You’re going to be a daddy! These six little words can turn your life upside down in a heartbeat. Suddenly you’re responsible for a new life. You have a nursery to design, a crib to build and just a few months to get to grips with the biggest life change of all. Parenthood. But how will you make sure you’re the type of dad you want to be? It’s easy to get overwhelmed by this and the other big questions around fatherhood. Luckily by taking the time to think about what makes a great dad, you are already well on your way to being an awesome parent. Feeling a little dazed by the thought of bringing a new life into the world? Don’t worry, our 7 tips for new dads are the perfect way to start planning for your new arrival.
You’re Going to Make Mistakes
The first and perhaps most important piece of advice for any new father is, you don’t know everything. Heck, you probably don’t know half of everything you need to know about raising a kid. That’s ok. Take this time before baby arrives to educate yourself, then be prepared to make thousands upon thousands of mistakes. Just make sure you learn from them.
Focus on the Basics
You may have a vision of being a super dad, teaching your newborn French while you give the perfect baby massage and cook up a gourmet meal for mum. The truth is that the first few weeks of being a parent are hard. Like, really hard. So as long as you are all clean, fed and healthy then you’re doing ok. It’s ok to eat takeout for two weeks or to be so exhausted that you put on a diaper backwards. Just get the basics done.
Be an Equal Partner
Being a new dad, particularly a first-time dad, is pretty humbling. Especially if you have seen your partner go through the incredible feat of labour and birth. This makes it easy to step back and be a little tentative or see yourself as a secondary parent. You’re not. You’re an equal partner, so step and act like it.
Pick Up on Housework
Even if your natural habits tend towards the slobbish, this is the time to pull your weight when it comes to getting things done around the house. While your partner is recovering from birth and trying to learn the newborn ropes herself, just doing the dishes or throwing in a load of laundry can make a huge difference.
This is a simple one but something that is easy to overlook. Take as many photos as you can. Babies grow up fast and before you know it, this cosy newborn phase will be a distant memory. So, take lots of snaps that you can treasure forever.
Enjoy Daddy-Baby Time
Dedicated daddy time can help you bond with your bundle of joy as soon as they arrive, helping you to settle into your new role and find your feet more quickly. Daddy-baby walks are a great way to spend time together in those early days. Or it might be that you take charge of bath time. Skin to skin contact can be incredibly beneficial for bonding. However you do it, find a way to spend some dedicated one on one time with your little one.
One of the greatest pieces of advice any new parent can receive is to be patient. Babies can be frustrating. And when your little darling turns into a little monster (trust us, it will happen) you need to be able to take a breath and patiently deal with whatever they throw at you. It’s a critical parenting skill that you need whether your baby just turned 6 months or 16.
Parenting is tough. Being a dad is hard. But it’s also the best job you will ever have. So, get ready for the roller coaster of parenthood. Believe in yourself, accept you will make mistakes and step up to the parenting plate. You got this daddio!
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