Dads offer their answer to Mumsnet – by joining the blogging craze

Fathers bring a new perspective to online diaries – and are the next big advertising demographic, says Susie Mesure

To their blogging-addicted other halves, they are simply “DH”: internet shorthand for darling, dear – or even deaf – husband. But the bug is catching: the number of dads starting their own parenting blogs has soared in the past 12 months.

Dad bloggers will take centre-stage for the first time at this weekend’s parenting blogging conference, BritMums Live, which features the first dads’ panel since it started five years ago. Susanna Scott, who runs the BritMums blogging network, says: “First mums started blogging to regain their voice, and now dads want their own voice too. And why not? They’re 50 per cent of the parents.”

Around 5 per cent – or 250 – of the UK’s 5,000 parenting blogs are written by dads, up from barely 100 a year ago. John Adams, who writes at DadblogUK.com, says he had had enough of fathers being frozen out of the parenting scene. “My aim is to highlight the gender barriers men face as parents and to raise the profile of fathers,” he says. “If they are bombarded by the notion that they are second-class citizens, it does nothing to encourage them to be better parents.”

Mr Adams said fathers’ blogs tended to be more “issues-based” than their maternal equivalents. “Men tend to write about custody issues, education, and coming to terms with unwanted children. Women are more likely to blog about family life and post more photos of their children.”

Darren Coleshill, who writes at OneDad3Girls.com, thinks mums are more into talking online about arts and craft, adding: “The dad blogs, I think, often give a completely different take on subjects and perhaps don’t sugar-coat things so much. They say exactly what they think.”

 But other dads see more similarities than differences between what dads and mums write. Ben Wakeling, 28, a Warwickshire-based father of three who blogs at GoodbyePertBreasts.com, says: “I’ve talked about my complete lack of sleep; about my views on breastfeeding and bottle-feeding. There’s no stigma any more. Dads are far more open … about these things.”

He thinks brands are “more tuned into the fact that fathers are writing about parenting issues”, adding that he has been asked to review anything from baby carriers to driving experience days. Mr Adams adds: “Businesses have contacted me to say they’ve realised they should be marketing to fathers as well. Some companies approach me because they’re keen to get fathers’ perspectives.”

Research shows that fathers are increasingly involved in deciding what gets bought in the shopping free-for-all that marks a new baby’s arrival, with around four in five dads helping to choose pushchairs or car seats.

Alan Halsall, chairman of the pram manufacturer Silver Cross, says the firm had fathers “very much in mind” with its latest model, designed in collaboration with Aston-Martin – though he admitted he had yet to “reach out” to dad bloggers.

Dads were admittedly scarce at yesterday’s oestrogen-packed opening day at BritMums Live, something that Bristol-based Lewis Lippiatt, who started blogging 15 months ago “to give me a hobby when my son was born”, confessed was “overwhelming”. He added: “We feel like a minority because we are one. But it’s growing.”

At this year’s meeting, in January, 44 brand representatives from Dove Men+Care to Maclaren targeted attendees in an attempt to reach what the US trendspotter Marian Salzman has called the next big advertising demographic.

 “Watch out,” said Ms Salzman, who heads the media company Havas PR, “for the rise of child-orientated, masculinity-challenging programme makers, brands and advertisers to reflect the essence of this emerging new reality.”

That said, Mark Richards, who writes at BestDadICanBe.com, warns: “I don’t think PRs take parent bloggers as seriously as they should. They think parents will fall over with gratitude just because they’ve been given something. But I want to maintain the quality of my blog, so I turn down nine in every 10 approaches I get.”

News
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Sport
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to American media group
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
art
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidate on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
News
Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
people
Voices
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
voicesRenée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity, says Amanda Hess
News
Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo
educationKidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day
Life and Style
CHARGE BOOSTER: Aeroplane mode doesn't sound very exciting, but it can be a (phone) hacker's friend. Turning on the option while charging your mobile will increase the speed at which your phone battery charges
techNew book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Solutions Architect - Permanent - London - £70k DOE

    £60000 - £70000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

    General Cover Teacher

    £110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: Great opportunities for Cover...

    Maths Teacher

    £110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: QTS Maths Teachers needed for...

    Maths Teacher

    £110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: QTS Maths Teachers needed for...

    Day In a Page

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

    A crime that reveals London's dark heart

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
    Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

    Lost in translation: Western monikers

    Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
    Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

    Handy hacks that make life easier

    New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
    KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

    KidZania: It's a small world

    The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
    Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

    'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

    The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
    Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

    Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

    A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
    The 10 best smartphone accessories

    Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

    Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

    Liverpool v Real Madrid

    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
    West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
    Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

    A new American serial killer?

    Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
    Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

    Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

    Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
    Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

    Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

    Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
    Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

    Want to change the world? Just sign here

    The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?