Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Toolbox for New Dads

When JP and I were expecting Flybaby, we felt we were on a mission to Do Everything Right. We took a series of prenatal classes at the local hospital. We also took an infant CPR class. We wanted a knock-your-baby-socks-off nursery (which JP did almost single-handedly, and proudly.) And JP brought me roses every month!

JP's co-worker and his wife were also expecting, but it was their second time around. The co-worker recommended JP take yet another class called Daddy Boot Camp. JP never got around to taking that class (probably because he was sanding and varnishing Flybaby's furniture), but I suspect his co-worker filled him in on a lot. Either that, or JP was born knowing how to swaddle and rock a baby to sleep.

Turns out there's a DVD that would have been a great substitute -- even better than a substitute -- for Daddy Boot Camp: Toolbox for New Dads by Armin Brott, who has written lots of books for fathers. This DVD is by a dad, for a dad, and it covers the basics: what babies do (crying, eating including breastfeeding, pooping, sleeping, etc.) and what you can do with a baby (how to interact with your baby).

The best part of the DVD, though is a section called Life with a Baby. Ooh, this is a goody! This is something the classes we took didn't touch. On this DVD, it's man to man: "Hey, brother, things are going to change. Your wife might get the baby blues. She might get depressed. There are going to be intimacy issues. Don't take it personally. You are going to be a dad for the rest of your life." There's also a section on work that offers this golden advice: as a dad, you may be tempted to work more in order to provide more for your family -- but if that means you're gone from your family more, you'll just be adding more stress to your family life, not making things better. I'm happy to say JP has taken this advice to heart.

The DVD has a bonus section that shows how to diaper and swaddle a baby, talks about what to do when "bad things happen" (if your baby is born ill or stillborn) and tells Armin's story of how he came to fill the role of "the dad's dad" in writing so many books ... and now this DVD! For him, necessity was the father of invention. There weren't any books giving dads advice on how to be dads -- so he wrote them.

JP enjoyed the DVD, and I think Fly watched some of it too. (Fly loved the portrait photos that scroll during some of the fatherhood discussions throughout the DVD, especially the photos of dads with their babies!) The title Toolbox for New Dads sure caught JP's attention -- he's all about tools! If you know someone soon to be a dad, this is a great gift.

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Anonymous chelle said...

Sounds like an excellent resource!

8:50 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

My husband has two of Brott's books and has found both of them very informative without being condescending.

I have no doubt the DVD is great too.

9:36 PM  
Blogger Anne/kq said...

That sounds like a great DVD! My husband spent some time with one of his books from the library, and learned a lot.

3:47 PM  

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