Remember those baby books your husband never read? Or those classes that he would rather have stayed home and watched football than go to? Yea, me too. The truth is we as Mother’s spend 9 months preparing for the baby. We budget our finances, we buy the crib and diapers, we take Lamaze classes, we read numerous articles, we talk to other Mom’s and ask for advice, WE PREPARE. Most guys aren’t like us, they won’t read the books and they won’t feel prepared. If your husband is the guy that reads the baby books, consider yourself lucky. Do you blame them, though? After all, you will be the one going through labor, which the anticipation of the most painful day of your life can make you want to be as prepared as you can be.
You know that saying.. “Women become Mother’s when they find out they are pregnant, and men become Father’s when the baby is born.”
It’s true. For some men, it will take a week or a month for those “daddy instincts” to kick in. These are a few tips for new Daddy’s. If your hubby won’t read this, just try to explain these things to him. Good Luck!
1. Take Time Off Work. Be prepared to leave work for at least a week. You will need to be there when your wife and baby are in the hospital. It is also important for you to spend bonding time with your baby. Take a week to help the mommy out and get to know your little baby.
2. Stay At The Hospital. For all that she just went through, don’t leave your wife alone while you go home and sleep. If you have kids try to get someone to watch the while you’re at the hospital.
3. Clean Up Around The House. A new mom will be going through a lot. They will need to rest and recover from labor. She won’t have time to do the laundry, vacuum, do the dishes, or take care of any pets you have. Her time needs to be dedicated to learning how to take care of her baby, bonding with her baby and recovering from labor. If you are horrible at cleaning, or just hate it, try buying disposable dishes so you don’t have to do the dishes.
4. Get Her Food. A new mom shouldn’t drive for 6-7 weeks after labor. Go to the store for her, ask her what she wants and make sure to pick up lots of food. A breastfeeding mom needs to eat just as much as a pregnant woman. She is still eating for two, if she’s breastfeeding! Make sure she has time to eat, watch the bay for her so she can relax and eat dinner. If all else fails, order take out!
5. Offer to Help. There might not be much you can do, but always ask. Even the little things count, so if she asks you to just hand her things or wash her breast pump for her, do it. Trust me, she will be exhausted.
6. Take the Night Feeding. If you are bottle feeding your baby, try to take turns during night feedings. Everyone needs sleep! If you are breast feeding, ask if she can pump before she goes to bed, so you have one bottle for a night feeding.
7. Bond with Your Baby. You may not think that they will remember this, but bonding as a baby is very important. It lets the baby know, that you will meet their needs too, not just mommy. Take the baby and let the new mommy get a nap, or a shower, or go out by herself for an hour (even if it is just to the grocery store). Take these opportunities as bonding time with your baby.
8. Be Prepared to Make Emergency Store Runs. Even if that means going in the middle of night. Trust me, there will be a time when your wife or the baby needs something now and you need to go get it. Be prepared to buy the stool softeners, pads, diapers, or diaper rash cream.
9. Be Supportive. If all else fails, be supportive. A new mom might cry, or be mad, or be stressed.. just go with it. Be there, be supportive. Don’t argue with her. Even you being next to her will probably make her feel better. Talk to her; ask her how her day was. Take her for a date night when you’re ready to leave the baby. But the most important thing to remember is to be supportive!
I would love for you to comment! What is your best advice for a first time dad?