On a recent episode of Keeping up With the Kardashians, Kim confesses that her baby daddy, Kanye West, has never held a baby before. At the time of the show’s filming, Kanye hadn’t yet become a dad. But as the show aired, Kanye and Kim had become the proud parents to baby North. Hopefully by now, Kanye has held her.
During the episode Kim remains unfazed about Kanye’s lack of baby knowledge, sure he’ll be “totally obsessed and into it.” Watching it however, I was totally fazed. Being a parent doesn’t come with a manual. Kanye, you’re in for a crash course in all things baby.
Here's a clue.
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1. Diapers Have a Front and a Back. Sure, a diaper looks the same from the front and the back, but put one on your baby backwards and be prepared to change the sheets and/or that baby’s clothes in about 20 minutes, because the kid will be soaked head to toe. And since your newborn will go through about 12 diapers a day, you won’t really want to put those 12 diapers on backwards and risk a pee-soaked baby 12 times a day.
2. Babies Are Breakable. Little parenting secret here. You know all those people who keep telling you not to treat your baby like he or she can break? Yeah, well guess what? Your baby can break. Literally. A baby is born with soft bones (especially in the head) so it can easily pass through the birth canal. That means babies are fragile for a while—like years. And for a while they can’t hold themselves up, so you’re going to have to do it for her. And babies’ necks are made of something only a little softer than cotton. So you have to prop that baby up or, yes, she’ll break.
3. Poop Comes in Every Color. For little things who eat only milk, babies have a gift for pooping in more colors than a box of Crayolas. That’s because her system is highly affected by whatever foods a nursing mom ate. So don’t be alarmed if your kid power poops everything from mahogany to mustard colored gifts for you. But do be alarmed if it’s crimson, magenta or any other red. But otherwise, enjoy the colors of the rainbow—you’re going to see them many times a day for the next two to three years.
You’re used to fans crying at concerts. Now you’ve got a 24-hour-a-day fan.
4. The Car Seat Isn't a Magic Carpet; It Needs to Be Attached to the Car. This seems to be a tough one for a most new dads to grasp, but the car seat isn’t that effective if it isn’t latched into the car. In fact, a car seat is just a little more helpful than not at all if it’s just floating in the backseat like a magic carpet in space. So those funny metal things dangling from the bottom of the car seat are not ornaments that you should've (and have) ignored. They’re very strong, lifesaving devices that you should (but haven’t) used.
5. Babies Eat All the Effing Time. OK, so you know how you have breakfast, lunch a bit later, and then dinner sometime after that? Yeah, your baby is not going to do that. At least, not for a very long time. Your newborn is going to eat (what seems like) every 37 seconds. And then it’s going to go to sleep. And then it’s going to wake up screaming bloody murder because it hasn’t eaten in (what seems like) two minutes. And so on. And so on. And so on. Eventually, the kid is going to eat every three hours, then every four hours, then a few times a day just like you and me. But until then, get ready to feed.
6. Babies Cry When They're Happy. In fact, babies cry a lot. They cry when they’re happy. They cry when they’re sad. They cry when they’re hungry. And yes, they cry just because it seems like a good idea. That’s because the only way babies know how to communicate is by, yes, crying. So get ready, Kanye. You’re used to fans crying at concerts. Now you’ve got a 24-hour-a-day fan. Right in the comfort of your own home.
7. Babies Can't Be Left Alone. As a new father, it’s important to take a mental snapshot of your pre-baby days, especially the weekends. Picture sleeping in or lounging in bed watching a movie from start to finish. Remember the phrase, “What should we do today?” And the response, “I dunno, nothing.” It’s important to remember those things, because you’re never going to do them again. That’s because your newborn needs you, all the time. Sometimes your baby will mistake your shoulder for a bed and fall asleep on it for hours. Other babies only sleep well when moving; so you’ll either rock them for hours on end or push them in the stroller for what seems like days at a time. And when that baby’s not sleeping or eating, guess what he or she is going to want to do? Yeah, be with you. All. The. Time.
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8. Your Baby Is Watching You. This is a tough one for most new dads to comprehend, but even though that baby can only be breast-fed by mom, that baby is watching you. That means that what you do matters to your kid. Dads are important and have a lot to offer their kiddos. Most kids are calmer and better rule followers around dad, even though mom often does more of the heavy lifting. You matter, so get in there and hold that baby. And change her diaper, too. Just remember there is a front and a back to that diaper, because changing crib sheets in the night is no fun. Trust me, as new moms sometimes forget there’s a front and a back, too.