New dads are a special group of people. Often they have just gone from being a skateboard riding overgrown teen into a responsible adult with a very small, very dependant baby. After speaking with a number of new dads, I have come to the conclusion that for many of them, the reality of becoming a father didn’t hit until their first baby was actually born. Then the panic set in.
So here are four things that you can do to make their transition to fatherhood smoother, and let’s face it, your life easier!
Men don’t like to feel helpless. I think as new parents, we all feel like this, but it seems to manifest especially strongly when men become dads. Ask them to research the safest cot, or whether to buy a Madela breast pump or an Avent one, or get him to test drive the prams at the baby store.
After they’ve researched, ask their opinion. You may already have a pretty clear idea about what you want, but they could have an idea that you haven’t thought of. Give them the opportunity to have their say, and seriously consider it before making any decisions.
Once the baby is born, give them a specific job. It’s hard for new dads to build a relationship with their new baby if every need is being taken care of by you. Maybe they’d like to do bath-time, be in charge of the baby carrier when you go out together, or maybe (if you’re very lucky) they’ll volunteer to be in charge of nappy changing.
If you can use a breast pump and introduce a bottle for one feed a day, daddy can feed the new baby. This is a pretty cool thing for a new dad, who will often feel a sense that they aren’t able to participate in the feeding of their child. Let dad do it by himself, and let it be daddy baby time. And YOU go and have a sleep (trust me you’ll need it).