Parenting Advice from New Dad Spencer Pratt
11 months ago
Somewhere in between scarfing down burritos and dominating the Snapchat universe, Spencer Pratt became a dad. In early October, Heidi and Spencer welcomed Gunner Stone Pratt into the world, adding a new chapter to the Speidi legacy. Spencer considers Heidi the “most unreal human” he’s ever witnessed when it comes to being a mom, but he’s getting the hang of dad life, too. “What’s funny is Gunner only likes to punch me in the face, not Heidi, and they’re hard little punches,” says Pratt. “It’s gotten to the point where I ice my chin.”
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As the reality TV villain of the aughts, Spencer Pratt may not be the first name you think of when it comes to parenting advice. Drama, sure. Maybe the healing power of crystals. Or even tips on how to attract hummingbirds. But while the Pratt Daddy may be new to the ins-and-outs of parenthood, he’s picked up a thing or two along the way. In case you’re curious what having a newborn is like, or just want to feel better about habits that your own mini-you has outgrown, Esquire checked in with Pratt to find out what he’s learned and get his best tips for bringing up baby.
Embrace the pee.
Getting peed on is definitely a learning curve. The first time, I was like “Heidi, take him,” and I wigged out. Now it’s like, “Hot pee, that’s relaxing,” and there’s nothing I can do about it. Now Gunner is in diapers, but before then it was useless: the pee was just pouring out.
Think you’re in shape? You’re not.
Rocking a baby will have your arms straight-up burning. Don’t think, “I’m a crossfitter, I can hold a baby.” Pre-arrival, get your arm-game up. Get a nine-pound sack of potatoes and carry it around, rocking it back and forth. You’re using different muscles when you’re holding a baby close to your body.
Breast milk is your friend.
Breast milk is getting spilled on you, and you just accept it’s good for your skin.
Have a dog? Get a (fake) crying baby to prepare it for the new arrival.
We used a bluetooth speaker and duct taped it to a crying baby and blasted it. When the fake baby cried, they’d go nuts the first month or so. Now, the dogs don’t go crazy. That one is huge.
Plan Halloween costumes early.
If your baby is coming in October, you’re gonna need that outfit pre-birth. We dressed him as a burrito for Halloween, but the photos were confusing because the media thought we were working at Taco Bell. I think OK! Magazine posted “this bizarre photo, we’re not sure if it’s a Halloween costume.” Even your paparazzi game gets killed by a baby.
Beware the Witching Hour.
I think I was just really tired during what they call “the witching hour,” where no matter what you do babies are just hysterical. [That was when] I had the first meltdown. That was hard. It made Heidi feel really bad because I was such a baby about it. It’s traumatic—he just looks so miserable and there’s nothing you can do with it. Afterwards, Heidi brought him back upstairs and was like, “look how cute he is!” I know how cute he is. I definitely wasn’t ready for the hysterical can’t-stop-crying energy. He hadn’t cried for five weeks.
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Follow driving laws (for real).
Even though it’s illegal, if you were a texter-and-driver or a Snapper-and-driver, it’s like “no.” You have a baby. You have to get used to following that law.
Test run car seats before using them in the wild.
The mom has it way rougher, at least in my situation. So far the biggest problem I’ve had are car seat issues—they are not idiot-proof. So far, the most horrific memory is when we took the baby to the park. It’s dark, I couldn’t get the carseat out of the stroller because my IQ is obviously not whatever IQ you need to work your flashy, fancy stroller. Watch YouTube videos and figure out how to work all of this stuff before you take it into the field.
Get used to less attention from your spouse.
I’ll never forget when the doctor said, “No sex for six weeks.” It’s mandatory, not optional. That was a major wakeup call. People always joke, “Get ready for no sex life”—I thought that was a shitty male joke, but no, no, you’re really not having sex. You’re already off sex towards the last month or so, so it’s a lot of no sex. Maybe tone down when you’re in the final stretch, so quitting cold turkey is something you’re prepared to do.
Traveling is not chill.
Our baby wants to eat all the time and it’s super dangerous when Heidi is busting her breast out in the backseat. I don’t know how other people do it, but [for us], the least amount of car time the better.
Find a new drinking buddy (not your spouse).
Some people choose to drink when they’re pregnant—I’m not judging them—my wife didn’t, so that was nine months of no drinking. Once they’re breastfeeding, there’s only a certain amount they can drink. If you don’t have enough breastmilk pumped and in the bottles, it’s stressful. Get used to drinking on your own.
Keep music tastes diverse.
Heidi loves to play Mozart. I love to play trap music. Right now my son’s favorite artist is Money Man. He moves his hands and dances. Obviously Taylor Swift. Some Enya. But mostly Mozart. He can’t just be a little Mozart nerd: he has to have a little swag.