Softplay trips can be the best of times and the worst of times. The mere mention of the word brings overcrowded spaces, screaming kids and your child potentially doing a damage to the mind’s eye. It can though, when you follow my tips below, be a fun, rewarding, bonding experience.
As you may be aware we have recently added to the Daddoo brood. It was then only right we at How to Daddoo updated with a new logo too. Continue reading “New Baby, New Logo”
On the last installment of Sleep Tactics we’d finally cracked controlled crying. When we became pregnant with Daniel we needed the cot again and Ayla needed to move to the big girl bed.
It’s Ayla’s 3rd birthday and we’re so excited. As frightening as the prospect sounds to us, this is the year she’ll start nursery and begin moving into the big, wide world. In three short years she’s achieved so much and we thought we’d mark the occasion by compiling a list of the things we love about our special girl.
I always remember picking my younger sister up from her weekly tap dancing lessons. I must have sounded like the crazy woman off Dance Moms (not that I’ve ever watched it!) as I told her misguided nuggets of advice such as “You have to be really good to reach the top of the tap world” and “You need to eat, live and breathe tap to succeed!”
The year 2017 is almost at a close and we’ll all soon have to get used to writing ‘2018’ when dating things. Here I’ll review the year that was with highlights, observations and areas to improve…
On December 1st 2017, a mysterious door appeared on our kitchen skirting board. He came with a letter saying he’d been sent by Santa to ensure the kids were being ‘nice.’ To his credit he also brought treats and an advent calender and thus we gained an annoying pint sized lodger for the month. No, it wasn’t the plot of a Channel 5 Christmas B movie. It was Elf on the Shelf and this is what happened.
I was first made aware of the Magic Sleepsuit by a fellow new Daddoo. He waxed lyrical about this new sleepsuit which was helping the whole family sleep after a tricky first few months.
Late nights up blogging, early mornings and sorting Daniel Jr’s midnight snacks lead to one thing – tired, strained eyes. You’ve got to be kinder to the ol’ peepholes. So when BenQ got in touch to send me their e-Reading lamp it was easy to say yes.
I’d like to think it affects millions worldwide. You return home from a hard days work. Then take the kids through the bedtime routine. Finally get them down so you can eat tea. Then it hits you…the post-tea slump.
It was my wife’s first night out and my first night alone with Ayla. Why was I so hesitant to turn the light off?
A song to the tune of the Oak Ridge Boys – Elvira
Halloween always evokes special memories for a whole range of reasons. I wouldn’t say we are that much of a ‘spooky family’ but it’s a time of year when we love to celebrate. Would you believe that both me and my wife grew up in houses beside graveyards – different graveyards by the way – we actually have to drive through the graveyard to get to my Mams house. Maybe we are spookier than I thought!
- Pink leggings with brown knee socks (with decorative ribbon) over the knee aren’t, and never will be, in season.
- Long sleeve vests under short sleeved garments are a no-go.
- If you’ve cut the toes out of your child’s sleep suit for extra foot space don’t take them out in it. It’s not a good look.
“It’ll be fine” my wife said “Baby yoga is always lovely”. Little did I know I was soon to be thrust into a female-dominated world or, in this case, room.
I’ve always related to the scene in Forrest Gump (my film spirit animal, alongside Sid the Sloth) when Forrest finds out he has a son and asks Jenny “Is he smart or is he….?”
Sean Beeson is an award winning composer for hundreds of projects worldwide including video games, film, television, and other multimedia. We caught up with him to get his take on being a Daddoo to four and soon to be five.
As parents, bedtime stories usually come at the end of a hard day at work or chasing your child around all day. After limping around the house making a supper time snack, fetching pyjamas, brushing teeth and giving any required medicine you and your little one settle down to read the bedtime story. It’s only when you’re winding down for the day, you become prone to misreadings during storytime.
We recently reached the milestone of our first year Dad blogging!
We’d been on a few UK based caravan holidays as a family before we decided to head abroad to Salou, in Catalonia, Spain in the August of 2016.
When I was born I had a severe tongue tie. Due to having so many other ailments as a child I’m not really sure at what age I was when I got the proverbial snip. I’m told I was older than most.
After two weeks paternity of what I now genuinely consider the happiest time of my life, the time had come to return to work.
No, this isn’t the latest fight announced on the Mayweather vs McGregor undercard. Becoming first time parents was something which we could have never prepared for and changed our lives in many areas. So two and a half years on with our new addition in tow I’ve noticed a few differences this time around as well as some things that apparently never change. At this point our little man is only two weeks old so here I’ll compare the first fortnight of parenting one vs parenting two.
It started just like any other labour free night. I’d set my alarm to arise for work the next morning. We settled down in bed to watch that nights recording of Love Island. It was during a conversation in which I’d vetoed two names from the final list of three when it happened.
My own Father’s immortal words “HIT THE POT!!” or “LIFT THE SEAT!!!” rang in my ears. It was with great pride that our Lord of the Rings style quest to potty train Ayla began at 15-months-old.
As the dust settles on what was a brilliant Fathers Day spent with my wife, daughter and soon-to-be son, I can finally get back to talking about one of my favourite subjects, my ingrown toenail journey!
With Fathers Day only a week away time is fast running out for buying the perfect gift for your Daddoo. Now I’ve mentioned my questionable gift choices before on the blog. Luckily though, a few brands got in touch in order to help out with this. Here I’ll give a couple ideas on potential gifts for your Daddoo this Fathers Day.
This is the How to Daddoo Fathers Day Gift Guide.
I recently came across the below photo of our family holiday in Salou. On first inspection, it’s a loving moment between a daughter and her dad. When inspecting myself closer (naturally!) you may notice my man boobs floating on the water looking worse than the North Sea oil spill. Proper Daddoo Bod!
As some of you may know I have recently been off my feet having undergone double ingrown toenail surgery. In my head I thought it would be a simple procedure. An afternoon off work, a relaxed weekend and I’d be back fighting fit the following week.
First of all, I must put on record my massive respect for midwives and health visitors who work very hard to ensure the safety of our children’s health. I remember before Ayla’s first health visitor visits I’d change my outfit three times before they arrived in case they realised I was a schlub who was living in his pyjamas everyday at the time and deem me unfit.
As this is my first DIY post, I must start with somewhat of a disclaimer. I’ve never been very good at DIY, let alone decorating a nursery for my son. I’m clumsy, I tend to awkwardly get in the way and break things rather than improve them, sigh. I’m also not too proud to welcome any help and/or guidance from wiser members of the family or in other words let them do it for me. Alternatively I tend to provide a steady stream of cups of tea and biscuits throughout the day. In this instance my wonderful in-laws were the beneficiary’s of my tea making prowess.
Bathing your child can be a daunting, loving and super fun experience all rolled into one. Here’s a few things I learned during two years bathing our daughter… This is how to bath your child.
Over the past two years I have heard myself say many strange phrases that I never imagined I would be saying as a parent. These are a few more recent ones…
Shopping trips alone with Ayla can be eventful. On one such occasion, I had instructions to nip out and acquire two packs of nappies.
Andrew Fisher is a professional mixed martial artist and MMA coach. He has amassed a 15-8-1 record in organisations such as Bellator and ACB. Out of his TFT (Team Fish Tank) gym he trains all age groups from top prospects to established champions fighting all over the world. As a proud dad of two, we caught up with him to talk all things fatherhood and MMA.
When you first get your new baby home, you literally do everything within your power to protect them. There is a reason for the phrase ‘wrap them in cotton wool’. After the first few months of sterilising everything within reach, (bottles, teats, the house pet) you gradually become less scared and realise that babies bounce. That’s not to say you suddenly become any less nervous, actually for me it only got worse the more mobile she became.
Hi everyone! Let me introduce myself. My name is Gav McDermott, I’m 31-years-old and married to my childhood sweetheart, Amy. We have two kids, Alfie our first born who turns 7 this month, and Scarlett who has just turned 4 but has the sass of a prepubescent 12-year-old!!! We also have a hairy child, Prinny, our border terrier puppy.
Mother’s Day is quite an important day. I had a chat with my wife this week where I admitted I wasn’t too fussed with Father’s Day. It came as a bit of a surprise to me to hear that Mother’s Day is very important to all women who are lucky enough to be mothers and to many more besides… Those who are expecting and those who will be in the future, those who may not birth any children but symbolise a mother, those who yearn to be mothers. Today we celebrated a significant day for many and a special day in my own family. Continue reading “How to Mother’s Day”
As parents you can begin to live in a bit of a bubble. What becomes normal to you may appear slightly strange, random or a tad crazy to the outside world. I’ve compiled a list below of bad habits that I’ve picked up so far along the way…
When we last left Sleep Tactics Ayla needed to obliterate our pinky fingers in order to get to sleep. Exiting the room, once what remained of your digit was prized free, was also an ominous task. We’d heard about controlled crying but were still in denial she would miraculously nod off without us lying by her. This is the point we started to look for advice.
On March 1st 2016 at 11:30pm I lost one of the best men I’ve ever known, my Stepfather, my Dad. He took his last breathes beside me and his life slipped away following a six-month battle with metastatic renal cancer. This is a tribute to the man who taught me how to be a father.
It’s always important to pass down our knowledge and experience to our children. Since the beginning of time generations have taught life skills to their offspring in order to best equip them the for the road ahead.
Here is a list of the early lessons, I’ve passed down to Ayla thus far: Continue reading “Things I’ve Taught My Daughter”
I remember the first time I saw her. She saw me first apparently as I walked passed her in the bar. I was probably concentrating on which flavour bag of crisps to get with my pint. We were both attending a wedding evening with mutual friends and we’d met in a pub beforehand. We soon hit it off. In those early days she laughed at my jokes and didn’t seem phased by the ropey stories my mates told her.
When we found out we were pregnant for the second time, the first question anyone asked was “What do you think it will be?” or the even harder to answer “What do you want? Boy or girl?”
As Ayla’s first birthday approached, my wife and I began discussing whether Ayla would remember or even know she was having a birthday party and whether it was necessary.
I often find myself, like I’m sure many other Daddoo’s do, hiding in the toilet using some kind of device (GET YOUR MIND OUT THE GUTTER!) such as a mobile phone or tablet. It’s then I realise, looking up irrelevant information to my life, there’s nothing to hide from. It’s much better and more beneficial to engage and be pro-active in family life. So, I run back out and join in the fun.
As some of you may know, we had some good news over Christmas. Yes, Ayla received a kitchen from St Nick! She now cooks every meal and I live on a diet of invisible, plastic and wooden foods.
When I was first approached to review BeKOOOL gel sheets, I did wonder when I would get the opportunity to test them out on Ayla. At first, I considered letting her run around in wet socks which was clearly stupid. My next idea was turning the heating up in the house which was again a barm-pot scheme.
Around the 10-month mark, Ayla’s first Christmas was fast approaching. This prompted the neighbours to put up the equivalent of Blackpool illuminations around their premises. Next doors were mega bright, that white/blue light that dazzles your eyes. Add to that the fact they were on the ‘random’ setting, they would go from solid, steady flashing, fade in, fade out, RAVE ON mode and back again.
It’s an inner turmoil that would affect the most conscientious of person. What to watch on the telly with Ayla. Sky Sports News or CBeebies? On one occasion I was giving Ayla her bottle (naturally as the only remote control operating adult in the relationship, I get to choose what channel we watch) and was watching Sky Sports News when I became engrossed by it. After staring at the screen intently for a good five minutes. I looked down to see our baby girls neck folds had consumed the vast majority of the 7oz and soaked into her sleep suit with sponge-like efficiency.
Sleep deprivation can play games with even the most balanced Daddoo’s mind. Sometimes when lulling my daughter back to sleep in the middle of the night with my eyes playing tricks on me, her face can take on many forms.
I know what you’re thinking and no, this post isn’t about this bumbling dad being unable to read. I can read, go me. In fact, I had many great experiences growing up involving reading. I was lucky enough that reading seemingly just clicked with me in the early years of infant school. As someone who wouldn’t class themselves as an academic, I always felt comfortable reading out loud to a teacher or the class.
I remember when I was younger Sunday nights followed a certain routine. I’d have my bath, come out with wrinkly hands and feet and get in my PJ’s. Next I’d sit in my dressing gown watching You’ve Been Framed and, staring into host Jeremy Beadle’s eyes, that Sunday night dread would loom over me about returning to school the next day. I got a similar feeling when my wife returned to work after 9-months on maternity leave.
Teething is a long, enduring battle. Not only is your child in pain but there’s little you can do to avoid it. Ayla would slavver for England, develop rosy red cheeks like a beacon of light and get a constantly runny nose. The pains can come out of nowhere, and Ayla would begin screaming uncontrollably. We felt helpless watching our little one in pain but there were several things we could do to try and help her.
Tony Jeffries is an entrepreneur, a 2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist and an undefeated professional boxer. He now owns two gyms in desirable Los Angeles. He gave us his thoughts on life as a father to his two girls, Jayde and Jessie.
Top tip: When getting your child to sleep ensure that you, as the responsible parent, do not fall asleep first. Not like the time this Daddoo had been trying to put Ayla to bed (for over an hour) and my wife came upstairs to find me sound asleep and Ayla awake and partying.
Has anyone else ever thought that they are living with a highly trained mini assassin? Ayla waits till the dead of night (when her opponents are at their weakest!) to inflict her full repertoire of torture techniques. This may sound extreme to some people but I’m telling you, you don’t know what it’s like…unless you do! Those of you who do, I feel your pain. Continue reading “Torture Techniques My Daughter Uses During Bedtime”
When Ayla was born we decided that my wife, Rachel would give breastfeeding a go. The hospital were really supportive. When Ayla struggled to latch they offered an overnight stay to help my wife figure out how to breastfeed. From Rachel’s messages to me that first night I realised that this breastfeeding thing may not be plain sailing. Ayla managed to feed, despite Rachel being in great pain, we came home thinking it could only get easier. Continue reading “Bottle vs Breast”
Another great guest post, as 28-year-old Stewart Burton from Darlington tells us all about life with Max and Maggie and the perils of baby poo!
I’m always left holding the baby! Shot’s fired, I hear you cry. ‘Wait till your wife reads this’, I see you type. I mean this 100% literally though. The fact is in Ayla’s first 11-12 weeks I tried to carry her every waking moment we were together. Continue reading “I’m Always Left Holding the Baby”
As parents, we decided to get Ayla in the pool as early, and as much, as possible. I’ve always loved swimming. It evokes some great childhood memories of getting launched about by my Dad and having wrestling moves performed on me. Not to mention the dragon’s head, the waves and the ice cold diving pool at Sunderland’s Crowtree Leisure Centre. I was eager to begin shot putting Ayla around a pool. Although I was informed by my wife, with our daughter only 8-weeks-old, we’d have to maybe start by getting her used to being in the water to begin with. Continue reading “Ayla’s First Time at the Swimming Pool”
Before leaving the house on a daddy daughter jaunt, I am overcome with an information overload of questions which stem from the logistical nightmare of actually leaving the house with a small, dependent human. Continue reading “How to Appear Normal In Public”
I had heard a lot from other dads about the perils of venturing into the mummy dominated territory of playgroups. Add into the mix that I’m socially awkward in new or unfamiliar surroundings makes the whole ordeal quite painful for all involved. Continue reading “How to Survive in Mummy Dominated Playgroups”
Trevor Carson is a Northern Irish professional footballer who plays for Hartlepool United. We recently caught up with him to tell us about life with his 3-year-old daughter, Katiya. Continue reading “Trevor Carson – How to Daddoo”
Here at How to Daddoo we pride ourselves on being a kind of unhelpful user guide on all phases of fatherhood. If we were in physical format we’d most likely end up in the paper bin or used to swat flies. In this post we’ll cover these nappy questions as only we can. Continue reading “How To Deal With Poo”
1) Smile More – Of the many things I’ve learnt from my daughter, smiling is one of the most important. Ayla smiles so often that we nicknamed her Ayla Smiler. When you’re trying to be ‘in a one’ because you’ve ran out of milk, or your nephews saved over your updated FIFA teams, that one little smile, that glint in her eye is totally contagious.
I remember when my wife was pregnant and my brother-in-law told me, “the first 3 months are the hardest, then they become self sufficient”. While I looked forward to our three-month-old cooking us meals and pottering on with the housework, it finally dawned me how hard the next three months would be as soon as we had Ayla home. Continue reading “Sleep Tactics – 0-3 Months”
In my last blog post, I left you all on tenterhooks following the excitement and awe of becoming a first time Daddoo. Now most people would get straight into the role of being a parent. I, on the other hand, began pointlessly daydreaming of what kind of Daddoo I should outwardly portray. The unconditional love I felt for my daughter was undeniable and there for all to see, but how would I parent her? Continue reading “What Kind of Daddoo Should I Be?”
Top Tip: Sometimes coffee and biscuits aren’t a great idea.
We arose early to get to the hospital for our induction. After three failed attempts at sweeping the floor (or whatever it’s called!) and Continue reading “How To Have A Baby”
Top Tip: When your wife is nearly at her due date do not attend pointless seminar’s especially with an uncharged phone.
Before we found out, I had a feeling my wife, Rachel, was going to tell me she was pregnant. We’d had a test a couple of days earlier that came back negative but Continue reading “How To React When Your Wife Tells You She’s Pregnant”