Talk show host Andy Cohen is a new dad to 6-month-old Benjamin and he said it constantly surprises him "just how loving and wonderful it can be every day when you walk into his room." Cohen is best known for his long-running show Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen and his hand in creating the Real Housewives franchise (he says he's not against one of the housewives babysitting—spin-off potential?). We caught up with the new dad during his partnership with Lipton and he spilled the tea on life with baby Benjamin.
The reality of surrogacy
Baby Benjamin was born through surrogacy, and Cohen has become an expert in myth-busting common misconceptions about the process. "People don't understand. People think that the surrogate is the mother, which is not the case. They are quite literally a surrogate for the mother," he says. "There are misconceptions about the role of a surrogate and that it's some kind of a Handmaid's Tale-type of situation. Surrogates are there because they want to be there. They're giving you the ultimate gift."
Dad fails and hacks
Since he's parenting in the public eye (and sometimes right on set at work where Benjamin has met Whoopi Goldberg and Rosie O'Donnell), he's had some public dad fail moments. The most recent? "He was having a breakdown on an airplane," says Cohen. "And I kept saying, 'This is far worse for me than it is for you.'"
But he got some plane tips from a celebrity guest on his show for when Benjamin is a little older. "Connie Britton told me she only gives her son an iPad on airplanes. It keeps him quiet for the whole flight."
Cohen admittedly goes all out in dressing little Benjamin. "I have splurged for something on Benjamin that's not a necessity, that's just for fun, and that would be ridiculously cute baby clothes that he can probably only wear once."
One of his favorite themes for baby gear is Peanuts characters since Snoopy's friends are nostalgic for Cohen. "I grew up with Snoopy, I always loved Snoopy. My dog is kind of a Ralph Lauren-y version of Snoopy," he says. "I will drape my son in Snoopy. I absolutely love the whole Peanuts gang."
Being a parent and a paw-rent
Cohen has an adorable pup at home, who he says is bonding quickly with Benjamin. "My son is now fascinated by my dog," he says. "The attention goes to the dog as soon as he walks in. He's obsessed."
The little buds are a Charlie Brown and Snoopy pair in the making. "I can't wait for him to talk and I'm dying to know what his first word is going to be," adds Cohen. "I think it's going to be 'dog.'"
Cohen said his parenting role models are his parents and his sister. "I don't want to be a helicopter dad," he says. "I want to go with the flow and not get too stressed out."
One important part of his dad day? Taking photos of Benjamin. "I definitely take pictures of him every single day. I would say between one to 10."
We get it, Dad, you gotta catch those precious milestones.