The joy of being a new father is somewhat like skydiving. Right before your jump, you are full of mixed emotions, excitement, fear, anxiety, etc. There is the excitement of holding your bundle of joy, the fear of not knowing where to begin, how to bond, how to support your partner, and other unknown feelings. The good news is if you brace yourself for the transition, it can be the most rewarding endeavor. Learn a few tips below.
Get involved from the word go
Studies show that when dads are involved in infancy, their kids are less likely to show symptoms of mental health problems at later stages. It’s simple, be involved from the word go, from the maternity visits, to staying in hospital as your partner delivers, and to taking your bundle of joy home. Getting involved in the daycare allows your partner to rest and enhances bonding with your kid.
Learn about baby care
As a new dad, there are certain things that you need to learn. For example, how to prepare a bottle, change diapers or wash your newborn. No one expects you to be a super dad and know all things baby. Parenting is a job that you learn while doing it. So getting acquainted with different aspects of baby care is a smart move. For example, a tear free baby shampoo is recommended when washing your baby. Yes, not all products can be used on your baby since some can cause severe irritation. Such information might not be obvious to dads and can only be learnt as you get involved.
Take breaks when you need them
There are moments when you will feel like the world is conspiring to make you mad. Your partner is cranky, and the baby is crying, your phone is ringing, the milk is spilling over, and all the stuff that can make you feel overwhelmed. If this happens, put everything to hold, go outside and take deep breaths as many as you need.
Doing this helps you to calm down and handle situations better. Learn to take general breaks when you need them. Take care of yourself; remember you can only support your partner and handle your baby if you are well-rested and in a better frame of mind.
Bond with your baby
Did you know that physical touch builds a connection between you and your baby? As a new dad, you want to create a bond with your baby. Have plenty of skin-to-skin cuddles with your baby, play with him/her or simply spend plenty of close-up face time with your little one. Bonding with your baby is not only a pleasurable aspect of infant care but also a great way of stimulating their growth and development.
Here are some other ways to bond with your baby:
- Initiate the birth
- Take the nighttime shift
- Read to your newborn
- Sing to soothe
Be the dad and not a babysitter!
One common mistake most newborn dads make is using the phrase” I am babysitting my kid.” The moment you consider yourself a babysitter and not an active parent, all the tips discussed above won’t matter. You are the dad and not a babysitter! Period.
As a new dad, you want to enjoy the moments that make up each day. Yes, you will be exhausted sometimes, but it becomes all worth it as your baby grows. The tips discussed above should get you started on the right foot.