When my partner first became a dad, he figured he knew what he was doing. Bathe them, change them, love them, play with them. Piece of pie, right?
Then our daughter was born and he realised something I already knew – there is a whole heck of a lot more to it than that, especially when they are newborns. There are poo explosions at 2am, and crazy mood swings. Oh, and arguments about who’s more tired. And that’s just the beginning!
I asked him to share his top 10 things he wished he knew before we had our daughter and he gladly accepted the challenge. So, without further ado, here is a dad’s guide on how to prepare for the craziness of what’s to come.
Baby Care Tips for New Dads
- Try to keep a routine for your baby: Bath, lotion, swaddle, dummy, even the room temperature. Try to keep it all the same.
- Two words – Baby poo: How many, how often, what colour, what texture. It’s exciting stuff and probably one of the main conversations around the dinner table – if you manage to time dinner for when the baby is asleep.
- Breastfeeding is full on: Babies want milk ALL THE TIME. Expect your partner to pretty much be a full-time milk maid from now on.
- Nappy changes really aren’t that bad: Just make sure you have triple the amount of wipes you think you’ll need. And always wipe from front to back.
General Tips for New Dads
- Expect a whole new level of tiredness: Work, baby, broken sleep. Repeat. You’re be worn out within a week but trust me, there’s no point complaining about it. Your partner is just as tired as you are.
- Expect crazy moods from your partner: Pregnancy mood swings were nuts. New mum mood swings are next level. Crying one minute to giving me the stink eye the next because I unloaded the dishwasher the wrong way.
- Clean up as you go: Because otherwise it will snowball. Never think you’re going to get around to it later because it’s never going to be a good time.
- Take over when you can: Baths, nappy changes, even late night laps around the house. As tired as I was, there was something peaceful about walking my daughter around the house at 4am.
- Happy mum, happy baby: Ask if she wants water or snacks, cut up her food so she can eat one-handed, hold the baby so she can sleep or shower. Little things like these make a massive difference.
- A new mother is always right: It’s not worth your effort to argue so just go with it. Smile, nod and pass her the bickies.
Yes, it’s hard. But it’s also awesome. Nothing compares to seeing your baby smile up at you and realise you’re her dad. It’s corny stuff, but it makes everything worth it.
Even the mood swings.
Read more pregnancy and baby blogs HERE.