Saturday, June 28, 2008

Dad tip #70: Babies love Jason Mraz

Okay, the title of this post really should be "MY baby loves Jason Mraz" but whatever, I'm tired and struggling for a more widely useful piece of advice for other dads and failing to come up with anything. So instead, you get a personal anecdote that will most like be inapplicable to you in any way.

That all said, I suspect all parents at some point in time struggle to find good ways to keep their babies entertained at all times. Our boy almost has "stations" in the living room that include a Tadpoles Basics Crib Coverlet that we use as a play mat where we read books, a Tiny Love Gymini Super Deluxe Light and Music play mat, and a Bright Starts Around We Go activity center.

I have an extra "station" where I sit my son in front of me and sing and play guitar for him. I've noticed a few patterns regarding his preferences. For example, he generally prefers songs in major keys unless the song in minor can be played in a jaunty fashion. I've also noticed that he seems pretty keen on just about any song by Jason Mraz.

Yesterday, I did a set consisting of "Geek in the Pink", "Live High", and "I'll Do Anything". Today I did "Plane", "You and I Both", and "I'm Yours". It's pretty cool because he's fully focussed and entertained. It's amazing to watch his eyes go from my left hand to my right hand and to my face. He even tries to sing along and I have to say that he does a pretty darn good job of it for a six month old!

Take from this what you can and what you will. Tomorrow, I think I'll learn "If It Kills Me" and see how my son likes that one.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Dad tip #2: Wind-up mobiles are crap

$50 might sound like a ridiculous amount of money to spend on something as seemingly trivial as a mobile. After all, you can only use it in your baby's crib until they begin pushing up on their hands and knees, at which point, it becomes a safety hazard.

However, let's think about the first few months of your life as a new parent. You're learning how to change diapers, you're feeding the baby all the time, you're insanely sleep deprived, and the biggest decision of your weekend is whether you should eat, pee, or shower with the ten free minutes you have.

Enter the $50 mobile (we have the Tiny Love Symphony, Light & Music Mobile). It rotates in a billion different places, it lights up, it plays music, it makes nature sounds, and most importantly, it keeps your kid mesmerized for up to 20 minutes straight.

Let's compare these attributes with those of a traditional wind-up mobile. It plays an annoyingly jaunty version of some children's song like "How Much Is that Doggie in the Window", it plays that song about 20 times over before stopping after three minutes, and it forces you to rush back to the crib in a panic to rewind the mobile HOPEFULLY before your baby starts flipping out.

In retrospect, I'd probably go back and buy the model that comes with a remote control so that Sunday mornings when baby wakes up at 5:45am, I can fire up the mobile from our warm cozy bed for an extra 20 minutes of sleep. Think about it ... wind-up mobiles really are crap and your sanity is worth way more than $50.

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