Whether your family just welcomed a baby, or your partner is about to give birth, it's safe to say that it's a really exciting time for everyone involved. Infants are snuggly and sweet, they have that classic new-baby scent and bringing home your first child is definitely a little surreal, in a good way!
But at the same time, it can be a hard and overwhelming time -- not knowing how to navigate the waters of new-parenthood, while asking yourself how you can be a better and more supportive spouse.
As a relatively new mom myself, I get it. My husband and I jumped in the deep end, so to speak, when we welcomed our daughter. Not really being “baby people,” we had a lot to figure out. Although people have been raising children pretty much since the dawn of time -- and we were big believers in trial and error -- I still thought it’d be interesting to ask around. I spoke with my husband and my new-mom friends to compile this list.
Here are 16 tips for first-time dads.
1.) We understand: You can’t nurse the baby, and that’s frustrating. Right when you bring your little bundle home from the hospital, your family’s new routine will involve a LOT of feedings and sleeping (even if the snoozes only come in two-hour increments at first). Your wife has to handle the nursing, if you opt to go that route, and that’s a huge job for her. So you can start doing everything ELSE -- diaper changes, spit-up duty, baths, bottles if those are in your rotation, etc. Make yourself useful in any way you can.
2.) Let your partner nap. "If you love someone, let them go," the old saying says. But once you become a parent, that turns into, "If you love someone, let them SLEEP." So, any time she’s able to, let her catch those Zzzs. Between the hormones, her recovery from the actual birth and the new responsibility of being a mom, she is TIRED.
3.) In case only one of you is the “new” parent, or there are children from a previous marriage involved, keep those kids busy and happy. Make them feel loved and valued even when mom is busy tending to the infant. Same goes with pets! Your partner has enough on her hands. Make sure the dog is walked, fed and cared for.