Monthly Parenting Magazine

New Dad Diary

In the first of his monthly columns, TV magician and dad-to-be gets ready for his new arrival

Words Chris Cox

I’ve a baby on the way. I should point out that my wife, Helen, is also quite heavily involved. Here’s the thing everyone keeps telling us: “Catch up on sleep now”. What they don’t say is: “Good luck with actually doing that because until that baby arrives your sleep will be full of anxiety dreams. You’ll be waking up at 3am realising quite how powerless you are in what’s about to happen, wondering how to pay for everything, what names to suggest and whether you should start going to the gym as you have arms that look like twigs and you’re worried you might not actually be able to pick the baby up.” Okay, that last one is quite specific to me. Oh, and you’ll wake up every time your wife goes to the toilet. So every 20 minutes then. Brilliant.

As our baby goes from a medium rare to well done, everything has started to get pretty real, which is odd for for me, a mind-reading magician who spends his life trying to make the impossible possible.

We’ve gone from reading books (well Helen’s gone from reading books and telling me ‘you should read this book’) to the actual purchasing of products, packing of baby bags and rehearsing of what’s going to happen when our little one decides to put on its own Houdini-esq escape.

Turns out live streaming it on YouTube so I can show my mind-reading talents by predicting the sex isn’t a goer. Also I already know the sex, thanks to the magic
of ultrasound.

So, with this huge life change on the horizon, it’s a good job that all we have to focus on at the moment is awaiting the arrival of our little one. But wait. What’s that? Oh yeah, we thought it’d be a great idea to move house at the exact same time. Nothing like additional stress to make the impending birth of your first baby feel even more fun. Yay.

We are juggling dates to move in with dates when we think the baby might arrive. And working out where the birth might happen alongside the colour schemes for living room. And since we’re considering a home birth, the white carpet is currently on hold.

Chris Cox
Chris Cox

We’re working together on everything as much as possible, taking individual jobs before reporting back our findings. While Helen works on our birthing plan, I’m cracking on with researching and buying.

First up was the pram, searching for something that made us look cool pushing it, while being easy enough to fit in the car.

The initial ‘you could literally get a second hand car for the price of one of these’ thought zoomed out of my mind as it was filled with questions like: ‘will the storage under it be enough?’ and ‘in the future can the baby sit at table height in the pram and join us for dinner when we’re out, thus giving a whole new meaning to meals on wheels?’. The minefield was avoided when I picked out the Day 2 from Joolz, even more so when Helen got to tailor make every part of it on their website.

I followed it up with a double whammy: matching baby and parents’ mattresses. Well, at least that’s what I told Helen, bringing a tear to her eye for what a thoughtful dad-to-be I was. It just so happened that I was getting us a new Eve mattress and I saw that they’d just released ‘the world’s most comfortable baby mattress’, and if we’re going to feel like we’re sleeping on a cloud, so should our little one. The fact that both were delivered in boxes direct to our house was an additional bonus – my twig arms were not looking forward to heaving a mattress around town.

I thought I’d got the hang of this getting ready for a baby lark, but, as Helen’s apps told us, the baby was now the size of a coconut and our list of ‘things to do before for the baby arrives’ was now requiring an app of its own to monitor its growing size. Luckily that list lives on my side of the bed, so when 3am strikes I can add to it, while looking longingly at the first item on the list: ‘Catch up on sleep’. One can dream, right? Well, one can’t, one’s too busy making a list.


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