Becoming a parent can be scary. It comes with a lot of new responsibilities. But don’t worry — you already have everything that you’ll need to be a great dad within reach. Use these tips as a reminder that you’ve got it.
1. You Got This
It’s easy for new dads to become overwhelmed with the anxiety of having their little one at home. However, there’s no need to worry. All new parents are figuring it out. Be confident that you’ll make the right decisions for your child. Once you get to know your baby’s personality, you’ll know exactly what they need. You got this!
2. Establish a Routine
Parenting is smoother when you establish a routine. This is especially important during those newborn months. Sit down with your partner and talk about what each other needs in terms of self-care. Take turns for nightly feedings and changing.
3. Learn to Swaddle
Swaddling is a technique that countless parents use to comfort their babies. It’s something that you can learn, too. Start with a soft, warm blanket and wrap your infant in complete security. Swaddling helps calm upset babies as it mimics the conditions of the womb.
4. Talk to your Baby
Talking to your baby not only helps improve their understanding of language, but it’s essential to establishing your relationship. It helps create a lasting bond between father and child.
5. Don’t Panic
Do your best not to get frustrated or panic when you baby is crying. As a parent, it’s sometimes hard to figure out what your baby wants. However, you can try several comforting techniques to calm your upset infant. If feeding or changing don’t work, you can also try:
- white noise,
- a pacifier,
- or a walk in the stroller.
6. Sleep When You Can
Many parents give the advice of sleeping when you can for a reason. In those early days, it might be the only time you get to rest and recharge. You and your partner could even take turns napping while the other cares for the baby. In addition, you both can sleep when the baby is sleeping.
7. Take Advantage of Paternity Leave
Check with your employer about their paternity leave policy. As a dad, you should never hesitate to take advantage this time. Fathers need just as much time as moms to get adjusted to parenthood and to be there during the earliest stages of child development.
8. Join a Community
Don’t be shy about seeking advice. Talk to the other dads in your social circle and exchange stories and ideas about parenting. This could give you some important insight into what to expect. It will also help you unwind with other dads who have experienced the same things that you have.
9. Take Care of Yourself
Personal care is just as important as the care of your child. If you’re feeling fatigued and sleepy, you might not pay as much attention to your baby as you should. If your back is aching, get a massage. If your feet are hurting, try soaking them in some epsom salt.
10. Take a Break
If you really need a break, remember to rely on your community and family. Call a trusted sitter or even the grandparents to come spend some time with the baby while you go to movies or even just stay home and take a much-needed nap.
11. Maintain a Light Schedule
As a new parent, be careful not to commit to too many activities and obligations outside of the home, especially during those first weeks. Not only are they critical to developing a relationship with your baby, but your partner will need as much help as possible. Not inly will the baby require a lot of time and attention, but you’ll also have to keep up with your normal household routine of laundry, cleaning, and grocery shopping.
12. Play with Your Baby
The most important tip of all is to have fun! Parenting isn’t all diapers and bottles. Remember to play with the baby and enjoy spending this time with your new family.