Newborn essentials for your little one.

If you’ve seen me around lately, you’ve probably noticed I’ve been dragging a bit. Bags under the eyes, a bit disheveled, a general sense of fatigue. That’s right, I’m a new father.

And everything has changed. I didn’t believe it when people told me, but it’s true. You can read all the books, go to all the classes and take in as much as advice as possible, but nothing can truly prepare you for that moment you strap the little guy into his car seat and take him home from the hospital. You’re on your own. Good luck.

And as you could probably guess, it’s been a bit challenging, especially at first. No matter how much I ask him to use his words, he just refuses to. At five weeks old, it’s like he’s not even trying.

Instead, he cries. If he’s hungry, he cries. Needs a change, cries. Wants to be held or comforted, cries. In fact, that’s about all he’s done for his first few weeks, eat, sleep and cry.

I’ve been told that’s typical, but like all first-time parents, my wife and I are just playing it by ear, faking it until we get it figured out. We need all the help we can get. Seriously, can you help? Maybe babysit for a few hours this weekend?

Or maybe there’s another way. Take for example, a healthcare company Staples recently worked with. This company understands new parents like me are way out of our depth. To help make their lives a little easier, they supplied a local hospital with branded diaper bags filled with newborn essentials, supplies like formula, diapers and educational materials.

That sort of thing is a huge help. Even a small bottle of formula and a few information pamphlets can mean the difference between confident parenting and a full-on meltdown. I know it helped us a ton in our first few weeks. We came home from the birthing center with a haul of useful items. Not just furtively purloined diapers and wipes, but bottles, blankets and towels too. And a good number of these were branded with the hospital’s or a healthcare provider’s name.

Imagine your own logo on a quality diaper bag that will be used for years. That’s an immeasurable amount of brand impressions from birth until your child is fully potty-trained. Whenever that is. At my son’s age that seems impossibly far away.

Still, I see what people love about being parents. My little guy is a bundle of awesomeness and I wouldn’t trade being a father for anything. And I know it’s only going to get better. In the meantime, I’ll keep parenting away. And if a smart company happens to give me some branded merchandise that makes that a little easier, it’s definitely going to be appreciated.