Solo Saturday’s – holding down the fort with Mom @ work

I married a hairstylist. That in itself signaled the beginning of the end to my late Friday night exploits. Having a baby further put the nail in the Friday night out coffin. Amelia’s 8 months old now but believe me I’ve played with fire and learned my lesson the hard way…. more than once. I compare being hungover and looking after a newborn to the screechy sound of nails on a blackboard with no end in sight. Slightly dramatic, but live it and you’ll get on board.

Saturday’s are my day. When my wife first went back to work part time at about 4 months, I was nervous to be left alone. Changing diapers, feeding and scheduling naps weren’t on my resume at that point.

Don’t mess with the sleep schedule…

So much time and effort goes into making sure you’ve got a solid sleep schedule. As a Dad it’s tempting to throw that out the window when you’re at the helm. Don’t. Just because it’s a perfect day to be out shopping or at the park, paired with “what the hell I get one day alone a week so rules don’t apply” attitude, it’s not worth flushing that sleep training down the drain. Get those naps in. Your baby and more importantly, your partner will love you for it.

Solid, Solids!

We’ve had Amelia on a diet of solids for a while now.  The key here is to start off introducing a new food every four days to watch for any allergies or sensitives. It’s a complete mess. The majority of the food ends up on the floor, in their hair or smeared all over their clothes. The good thing, you can start making food for both you and your little one at the same time. This weekend it was chili, last weekend it was chicken soup. Just make sure to hold the salt. Just as much time goes into the meal prep as the meal clean up! Read more about solid diets here.

Rain, shine or bloody freezing – get outside.

This past weekend was uber cold. It’s February and we live in Canada but the timing couldn’t have been worse for everyone rolling through for NBA All-Star weekend. Finding the motivation to bundle-up, pause Netflix and turn off the fireplace to go for a stroll is hard but necessary. Just as much as we need fresh air to avoid cabin fever in these cold months, our babies need it even more. For me it’s a bit easier. Living in Roncesvalles, I’ve got some of the city’s best coffee shops right at my fingertips, which after a short night of sleep is exactly the kick in the butt needed to get moving.

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4 must-haves when saying bon voyage with your baby

As a young Dad, sometimes it’s hard to shake that socks and sandals image your single friends have of you. So what do we do? We overcompensate. We buy the hippest, most unpractical things. It’s like we’re trying to show them that we won’t be defined by the puke stain on our shorts. When you’re travelling with the little one, practical is king, stylish is a perk.

Here’s what got me through my first vacation with my daughter Amelia.

Mountain Buggy Nano Travel Stroller

It folds into a carry on size piece. Enough said. Forget the umbrella stroller, which before doing some research, I assumed was the only travel option with a baby. Wrong! It’s got a super slick look, a nice big canopy that comes in a few different colours and is sturdy enough to navigate through sand and bumpy sidewalks. The downside? It comes with a pretty hefty price tag. At $300 it’s definitely an investment. In baseball terms, you already invested in starting pitching with your day-to-day stroller but your bullpen wins you games. The Nano is your bullpen. I couldn’t believe this video… it really is this easy.

Tula Baby Carrier

I’ll admit, one of my greatest fears about being a Dad was wearing a baby carrier. I wasn’t sure I’d ever be ready to rock a Baby Bjorn. Another instance where practical vs. cool went head-to-head. To date, this was their most spirited battle. Ultimately, they found a happy medium with the Tula Concentric Carrier. The black canvas is breathable and super easy to clean not to mention has a really clean, stylish look to it. The straps are very “nap sack-esque” and don’t make you feel like you’re trapped in a rope maze and, you can wear it on the front or the back. For $150, the price is right, too.

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Pack ‘n Play Playpen

As I delve deeper into fatherhood, this one seems more and more like a no brainer. Before you check into a hotel that offers-up what could easily be mistaken for a 1950’s era dog crate, BYOP. Bring Your Own Playpen. Your baby will love you for it and it folds into no more than a duffle bag size. Sure, you’ll be second guessing your decision as you lug an extra 25 pounds through the airport, but knowing your little one is safe and sound makes it completely worth it. Full disclosure…. I learned this one the hard way and ended up buying this Graco model on a recent trip (not my finest moment).

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Herschel Diaper Bag

This list wouldn’t be complete without a shout out to what I consider the best alternative to the traditional diaper bag.  It’s simple and light weight with tons of room to pack away the bottles and toys. It can even do double duty if you want to use it as a work tote or gym bag when the nostalgia of your time on the beach wears off.

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What are your baby travel must-have’s?