Daddy Day Care

Daddy Day Care

I can’t believe the summer holidays are over already. I thoroughly enjoyed spending all that time with Clara while Mammy was at work but now it’s back to reality. I’m back in work myself, in the classroom and Clara has just completed her first week in creche. If I’m honest, being back in work feels like a bit of a break at times.

Minding a baby all day certainly keeps you on your toes. The only time I felt I really got a break, during the day, was when I put her down for a nap and I sometimes took that opportunity to write a bit of the blog or do housework etc.

Barbara and I went for lunch one afternoon while Uncle Heno offered to mind Clara for the afternoon. They seemed to have great craic altogether playing dress up with Clara’s tights ending up on her head!

Now that Clara is walking you just can’t take your eyes off her. Even the baby wipes need to be left out of her reach or she will have the whole packet pulled out and strewn across the floor.

She tries to get into everything! You think you’ve done a relatively good job at baby proofing your home until a toddler really puts it to the test.

One day in particular I recall reheating a cup of coffee three times in the microwave as a result of constant interruptions. I had to prevent Clara from getting into a kitchen cupboard, a drawer and even the dishwasher, while I was emptying it! There was also a nappy change thrown in for good measure.

If there is one thing I learned from being a stay at home dad, it’s to remember to remove all of Clara’s hair clips before leaving the house...from my hair!! Clara got a great giggle when we put them in my hair in the first place but there's nothing more embarrassing than being asked by the checkout girl in Woodies DIY, “Do you know you've a hair clip in your hair?” To which I replied nonchalantly,  “Yeah I know thanks, pink is totally my colour.” trying to play it cool, before dashing out of the shop and back into the car!

As busy and as tiring as it is, looking after a baby/wobbler all day, every day, I must say I do miss our daily trips to the playground, paper hat making, bubble blowing, daddy daughter discos and drum sessions on pots and pans!

Clara absolutely loves the Zoo and is beginning to take a great interest in the animals. She even imitates the noises they make. We paid a number of visits over the summer holidays, including a trip with her godfather, Eoin. We also cheered on her Uncle Alan in his hurling match.

We just recently got our back garden landscaped and this kept her entertained daily as she kept a close eye on the progress, from the safety of the back door. Let’s just hope that we get some of that nice 'back to school weather' so that we can enjoy it.



Clara has settled in quite well into creche and was grand for the first few days, not a bother on her. After day 4 she was fine when I dropped her off but as soon as she realised I was heading off to work and not hanging around, the tears came streaming. Yesterday, as I drove into the car park in work after dropping Clara off to creche, I realised I was still singing along to her Nursery Rhyme CD.

A week in and Clara has already picked up her first cough and cold from creche. She’s had a few sniffles before this but never as bad. I'm talking snot bubbles and everything! She is so clingy and the other night she would not settle at bedtime. She eventually fell asleep lying on my chest. Like removing old wallpaper, I literally had to peel her off me where her snot had stuck her little face to my t-shirt! Lovely!

The joys of parenting eh?

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Rory Thynne
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Even Miracles Take a Little Time

Even Miracles Take a Little Time

This week the Dáil introduced a new Bill to extend paid maternity leave by the number of weeks a baby is born prematurely. 4,500 babies are born prematurely in Ireland every year. Presently, these mothers have no choice but to begin their maternity leave while their babies are still in hospital.

At present, mothers in Ireland are entitled to 26 weeks maternity leave and 16 weeks unpaid leave which comes into effect on the date the child is born. This means that some parents whose babies are born prematurely may only have a short time at home before they have to go back to work. By then they will have very little maternity leave left to spend at home with their baby. For many mothers their maternity leave is spent leaving their tiny new born behind in the neonatal intensive care unit each night (NICU).

I took my full three days paternity leave last year when Clara was born. Since September 2016, this has increased to two weeks which is great news for new daddies.


Source: Irish Times


I got to spend three amazing days in our own home with my precious new family before going back to work. I have these memories which I will treasure forever. It is hard to imagine what life will be like before having your own children but when they are born, you can’t imagine life without them.


I remember lying in bed with Clara snuggled up asleep on my chest. It was such a wonderful feeling, bonding and getting to know my new daughter during the first few days of her life. Her mammy lay asleep beside us, recovering from never-ending cluster feeds and also from giving birth itself. Not an easy task. I witnessed it!

As I looked down at Clara sleeping peacefully, I thought, How were we allowed to leave the hospital with full responsibility for this little person? No instruction manual or anything!


I had a lump in my throat reading some experiences of parents with premature babies. It made me realise how lucky I am with Clara and I held her tightly. I can only imagine how difficult this emotional rollercoaster must be for those parents.

Pregnancy joy and excitement is suddenly replaced with scans, tests and meetings with doctors and consultants. Women waking up with their babies neither inside them nor beside them. Being discharged from hospital and having to leave your baby behind. Having to seek permission to hold your own baby and bonding and cuddling with your new baby through an incubator must be so tough. This is in addition to dealing with any possible complications that a preemie baby may have and lengthy commutes if you live far from an NICU. My sister-in-law works as a nurse in a neonatal unit and witnesses these delicate, tiny miracles on a daily basis.



A baby’s skin is more porous and thinner than an adult’s skin, meaning it can absorb substances very easily. Premature babies have a difficult enough start to life as it is without having to deal with exposure to toxins and pesticides, which may be present in some types of clothing through the bleaching, scouring and dyeing processes.

From the inception of Clara & Carl we decided that we would stock beautiful, soft, organic, chemical free clothes for premature babies.


We would love to hear your story. Please share it with us in the comments section. Stay tuned for more updates to our Blog. It's updated weekly. Don't forget to subscribe to our website and like us on Facebook.

Rory Thynne
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