Dads: Must-read tips for your firstborn’s first week
Becoming a dad for the first time can be emotional. You might be feeling excited and happy, yet also anxious and overwhelmed at the same time. Here, we have some tips to help you prepare for the arrival of your new baby, to help you manage their first week at home. You’ll also find advice on how to keep your relationship with your wife/ partner strong during the first weeks after baby’s arrival.
Do some chores
Your partner will be exhausted after going through labour and childbirth. Even if you aren’t very good at the chores, she will appreciate you trying! No one will mind if your house isn’t spotless all the time, but it’s easy to stick a load of clothes in to wash, or to keep your belongings nice and tidy. Your partner would probably appreciate it if you cook dinner, even if it’s just something simple. Alternatively, it won’t be the end of the world if you live off microwave dinners or takeaways for the first week!
Take time off
If you can take a week or even two off work, do it. It will give you a great opportunity to start bonding with your newborn straight away. Whilst the whole family will probably want to come and visit the new arrival, it can be really nice to spend some time together as a new family of three. Take a short walk together every day to get some fresh air, even if it’s just to the shops. This is also a great way to take away some stress if your baby has been crying a lot, and it might help him or her drift off to sleep.
Learn to change a nappy
If you have never changed a nappy before, now is your chance to learn! There will be hundreds of nappies needing to be changed over the next few years, so you’ll have plenty of chances to perfect your technique! Mum will really appreciate it if you take turns with changing time, and it’s great if you can learn how to bathe your baby, too.
Take a turn at the nightshift
It can be exhausting looking after a newborn all day and night, but it’s important to realise your partner will be feeling the same way. Newborns usually wake a few times during the night, so it’s a good idea to alternate whose turn it is to attend to the baby or have a night off each. If your baby is breastfed, let your partner take care of the feeds whilst you do the diaper changes.
Ask how you can help
As a first-time dad, you might feel a bit overwhelmed and lost at times. Ask your partner what you can do to help her out. She might be afraid to delegate tasks, but you can be sure she’ll appreciate your help if you offer it. She’ll have so much more to think about after the birth of the little one, it will be great if you can help out more than usual.
Give your partner a small gift
Mum will probably be feeling exhausted and stressed after giving birth, so let her know you’re thinking about her when you’re out. Get her some of her favourite snacks, or a magazine or book to read to help her relax. You might also think about getting her a special gift or memento of your child’s birth, such as a personalised necklace or similar. It doesn’t have to be too expensive, and of course, don’t feel obliged to do this if it’s not really your ‘style’.
Emily Dick writes for www.buzzparent.com on topics such as parenting tips and advice and reviewing the latest toys and games for kids of all ages.
Emily has recently graduated from the Open University with a Bachelor’s Degree in social sciences. She is currently raising her two-year-old daughter and two pet cats. In her spare time, she is working on writing and illustrating her first children’s book.