Tips for New Dads - top 5 essential tips
Advice for New Dads
Tips for New Dads - Top 5 Essential Tips
top tips for first time fathers to be
- 1. Don’t panic!
Trust me, having a child is, overall, a wonderful experience! Sure, there are horror stories and things do go wrong, but the vast majority of pregnancies and births are completely normal, and baby is born without a hitch. Focus on this logical fact, try and disconnect that emotional, worried part of your brain…the bit that’s screaming, that is! The various scans that are available are magical and reassuring experiences, so if possible, attend them and they will ease any fears.
- 2. Treat your partner right (she always will be right anyway!)
Your partner is about to have her body ripped open (think ‘Alien’ movie) and another human, who has been growing inside her, is going to come out. You, on the other hand, got to have great sex a few months ago. Your contribution should not end there. Your partner will need, at any time of the day or night which she sees fit, any or all of the following:
- Ice Cream, and chocolate, and tea, and chips…in one massive bowl
- A foot rub – she can’t see them, rub them dude!
- To shout at you for no reason – it’s your fault anyway, accept it!
She will get over this when the baby is born, and will return to her loveable, wonderful self, so ride it out. Pregnancy can be a horrible experience for many women, but the baby will make it all worthwhile, just don’t let your relationship suffer in the meantime. Try this for starters. I used a similar product here in the UK, and my wife absolutely loved it – brownie points for me!
On a serious note though, post natal/partum depression is a under reported and misunderstood condition that can, and has have very serious consequences. It may be a good idea, if you are concerned, to contact your local doctor for advice.
- 3. Be prepared, but not too prepared
There are MANY articles on the internet with titles like “the 101 things you need to own for a new baby” or “the new essential baby gadget you must own” etc. Remember, babies are a lucrative market and hard selling is everywhere, so use common sense when preparing for your baby’s arrival. You will experience your partner’s ‘nesting instinct’ in full effect, cleaning your home and preparing a place for the baby to sleep, clothes etc. People will want to buy you stuff, so go easy on the credit card as long as you have a few essentials. Both of my boys had a ridiculous amount of clothes when they were babies because of gifts from relatives, so my wife and I did not need to buy a thing. A note on nappies/diapers – disposables rock. Unless you have the discipline and iron will necessary to clean re-useable nappies after a bout of diahorrea with 2 hours sleep! They have obvious environmental benefits, but parenting a baby is hard, especially the first time, so make things easy on yourself.
- 4. Have lower expectations
What will your kid be? President? Brain surgeon? Professional Sportsperson? Of course this is a possibility, but it can be easy to get carried away. This is especially the case with Dads and their sons, kind of like a second shot at your life. I see it all the time with parents driving their kids hard into various activities at younger and younger ages – Tae Kwon Do at 2? Seriously!? The point Im trying to make here is this; CALM DOWN. It is fine, great in fact, to have high expectations for your children, just don’t let these overtake your, or more importantly your child’s, happiness. So take the phonics flashcards away from the crib, dismantle the scaled down internal combustion engine in the playpen, and just be! Your baby will be grown up in no time, trust me, so treasure the awesome moments of silliness for what they are and enjoy being a Dad.
- 5. Reduce stress as much as possible
To be less stressed know that you will have to be flexible and easy going. Guys are used to dealing with controllable things, that’s why we like video games so much (!), but it is vital for your own stress level that you realise that babies will not respond to a ‘xBox’ controller! Life will probably not be a bed of roses if you need to watch ‘Baseball tonight’ at 8pm on ESPN every night. Reduce your own stress by changing your mindset a little, to be more flexible, and adapt cheerfully to change. Baby needs a walk outside to get to sleep, it’s 10pm, don’t stress, as long as baby is ok and you and your partner are ok, all is good. Enjoy the walk, get baby off to sleep and laugh about the potentially stressful stuff. Babies can honestly sense stress in adults and they freak out, don’t sleep, and don’t behave like you would wish. This is the biggest tip I could give you, as it’s had the most success for me, I’ve seen the alternative and it ain’t pretty!
PS – tip number 6: Enjoy every moment, you are a lucky guy!