10 things I've learnt as a father! Advice for Fathers or Fathers to be

Its New Years Eve, I believe the plan was to go out and have some fun, maybe a few drinks, a bar, club or just drinking in the street! Instead were in the bedroom with a pregnancy kit and we've just found out that the second test says the same as the first one...New Years Eve is OFF!

Its a complete shock to the system and something I definitely wasn't planning for a long time, if in fact ever!

But that feeling when you go to the first scan or the time you find out the sex of the baby is amazing! And when you finally meet your child and the love you feel for them everyday it makes you think at 31, why didn't I have a child sooner!

Though there are some things that really do help in the early stages of your child's life not only with time if your busy but also with making things a bit easier on yourself and partner

At the time of having our daughter we were living in one bedroom at my mums house! Me, My partner and our new born child at the end of the bed! its not ideal but we made do and now we live in a lovely 2 bedroom house which hopefully one day we will be able to call our own!

Car seats for a dad

So what have I learnt and what advice would i give to any Fathers out there who may be about to embark on the journey through fatherhood for the first time, and bare in mind this is from someone who was never fussed about having kids or even knew the first thing about having kids

1. Get a Prep Machine

Honestly, this thing was a god send! Now I know that a lot of things are said online about using prep machines and how you shouldn't have one, and that you should heat the bottles with hot water etc from the kettle! But its all about opinion and i have to say this was an amazing piece of kit!

It saves you a whole lot of time when making bottles and especially in the night, if your a father like myself working full time and its your turn to do the feed this will save you valuable time in making bottles and have you back in bed in no time

2. Make time for yourself

I know you have just had a child and its all focus on them and making sure they are fed, bathed, and taken care of but you need to make sure you are taking care of yourself and still having time for you

We have found that that could be as simple as one parent doing the morning routine and allowing the other to have a lay in, taking in turns with duties or if you have family close by allowing them to sit your child for the evening or even having a watchful eye for a few hours

The last thing you want is for you and your partner to become burnt out and exhausted trying to raise a child, its stressful at times, and can involve a lot of work. Its all about being a team

3. Have a good support network

Linking in with point 2, its important where you can to have a good support network! For myself and partner we had and still have my mum! at the time we lived in one house so it was easy for mum to help out and even now that we have moved out we know that if we need a night off or a couple of hours rest mum is always willing to support and help where possible.

4. Christmas is expensive

This might be obvious but you just don't realise how much you can spend on a child at Christmas! One minute you think you have everything you wanted to get them and then another thing pops up

Start your shopping early and spread the cost out over several paydays in stead of trying to get everything at once! Also on the note of Christmas be ready for the house to be a madness afterwards and ready for the struggle of trying to find space for everything that your child has received!

5. Keep an eye on market places

I've mentioned this in previous posts but if you want to save a bit of money while your children are young then keep an eye on market places as one child grows out of things another grows into them!

You can find everything you could need on market places from the clothes they wear, to the prep machine, to the car seat. Just always check the quality of it and make sure its right for you! We must have gone through about 3 prams before we got to the buggy we have now and each time we sold them on market place!

6. The nappy changes aren't that bad!!

For all the fathers our there. Ill be honest with you, the nappy changes really are not that bad. You hear horror stories and you see nappies that look awful or scary and it puts you off ever wanting to change one but I found that's only the occasional one!

And don't worry once you have done it once you've done it a thousand times! Of course you will get the occasional one where the mess decides it doesn't want to be in the nappy so have some vanish on hand for those vests that get ruined ready to wash and soak in the sink before throwing straight in the washer

7. Routine is Key

If your not a very organised person and you have no sense of a routine but you have a child on the way id suggest getting into a routine now. I've found its so much easier having a routine in place and then changing it slightly or tweaking it depending on the child's age.

But I wouldn't want to go into parenthood with no routine and just not knowing what is going to happened each day! you can limit the amount of surprises with a good routine

8. Save yourself some money on a nappy bin

we bought a nappy bin when our daughter was first born, it was about £20-£25 and then you had to buy the inserts for it which where £19 or so for a selection of them! Save yourself some money and go to ALDI or a local supermarket and just get nappy bags or doggy bags. I think these are about £2 for 150 of them and they do the exact same job, change the nappy, stick it in the bag and then throw it in the black bin outside!

9. Having a 3 door car is not fun

This is becoming more and more the most obvious thing I have learnt since having a child! We have a Vauxhall Corsa 3 door car and if there was one thing I could change it would be that!

Its a pain to put the car seat in, its a pain to get the car seat out especially when they are new born and you use one of those car seats that doubles up as the pram. Its a pain to get the child in, its a pain to get the child out as they get older its not ideal and could give you early back problems.

Its also not ideal for space, especially if like us you have family 300 miles away and when you go to visit them you have to take a whole host of items make sure you are fully equipped for the weekend. Trying to fit a pram, suitcases, pre machine, steriliser, and more into a tiny boot is a nightmare

10. Be prepared to miss things

If your like me and your a father who is also the one going out and doing the majority of the hours at work then you need to be prepared for the fact that you are going to miss things. You wont be there all the time and you may miss your child's first crawl, or first time they roll over! I believe I missed them both which of course is a shame but just know once they have done it that first time they will do it again, and again and again. And you will be there for it, but also remember that by you going out and doing this work your providing for that little one and without you they wouldn't be able to do everything they can

A bonus piece of advice. Get Stuck In! Its your first time and your not going to get everything right straight away if ever. So get stuck in and give everything a go you will learn far more by doing it then by just sitting back. Get out of your comfort zone, step up and do what you have to do to make sure your family are happy during this period

Being a father is amazing, its completely different to what I imagined and I can only imagine as your child grows and as you are able to do more together things will get better and better

If you wanted some advice on how to save money as a parent then click HERE for 5 tips