Terrified at the thought of becoming a father? Are you shaking just having the weight of the world on your shoulders from a tiny baby no more than a few kilogrammes?
Well, it’s not all roses for sure. But there’ll be more than enough sunshine to make up for it.
At least that’s according to 88.3JIA radio DJ Ben Lee, who became a first-time father when little Keira came into his world 4 months ago, weighing in at 2.46kg.
Hear this new dad share why the journey is worthwhile, even though it does come with tons of poop. And we do mean tons.
Q: What was your first reaction when you first laid eyes on your new-born girl?
Ben: I think I looked pretty calm on the outside, but deep down I was overwhelmed with joy, trying to remember all of Keira’s first movements and expressions. To me, her cry is one of the most beautiful sounds I’ve ever heard. And seeing how tiny and scared she was gave me a strong desire to protect her.
Q: When did it hit you that you are now a dad?
Ben: When I looked at the bank statements. Just kidding!
It was the first time I brought Keira for a baby development check. The receptionist asked for her IC number and I stood still for a few seconds because I was unprepared. Even though it was such a small incident, it reminded me that I need to be more mindful of all my daughter’s needs. It was a sudden realization of the full weight on my shoulders as a father.
Q: Any recommendations for baby gear?
Ben: If you love unique baby products, you should check out Little Bearnie’s online store.
They have some of the most stylish baby products, such as teethers, bibs and feeding utensils. I love their local foodie collection, imagine the sight of your baby biting gem biscuit and hotpot design teethers, how cute is that!
SAFRA members enjoy 10% off regular-priced products at Little Bearnie.
Q: Share one memorable moment you had.
Ben: We did a traditional Taiwan ceremony with Keira when she turned 4 months old. It is called “收涎“ in Mandarin, which means anti-drooling. Parents will have to prepare a necklace made of cookies and red string and hang it around the baby’s neck. Friends and families break the cookies and gently wipe the baby’s lips as they give their well wishes, hoping that the drooling will stop. We did it just to see her first reaction to solid food. It was funny seeing how she was uninterested no matter how much we tried to engage her! Nothing beats milk at the moment.
Q: What was your first reaction to cleaning poop?
Ben: I did it the first time at the hospital. I exclaimed, “wow, baby poop smells so good!” and the nurse looked at me in horror and disbelief. After a few more rounds of poop cleaning, I now regret what I said!
Q: Share your funniest dad-fail!
Ben: It’s another poop story! My wife was feeding Keira and she felt her pooping halfway through. After the feed, my wife asked me to carry Keira up from her lap to clean the poop. In the process of carrying her up, I pressed one of my hands against the bottom of the diaper, and the poop leaked from the side and got onto my hands. My wife screamed at me and I screamed back at her to get me wet tissues! It was a total mess, I had to change not only her diaper but also her clothes and the bedsheet.
Q: What’s the best thing about being a dad? And the worst?
Ben: I think the best thing is that it made me a more affectionate person. I am not an expressive person usually, but with my daughter, I find it so easy to say “I love you” and to give kisses and hugs. Seeing her reciprocate makes my heart full. To me, the worst part would be giving up most of my me-time in the day.
Q: If you could re-do this whole new-dad journey again, what would you do differently?
Ben: There is nothing much I would change because I feel that we have done our best as parents. If there’s one regret, it would be not bringing Keira outdoors as much as we wished to, due to the pandemic situation. So if I get to re-start parenthood in a world without Covid, I would bring her to explore different places in Singapore.
Q: Any advice for other soon-to-be dads?
Ben: Look after yourself well so that you can take good care of your wife and child! And sleep as much as you can!
Kick off your day with positive vibes with Ben Lee on 88.3JIA, weekdays from 6am to 9am, on your morning drive along with his fellow DJs Jia Ming and Shu Hui.
Follow Ben on Instagram @883benlee for more cute pictures and videos of him and little Keira!