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As a new mom I remember a lot of the focus being on me and the baby when our little guy was born. Everyone wanted to know how I was feeling after my cesarean and how the little guy was doing in the NICU. All of our visitors asked how Chris was doing as well, but it didn’t go unnoticed that mom and baby were the main focus of everyone’s attention.
For new families, it’s not just the mom who is going through this major life changing thing. Dad’s go through it too! And it was really important to me that Chris got all the support he needed during our time in the hospital and when we got home. Which is why I wish I had thought of making him a new dad gift basket that would’ve been at the house when we brought our baby home!
When my son was born I very strongly felt that Chris needed special bonding time with him. When we’d visit him in the NICU I was the one who did a lot of the feedings and Chris would just sit and watch us. In the evenings I would encourage Chris to go feed our son, read him a book, and put him down for the night. It was really important to me they had that time together, and once we all came home I continued to encourage Chris to do the bedtime routine so they could strengthen their bond even more.
Now that my best friend is having her first baby (a boy!) in October, I’m trying hard to focus on both of them becoming parents. They waited so long to have a baby and I could not be more excited for their growing family! While I know how to support my friend becoming a new mommy because I’ve been there, I’m struggling to figure out ways to support her husband in his new role. So I asked Chris for a few tips on how he was able to bond with our son when we brought him home.
- Feedings: When we were in the NICU I established a routine where Chris would feed our baby a bottle every night before bed (and sometimes throughout the day on the weekends). We breastfed and bottle fed, and luckily our child was able to go between the two and not have any issues with nipple confusion. For my best friend I’m going to give her the Playtex Baby™ VentAire® bottles so that her husband is able to bond with their son through feedings as well. Some of my favorite moments of being a new parent was watching Chris feed our child, and I can’t wait for my friend to experience that as well!
- Bath time: When Chris and I brought our little one home I couldn’t wait to give him a bath. The first night we were all together at the house I stripped our baby down and put him in the tub, where he promptly pooped everywhere. Chris was gagging because of the smell and had to run out of the bathroom leaving me behind to clean up our kid and the tub. It was disgusting! Chris was a little hesitant about giving him baths after that (it scarred him…ha!) but now it’s something he willingly does and enjoys. They love splashing around in the tub and making messes for me to clean up!
- Story time: Chris and I both love books and I really want to instill a love of reading in our son. Part of our kids bedtime routine is to read a book or two each night, and when we did our gender reveal we bought a Star Wars book that Chris could read to our little boy. He loves all the pictures in the book and they enjoy that time together.
- Bedtime routine: Chris’s favorite part of the day is putting our son down for bed. After working all day it’s his time to decompress and spend time with the little guy. Chris loves rocking him to sleep in our oversized rocker, and I often find both of them asleep in the chair at the end of a long day!
Chris used to tell me all the time that it was harder for him to bond with our son because he wasn’t doing as much as I was with him. I am able to stay at home and play, feed, and just be there with our son day in and day out. Giving him the opportunity to do all the things listed above really helped him feel like he was a part of everything, and that was really important to me. I want my friend’s husband to have the same experience as Chris so I put together a small new dad gift basket for him when his son gets here!
In the gift basket I put:
- Extra nipples
Because my friend’s husband is a huge football fan I wanted to make him a fun bib that I know he will love. Of course I used my trusty Silhouette Portrait and some fun heat-transfer vinyl and I am obsessed with the finished product. It’s so simple to make too!
First, measure your bib. Mine was 6.5 inches wide and 5.25 inches long. I made my file 6 inches wide and 4.75 inches wide so that it would cover most of the bib.
I have the designer edition for the Silhouette software. Because I have this I can cut layers one at a time which is awesome when you have a layered design!
To be able to layer everything properly, I put tiny little squares at the top of the design and cut them out with each layer. As I’m layering everything on to the bib I can line up the squares to ensure that I lay the design on the bib properly before I press it. (this step is essential for me!)
BEFORE YOU CUT MAKE SURE THAT YOUR DESIGN IS FLIPPED!
(if you’re using patterned vinyl, this does not have to be flipped because there is no transfer paper on top of it. I used the herringbone pattern for one of the ears on the elephants and that did not need to be flipped before I cut.)
Once you have the first layer on the bib lay a pillowcase over top of it and press down with your iron for 45-60 seconds (or until the design is pressed into the bib). Continue doing this until every layer is pressed but be careful NOT to press the squares with your iron! You don’t want to accidentally press them on to the bib because then you can’t take them off.
We were one of the lucky ones whose child was able to easily transition from breast to bottle, which was great because it gave me a break and Chris time to spend with the baby after work. I was always more than happy to hand the little guy off to his dad at the end of the day so I could grab a shower or fix a quick dinner. The Playtex bottles have nipples (the Most Like Mom® NaturaLatch® Nipple) that mimic the breast which makes it easy to switch between breast and bottle! I bought these for my best friend so that they can easily feed their baby in the way that best fits for their family.
I also love these bottles because their unique curved shape promotes the semi-upright feeding position (to prevent ear infections) and they have an anti-colic bottom vent so that no air mixes with the milk during feedings! Our child had horrible gas after bottle feeding and no air in the bottles would help greatly to prevent that.
Right now Target has a Cartwheel offer on these bottles (runs until September 3rd!), which is great for new or expecting mom’s! I always love finding deals on baby stuff, especially because everything can add up quick. You can find the bottles in the feeding aisle.
I cannot wait for my best friend and her husband to become parents! October can’t get here soon enough. I know that they are so excited and I hope that this new dad gift basket will be a sweet addition to all the gifts they’ve already received. I really can’t wait to see her husband’s when he gets the bib. I can already imagine them watching football together!