Helpful Tips for a First-Time Dad
Becoming a parent for the first time is stressful, challenging and an amazing experience at once. Fathers, just like mothers, have a huge impact on their child’s life. And that impact can be made right from the beginning.
If you want to make a great start as a first-time dad, here are six helpful tips for all the new fathers out there!
Get Involved in the Care of Your Baby ASAP
Immerse yourself in bathing, dressing, nappy-changing, putting your baby to sleep and all the other little chores that involve your precious bundle. This is a great way to have one-on-one time with your baby and develop a positive relationship early on.
Also, by getting involved, you’ll build your parenting skills and confidence. And your partner will have a chance to take a break. It’s a win-win!
Prioritise Your Baby’s Health
Most first-time dads fret about their baby’s health a lot. This anxiety is expected and quite common, especially with the first child. Bear in mind that babies are tougher than they look, and educating yourself about steps you can take to help them develop properly.
In addition to essentials like vaccinating your little one, you can take things up a notch and talk to your partner about cord blood banks and the services they provide.
Storing stem cells for potential medical use in the future is a wise investment as they can be used in treating a wide range of conditions.
Time Flies, So Make Sure to Enjoy the Little Moments
Becoming a parent is a huge change, and you are sure to be overwhelmed and swept up in responsibilities, but don’t forget to enjoy all the little moments like talking and smiling at your baby while changing their diaper.
On that note, this is the time to take paternity leave.
You can never get back these moments of your child’s life, so think about talking to your employer early on so you can lay the groundwork for family stability and co-parenting.
Bonding Isn’t Instant for Everybody
This is a really important piece of advice. For some dads, there is no instant bond. Instead, bonding with their little one takes some time, and that is perfectly fine. Use physical touch to connect with your baby. It helps them feel safe and secure, and at the same time, it stimulates their brain development.
Carry and hold your baby to your chest. It’s an important step in building a mutual connection. Again, having one-on-one time is one of the best opportunities to tune in to your little one.
You Will Question Yourself. A Lot.
Prepare for the uncertainty and feeling guilty. You’ll catch yourself wondering whether you’re doing enough or are you providing the support you should be to both your partner and your child.
Balancing work, new parenthood, and time for yourself can be particularly tough, and it’s the source of guilt to many first-time dads.
Remember that you are not alone, and ask for support if you need it!
It Will Get Tough, But It’s Worth It!
When you have a baby, sleepless nights and tough days are guaranteed, but seeing your little one sleeping or looking at you and being able to smell them is the best feeling in the world.
Those are the moments when you forget about how tired you are, and you soak up the moment, realising how lucky you are.
Stephen Jones is a new dad and passionate freelance writer who enjoys writing about health, food, nutrition, and children’s health.