I think being a new dad is likely more difficult than being a new mom. Women have about nine months to carry their baby and prepare. While dads understand that there is a baby coming, they don’t have that constant reminder to force them to fully prepare. That said, it tends to be more of a shock to new dad’s, when the baby arrives. Here are nine tips to help you adjust.
Kangaroo Care is a great new technique that allows babies to bond with their parents. The baby stays in only his diaper and the parent removes their shirt, to provide skin-to-skin contact. After contact is made, a blanket can be wrapped around them or laid over the baby’s back to ensure that the baby is warm. This practice is very beneficial in helping father’s bond with their baby, but also improving the baby’s heart rate and breathing. Kangaroo Care will help new dads feel connected to their babies, especially if the baby is breast fed.
Being a new dad is rough, there’s the relatively new noise of your baby crying and an infant around that needs constant attention. Just relax and breath, it gets easier, soon your baby will be able to talk and play. When this happens the relationship between dads and their babies tends to transform, this is because dads become their babies primary play mate. If you feel stressed step outside and get some air, pull yourself together, and prepare to go back in.
As your baby grows, he will likely seek your attentions more frequently and look to you for reactions as he attempts new things. You’re the dad, and your child wants to impress you. Children rely on their fathers to lift them up when they fall, both literally and figuratively. You are the one that will fill them with confidence and fix things when something’s wrong. You will mend broken toys and teach them to look out for themselves. Accept this role, it is surprisingly satisfying to become someone’s hero.
Help your baby and teach him things, how to walk, talk, and play with a variety of different toys. As you teach, your baby’s eyes will focus and follow you. Your baby will allow you his complete attention, and you will feel like the center of your child’s world. This is also a great way for dads to bond with their babies, and later you will be able to tell them that you taught them to do that.
This is not to say quit your job, but prioritize your family first. It is just as important for the father to be around the baby the first couple of months after birth and throughout the baby’s life, as it is for the mother. Allow yourself some time to bond with your baby and develop the skills needed to raise one. Your child will be happy when you come home, but even happier if you had stayed home. On your days off be sure to spend them with your little one.
Everything takes longer after you have a baby. There is another person to get ready and whose needs must be attended to. You will also have to work around your baby’s schedule, rather than do things as you go. You’ll need to buckle your baby in and take your baby out of the car every time you leave your home, and those few minutes add up. Be patient with your baby’s mother as well, she has just given birth and is still adapting, just as you are.
Follow your instincts, raising children is something that people have done literally forever. Being a father is engrained in your DNA, so most likely you already know what to do, just do what you think is right. There’s a saying that a mother’s instincts allow her to adapt to motherhood so quickly, but men have father’s instincts too. Embrace them. Contrary to popular belief, babies are not that fragile. If you just keep in mind their size and safety, you’ll likely be on the right track.
Eat healthy and don’t take as many risks. The best thing you can do for your baby is be around, so do things that will enable you to be there for your child for as long as you possibly can. Your baby needs you and needs you to be happy and healthy. Drive carefully and participate in safer activities. Your reckless days are officially behind you.
Join a dad group or just talk to your friends with children about what’s going on. Being a new father is tough and at times confusing. Other dads can give you advice or support when things get rough, and share their own interesting daddy stories. It’s always nice to have friends to lean on and laugh with. You can always talk to your partner too, she’s going through the same things you are and will very likely be happy to bond with you over conversations about your new baby.
You have it in you to be an amazing dad. Don’t worry about making mistakes, children are very forgiving and love practically unconditionally. Children see their father’s as strong, indestructible, and almost perfect heroes. All you really need to do, is love your child and provide them with someone to depend on.