Thursday, June 12, 2008

Dad tip #54: Cloth diapers make perfect burp cloths

Babies spit up, throw up, pee, and spill food. In general, they're incredibly capable of making wet messes in just about any situation.

As opposed to using things like paper towels (not particularly environmentally friendly) or designer burp cloths (not particularly economical), consider using cloth diapers. I'm definitely not suggesting you replace your Pampers (or Huggies or Luvs or whatever) with cloths diapers ... that's just more effort than I'd be willing to invest and more effort than I'd ever even propose to anyone else. I'm just suggesting that if you're considering buying actual burp cloths, consider using cloth diapers in their stead.

They're cheap, durable, convenient, and super-absorbent. We keep a stack in the living room and a stack in the nursery. It's allllllll good.

(Now I'm going to go resume SCREAMING at the television because the Lakers are kicking the POOP out of my Celtics in the first half of game four right now of the 2008 NBA Finals.)

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Dad tip #35: There's something to be said for brand loyalty in diapers

We've heard that parents of boys prefer Huggies while parents of girls prefer Pampers. For whatever reason, the design of the diapers supposedly favors pee and poo containment by gender and anatomy.

However, we've been using Pampers almost exclusively since day one. The hospital diapers were Pampers and we received a whole bunch of Pampers at the baby shower. We also received a couple of packs of Huggies that served us just fine, but we just preferred the Pampers. (By default, that also indicates that we prefer Sesame Street characters to Winnie the Pooh.)

We've also received some leftover Luvs diapers from a coworker after his child outgrew them. He did the smart thing and didn't fall into the "baby vanity sizing" trap. For the record, I think Luvs displayed Blue's Clues characters and again, Sesame Street reigns supreme.

Recently, in an effort to be more cost-minded, we tried a box of BJ's brand diapers. I think the brand is actually Berkley & Jensen; and in case you're wondering, the graphics on the diapers are generic yellow ducks. They're actually kind of cute.

Well, what we've found is that the BJ's diapers have some sort of strange funneling effect that drives large quantities of pee and poo up the front. In particularly large poo-splosions, the sack is even more covered in poo than "usual". And my wife has also been the victim of two instances where urine has shot up the front of our sons outfit when he's multi-tasking by eating and peeing at the same time in his high chair.

In a quick Googling of BJ's diapers, I found that the reviews are generally quite positive. I stumbled across a very thorough review complete with diagrams at the Paternity Chronicles. The review was very positive but the stay-at-home dad/blogger amended the article with incidents of leakage that were hypothetically caused by user error.

So back to brand loyalty ... long story short, we're probably going to go back to exclusively using Pampers because we've had a much better ratio of hazmat containment vs. accidental leakage.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Dad tip #10: How to avoid getting peed on by a boy

One of my co-workers is going to be having his first boy in three months. Having only dealt with a daughter in the past, he expressed some concerns about getting peed on or perhaps peed at by his son. I know that the trailer for Riding in Cars with Boys scared me with that scene where an off-screen baby pees directly into Drew Barrymore's mouth, so I don't blame him!

So, let's start off with identifying when you're going to get peed on unexpectedly. For me, it's mainly when I'm changing his diaper. Early on I figured out that you could frequently visually identify when it was likely to happen as his penis looked ... well, full. Actually, PLUMP is probably a more accurate word for it. So, if your boy's equipment looks like it's about to erupt urine all over you, it's entirely possible that he is about to erupt urine all over you.

But then later, it might get harder to eyeball it. I think my son has turned it into a game where he tries to fool me into thinking that the coast is clear so he can blindside me with his baby firehose. The best advice I received to avoid this came from my brother-in-law. He basically said, "Baby wipes are cheap. Just throw an extra one over his unit while you're changing him."

Sure enough, it's a great strategy. Take a quick peek under the hood and toss a baby wipe over his crotch and you avoid getting pee all over the place if he decides that he likes peeing in open air better than in a diaper. (It's like a like using a Peepee Teepee but you get more coverage.)

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Dad tip #4: Baby wants to hear you sing and doesn't care how bad you're messing up the song

If there were a time in your life that you wanted to sing your heart out with reckless abandon and no fear of embarrassment, regardless of how good or bad your voice is and regardless of whether or not you even remotely know the words, NOW is the time to do it. Baby is not American Idol's Simon Cowell and baby is also not that high school English teacher that forced you to memorize Shakespearean sonnets word for word.

What this means is: Baby wants to hear you sing and doesn't care how bad you're messing up the song. For example, my wife and I have both composed many "alternate" verses to a well-known children's lullaby, but I'll just share with you a few of mine that you're welcome to adapt for your own child:

Hush little {insert child's name} don't you cry,
Daddy's gonna buy you an apple pie.
And if that apple pie is good,
Daddy's gonna buy some vanilla Hood.

Hush little {insert child's name} don't you fuss.
Daddy's gonna buy you a brand new bus.
The bus will have a lot of seats,
Space for apple pie and treats.

Hush little {insert child's name} don't you kick,
Daddy's gonna buy you a car named KITT.
KITT might try to talk a lot,
That's 'cuz he's a car-robot.

We recommend mixing up the lyrics to traditional children's songs, contemporary pop, and even holiday music. Oh, what's that? You want another sample of our lyrical mastery? Try this one on for size (to the tune of Oh Christmas Tree):

Oh {insert child's name}, oh {insert child's name},
You love to fill your diaper.

You like to pee, you like to poop,
You fill it up, I need a scoop.

Oh {insert child's name}, oh {insert child's name},
You love to fill your diaper.

They say that "music soothes the savage beast". Well, it's a lesser known fact that babies are actually the distant cousins of savage beasts. So enjoy making up words and enjoy singing them because your baby will love you for it. Knight Rider's David Hasselhoff will love you for it too.

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