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Posts Tagged ‘play’

There is a great article that came out a while back the CTFD Parenting Method.  CTFD stands for Calm The F**k Down and it is simple advice that I need to take to heart.  In my quest to be the best stay at home dad I can be I have become too uptight in these areas and need to CTFD.

1.  Noise: Loud or sudden noises sometimes freak O out including sneezes and loud coughing or throat clearing.  I often hold in my sneezes or cough into a pillow as a result.  I need to CTFD and remember that I am capable of calming him down when he is upset and that he has to get used to loud noises sooner rather than later.

2.  Naps: My son’s nap time is my downtime/time to get stuff done and as such I want him to get a good nap in every day.  That being said, I stress way too much about when and under what circumstances he goes down.  I need to CTFD and realize that when he doesn’t go down right away for his nap it just means that we can go play more or do something else.  Experience tells me that he’ll just pass out in the middle of whatever we’re doing so why stress about it?

3.  Preparation: I have a pretty elaborate routine for when I exit the apartment with O.  It includes many things like adjusting windows/shades and getting together an elaborate collection of baby related equipment that would probably allow little man and I to survive for a month in a fallout shelter .  I need to CTFD and learn that all I really need when I go out into the world every day is a smile and the cutest baby ever.  And diaper, lots of diapers…

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I try to re-purpose our stuff for O whenever I can because we live in an apartment with limited space.  Having too many items that serve only one purpose would turn our happy apartment into a miserably cluttered mess.  The picture above is a great example of a re-purposing idea that I learned from a Facebook friend.  The common solution to baby safety is a bath seat but I find that a laundry basket is much cheaper and it works better for a baby who can sit up.  It keeps him from tipping over, gives him something to hold onto and contains his toys as he splashes and plays.  He doesn’t need to lean out and try to grab them plus he learns how to balance himself in water in a way that he could not in a traditional bath seat.  When he was younger we used a bath sponge that you can lay him on in the tub.  It worked great and we still use it occasionally.  When we visit family for any length of time we will re-purpose a couple of adult sized towels to reproduce the same basic function.  If we hadn’t gotten the sponge we probably would have used the towel method instead.  We also had a hand me down baby tub and found it to be a hassling space thief more-so than a helpful bath tool.  When it comes to bath time there are clearly many opportunities to re-purpose stuff you already have instead of spending more money on single purpose items that will just hog precious storage space.

Another example of re-purposing is our baby station.  The idea is to take any piece of furniture with a top roughly waist-high and turn it into a changing table by stuffing it full of diaper changing supplies and throwing an inexpensive changing pad on top.  We went a step further and had my father in law build some custom shelves for the sides to create the ultimate baby station.  I talk about our changing station in an older post “Diaper Central Command” which has an excellent picture of how it turned out.  When we went out looking for baby stuff we were dismayed by the cost of specialize baby furniture.  It was nice looking but we had a hard time with the idea of spending $100+ dollars on a changing table that we would use for only one purpose for a few years and then promptly try to shove into the limited storage space we have in our central CT apartment.  Re-purposing has been the right solution for us and ended up producing a piece of furniture that is way better than anything we could have bought from a Babies R Us.

So that is how we have done a bit of re-purposing for our baby in an apartment.  What kind of creative re-purposing have you done?  Have any re-purposing tips that this stay at home dad could use?  Share in the comments section below so we can all benefit from your experience!

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Yesterday I got my first big lucky break as a stay at home dad.  The night before I felt the beginnings of a cold and so I had some orange juice and tylenol and went to bed.  My preemptive efforts were futile and I woke up exhausted with a nasty cold.  I took my shower and had some toast and juice.  My son, O, had been up to nurse and was ready to play! My wife left for work while I did my best to muster enthusiasm.  After and hour or so he was hungry again and went down for his nap.  He slept for three hours!  I took care of some daily tasks like dishes and picking up around the apartment and tried to get some more sleep.  When he woke up I fed and changed him before playing.  He went down for a three hour nap after that and woke up shortly before my wife got home!  I got really lucky, but its hard to imagine how I would have handled the day if he took his usual 30-60 minute naps.  I also found myself wondering if he was aware I was sick and was giving me a break.  Whatever the reason I feel like I got very lucky.  Any dads out there have stories/tips from taking care of a baby while sick?  I am particularly looking to hear from stay at home dads in CT but anyone is welcome to comment!

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