How can dads help parenting a new born?
Yes dear new daddy, it’s your job too. We understand you have a job & cannot give your entire time to your baby. But that’s not an excuse. You are a parent now. You have additional responsibilities.
You need to find a balance between your office responsibilities & helping to take care of your new born.
It’s definitely not easy. And such responsibilities do not come with a user manual. Take tips from other dads.
Talk to your dad and find out, how he helped your mom, in taking care of you. But mainly, Experience teaches you.
Hold your baby. It’s a baby, not a laptop or a football.
Learn to hold your baby in your arms. It might be scary the first time. But, you will get used to it, by the third or the fourth time. Watch your wife & learn. She has also become a mother for the first time. When she can do it with so much ease, you can do it too. If you are at ease with holding your baby & cradling him in your arms, half your work is done.
Break the ice. Get used to each other.
The more often you hold your baby or spend time with him, the easier it becomes for him to stay calmer with you. You must have noticed that your baby stops crying, when your wife takes him into her arms. That is because, he recognizes her touch & her voice. Talk to your baby. You could probably read a small rhyme to him every day. Singing the same rhyme for him every time that you are around will help him recognize you. The next time he starts crying & you sing his favourite rhyme, he will know that his daddy is around & will stop crying.
Early to rise. Sleep is no longer blissful.
Staying up all night might not be easy, as you have to get up for work the next day. So cut down on those extra 2 hours of sleep during the mornings. Wake up early. If your baby is up, let your wife sleep & you take care of him. Change his diaper, feed him if he can take fluids (using milk powder) other than mother’s milk.
If luckily, your baby is asleep, you can prepare breakfast. It saves some time for your wife.
If you don’t know how to cook, at least, help with cutting vegetables.
Know what’s right & what’s not. Prepare you own super daddy manual.
While trying to pacify your baby, don’t cradle him too much. He may throw up whatever he drank. Don’t give a new born a toy in his hand. He won’t be able to hold it & will drop it on his eyes or face. Give them soft toys even after they are capable of holding a small toy in their hands. Don’t just put him to sleep because you have to catch up with a game or watch some news on the TV. Take him out for a stroll in his pram/stroller. Enjoy nature with your little one.
Don’t compete with a Mom’s instinct. It’s your first time too.
Don’t compare your progress in taking care of your baby with your wife. Mothers have a natural instinct & can do it faster.
Don’t feel disappointed about not able to change his diaper, or not able to put him to sleep, or not able to pacify him. Take your time.
The first few months might be tougher than what you expected it to be. Be patient & by the time he’s 8 or 9 months old, you will be happy with the progress you made.
Let go of your inhibitions.
Catch up with the new trends in parenting.
Read about the do’s & don’ts.
You will become a wonderful dad.
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