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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.