Top Tips For Expecting Dads. Don't miss this checklist on what to do before baby arrives. (FTD POST)

OK soon-to-be first time Dads, listen up!  This post is for you guys who haven't had the pleasure of experiencing the most anticipated week of your life so far.  The dreaded 7 days before 'ole fat-guts' explodes and pops out your brand new son or daughter.

I reckon that most of you would agree that we tend to take a backseat to this whole pregnancy thing...we've silently dealt with 9 long months of strangers wanting to rub the wife's guts, quietly shuffled through miles of 'Babys R us' aisles buying crap, eaten the vilest of organic tofu dinners, taken time off work to sit in a doctors office while the wife does a $400 pee, slept lonely on the hardest of sofas and assembled the most ridiculously difficult cribs, toys and damn strollers. Geez!  But in the last 7 days or so, something primeval happens in the back of our minds and we realise that shit is becoming real - then we panic a bit.

"Crikeys...I'm actually gonna be a DAD!  What the Hell do I do now?"

Who says baby-crap shopping is boring? Just Jazz it up a bit!
Strangely enough, there's not much information for us men-folk on how to best prepare for this last week.  Of course, there's heaps of books, blogs, websites and great word-of-mouth advice for the ladies but we seem to get no more advice than a sentence or two from the doctor and a sly slap on the back from male friends or relatives. Useless!

Well...Good old FTD is here with ALL the info! Fear not N00bs. Below are ALL the facts you'll need to prepare for this difficult time.

1) Buy or borrow a good digital camera.  Get a pile of batteries ready and test the thing out BEFORE you're in the hospital.  Practice how to do a "macro" or close-up shot of your kids hand holding a finger (grannies love that shot) and make sure you have a memory card in it. I can guarantee you that if you forget the bloody camera when your baby plops out, the rest of your miserable life won't be worth living. They are also a great excuse to 'disappear' when the lavender-scented, patronising great Aunty Noleen strides on in with a poorly knitted baby cardigan and insists on putting it on the baby immediately. Simply exclaim that you're "out of film" and have to duck out to get some more. Lifesaver! GET ONE NOW!!!

Here it is gents! - The MONEY shot!

2) Assemble and install the freakin car safety seat. These things can be a real bastard.  Backwards, forwards, center seat, passenger seat, tilt angle, adjustments, clips, seat-belts - the list goes on and on.  Generally, the accepted positioning these days is REAR facing in the CENTER seat of the back row.  Read the instructions, try to install it, then just drive to your local fire-station and get them to do it for you properly.  Just don't tell anyone!

Then test the thing out...I've found that an 18 pack of beer usually does the trick nicely.  If you remove/drink the corner beers and crush the cardboard a bit to hold the rest in place, it makes a rough baby shape. Add a couple more beers for 'arms' if you're feeling particularly DIY.

If this looks right to you... Then you need to go to the Fire Station mate!

3)  Stock up on $1 bills.  No...not for the strippers - the nurses! Trust DON'T wanna be cleaning up that thick black crap from you're baby's butt, especially when the image of your partners sliced open guts or ripped up 'vertical smile' is fresh in your mind! Bribe them with a few well placed bills instead.  When the little bugger starts grunting and you see that diaper filling up, just pop bubs back in crib-thing with a few $1 bills under the armband and ring the buzzer for the nurse. Then simply hide in the closet or behind a chair until the job is done.

If there's any cash left over then you can try out the slots! These over-sized try-your-luck machines are usually found in the hospital lobby or near the cafeteria and have a reasonably high pay out rate.  I actually won a Pepsi Max, micro-bag of Doritos and a lukewarm coffee-flavoured beverage for just $12.

3 bucks is the going rate for a shitty diaper!

4)  Go to your local pharmacy, supermarket or drug-store and buy the following items...
 - 1 pack of suppositories
 - 1 enema kit
 - 1 container of Hemorrhoid relief pads
 - 1 (large) tub of Hemorrhoid cream                  <-------FTD!! 
 - 1 pair industrial rubber gloves
 - plastic knife, fork and soft-tipped rubber tongs

Don't talk about this, don't mention it to anyone...just do it NOW! Hide 'em away in the garage somewhere and pray to God that you never have to use them.  Take it from me...there is nothing more humiliating than kneeling on the floor of the bathroom at 4am coaxing a turd the size and consistency of a Christmas fruit cake out of your wife's arse with pasta tongs.  <------- MOTHERF*CKER!  FTD!  This is so wrong!  Like the worst visual EVER!  This did not happen.... I mean... NOT LIKE THIS! You are not allowed to write ANYMORE! (OK, Dads, maybe you should be prepared for a trip to the pharmacy.  If your lady requires pain killers after birth then just go ahead and fulfill FTD's shopping list.)

5)  Do a few test drives to the hospital. Know the route!  When is the traffic bad? Are there any alternative roads to take? You probably have already done this but have you paid CLOSE attention?

 - You may be surprised to learn that the local video-game store may be just around the corner.  Find out if there are any awesome midnight releases that may coincide with the birth of your child.  MEGA-BONUS!
 - Scout out the closest McDonald's and check what their daily specials are.  Maybe an early-bird 2 for 1 egg McMuffin or possibly a free McDouble with the purchase of any combo! Man's still gotta eat!

You need somewhere to go when the in-laws turn up (and they will)!  Having a predetermined set of locations to disappear to is just good planning.

Pick up a candle or two for the missus while you're there!
Armed with this knowledge, you should be good to go.  Good luck! Sit back and watch the show.

FTD out!

April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit