27 May 2016, by Joel Chng

Being a Hands-On Father

I used to wonder aloud, “How come there is Mothercare (retailer which specialises in products for children and expectant mothers) but no Fathercare?”

Times have changed and fathers now play an active role in the upbringing of their children.

My son Ezra is almost nine months old and I love every bit of being a hands-on father. The advantage of working for a business news channel is that I get to be home early (as early as lunchtime!) to spend time with my baby. This also means that I get to witness all of Ezra’s milestones, and capture those memories in videos and photographs.

With Ezra

With Ezra

When it comes to parenting and baby duties, my wife Petrina and I work as a team. As Ezra is fully breastfed and was not taught to drink from a milk bottle (we recently taught him to drink water from sippy cups), I had the privilege of sleeping through his night feeds, right from day one.

My ‘duties’ include, but are not limited to:

1) Bathing Ezra.

I took the two weeks of Government-Paid Paternity Leave and and the six days of Childcare Leave all at once. During the early days, bathing my small and fragile baby was scary, even with the newborn support attached to the bath tub! However, I quickly got the hang of it. Today, I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times Petrina has bathed Ezra.

2) Rocking Ezra to sleep when we are out.

As Ezra is not sleep trained, we are not restricted by time when it comes to going out. However, my ‘own time own target’ baby can only fall asleep while nursing, or when rocked by me or by my mother-in-law.

3) Feeding Ezra his daily bowl of solids.

We started Ezra on brown rice cereal when he was six months old, and have since introduced these other foods to him:

– Apples
– Bananas
– Avocados
– Sweet potato
– Pumpkin
– Prunes
– Papaya
– Salmon
– Threadfin
– Grapes

When Ezra turned eight months old, he started showing teething symptoms. Since I love to experiment when it comes to food, I wanted to make him a treat to soothe his sore and tender gums. Instead of buying and refrigerating teething toys, I decided to make a batch of frozen lollipops using puréed pears. Maybe the cold eases his discomfort, maybe it is the sweet taste of pear, but Ezra loves them!

To me, being a hands-on father is not just about doing things for Ezra but spending time to build a relationship with him. Every single day, I am greeted by my son’s smile – his face lights up as soon as I come through the door! Cliché, but this feeling is priceless. How can someone so small make me feel so special?

I truly treasure the bond I have with Ezra, and I hope that we will always be close. Ezra is what drives me to be hands-on, and I enjoy every bit of parenthood. Instead of being the typical Asian father responsible for just bringing home the bacon, I want to be the father who cooks the bacon and serves it with creamy scrambled eggs for his wife and children.

If you are a fun(ny) hands-on dad and would like to win a photography package from Baby U Studio for your child, here’s your chance! Join Maybe Baby’s “FUN(NY) HANDS-ON DAD! contest now!

More details here: https://www.maybebaby.sg/contest/48/fun(ny)-hands-on-dad!

Hurry, contest ends on 23 June 2016!

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