Monthly Parenting Magazine

Dad Diary: Preparing for Baby’s first holida...

Dad Diary: Preparing for Baby’s first holiday

Dad Diary

Mama’s resident TV magician and new dad celebrates his new arrival

Words Chris Cox

As Little Cox hits three months old we seem to be living all the clichés. Time really does fly, having a baby really does change your life and you really do find yourself loving your offspring more than anything else in the world. Most people also find themselves settling into a fairly solid routine by this point. However, most people we are not.

One of the joys of being a mind-reader is travelling the world, something that pre-baby was a real perk of my job. But, within days of Little Cox arriving, I cancelled shows in the Caribbean so I could spend more time with her. As a friend who went in my stead sent photos of himself sipping cocktails on the beach, I sent him photos of me sniffing nappies on the changing mat. How times have changed.

Over Christmas I had to go away for two weeks’ worth of shows in Manila, the Philippines and we decided that I’d go alone, and my wife Helen and Little Cox would hang out with our family here. FaceTime means it’s easy to stay in touch, but it also means it’s never been easier for my wife to see me tearing up as I look at our little girl smiling on the screen. I felt so close to her, but was so very far away. Upon my return we vowed to try and use maternity leave as an opportunity to travel as a family. As such, I’m writing this while Helen finishes packing the mountain of suitcases, as we’re about to embark on a seven-week trip to South Africa for me to read minds.

The days before I left for Manila were filled with sadness, but now that we’re all travelling together the days are filled with excitement (and stress). But, I have one question: How can something so tiny need so many things? I had to halve the amount of T-shirts I’m taking to fit her swimming stuff in – because even at three months Little Cox has become a water baby.

Dad Diary

Before going away for so long, we decided we wanted to be confident in the swimming pool with her. To do that we booked ourselves in for classes with Water Babies. Held in a private, extra-warm pool just down the road from us, I was amazed at how relaxing and fun Little Cox found the 30-minute lessons. They’re jam-packed full of songs and movements that you do with your baby to make them feel safe in the water. I can see us irritating everyone sunbathing in South Africa as we move Little Cox through the water singing “swish swish this-a-way”.

It was incredible to see how natural it was for her and all our panicking about not getting water on her face during baths was poo-pooed as she giggled with delight. Even my slightly nervous wife beamed as Little Cox did her first underwater swim and Water Babies fast became the highlight of our week. I know we’ll both be super-comfortable in the pool with her and I can’t wait to get her back into the lessons when we return.

At first I had one major concern about the baby swimming. What if nature calls and the nappy leaks? Helen’s bigger concern was making sure Little Cox looked awesome and stayed warm in the pool. Fortunately, we discovered Splash About and their Happy Nappy system. I have memories of freezing on a Cornish beach trying to squeeze into a wetsuit but the super-cute Happy Nappy Wetsuit gave us no problems. It was as simple as putting a nappy liner in a washable wrap, putting her in that, then sticking the stylish wetsuit over the top. Little Cox loved wearing it and, best of all, it was snug and secure enough to ensure any excited poops (turns out they’re a thing) stay in the nappy and not in the water.

So, the suitcases are packed. Next stop, South Africa. After a 12-hour flight. With a baby. Let’s hope the magic of white noise will keep her snoozing and not screaming. Wish me luck! Actually, scrap that – wish my fellow passengers luck!

Splash About

dad diary

This brand has the coolest swimsuits and wetsuits around, and everything else you need to get your baby comfortable in the water. Their changing mat comes in especially useful and most pools request your baby wears their Happy Nappy, as they know it won’t leak.

Splash About

Water Babies

Dad diary

It’s easy to see why they’re the UK’s number one baby swim school, as they teach them how to be confident, safe and have fun in the pool. I can see our little one following their courses until she’s a toddler – she loves it.

Water Babies

Chris Cox was named by The Guardian as “one of the most exciting entertainers in Britain”.

Chris Cox


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