Being a first-time parent can be tough because you are inexperienced. And while the process can (and should) be fun, you may want a helpful guide to give you a boost so that you remain calm no matter what happens.
Everyone uses trial and error to find out what works for their family, and your baby is sure to be happy with the love, attention, and care you provide. Nonetheless, some help can be very useful. Here’s the best advice available for new dads:
Be Hands-on at the Start
Your partner has many things to do after the baby is born, and she’s recovering from birth. Don’t be afraid to get hands-on immediately. That includes changing diapers, bathing, playing, settling, and dressing.
New parents are a team, and the mom is sure to encourage you. This helps you build your confidence and skills and creates bonding time with your newborn baby!
Help with Feeding Time
Some new parents decide not to breastfeed for various reasons, but you can help if your partner chooses to do so. Get her another pillow or something to drink while she’s rocking the baby. Then, put your little one to bed so that she can relax for a bit.
Learn Their Cues
Babies often give signals about what they need through body language and behaviors. Pay attention to them early on so that you learn what your newborn requires. This can even help your partner because you are both a team.
Get One-on-one Time
Your partner has tons of one-on-one opportunities with the baby because she feeds them, wakes up with them, and much more. While you should help with these essentials when you can, it’s not all about bath time and eating. Take your newborn baby to the park, make funny faces at them, and enjoy your time together!
Physical touch can help your baby feel safe, and it also builds trust with you. It even stimulates the baby’s brain development, through the release of hormones. Therefore, it’s best to hold your baby whenever you can and let them hear your heartbeat.
Ask for Help
A first-time father often feels that he has to do it all himself or he’s not worthy. However, there’s no shame in saying yes when others ask if they can do something. It might be as simple as getting you a drink or having them stay at the house while you run a few errands.
Focus on Your Relationship with Your Partner
First-time parents often find that their relationship can be strained after the baby arrives. Focus on supporting each other, talking things over and being positive because this is a learning experience for you both.
Ask your partner how they feel or what they need. Try to share the responsibilities and negotiate so that everything gets done and neither person is overwhelmed. This is excellent practice for later since parenting never stops.
New dads often worry about the little things like how to change a diaper or when to play with their newborns. The simple fact is that babies just want your attention and love. Don’t be afraid to get in there, keep your relationship on track with your partner, and work together to support this new lifestyle!
Pack Photos: Becky Kimball Photography