

So how do you manage to do both? That question has already been answered above. You have the ability, you just need to stay positive and believe you can do it, its all in your mindset.

Being Successful while putting your family first.

Being successful in the workplace isn’t just getting a promotion or a payrise (although thats always nice). Its about job satisfaction as well.

As a Dad, it can be tricky to maintain a healthy relationship with your family while being successful in the workplace as well. It really comes down to your short and long term goals.

I am currently in a new role in my workplace and trying to succeed in it. While also raising a toddler. What does that mean? It means there are going to be days I need to take off to look after a sick child. There are going to be days I need to leave work right on the dot because I need to pick him up from daycare. There are going to be days where I am a zombie because I was up all night. A good boss will understand this, but you need to be honest with them, also try to see it from their side every once in awhile and on your good days go over and above and this will outweigh the other days.

My longterm goal is based around raising my family, part of that is ensuring financial stability for their future. Short term goals include progressing into a role that is sustainable and helps ensure that financial stability. Along with maintaining healthy relationships with my family. While my goals have both a personal and professional side to them. I always try to put the personal above the professional. If I can achieve these goals I will feel like I am successful in the workplace. But again this is going to look different for everyone.

How will you know when you have achieved job satisfaction? When you jump out of bed in the morning ready and rearing for work. Just kidding, for those of us who aren’t traditionally morning people that will never happen, and for those of us who are parents, We will never be excited about going to work if we haven’t slept. I believe when you have achieved job satisfaction you will stop thinking about all the ‘what ifs’. What if you worked somewhere else? What if you hadn’t taken on that responsibilty? What if you didn’t work? You won’t be asking these questions because you won’t be worried about work and your spare time will be spent thinking about your family.

So set your goals and work towards them, but make sure you take your family along for the journey.