7 helpful tips for new dads5 min read
Whether you are a new dad or are about to become one, you might feel anxious and a bit out of your element when it comes to parenting and taking care of your newborn. However, you should know that although parenting might seem extremely difficult at the outset, it becomes easier with time as you successfully navigate it.
It’s also okay not to be a natural at parenting. Especially if you do not have everything figured out, you might suddenly feel a bit overwhelmed with new responsibilities, financial or otherwise, as well as a changed relationship dynamic.
This article will unfold some of the ways you can bond with your newborn and take care of them, as well as help you ease into parenting. Don’t worry; you will become a natural in no time.
Learn about pregnancy and prepare for birth
As a new dad, it is important to plan for birth and the next few months after it so that you do not suddenly feel overwhelmed and clueless when the baby finally arrives.
Taking baby care classes can be one way to keep yourself informed.
It is also important to make a birth plan with your partner. Planning and engaging with your partner even before the baby arrives will help boost your confidence as a new dad.
Reading articles and books on parenting as a new dad can make a lot of difference. It is better to be informed on how to approach parenting, especially when you are completely new to it.
Articles and blogs can be your go-to option if you are not a huge fan of book reading.
In addition, multiple free resources are available on the internet for your use. Use these resources to keep your child safe and know what to do if your newborn receives a birth injury due to medical negligence by the healthcare provider.
Support your partner
Once the baby has arrived, it is important to step up and take over some responsibilities to reduce the burden on the new mom. While the mother takes her rest, taking care of the baby and their needs can be a starting point for you and the beginning of a strong father-baby bond.
All the new dads need to understand that the mother has gone through enough. It can be stressful and extremely tiring, from pregnancy to giving birth. Not only that, but many women also go through postpartum depression, which is pretty traumatic. The new dads must equally step up and share the responsibilities during this period.
If you want to help the mom, start by taking over the diaper-changing duties. Do not shy away from the dirty work.
Not only that, but you can also start by soothing your crying baby. It takes a lot of patience and experience to figure out what the child exactly wants. If you want to build confidence as a new dad, figuring out how to soothe a child can also be an amazing start to easing into parenting.
Play with your baby
It is important to engage your baby in fun activities. Not only does it build trust and lead to a good relationship, but it also gives them different sensory, physical and cognitive experiences. That helps them develop emotionally and socially.
It is proven that playing with your child releases a chemical known as oxytocin which is associated with trust and relationship building. It also builds confidence in your child and creates a sense of comfort and love as they learn to feel safe around you.
Not playing with your baby can lead to children who lack emotional understanding and empathy. Always remember that you are your baby’s first model for intimate relationships.
Talk to your baby and make eye contact
The more you talk to your baby, the sooner they learn to recognize and respond to your voice. Not only that, but it also helps them with their language development as they start catching on to your voice. Hence, talking about random things with your baby and interacting with them is an amazing method.
You can also sing to them or read out to them too.
Not just talking to your baby but also making eye contact with them throughout the day can help them remember and immediately recognize your face.
According to science, babies can recognize the face of their parents as young as 4 days old.
Take a break for yourself
As a new dad, having a baby might be an immense responsibility and overwhelming, especially when the baby keeps you up at night.
You might feel exhausted and sleep–deprived. Caring for a baby requires patience and composure, and it is natural to feel tired. You may even need a break.
Whenever you feel overwhelmed or tired, taking a break and going outside for a walk is okay. Doing so will help you catch a break, unwind and relax until you are ready to return to your dad’s duties.
Remember that although it is not very common, dads, too, can go through postpartum depression. If you feel anxious or overwhelmed, it is better to consult a doctor to be safe.
Baby’s regular doctor checkups
It is important that your baby is healthy and doing well. As a new dad, you might freak out or panic at the slightest hint of illness.
Although it might be nothing serious, you should still take your baby to the pediatrician for regular checkups every 2 months. Regular checkups ensure that your child is at a healthy and ideal weight and generally doing well.
Parenthood is a unique experience and requires a lot of patience, understanding, sleep deprivation at night when your baby will not stop crying, etc.
Despite all that, you would love the experience regardless of how tough it has been. No one is born and is immediately ready to be a parent. With time, your natural instincts as a parent will take over. It takes practice but eventually, you will have fatherly confidence too.