Things I wish I knew …. Compiled by Delores Aghedoh

Even though being a parent has come naturally to some fathers, a lot have grown to find out that being a dad is not as easy as thought. Here are a few things fathers wish someone had told them before being thrown into the deep end of parenting.

1. Keep the fuel level in the car at least half full during the last week of pregnancy.

2. Find a good ‘Mama put’ near the hospital.

3. Cutting the umbilical cord: No Thanks!.

4. Wash your hands.

5. The “dad bed” in the hospital room is more comfortable than you think.
6. Take every blanket, pacifier and formula packet they give you at the hospital. Afterall you paid for it.
7. Your baby’s first poop will resemble crude oil. Don’t freak out!.
8. Imagine being hired as a pilot with no training. “Here’s the cockpit. Good luck getting to Abuja.” That’s what it’s like coming home with a new born. And it’s like that for everyone.
9. The OB-GYN and paediatrician know as much about raising a great kid as you do. Don’t doubt yourself.
10. New-borns don’t blink. Seriously man, do not freak out.
11. Her family will say she looks like one of their relatives. Your family will say she looks like one of your relatives. Get used to it.
12. A diaper bag is a bag with diapers in it. You don’t need to buy something new.
13. If you own a backpack, you own a diaper bag.
14. Aromatic candles and chewing gum will keep you awake at work.
15. Have your wife make you a recording of the baby screaming. Save it. Play it for friends or co-workers when in need of a good excuse.
16. Your kid’s hiccups bother you more than it does them.
17. Talk to your baby. A lot. Narrate your day.
18. When it comes to making a decision, don’t give Mom a bunch of options and leave it to her to decide. She’ll start resenting your inability to take charge.
19. Travel with an extra set of clothes. Both for you and the kid.
20. Baby crying? Hold him against your chest facing out, and do knee bends. Works every time.
21. A kid’s childhood does not need to be luxurious perfection. Aim for pleasurable survival.
22. If you act dramatic when they take a spill, they will start crying. If you clap and cheer, they won’t.
23. When it comes to raising children, your grandparents’ philosophical advice will be spot-on. Their medical advice will be terrible.
24. Side with your wife more often than with your mother. You don’t live with your mother.
25. When a toddler starts walking, he’ll be attracted to things at his level, like electrical outlets. Baby proof before that happens.
26. Speak up at doctor’s appointments. The paediatrician doesn’t know your child like you do.
27. They’re not repeatedly asking “why” because they’re curious, but because they’re hoping you’ll change your mind.
28. The words you’ll use the most are “no” and “don’t.” Think of less negative ways to make your point.
29. Warning: You will eat every chicken nugget and French fries they don’t finish
30. Spending time with your kid is not called babysitting.
31. Don’t get upset when your 4-year-old says “stupid.” He doesn’t mean it like you mean it.
32. Tell your partner “thank you.” A lot. And let your children hear you say it.
33. If you ask your child who broke the lamp, and she answers you while dancing, she’s telling the truth.
34. The “stranger danger” talk will kinda freak them out, but you need to do it anyway