Whether you’re an expectant father or a new papa, your life has probably already changed in some exciting and surprising ways. Adjusting to new responsibilities and expectations may feel overwhelming at first, but you’ll have plenty of time to get it right. For starters here are some useful tips for the new papa!
Also read: Why you should adopt a second child
Let’s start right at the birth of your baby, shall we? This is the time your wife is giving birth in the hospital; and hopefully you are right beside her! You may well feel a sense of panic when the midwives, doctors and nurses disappear for a few seconds leaving you literally holding the baby all alone. Not to mention, this will somehow naturally coincide with your baby crying louder and feeling hungrier. Don’t worry, stay calm!
Also read: How To Baby-Proof Your House
Know that you’re going to be the gate keeper for the first few days that your wife (or partner) and baby are home. So you’re going to be in great demand. While being popular is great, this time around it may get exhausting. But think of your wife; tell her how great she’s done so far.
Your wife may also be facing new challenges with the baby. For instance, she may find it difficult breast feeding the baby for a number of reasons. Either the baby hasn’t got used to the nipple, or hasn’t really learnt how to suckle. All this may also make your partner very tired and exhausted. Help her out! Hold the baby while she feeds if she’s tired. The right way to hold your baby is one arm around its neck and the other hand supporting the back.
Most new mums are sore, tired, and hormonal. She needs you to help her cope. She’ll appreciate your efforts so much that in the long term it will be a huge boost to your relationship, and you’ll end up closer than ever.
Once you get into the routine you’ll find it getting lesser on the difficulty scale and greater on the fun scale. Now let’s go to the time when your baby starts wearing nappies! Yes, you will have to deal with pee and poop; so, brace yourself. Watch your wife closely as she gets on with the diaper change. Then try doing it when she is busy. She will be pleasantly surprised!
Checking the nappy every 5-10 minutes is important initially. Newborns soil their diapers frequently, so you must check as often as you can. But don’t insert your whole palm in the nappy! Use a finger to tug the top end of the nappy at the back and peep in, if it’s soiled you’ll know.
Take your time to bond with the baby. Play a lot with your child. Nothing is better than your child’s smiles and laughter to make you tension-free and for forging trust in your relationship with your baby.
Help your wife as she bathes your baby. Babies under six months are very delicate so you need two people to bathe them. Hold the baby under the shoulders with one hand and rest the other hand on the baby’s back. It’s better to sponge-bathe a child in the first month.
Don’t worry new daddies; if you just get the basics right, you’ll be surprised at how good a father you turn out to be!