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Becoming a new parent is more than hard. It’s like your eyes are suddenly opened to all the chaos in the universe, a world of insanity comprising bodily fluids of every possible colour, spilled cheerios and jingling toys. Babies, man.

Which is why as a new Dad you need to turn to aspects from your past life as a bachelor to see you through. Or, to put it another way, you’ve got to find the right tool in the toolbox for whatever the situation. The first item I would recommend is simple but underrated.

The flashlight

Maybe get TWO. Because you know you’re going to lose that flashlight under the bed, and you will need the second one to find the first one. That’s called planning. 

Sure, you might have a mega-sized Maglite kicking around for camping or repelling intruders, but I’m talking smaller. Hand-sized. Those little LED lights pack plenty of power now.

Why the flashlight?

One of the first things you’ll be doing as a new dad is checking in on a sleeping baby, and you’ll want that handy. Getting up in the middle of the night to check up on some wails? Boom — it’s right there.

Newborn baby crashed out in the bassinet in the other room while you’re finally getting adult time? Tiptoe in, flashlight in hand, to see if they’re okay before sneaking back to watch that movie with your partner. Nice.

How about when your babe’s a bit older? It’s time to level up to Mall Cop-sized — only it’s not for security. This full-sized sucker is for all those moments when you just can’t think of what to do next.

GEAR DAD

BUNNY TIME

Baby not tired enough to go to sleep? Already bored of every Eric Carle you got in the box? That’s where the Mag comes in: turn out the lights, shut the curtains and bust out an impromptu shadow puppet theatre.

Having a few cardboard cut-outs might work well here, though stuffed animals of any kind work in a pinch. Yeah, it’s hypnotic! And hilarious. And nothing’s better at chasing away tears.

Bonus — the flashlight also works well on penguins.


Ian Daffern is a writer, video producer, comic-maker and enthusiastic Torontonian by way of Dartford, England. His son is the greatest. 

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