Devlin is turning a year in a few weeks. I thought it would a good time to look back at the first year and my life as a stay-at-home Dad. Over the next month, I will look back at becoming a stay-at-home dad, working for your wife, and our day-to-day routine.
But first, an overview.
The following post came as a suggestion from a Twitter friend after I made a joke about becoming a mommy blogger. I don’t plan on giving up on gaming posts quite yet. However, there is probably good money on the daddy blogger side of things.
Stay-at-Home Dad: A to Z
A is for Amazon: Oh, how I love Amazon. Subscribe & Save could be my favorite thing on the internet. Yes, there is some management involved, but it saves me leaving the house, I don’t overspend, and we have just only what we need. Additionally, any Amazon link in this post is an affiliate link. Thanks for your support.
B is for Baby-wearing: Since the moment he was old enough, Devlin has slept on me. We started in a Boba. Now, he naps in the Lille Baby. He can sleep on his own, but he gets deep sleep this way. Whatever works, right?
C is for Chatbooks: To make documenting his first year simple, we have been using Chatbooks. Their App makes it simple to select the photos we want, order a book, and have it sent directly to the house. We have been making a book for every three weeks of his life (we take a lot of pictures) and making notes beside each photo. It is a great alternative to scrapbooking or complicated photo books. If you want to try them out, get your first book of a series free, and help us out with a $5 credit for the referral, you can click here all the information.
D is for Devlin: Because, without the kid, there is no list.
E is for Eating: As I began to make real-food meals for Devlin, it completely changed how I cooked for us. Meals now need to be quick to prepare and ideally, freezable/reheatable. Simple cooking became the name of the game. BudgetBytes continues to be my go-to for recipes, but at the end of the day, cooking up rice, roasting some veggies and making applesauce seems to be the easiest. Oh, and there is avocado toast weekly. It is cheap when you make it at home.
F is for The Forks: The primary tourist and meeting hub in Winnipeg. Ever since they started their renovation to create The Common, it has become one of my favorite places in town. The site accommodates those with a newborn/infant fabulously. Great for people watch, a beer, a meeting place with family, and shopping for local goods.
G is for Glow Newborn Tracker: The Glow Tracker helps us not remember. It is a fantastic little app to keep track of feedings, sleep, diapers, and all sorts of milestones.
H is for Horizon: Zero Dawn: I purchased HZD for my birthday, which was also one month after Devlin came home. It was amazing to play it while the little guy slept on me. Aloy and Devlin will always have a connection for me.
I is for IKEA: I know we would be able to survive without IKEA, it just would be a lot more expensive. Not only is it an excellent outing, much of his day-to-day life is touched by IKEA products. His crib, highchair, toys, dishware, smocks, burp clothes, blackout curtains, all IKEA. Playroom adventures are made better with IKEA.
J is for Jolly Jumper: Buy one used. Watch your child squeal with delight as the bounce up and down. Become sad when they get too big for it. Sell it to another family.
K is for Konstantine: The Something Corporate song that made a whole generation cry is his favorite song to hear as he falls asleep. Between you and me, I am not complaining.
L is for The Library: Embrace your local library. Programs, books, digital offerings. The main branch of the Winnipeg Public Library is one of Devlin’s favorite outings. Learning areas, lots of space, and other kids. Even if you don’t have kids, don’t waste the resource that is your local library.
M is for Minimalism: If not for discovering Minimalism, I don’t think I would be the parent I am. I needed to declutter my life and our home to ensure I was ready to be the Dad that Devlin needed. After embracing minimalism, mindfulness, and meditation, I became calmer, more aware, and simply better overall.
N is for Netflix: In the early days, when he was sleeping and I couldn’t, I caught up on all my Anime blindspots. Now, it is all for him with Peppa Pig and Paw Patrol.
O is for OshKosh/Carter’s: Out of all the clothing brands for infants, Carter’s & OshKosh have fit him the best. Even when we were given hand-me-downs, the only ones we used were from Carter’s. The quality is excellent, they wash super well, and provide a solid bang for the buck. Highly recommend.
P is for Phil & Ted’s: I had never heard of this New Zealand company until we were shopping for a stroller. Their Smart model is perfect for small cars, going in and out of tight places, and for travel. Add a cocoon for when the child is an infant and it the best bassinet out there. Just this week, they announced the release of the go™ buggy and I have a strong urge to get one for traveling.
Q is for Quality Advice: Guess what? You will get more unsolicited advice than you could ever imagine. While much of it is well-intentioned, it is not always the best for you or your family. I’ve spent some time in the quiet moments reading and keeping up with his development with science-based books. Our current shelf of resources include Mayo Clinic Guide to Your Baby’s First Year, Brain Rules for Babies, and How to Talk so Your Kids will Listen. Additionally, CanDo Kiddo is a wonderful site and is one of the few newsletters to which I subscribe.
R is for Resale: The moment Devlin has grown out something or finished his development cycle, it is sold. Whether it be through Kijiji, a Facebook group, or to a friend, we always try to get some money back (or the same as what we paid) on every item we can.
S is for Standing Desk: Using a standing desk makes the process of baby-wearing a much more enjoyable experience. For months, computer work and gaming were only possible because of the standing desk. While Devlin will now nap while I am seated, for many months, this was not the case. The option to stand (with an anti-fatigue mat) for a few hours while he napped made keeping him down a lot easier.
T is for Twitch: While I have since retired from streaming, it has played a major roll in our time together. We have many hours spent watching friends work their way towards affiliate and partner. We even made it there too! My stream may now be host-only, but it was a fabulous time spent with him.
U is for Undercommiting: I have learned to say “no” a lot in the last 12 months. We don’t have much family here in Winnipeg, which is nice and makes it manageable. My number one priority is the little guy’s sleep and meal schedule. This means if something is not a “Hell Yes!”, it is a “Hell No!”.
V is for V-Tech: The walker and the steering wheel toys from V-Tech, while a tad annoying, have been great for his cognitive development. Watching him go from just hitting buttons, to fully interacting with the toys, has been fascinating to see. Now, as he learns to walk and stand, both toys develop all new uses. Great value for the money.
W is for World of Warcraft: You didn’t think I would leave it off did you? If it wasn’t for his late night waking, I would never have seen the gorgeous skybox on the Broken Isles.
X is for something, but sometimes you have to look at everything and say I’ve done enough and this will have to do it is not like i can always be perfect and get it all right
Y is for YNAB: I have praised You Need A Budget in the past, but it is truly one of the reasons our family can live the way we do – serious budgeting. Being able to see months out for expenses made it possible for us to make the right decisions financially.
Z is for Zoom N’ Crawl: Zoom is a ball spitting, spinning monster that Devlin absolutely adores. The balls are the perfect size for the little guy’s hands. This toy helped him learn to throw, learn to crawl, and colors. Easily one of the best toys we’ve received.