This post is sponsored by Comforts™ Brand.
It’s been 16 months since we welcomed a teeny baby into our home. And in the time it took for me to wrap my head around the fact that I had a baby, she turned into a kid. As clichéd as this is to say, it goes by so quickly.
Being a father is somehow wildly different than I expected it to be, also exactly like I imagined. Every day is filled with hilarity, love, goofiness, frustration, and spurts of wondrous developmental excitement.
Each night when Emma finally falls asleep, Kelly and I collapse on the couch and give each other an update on everything we experienced with her that day. Which is sort of the idea for this blog post. So go pour yourself a glass of wine, fall onto your couch, and turn on a TV show as background noise only. (Because parents never make it through a whole show.)
Let’s talk Emma!
While Emma talks all day, she doesn’t make any sense right now. Out of the constant babbling, though, a few words have emerged. “Mamamamamama” means “I want something,” and “Dadadada” means “Mama won’t give me something. Dad, a little help here?” The “Mama-Dada” conjugation means “You aren’t hearing me, people. I really want something!” “Ada” means “All done.” (We think.) A few other favorite phrases have yet to be translated, such as “go go go” and “ah ba.” (You’d think that “go go go” simply means “go,” but nope.) Oh! And a blood-curdling scream either means either “I’m so excited to see you and I love you so much” or “I hate everything right now and I need to go to bed immediately.”
Any day now, we fully expect Emma to turn to us and say, “Father, would you kindly put your phone down and turn on Moana?” But we’re not holding our breath.
I’ll be honest here and say that when it comes to clothing, I’m not involved. I just learned that tights are not pants, and when Emma wears them, she needs to be wearing a skirt or dress, too. But you can see Emma’s fall wardrobe here. (Kelly swears that she’s going to do a post on Emma’s winter wardrobe after the New Year.)
Diapers I can talk about, though!
Only parents of young children know the true drama of a dirty diaper. Picture yourself settling into your seat on a packed flight, finding your table at a restaurant, or entering the pitch-black elevator in Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion, only to realize that it’s Dirty Diaper Go Time. (DDGT.)
Every second counts at DDGT, and one misstep could result in a complete and utter disaster. Which is why I’m so happy to be teaming up with Comforts™ to tell the story of how I solved my DDGT dilemmas.
In our year with Emma, we’ve had some absolute catastrophes at the changing table:
- Diapers that don’t stay on and don’t fit correctly.
- Diapers that caused Emma to break out in a full-body rash. (Terrifying.)
- Diapers that don’t get her through the night.
- Wipes that get stuck together and won’t come out of the package when you only have one hand and the baby is screaming and writhing around and everyone is mad because we only got one hour of sleep last night and I should be able to change a stupid diaper why is this so hard?!
Long story short, we were buying the wrong stuff. Comforts, which recently upgraded its line of diapers and wipes, sent us a care package a few months ago, and we’ve exclusively been using the brand for the last couple of months. Since switching, we’ve had significantly fewer disasters, save for the time Noodle stole a dirty diaper when we weren’t looking. (Not Comforts’ fault, haha.) But really: we now view the brand as the Rolls Royce of baby products.
Here’s why: Comforts diapers actually fit. There’s stretch around the waistband, leg cuffs and tabs, which stay in place… and they’re soft to the touch. Because Emma no longer tugs at her diapers to try to get them off, we know she’s comfier and happier! Another huge benefit is the fact that they’re a lot more absorbent than other diapers we’ve used. As I said before, Emma used to wake up in the morning soaked because her diaper was full and leaking. It was awful, and Kelly and I felt terrible about it. These, though, totally get her through the night. Finally, Emma hasn’t had an allergic reaction to them. And zero trips to immediate care make Mom and Dad happy.
In terms of Comforts‘ wipes, they come in fragrance-free, sensitive and scented varieties with a quilted-thick or soft-cushiony cloth-like feel… and they’re all alcohol-free, paraben-free, hypoallergenic and gentle on the skin. (They have moisturizing aloe and vitamin E in ’em, which is great for Emma’s sensitive Irish skin.) I can also get them out of the package with one hand.
I will never go back.
Side note: Diapers make for great hats, and “Diaper Hats” is one of our favorite games. If you have a toddler, try putting a diaper on your head and enjoy the fun that commences. So many giggles. (Comforts™ Diapers and Wipes are available exclusively at Kroger® family of stores.)
I remember the early days well. Emma laid where I sat her, and I had full use of my coffee table and countertops. But ever since she took off walking (see her first steps here), my life is full-on bedlam.
As a worried father, walking has its advantages and disadvantages. On the positive side, Emma is more independent, and she can play on her own. She’s also so much happier now that she’s mobile. On the negative side, though, she takes tumbles, and those take their toll on her. By the end of the day, she often looks like she’s been in a boxing match. Then again, walking means she’s exercising her little muscles and growing strong. But that also means that she’s ripping the house apart like a wild animal on the reg. Within the first 15 minutes of her day, our house looks like a bomb went off in it. I truly don’t think I could make a mess as efficiently as Emma if I tried. She is a MASTER.
Overall, though, walking is a great thing.
SOS. Send help. Emma is in the middle of a sleep regression. We’re talkin’ about 5 a.m. wake-ups, nap time refusals, and very grumpy parents.
We thought we had it all figured out! Our bedtime routine was on fleek. Full bellies. Quiet nursery playtime. Stories near the crib. Lullabies. White noise. Baby asleep in less than two minutes.
All that went out the window this past month, and now tantrums are the norm. She regularly wakes up an hour after we put her down, totally wrecking our Stranger Things experience. And those 8:30 a.m. wake-ups are now 5 a.m. wake-ups, as I mentioned before. Honestly, I’m at a loss for words here. Any advice, more seasoned parents?!
We’re killin’ it in this department. For a while, we were worried, because she’d only take bottles, and refused the jarred baby food. But we just skipped right over the puree, per our pediatrician’s instructions, and jumped head first into real food. And she loves it.
Our mealtimes consists of Emma sitting in her lobster seat and parents running back and forth from the kitchen with handfuls of the bizarro foods that she’s into. Yes, we’ve been able to get her to eat some normal stuff like grapes, apples, chicken, carrots, and the like. But she loves banana chips, crushed peanuts mixed with sunflower seeds, spicy chicken wings, salt and vinegar chips, steak, toast, cheddar cheese sticks, and pickles spears. Every day Emma casts off one of her favorite foods into oblivion, though, and she replaces it with some strange new concoction. Tomorrow, she’ll likely hate pickles but LOVE anchovies. I should probably do a “Cookin’ with Dad” blog post on her favorite foods some day soon. :)
Emma starts her day early and does exactly what she wants to do until bedtime. And “what she wants to do” is hilarious. Her favorite playthings are Noodle’s leash, which makes for an elegant necklace but also a noose; Daddy’s car keys, which we only have one set of and are $400 to replace; climbing stairs, which could easily kill her thus stressing out Mom and Dad; Noodle herself; the dishwasher, which is full of red hot serrated knives and also terrifies Mom and Dad; and a stuffed monkey, which is… totally okay, actually.
Now that Emma’s walking, it’s no longer appropriate to just strap her in her stroller for extended periods of time and listen to podcasts while she drinks a bottle and falls asleep. We now investigate the sidewalks, gardens and playgrounds. The smallest pebble or leaf stokes her curiosities to no end, and she can toddle around outside for hours. It’s adorable. Tiring, but adorable.
And we can’t forget Moana. I don’t want to give too much away here, but Moana is LIFE, and if you’re uninitiated, go watch Moana immediately. And after you watch it, watch it again for 10 hours in a row. Emma is drawn to Moana like The Heart of Te Fiti and nothing–not Maui, not the Kakamora, and not even Tamatoa–will stand in her way. I sing Moana songs in my head all day and I know Kelly does, too.
In collaboration with Comforts for Baby. All opinions are my own. As always, thank you so much for supporting the partnerships that keep Kelly in the City up and running!