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First of all, congratulations! Finding out you’re going to be a dad for the first time is a life-defining moment. And even if you’re super-pumped, chances are you’re a little freaked out, right?
As the big day approaches, it’s pretty common to feel stressed, anxious and fearful about the changes about to happen in your life. And it’s normal to experience a mixture of emotions, from pure joy to outright terror!
Becoming a dad triggers the “provider” mindset and makes you question your readiness to welcome a baby into the world. However, remember, this fear is born out of love - not out of self-interest - which is already an indication of what kind of a dad you’re going to be.
Newborns come into the world ready to connect with both their parents, and as a dad you’re going to have a huge impact on your child’s life.
So new dads, here’s what you should know post-delivery room:
- You’re not going to break your baby. Kids are durable! All you need is caution and common sense.
- Be hands-on from the beginning. Never changed a diaper before? They have classes for that. Be involved in the daily care of your baby – dressing, settling, burping, nappy changing - it’s the best way to build your skills and confidence.
- Be sure to connect through touch. Carry and hold your baby as often as you can. Hold her to your chest and let her feel your heartbeat. Also, talk to her, sing songs and tell stories; every word from you will help to develop her language skills and strengthen your relationship.
- Learn to swaddle. Babies are used to being nestled in the womb. Swaddle them to help them feel safe and secure. If they’re peaceful, you’re peaceful.
- Help with breastfeeding. Think that mom has it covered? Your support is vital. Be there for whatever she needs, whether it’s a glass of water or an extra pillow.
- Nothing said after midnight should be taken seriously. You are going to be tired beyond belief and arguments will pop up. As soon as your baby is born, your baby mama’s instincts will kick in. So yes, you probably won’t be holding your baby the right way … but remember, you’re on the same team.
- Talk to other dads. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Don’t be the cliché by “not asking for directions”. You’re the chief, but it still takes a village. Take advice from those who’ve been there and lived to tell the tale.
- Stay off the booze. Dealing with a newborn and a new mom with a hangover is not worth it.
- Take care of yourself. Your life is going to change dramatically; make time to exercise or get a coffee with a friend.
Dads who are involved, nurturing, and playful with their babies have children with higher IQs and better language and thinking skills, compared to children with less involved dads. A father’s involvement is also associated with fewer behavioral problems at school and more career success.
So new dad, all you have to do is to love her and to take care of her, and the rest will fall into place. You’ve got this.
Happy Father’s Day to all new (and veteran) dads out there!
Source: whattoexpect.com, boredpanda.com, menshealth.au.com, areyouawellbeing.texashealth.org, fatherly.com, webmd.com, mayoclinic.org, huffingtonpost.ca, thebump.com, healthline.com, raisingchildren.net.au
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.