When a couple is about to have a baby, most people only pay attention to the mom. And rightfully so, because she’s the one having the baby and going through the physical changes. However, no one pays the same attention to the dad. One could argue that a first-time father will go through the same ups and downs that the mother goes through, minus the physical adjustments.
The beginning stages of parenthood can be difficult for fathers, especially if they’re unsure how to support their partners. However, one comforting fact new dads should know is that every baby is unique in its own way. There’s no complete guide on being a dad because everyone works out what being a dad looks like for themselves. However, these tips are meant to serve as an example of what has worked for some dads in the past. Here are some suggestions for new dads; use these to figure out what looks best for you.
Support your partner.
It can be easy to feel like there’s not much you can do to be part of this baby experience as an expecting father, but that’s where you’re wrong. First, you have to get through the first trimester; that’s where you’ll learn a lot about each other, and it may alter your relationship. It’s normal for the dynamics to change, but you should also stay in rhythm with each other as you go through these changes.
It would help if you also remembered that your partner is going through a lot, even if they aren’t the one who’s pregnant. Couples who adopt or use a surrogate go through the same issues. During this time, try your best to be there for her. Go above and beyond anything you would typically do. This could include doing the laundry, washing the dishes, or anything you can do to take the stress off of her plate.
Research, research, research.
There are numerous resources for you to prepare yourself for taking care of your baby as an expecting or new father. Seek out any courses, books, and other resources for expecting or new dads. Finding a class at your local community center may also be a great way to meet other new fathers and build a support group that you’ll need later on down the road. It may also benefit you to attend some classes with your partner so that you two are on the same page. Remember, there’s no right way to be a dad, but these resources will help you find what works best for you.
Get as much sleep as you can.
Before the baby comes, you should get as much sleep as you can because your nights aren’t going to get any easier once the baby arrives. Without a doubt, rest is one of the most important things you can understand as an expecting parent. It’s reasonable to expect that there will be nights with little or no sleep because it happens. However, it would be best not to fall into the abyss of sleeplessness for all parties involved. Find resources on how to get a good schedule for your baby, and you’ll reap all the rewards.
Divvy things up and start sharing responsibilities.
The road to being a great dad starts way before your child is born. If your partner is pregnant, it’s likely set in that there’s a human growing in her womb. That being said, help her out as much as you can. Divvying up tasks can help you feel more involved in the process and get on the right track while waiting for the baby to come. Take charge of any physical tasks that your parent may handle, or ask your partner what she feels like she needs the most help with. Divvying up tasks before the baby comes can help you build your teamwork skills, and it may bring the two of you closer together.
Go with your partner to their doctor’s appointments.
Sometimes, there may be scheduling conflicts, but showing up to doctor’s appointments before birth is an excellent way to show your partner that you support them. It can also be a perfect way to learn about the process, and you’ll feel more prepared because of it. The OBGYN’s office is a great resource for asking questions and getting more information, so don’t be afraid to ask any questions you may have.
Talk about the necessary details.
Life insurance, health insurance, certificates, and wills are usually topics parents talk about after the baby is born. However, it may be beneficial to discuss them before the baby comes to get things out of the way. Talking about what you’ll do for each of these items with your partner may be boring, but it will save some hassle down the road. You shouldn’t assume anything about insurance companies; it’s just not a good practice.
You and your partner should figure out whose insurance the baby will be on and how your plan will look once you add the baby on. Then, you can fix other pieces of your finances accordingly. Staying on top of things and planning isn’t easy, but it will make your life easier. It’ll ensure that you and your partner are on the same page, and there won’t be any confusion. The most challenging part is starting.
Figure out the kind of parent you want to be.
The best advice for new dads is to talk with yourself about the kind of parent you want to be. Reflect on how you grew up and think about what you want to do that you think your parents were good at. What would you change? Being a great dad is something you can control, so how will you step into that role? Take this thought process seriously, but try your best not to overthink it. It may also help to talk to any dads around you and get their perspective on what fatherhood means to them.
No one ever said that fatherhood would be easy. However, you can make it a little easier on yourself if you prepare before your baby comes. Everyone has a different approach to fatherhood, so take time to find out what works best for you and prepare to welcome your bundle of joy into the world.