Advise for Dads – Survival Guide

KO Daddy, your life is about to  change forever!  Becoming a father for  the first time can be a nerve-racking experience and to some extent you may  feel isolated because all the attention will be given to your pregnant  partner.  You may have mixed feelings  about having a baby and it may be difficult for you to share those feelings  because that is just `not what men do´ and it may be difficult to find the  advice you need.

The fact is that being a parent can  be very stressful and a new baby will demand attention day and night for the  first few months.  There will be times  that you won´t believe how little sleep you can manage with and how much  `stuff´ a baby needs.  The house will be  a mess, your partner will always be tired and you will never seem to have any  time for yourself but don´t panic!  You  will survive the first few weeks and eventually settle into the routine of  family life and there is nothing more rewarding than taking an active role in  your baby´s care.

Below are a few tips, good luck!

  1. Get involved.   Attend the scans with your partner and reassure her throughout her  pregnancy.  Be patient with her if she  gets tired quickly or suffers mood swings.
  2. Be sure to be supportive of your partner. For  new mums having a baby can be a very emotional and stressful time. Make sure  you listen to your partner and support her as much as you can. Keep an eye out  for signs of postpartum depression and seek advice if you have any concerns.
  3. New Dads are often scared of hurting their new  born baby. Although babies are fragile, they aren´t really breakable. Don´t be  afraid to hold and comfort your baby. If you are unsure on how to hold them  properly then ask your midwife to show you different holds.
  4. It is not only your partner that may be having  emotional ups and downs, you may also go through this. Many of the things in  your life have now changed, and it is important to realise this and seek advice  if you need help with anything.
  5. Remember, your partner is the one who has had  the baby, and this means that her body will need time to recover. Get up with  the baby when you can and give your partner more time to rest by helping with  nappy changing, house tidying, soothing the baby etc.
  6. Having a new child (even if it is not your  first) always mixes things up. It can take time to get used to living with a  new person so always put time aside for yourself so that you can take a break  if you need it.
  7. Remember that you and your partner are still  in a relationship. After a new baby is born, your relationship is likely to  change with all the new pressure and demands put on you both. Be sure to remind  each other of the romance and partnership you both share.
  8. Be  careful with the amount of visitors you have to your home straight away. Even  though this is an exciting time, and there will be friends and family wanting  to see the baby, remember that your partner is still recovering and your baby  is still adapting too. Organise to make sure there aren´t too many visitors at  one time. This way everyone will get to see the new baby and it also keeps your  partner, you baby and yourself happy.