He is affectionately known as Little Dylz from Three's reality TV series The Block NZ, but now Dylan Guitink has a little Dylz of his own.
The 27-year-old and his partner Emily Phibbs, 22, welcomed Laiken Antony Guitink into the world just eight weeks ago and while it's been a big adjustment for the first-time parents, Baby Dylz has completely captured their hearts.
"He's the best baby we could have asked for," says proud mum Emily. "I guess we're quite laid-back and he seems to have got that from us."
Happy and healthy now, Laiken – who was born on May 25, weighing 3.15kg and whose name was inspired by a contestant on The Voice Australia – gave his parents a scare at 33 weeks when Emily experienced a preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM). It's a term used when the waters break before the 37th week.
"We were out watching the Chiefs game and suddenly Emily says something's not right," recalls Dylan.
Emily explains, "It wasn't gushing, but it was enough for me to think something was going on, so we went to hospital. Everything ended up being fine. I had to go backwards and forwards to hospital three times a week until I was 38 weeks to make sure Laiken wasn't born prematurely – and after all that, he ended up going a few days over full term!"
When Woman's Day visits, Laiken is quiet and content, snuggling into his mum at the couple's Papamoa Beach abode. And although our photo shoot moves him and his parents from the comfort of indoors to their second home – the beach – Laiken never once complains.
"He's a natural. We might have a model in the making," jokes Dylan.
It's this humour that building apprentice Dylan became famous for on the series in 2016 and while there are plenty of laughs these days, he's seriously in love with Laiken and says having a son puts life in perspective.
"When you have a kid, you just look at life a lot differently," he tells. "I want to do so much with him. Building has been so busy here in the Bay, so we've been doing a lot of weekends, but now there's more to life than just work."
"I want to have time to spend with my boy. I remember childhood times with my dad, like when he taught me how to surf and we surfed together growing up until he got too old for it. I can't wait to cherish those moments and create memories with my son."
Dylan dreamed of becoming a father before he was 30, but admits he never expected it to happen so quickly with his partner of one year.
Emily tells, "I was in shock when I found out because we had just been talking about travelling to Europe and had started saving. I love travel, so one of the first things I had to get my head around was that our plans were about to change – but then I was just so excited to meet our baby."
Dylan adds, "At the time, it was cool to look forward to travelling with my girlfriend, but now it's just with a plus one! We're not going to let Laiken stop us – we've already booked a family trip to Bali next year."
Travel is a big part of the couple's lives and, in fact, it was not long after Emily had returned from an overseas stint in Asia that they first met.
The two had known each other for five or six years, having spent time in similar friends' circles, and Dylan admits he always had an eye for Emily.
"She worked at North Beach [surf store] and I used to go in all the time – I thought she was hot," he says with a laugh.
"But we both had partners, so nothing was ever going to happen."
Fast-forward a few years and fate intervened to bring the two, then both single, together in a local Mount Maunganui bar.
"My friends and I made a split-second decision to go in – we were heading home – and there was Dylan," recalls Emily. "I almost didn't recognise him because he had a beard. That was the first thing to go when we dated!"
Not long after their chance encounter, Dylan contacted Emily via Facebook and asked her out on their first date – returning to the same bar.
"I was so nervous," she admits. "But it was so easy. We talked until the lights came on and we realised we were the last ones there at closing! We had been chatting non-stop."
The pair have been talking recently about the possibility of marriage and while Emily jokes a few pictures of rings may have been sent Dylan's way, both agree there's no rush.
"We like doing things back to front here anyways," laughs Dylan, before adding, "It's on my mind. You know when you have found 'the one'."
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