So, you’re finally a dad. Don’t worry. No matter the preparation and research you did at this point, nothing will really ever prepare you for this stage of parenthood. Unfortunately for you, unlike that new TV or lawnmower, babies don’t exactly come with their instruction manuals.
Here at Babyology, we believe dads play a crucial role in parenthood, especially during the early stages. So, to help dads and dads-to-be, we created this short “survival guide” to make daddy duties a little easier.
Tip 1: Support your better half
The last nine months have been challenging for your partner, we’re sure – and it gets a bit more challenging from here on out.
That’s why your partner should get most of the support she needs, and that should start with you, her partner in life.
While we can’t always be there for our wives, we have to make sure that we are there to support them when we can. So, get involved with the daily care of your baby. Learn how to clean their diapers, wash their bottles, warm up their milk, make their bed, bathe them, play with them, or just even the simple act of swaddling. Not only will these acts make your better half proud, but you’ll also create a positive relationship with your child.
Tip 2: Help with your partner’s breastfeeding
One of the tougher challenges your partner has to face is breastfeeding. And while you can’t breastfeed, you still hold some responsibility on whether or not your partner’s breastfeeding journey will be a success.
A partner’s encouragement and support will go a long, long way towards the success of your partner’s attempt to breastfeed. The first few weeks are gonna be especially difficult, as your better half may experience some pains, and even get feverish at one point. This is your cue to go get her a glass of water, some medicine if needed, another pillow, a back massage, or even just some simple words to reassure her that it’s gonna get better.
Tip 3: Establish some one-on-one time with the baby
As soon as you arrive from work, make sure you set some time for you and your baby. The goal is to make the baby comfortable around you so that it won’t look for mommy or the nanny all the time. You really don’t want your baby crying and fighting you while changing their nappy. Trust us, it could get REAL messy.
This will also further deepen your relationship with your baby, and they’re gonna feel even more secure with you around.
Tip 4: Research, research, research!
Mommy probably won’t have a lot of time to scroll through the internet for information, as she may be too busy, or too tired to even do this. So, it falls into your capable hands and mind to do some research. You can start with our own blog, where we regularly share some tips, facts, and articles about raising children. You can also go on social media pages such as Reddit and Facebook and join parenthood groups there.
Tip 5: Be the calm and stoic middle ground
When your bаby gets fussy and there’s a tantrum brewing, trust us, your partner is gonna get all stressed out. When this happens and the crying and screaming starts, you should be the ally and not the enemy. Be the calm person in the situation. Take the baby out, try to absorb some of the wails, maybe go to the car and drive around the park a bit. It helps that, in your relationship, you’re the one mommy turns to when her day isn’t going her way.
Tip 6: Don’t forget to be a husband to your partner
Being a dad doesn’t mean you’re no longer a husband to your better half. In fact, now is the time more than ever to take an extra step to nurture your love and relationship with your significant other. Having a new member in the family can really put the strain on your relationship. This could be as simple as asking her about her day, talking through her challenges, negotiating about chores, and so on.
Hire a sitter and surprise her with a night out every once in a while. You’ll thank us later.
Being a new dad is truly a roller coaster ride, and all the information can be overwhelming at first. Remember to cut yourself some slack, let go of that one time where you forgot to heat the frozen breastmilk, and just keep supporting your partner.
So, go ahead! Crack the occasional (and yes, we do stress on the OCCASIONAL) dad joke. And remember, those white, comfy-looking, rubber shoes are optional.