Are you going to be a first-time dad soon? Firstly, congratulations on the new exciting journey of parenthood that you’re going to be a part of. The anticipation of being a parent can bring in a host of feelings and emotions for first-time parents. After all, parenthood can be one of the biggest life-altering events. If you’re a first-time dad, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed and anxious as it’s all a part of wanting to be a good father. Here are some of our best tips for a first-time dad to help you support your partner and bond with your baby.
Support Your Partner During Pregnancy
One of the most important things to do before childbirth is prepare for the arrival of your newborn baby. As a first-time dad, you can support your partner by taking pregnancy classes together. This will help you understand the different physical and emotional changes your partner is going through during pregnancy.
It’s natural for first-time moms to get worried about the baby’s health or having a C-section. At such times, you need to be there for your partner to help them get through their doubts and fears. You can engage yourself in different household chores like cleaning the house, taking care of your partner’s meals, doing the laundry and dishes, etc to help out even more. Remember to make sure that your partner gets adequate rest during pregnancy, especially during the third trimester.
Involve Yourself In Taking Care Of Your Baby
Even as a first-time dad, there are so many things you can do to take care of your newborn baby and play an active role to strengthen your relationship. This is possible when you involve yourself in taking care of your baby’s daily routine. Right from learning to swaddle your baby, changing diapers, and playing with them to bathing them and putting them to sleep, you can help your partner and learn baby-care skills. Another great way to bond with your baby and support your partner is by helping them during breastfeeding. You can also help burp your baby after breastfeeding and enjoy your father-baby bonding time.
Do Skin-To-Skin Cuddling
Looking for ways to bond with your little bundle of joy? It shouldn’t come to you as a surprise that physical touch is one of the best ways to bond with your baby. Apart from breastfeeding routines when the mom holds the baby skin-to-skin, there are other ways for dads to make close body contact. You can hold your baby close to your chest after giving them a bath, during bottle-feeding, or when putting them to sleep at night. This helps to regulate their heart rate and keep them calm thereby helping you bond with your little one.
Pay Attention To Your Baby’s Cues
Your little bundle of joy may not be able to talk and express what they want. And if you think crying is the only sign they use to express their hunger and other desires, then you’re mistaken. For first-time dads, one of the most common mistakes to avoid is not paying attention to your baby’s cues.
Your baby can express their needs and wants in the form of gestures, movements, sounds, and even facial expressions. So, if you notice your little one sucking their fingers or smacking their lips, you should understand that they’re hungry. It can be daunting, especially if you’re a first-time dad; all you have to do is be patient and observant enough to understand your baby’s cues.
Talk To Your Baby
Want to hear some happy gurgles and coos from your baby? You’ll be surprised by your baby’s reactions when you spend a few moments bonding with your baby. An important thing to note is that every word that your baby listens to helps them develop their language learning. You can talk to your baby when you’re changing their diapers or bathing them. Better yet, read to them, or hum a sweet lullaby to your baby to make them fall asleep. Talking to your little one is a great way to improve your father-baby bonding, and you can do it as much and as often as you want.
Be Prepared For Less Sleep
It’s important that first-time parents plan their sleeping schedules before the baby arrives. While most parents are aware of this, the fact that sleep deprivation is normal after childbirth may come out as a shock for new parents. Your little one may suddenly wake up and start crying in the middle of the night. It can be because they’re hungry or because it’s time for you to change their nappy. Whatever the reason, you can’t ignore your baby during the night.
So, see to it that you speak to your partner and decide on taking turns to watch over your baby at night. As a first-time dad, you can help your partner get adequate rest by helping them watch over the baby during the night.
Take Care Of Your Relationship
Preparing for a newborn and taking care of them can be a life-changing experience. At times, things may not work out the way you and your partner planned them to. You may get exhausted while being caught up with so many responsibilities related to your baby. But, that doesn’t mean that you forget about spending time with your partner. Communicating and bonding with your partner is as important as bonding with your little one. A woman goes through several physical and emotional changes during and after childbirth. So, make sure you are there for your partner and make them feel acknowledged and loved. Make sure that you spend some time together and learn parenting skills together.
Ask For Help
This is one of the most important tips for a first-time dad. It’s okay if you’re having a difficult time with taking care of your newborn being a first-time dad. During such times, it’s important that you be honest with your partner and communicate about your feelings with each other. Whether it’s for household chores, feeding, or helping your baby fall asleep, there will be times when you’d need a helping hand. Don’t hesitate to ask for some help or advice from your family members, relatives, or close friends. Being a first-time dad can be tough, so make sure you don’t forget to take care of yourself in the process of doing everything for your baby.
Being a first-time dad can be a memorable experience and you will be able to cherish it if you are patient and positive. One of our final tips for a first-time dad is choosing the right pediatrician for your baby. We suggest you start looking for one at least 3 months before your baby is born. You shouldn’t forget about your child’s immunization as it can help your little one fight various diseases. Our ImmunifyMe app can help you keep digitized records of your child’s vaccination, alongside a bunch of other helpful features!
FAQs On Tips For A First-Time Dad
What First-Time Dads Should Know?
Here are some of the things first-time dads should know:
- How to support your partner during pregnancy
- How to involve yourself in baby-care
- Observing and understanding your baby’s cues
- That sleep deprivation is normal
- That you must also focus on taking care of your relationship while raising a baby
What Should A Father Do When Expecting?
When the mother is expecting, the father should do the following things to help her during pregnancy:
- Go for doctor’s appointments
- Attend pregnancy classes
- Encourage healthy habits for your partner
- Be there for your partner during delivery
How Do Dads Feel During Pregnancy?
Pregnancy can be an exciting yet overwhelming time not just for moms but also to-be dads. Most dads often feel anxious, moody, and depressed because of the fear of the upcoming responsibilities after childbirth. Many dads also worry about not getting enough attention from their partners after childbirth, or not being good enough dads. All these feelings are valid and common.
Should Dads Do Skin To Skin?
Yes, dads should do skin-to-skin to help strengthen the bonding with their baby. It not only helps to regulate the baby’s heart rate but also makes dads feel confident about themselves. It can be a great way for dads to be involved with their babies.