10 things I think I think after 10 days of fatherhood

We’ve been parents for 10 days now and while it’s easily been the most rewarding experience of my life, it’s simultaneously been the most challenging.

We sadly haven’t been able to venture outside much due to both the smoky air conditions (little one was born on the worst air day in SF history) from the recent fires and the rain that followed. So, we’ve been cooped up indoors with just us and the baby.

We received so many tips from friends and family over the past few months so I won’t reiterate much of what you can find elsewhere. We’re definitely not experts at this, but hopefully these thoughts and tips from our experience can be helpful to you or someone else going through this soon:

  1. The SNOO is probably the most amazing device ever invented. I don’t think we would be able to sleep if it weren’t for this magical bassinet. He never fusses above Level 1 now without being soothed. It’s pricey, but if you value your 2–3 hour chunks of sleep at night — and that of the little one as well — it’s 100% worth it.
  2. UCSF let us take home a refillable 1 liter water bottle with a bendy straw. Critical for keeping my wife hydrated while breast feeding. It’s a small thing, but make sure you have something similar.
  3. The time between coming home and mom’s milk coming in was the most trying time for us. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or call a lactation consultant. Peace of mind that you’re doing the best you can is worth the money. Everyone goes through this and even though everyone will warn you, you’ll feel helpless in the moment. Trust me, you’ll get through it.
  4. Kimono-style bodysuit outfits make for easy, not-so-messy-on-the-clothes diaper changes and are fashionable to boot. We think that L’ovedbaby makes the best ones. We were gifted some from Carters as well that are nearly as good.
  5. We took just about every preparation class there was to take before little one arrived. Everything you learned goes out the window. Strangely, no class taught us to listen to the small audible pop that the baby makes when swallowing on a good latch.
  6. Everything is easier as a tag team. We still got peed on quite a bit changing diapers, but at least we could laugh about it together. There’s a lot you can do to help mom breastfeed too from positioning and encouragement, but I’ve taken a liking to getting really good at burping.
  7. Make sure to stock up on food that’s easily eatable with one hand. Or invest in really good side tables around the chairs you’ll be in regularly so that you can keep your hydration and snacks at an arm’s reach without effort. Eating with two hands is a distant memory.
  8. Honest Co’s diapers are super absorbent. Our little one doesn’t fuss as much when he wets himself wearing them versus the competition. The challenge is that they don’t have visual indicators that the diapers are wet like Huggies and other brands.
  9. GoodEggs is irreplaceable to skip the grocery store traffic with an infant. We’ve been using them for the last couple of years, but didn’t appreciate the service as much as we do now. Order your new mama the Mama Tong special soups. If it’s not available in your area, any delivery service suffices.
  10. Be prepared to be terrified at all hours of the day or night that your little one isn’t breathing. Even though you’re probably sleep-deprived, you’ll continuously wake up to check or not sleep at all. I think it’s gotten easier as we’ve learned how resilient he is, but all of the SIDS fear fodder out there can get to you.

All that being said, we’ve never been happier or more fulfilled.

Founder & CEO of effx. EIR at Kleiner Perkins. Working on a new startup as a new dad.

Founder & CEO of effx. EIR at Kleiner Perkins. Working on a new startup as a new dad.