Diapers, tantrums among topics in Las Vegas class for fathers-to-be

Just the thought of it made Bhupesh Marwah see how long he could hold his breath.

Given what the instructor at the University Medical Center Boot Camp for New Dads told his class the other night – David Nearhouse said the worst smell in the world is when an infant first unloads after switching from breast milk to formula – the 40-year-old Marwah has thought long and hard about what to do should that situation arise.

He can’t hold his breath long enough, he now realizes, to change the diaper, throw it away, and spray air freshener.

"I’ve decided if that happens I won’t change my baby in a small enclosed room, but in a big open room," said the 7-Eleven convenience store manager whose wife, Monica, is expecting their first child in September. "And I’ll have a fan to blow the smell away from me and the baby. That smell isn’t something I want to experience."

Marwah, bless his heart, couldn’t have been more serious.

"It’s good to know what you’re going to face," he said after the recent class that saw him pay close attention to everything said by Nearhouse, Dr. Israel Temple, and fellow instructor Brandon Murphy, who brought his smiling 3-month-old son, Ronan, along to help demonstrate, among other things, the secrets of diaper changing and swaddling.

"This class had some very serious information," Marwah said. "When you’re learning how to take care of your baby, you’re not learning how to make a hot dog."

Indeed.

Fifteen men, one of whom gave support to his brother-in-law, came together the other night at UMC’s Family Resource Center to learn about the mysteries of new fatherhood, and not one appeared to think fatherhood would be as simple as learning how to place, and then dress with mustard and relish, a frank on a bun.

The way Assemblyman James Ohrenschall – the Democrat represents Clark County District 12 – struggled with swaddling a doll, there appeared to be a chance that he’d still be practicing when the sun came up.

"Is this how you put the blanket?" the 39-year-old attorney asked Temple, who served up the politically correct answer of: "You’ll get it with practice. … You know, they also have blankets with Velcro out now."

Robert Whitney, a clerk whose wife, Shannon, is expecting their child, didn’t even try to swaddle.

"I was chicken," he said after class. "I’ll have to wait until the baby’s born and just go for it."

Ohrenschall, who successfully fought to get more treatment funding for autistic children in the 2011 legislative session, said he has told his expectant significant other, Rianna Durrett, that he now believes the reason he wasn’t good at swaddling is because the blanket was too large for the doll.

Political swaddling or, rather, waffling aside, as Murphy, the son of Clark County Coroner Michael Murphy, changed his son – Ronan wiggled just a tad – he said to remember that when opening a baby boy’s diaper, the air on his genitals may cause him to pee skyward.

"You may have to duck," Murphy said, adding that one technique for escaping a urine shot is to open, and then quickly close, the diaper before changing a baby boy. "There are little things that you’ll learn."

Attorney Trevor Hayes, whose wife, Erin, is expecting their child next month, hoped so: "I’m afraid I’ll put the diaper on backwards."

The free class, offered four times during the year, didn’t bring just grins to the men’s faces. It also made them think.

Temple, a 33-year-old pediatric resident at UMC, talked about how easy it is to cripple, or kill, a baby if he’s shaken.

"We all get frustrated, particularly when a baby’s crying," he said. "So if you feel that way, put the baby down gently and walk away and calm down for five to 10 minutes. You’ll realize how silly it is to get angry with such a helpless baby."

Murphy pointed out how a huge mixed martial arts contestant who took the class learned to deal with his temper.

"He had a heavy bag outside his daughter’s room that he went outside to hit to cool off," he said.

The discussion about shaken baby syndrome – which causes swelling of the brain and internal bleeding – rang true to Jason Frierson, an attorney who handles child abuse cases for the Clark County District Attorney’s office.

"Too many babies get terribly hurt," he said.

Frierson, whose wife, Abbie, is expecting their child in July, said it’s disheartening to see how parents can lose control.

"I think it’s always good to have a reminder that everybody has to take a step back when they’re frustrated," he said.

Murphy also noted that he had to get rid of a pet dog who acted aggressively toward his firstborn daughter.

"When I had to make a choice between my dog or my baby, I had to choose my baby," he said.

What you don’t find in the Boot Camp for New Dads is advice from women.

Instructors Murphy and Nearhouse both agree that not allowing women in the class allows the men to ask questions that they might not otherwise ask if their wives were there.

"There is no question too dumb," Nearhouse said.

Some questions, however, aren’t answered, including, "How long after the baby’s birth can I have sex again with my wife?"

"I tell men who ask that to ask their doctors and wives," Nearhouse said.

Time and again the instructors pointed to how important it is to help take care of the new mother, including giving her some time alone.

A new father should keep in mind, the instructors said, that when he spends time alone with his child, he’s not baby-sitting.

"You’re the father now, the baby’s yours," Murphy reminded.

Both Murphy and Nearhouse have day jobs. Murphy is an information technology specialist for UMC. Nearhouse is in supervision at the Sears in Meadows mall. They had taken the course years ago when first having children and thought so much of it they received training to become facilitators.

If there is any challenge that both instructors said those in class need to take head-on, it’s learning how to help their wives calm a crying baby. They suggested that those in the class work through a checklist that includes checking to see if the baby has: a dirty diaper, clothes that chafe, or needs to be held or burped.

Though the class stressed repeatedly how men should help their wives, Nearhouse still seemed to be, well, a man, when he talked about who should change the diapers of a baby that’s been switched from breast milk to formula.

"Oh, that smell is just so bad," he said. "Let her do it."

Contact reporter Paul Harasim at pharasim@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2908.

ad-high_impact_4
Life
Life and times of a 90-year-old horse player
Leo Polito of Las Vegas describes meeting legendary jockey and trainer Johnny Longden on the beach at Del Mar. Mike Brunker/Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Learning the history of singing bowls
Presentation at Summerlin Library teaches residents about the history of singing bowls (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Learning live-saving techniques in Stop the Bleed class
Leslie Shaffer, an AMR paramedic, shows how to control bleeding during a Stop the Bleed course at the Summerlin Library. The class is designed to teach anyone how to control and stop life-threatening bleeding. (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vicki Richardson speaks about on the power of art
Artist and arts advocate Vicki Richardson talks about the power of art to inspire and challenge. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
DressCoders pairs tech with haute couture
DressCoders is a startup focused on haute couture garments. The company uses illuminated thread that is washable and can be sewn right into the fabric. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Brava infrared oven
In cooking with the Brava infrared oven,there’s no preheating. the bulbs can reach 500 degrees in less than a second. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sinks Merge Style And Utility
Study could determine cause of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s diseases
Dr. Aaron Ritter, director of clinical trials at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, discusses his research on how inflammation in the brain impacts Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. (Jessie Bekker/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Holocaust survivors talk about tragedy and friendship
Janos Strauss and Alexander Kuechel share their perspectives on life. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
'Siegel Cares' Santa delivers toys to kids at Siegel Suites in Las Vegas
Siegel Cares, the charitable wing of The Siegel Group, delivered toys to families at their apartment complexes in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Revisiting “Christ the King” sculpture
A longtime admirer of the sculpture at Christ the King Catholic Community in Las Vegas shares her perspective. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye)
Henderson couple adds another school to their generosity
Bob and Sandy Ellis of Henderson, who donate to several Clark County School District schools, have added Matt Kelly Elementary in Las Vegas to their list of schools where every student gets new shoes, socks and a toy. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Terry Fator Christmas House
Arguably better than a hotel holiday display, is Terry and Angie Fator's home located in southwest Las Vegas.
UNLV Winter Graduation Packs Thomas & Mack
UNLV's 55th winter commencement ceremony included approximately 2,146 undergraduate and graduate students who recently completed their studies. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Build-A-Bear comes to Reed Elementary School
Students participated in a Build-A-Bear-Workshop at Doris Reed Elementary School in Las Vegas, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018.
Rev. Father Seraphim Ramos talks about Greek Orthodox icons during an interview with the LVRJ
Rev. Father Seraphim Ramos talks about Greek Orthodox icons during an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Masjid Ibrahim Islamic Center art depicts names of God
Masjid Ibrahim Islamic Center founder Sharaf Haseebullah talks about new diamond-shaped art panels featuring some of the 99 names of Allah at the main entrance the Las Vegas mosque. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Holiday poultry with Tim and Chemaine Jensen of Village Meat & Wine
Tim and Chemaine Jensen of Village Meat & Wine explain the different types of poultry available for the holidays. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Catholic Charities hosts early Christmas meal
Students from the Bishop Gorman High School football and cheerleader team helped to serve food at the Christmas meal sponsored by the Frank and Victoria Fertitta Foundation at Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada on Sunday. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Incarcerated Christmas
This is the fourth year HOPE for Prisoners has worked with the Nevada Department of Corrections to create a Christmas for prisoners to visit their families. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
2018 Homeless Vigil
Straight From The Streets holds its 23rd annual vigil to remember the 179 homeless individuals who died in Clark County this year.
Getting through the Holiday blues
Psychologist Whitney Owens offers advice on keeping your mental health in check during the Holiday season in Henderson, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Operation Homefront Holiday Meals for Military
Operation Homefront Holiday Meals for Military program gave meal kits to 200 families at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10047 in Las Vegas Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. It all started with a chance encounter in a supermarket in Utica, N.Y., near Fort Drum. A soldier, his wife and infant had a handful of grocery items they couldn't afford. A Beam Suntory employee picked up the $12 cost for the groceries. The program has grown from providing 500 meal kits to military families in 2009 to providing more than 7,000 nationally this holiday season.K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
An elegant Tea Party for substance abuse and homeless women
An elegant Tea Party for substance abuse and homeless women at WestCare Women Children Campus in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Former 51s manager Wally Backman chats about new job
Former Las Vegas 51s manager Wally Backman talks about his new job with the independent league Long Island Ducks during the Baseball Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Dec. 10, 2018. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Inside the kitchen at Springs Preserve
The staff of Divine Events do party preparation in the kitchen at Divine Cafe at Springs Preserve. With nine parties the following day, this is a particularly busy time for the crew. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pearl Harbor survivor Edward Hall talks about his memories of Dec. 7, 1941
U.S. Army Corps Edward Hall, a 95-year-old survivor of Pearl Harbor talks about his memories of that horrific day. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Roy Choi on cooking for Park MGM employees
As he prepares to open his new restaurant Best Friend later this month at Park MGM, celebrity chef Roy Choi took the time to cook for the resort’s employees Tuesday. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Best Friend Menu Reveal Wednesday
Chef Roy Choi tells us what to expect from Wednesday’s Facebook Live Menu Reveal for his new Park MGM restaurant Best Friend. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Great Santa Run
People participated in the 14th annual Las Vegas Great Santa Run which raises cubs for Opportunity Village.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like