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7 Things No One Ever Warns a New Dad About

by Andrew Kardon on February 6, 2013 at 9:44 AM

Having a baby is truly a wonderful thing. You and your spouse are creating the most precious thing you'll ever put your hands on. And while no two babies are exactly alike (not even twins), for the most part, moms have a natural instinct for taking care of the little rug rats. Dads, on the other hand, are a bit more clueless.

Sure, an owner's manual would be a monumental help to everyone, but until Apple invents an iBaby, don't hold your breath. No, new parents most certainly have their hands full. New moms are trying to get a handle on taking care of their newborn and their mostly useless husbands.

Are there things a guy needs to know before knocking up his wife? You better believe it! Here's a look at 7 things I wish I knew before my wife and I even attempted having our first child.

1. Women's bodies change. Well, duh. Of course they do. Their bellies get ginormous. But that's not what I'm talking about. During pregnancy, women actually get this vertical black line that runs down their belly. (AKA, linea nigra.) For sympathy, grab a Sharpie and do the same to yours.

2. Buy a cup. I can't tell you how many times I've been kicked in the family jewels. By my family, I mean. Specifically my kids. Babies loooove to kick, especially when they first realize they have legs. So my biggest piece of advice is to wear a cup. Always.

3. You'll have no idea what you're doing. Read as much as you want. Watch as many movies as you want. The instant you bring your newborn home for the very first time, chances are you'll sit on the couch, stare at your wife, and you'll both say, "Now what?"

4. Holy crap. No pictures, no books, no words can ever prepare you for how insanely monstrous and grotesque a baby's first poop can be. No joke, I nearly fainted the first time I saw my son's first diaper change. (And my wife almost burst her stitches!) 

5. Naps are highly underrated. Ever get just five hours of sleep in one night? Spread out in small batches of 15-minute increments? Yeah, get used to it. Say goodbye to a regular sleep pattern for a few years and embrace the afternoon nap!

6. Making a belly button is disgusting. Belly buttons are cute. But when you see first-hand how they're actually made, chances are, you'll throw up in your mouth. When the umbilical cord is cut, it's clamped off, so newborns don't have belly buttons yet. They have nasty little wrinkled tubes of skin that dry up after a few days and eventually ... just fall off. If you're lucky like me, it falls off and you have no idea when or where. Gulp.

7. Pregnant women pee when they sneeze. Pregnant women do it. Moms do it. It's apparently pretty common but we guys have no clue. Women will often say, "I laughed so hard I peed my pants." We guys always thought it was just an expression. We thought wrong.

What words of advice can you give to expecting parents?

Photo via Joelle Inge-Messerschmidt/Flickr

Filed Under: baby development, baby first year, childbirth, mom secrets, newborns


  • Samantha
    -- Nonmember comment from


    February 6, 2013 at 10:24 AM
    This gave me a good laugh. I guess ive never thought about it from a guys perspective. It is interesting to say the least. I hope my partner makes me laugh as much as im sure your wife did. :)
  • the4m...


    February 6, 2013 at 10:37 AM
    Except for "buy a cup" all of these are covered in a parenting class.
  • the4m...


    February 6, 2013 at 10:38 AM
    Oops, hit send.
    Even the 1 day,3-4 hr parenting classes cover these things. "What to expect when youre expecting" covers it all, and I believe they have a "what to expect" for dads now.
    No excuse to not know about all these things. Except the cup. Nobody is ever prepared for that.
  • ToolA...


    February 6, 2013 at 10:39 AM
    I feel so bad for wife dude (if your even married still). I never got whatever #1 is, #3 never happened, my husband never has to change diapers and never saw me change the first one, I did all the night feedings his sleep patterns never changed ( I didn't mind though). Every article I've read of yours looks like a teenage boy wrote it.
  • Kaela...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Kaela Wheeler

    February 6, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    LOL - #6, so true!

  • Melis...


    February 6, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    Ha, thanks Andrew.  These were pretty darn funny!

  • lynds...


    February 6, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    Wow ToolArmy066- that was incredibly rude.  If you dont like his articles, you dont have to click on them, read them, or God Forbid- comment on them.

    if you aren't interested, moved on. No need to be rude.

  • Todd...
    -- Facebook comment from

    Todd Vrancic

    February 6, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    Dude, what are you, like 6?  And throwing up in your own mouth is nothing compared to your firstborn throwing up in your mouth while she lies cradled on your lap.  I still wouldn't trade my time as a SAHD for anything you can name, not even Iron Man's armor.

  • the4m...


    February 6, 2013 at 12:13 PM
    Todd- youre awesome :) I'm lucky enough to have a man with a similar attitude to yours in my life. I also feel sorry for Andrews wife and sons. He seems to really buy into some male stereotypes about men being ignorant of "everything woman" and of "proper" roles for women.
    *Sigh* the world needs more Todds & Brandons, and fewer Andrews
  • Dave
    -- Nonmember comment from


    February 6, 2013 at 12:38 PM
    Once again, Andrew, you are spot on. Women get all the glory from childbirth and we men are expected to just bask in the wonder of the thing. I wish someone had warned me about the black line and the peeing. Definitely not cool, ladies!
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