Becoming a new parent will be one of the biggest and most impactful events of your life. Many expectant fathers think that their role as a dad starts once the baby is born, but the truth is, it starts way before that. Supporting your partner throughout the pregnancy and being present for key discussions and milestones early on can ease the burden on both of you.
Here are four things every new mom wants Dad to know.
- Get involved as early as possible
Your journey as a new father starts right from the beginning. Getting involved early on in decision-making is extremely important. This is not a time for you to cruise along and just tick things off the house to-do list – it’s time to step up and take your partner to those birthing classes and doctor appointments.
We’ve seen many fathers who feel like they don’t have a role if the baby is being breastfed but there are so many other ways to contribute: get involved with bathing, dressing, nappy changing and settling. You are a team, so work together – there will always be something to do.
- Be proactive
Don’t always ask your partner what the baby needs. For new parents especially, mom is still learning too and the answer is not always with them. Use your initiative and offer to step in to give her some much-needed rest where you can. If your newborn is crying or unsettled, the answer is not always passing them back to mom for a feed. Babies could be unsettled for numerous reasons, including dirty nappies, needing cuddles or simply needing to be soothed and put to sleep by going for a walk or a drive. Remember, you are both new to this and should be on this journey as a team.
- Build that bond
Talk to and play with your baby as much as you can. New dads sometimes feel silly putting on funny voices and using babbling with their babies, but it’s crucial for building and strengthening your bond with your child.
- Educate yourself early
Not enough people take the time to research and understand what the birth experience will be like. It’s so helpful to understand what to expect and it could prove critical down the line. Look for prenatal education materials from someone you trust. Investing time and effort into research may feel like a lot, but it’s worth it!
Learning new dad skills like these will help ease any stress and fear once the baby comes. If you’re prepared with the knowledge of how to change a diaper, how to swaddle your baby, how to burp them, or even just how to hold them, you can just focus on enjoying this incredible life-changing experience!