21st Century Dad
One Dad's Thoughts, Ideas, and Feelings.
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Dad’s Adventures in Babywearing

March 20th, 2008 . by 21st Century Dad

Babywearing DaddyRenee and I became babywearing enthusiasts out of our quest to maintain the highest level of productivity possible. What I didn’t anticipate was how much extra closeness that it fosters.

We do things very counter-intuitively in the U.S. Babies are weaned off the breast by 6 months and potty training doesn’t start until age 2. Attachment parenting practitioners start potty training by 6 months and continue breastfeeding for 2 years.

Most of the baby carriers available have a feminine design aesthetic. Some can be made masculine with a different choice of fabric print, such as soft structured carriers and mei tais. The ring slings, moby wraps, and pouches are more feminine to me.

Baby carriers come in a variety of designs. You will have to try them on for yourself to see which ones work best for you. Try meetup.com or Yahoo! Groups to find a babywearing meeting in your area. At such meetings, you’ll be able to try on a wide variety of carriers and get expert instruction on how to properly wear them.

It wasn’t long before I discovered that the Ergo Baby is my favorite. It’s a soft structured carrier. Renee’s DIY Scandi-style Mei Tai is challenging for the top spot. That’s what I’m using in the picture above.

The fun doesn’t have to end when your infant becomes a toddler. I’ve seen children as old as 4 being worn in a carrier.

There are many benefits of babywearing. Even if you don’t believe in attachment parenting, there are pragmatic considerations.

  • You have two hands free.
  • No need to navigate a bulky stroller in crowded areas.
  • It’s much safer than putting the infant car seat in the shopping cart.
  • Managing multiple children becomes easier.

Give babywearing a chance. If your wife has been the sole baby wearer, she may have one or more carriers with a feminine design. Get over your machismo. At least try it in the safety of your own home. You may end up liking it enough to get a carrier of your own.

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Storing the Mylicon Dropper – a 21st Century Dad Hack

February 8th, 2008 . by 21st Century Dad

Infant’s Mylicon Gas Relief

Sometimes you baby really is smiling. Sometimes she just has gas. For that,we have Mylicon drops.After using the last of the Mylicon, I realized that the empty bottle would be a great way to store the dropper and keep it clean.If you found this tip helpful, please consider making a donation.

Conditioned Responses From Your Infant

December 21st, 2007 . by admin

twilli_on_changing_table.jpg

Twilli is developing rapidly and learning new things each day. It’s an amazing progression to experience.

Her newest trick is some cooperation on the changing table. If she’s in good spirits, she mitigates her fidgeting so I can easily undress her. Then she grabs her feet. This gives me easy access to the areas I need to address with wipes. Just as I unfasten the diaper, I always ask her, “Crapital One! What’s in Your Diaper?”

After wiping her clean, position the new diaper underneath. As soon as I pull the front flap up to her bellybutton, she throws her legs down straight.

She’s done this almost every time I’ve changed her diaper for the past week or so. I wanted to observe some more just to be sure it wasn’t just coincidental fidgeting. She’s not just fidgeting. She’s learning how to cooperate!

Can a child as young as 4 months learn conditioned responses like this? I’m sure it’s possible. Every situation and child is different. What developmental leaps have you noticed in your infants past and present?

Twilli decided to put on a nice outfit for daddy on his birthday. I captured the image above with my Nikon D80 and Sb800 flash unit.

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Cleaning Your Baby’s Bottom

November 16th, 2007 . by admin

Crapital One: What’s in Your Diaper?

We all want to be the best parents we can be. We’re also human and thus imperfect. Sometimes the dirty diaper is allowed to stay on your baby a little longer than desired. The moisture in the poop gets absorbed by the diaper, leaving a crusty mess. Unfortunately, that crust sticks to your baby’s butt.

That crust is stubborn stuff. You start using as many wipes as you did when you first started changing diapers. You don’t want to rub that delicate skin too vigorously.

Put a little baby oil on the baby wipe. The most stubborn and undesirable crustiness wipes right off!

Remember, that a diaper is designed to wick moisture away. This is especially true for disposable diapers engineered with ultra-absorbent substrate. It can also absorb some moisture from your baby’s skin. It’s important to treat your baby to some lotion or baby oil regularly.

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