How Do You Balance A New Baby And Gaming?

Illustration for article titled How Do You Balance A New Baby And Gaming?

Commenter Jopeter explores the joys of trying to balance gaming with a newborn baby in today's installment of Speak-Up on Kotaku.


So I became a dad roughly a week ago and my initial thought was "YES. Free from work, the kid will sleep all day and I can finally complete some of the games I have acquired the last couple of months."

Of course I was happy for becoming a dad, and my newborn daughter is so beautiful and all that, but this is a gaming site so let's stick to that. :)

It never occurred to me that I didn't have the time to complete these games while my girlfriend was pregnant and needed me all around and everywhere all the time, so how the hell would I succeed now that this little spawn of mine needed one of us every 2-3 hours 24/7. Adding to that my girlfriend got pretty beat up giving birth to our treasure so she needs a lot of rest atm. In other words: GF = vending machine for milk and I'm doing all the other fun tasks.

So how can I game while still having to take care of my baby? My friend with two kids, former hardcore WoW'er, said it was impossible, but I really wanted to prove that even though you get a new family member you don't have to give up on your hobbies or desires in life.

I found that the answer was divided.

Yes, my baby needs me a couple of hours each day and also requires me on standby, so I could just forget about raiding with my guild in wow and my character now has a well-deserved break from gear hunting. All other MMO's or any other games that require you available and 100% focused for a hours is a no-go.


In other words: Games with a pause-button are pure win, so I stick to those for now. Since I just bought my PS3 I had a good amount of games to complete, starting with the God of War collection. Fantastic games and I just started God of War 3. After this I have Uncharted 1&2 and Heavy Rain waiting for my attention.

Where do I go with this? Well my friends said it was impossible to be a gamer and a parent, and I proved them otherwise. It also turns out that the lights and sounds entertain my baby and I could swear I heard her first "giggle" while ripping the head off a Gorgon yesterday.


How do you combine gaming with kids? I'd love to know.

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[image via Flickr]


Let me start off by saying I am a pretty hardcore gamer, both classic and all the new systems (minus wii).

I used to spend 2-4 hours a day gaming if I could.

My wife and I had a baby last June. The first month was pretty easy. The baby slept a lot. When he was awake my wife wanted to spend a lot of time with him, and she didn't need much help dealing with the small tasks an infant needs. Our son is also a really good baby. He was happy to just lay on us, or stare at various objects and colors in the room.

I used to take him down into the man-cave with me after work and give her a break for a few hours. He would happily lay on my chest or on the couch next to me while I played PS3 or xbox360. Breaks to feed and change him were required, but they aren't as difficult a task as some would have you believe. I really felt like I wouldn't have to change my gaming habits much at all.

Then my baby turned 1 month old... All of a sudden he was becoming aware of things and needed lots of attention and entertainment. And it's not that easy to entertain a 1 month old because they aren't interactive at all. He was no longer content to lay on my chest while I racked up goals against opponents in PES. He now needed to be the center of attention just about every moment he was awake. I was always very thankful for the naps he took. While he napped I could pursue my own interests.

The older he gets, the less frequently he naps, which means less time for gaming. When he naps now, I spend most of my time catching up on the chores I've fallen behind on. My wife also works 7p-7a 3-4 nights a week, leaving me as sole care giver.

He goes to bed around 10:30 pm. I don't have to be to work too early and my wife takes care of him in the morning, so I stay up for 2 or 3 hours and game or watch a movie/some TV with my wife.

I'd say it's impossible to be anything other than a casual gamer while raising a baby, unless you have a spouse that is willing to do the brunt of the work.