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Things to do with a newborn baby

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 17-11-2006

As a dad, sometimes it’s hard to know what to do with a newborn, especially if when you’re new to all this. Don’t let the awkwardness get in the way of spending time getting close to your new little guy or girl. Here are a few fun things dads can do that you might try:

  1. Strip the baby down to nothing or a diaper and lay him or her on a white sheet or blanket. Grab your camera and set the exposure controls to the largest aperture possible – f4, 5.6 or 8. Take a good inventory of the baby body parts (with obvious exceptions). With the largest exposure setting (smallest number), only what you are directly focusing on will be in focus in the shot.

  2. Take pictures of your baby naked held in the palm of your hand. The window of opportunity for this is small so do it now. If you don’t, a year from now you’ll be at a party and see this kind of photo hanging in someone’s hallway and you’ll regret the opportunity that will never come again.

  3. Strip down to the waist and enjoy the sensation of a newly bathed baby lying on your chest. This is the closest we can get to what moms feel, and it’s not half bad. I wouldn’t do it every day, but it’s not bad. You will feel closer to your child than you did moments before, if only because you literally are closer to him.

  4. Go for a stroll anywhere with the baby in a baby Bjorn, and enjoy the unique feeling of being a new dad. Everyone else will know you are as well.

  5. Fall asleep with baby on your chest (just make sure mom is around to remove him in case you roll around).

  6. Read a book to your baby. Love for books and reading starts early with experience and role models.

And some things not to do:

  1. Resist the temptation to set your new baby in a salad bowl or flowerpot. You’ll feel very guilty about the frightened look they get when you make fun of them.

  2. And seriously, never, ever leave the baby unattended on counter, changing table, or in the bath, even for “just a moment.”


 – Paul Banas
San Francisco, California