Having a baby, whether it is your first, or your fifth, is a jarring experience. It is at once both the beautiful and visceral moment of your life, full of blood, sweat, tears and a love that you never thought you could feel. But, now that the deed is done and you have a little one to look after, what exactly is a father’s role with a newborn?
It can be difficult to get into a groove with a new baby since it is so far outside of your comfort level and you might not know or understand exactly how you can help out. Well, I’ve been there, and done that, and let me tell you, you can help in so many different ways that will not only bring you closer to your baby but will also give your wife a well-deserved break. Okie dokie, let’s get to it!
Let me just go ahead and start off with the big one here and let me be perfectly clear. There is, no reason, whatsoever that you can’t change a baby’s diaper. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada. So you need to get over that hump and just dive right in.
Before my first child was born, I had never changed a diaper before, and to be honest, it was the thing that I was the most nervous about. Looking back on it, I have no idea why, since it really isn’t a big deal at all. Besides, it is completely unfair to expect your wife to change all of the baby’s diapers. Here is a quick tutorial that will show you how to get the job done quickly and cleanly.
Who doesn’t enjoy a good nap? I know I do, and I’m sure you do too. Luckily, so will your newborn, since they’ll sleep most of their first few days away. Sitting for long periods of time will probably not be your wife’s forte at the moment (remember, a human being just came out of her!) so take the baby and get comfy and cozy on the sofa or in a chair.
You can prop up your little one with pillows, or you could get a Boppy. Your wife will love it for nursing, and it will give you the stability and security you need to keep track of your kid while the two of you catch some Zs.
Newborns eat a lot. In fact, they usually need to eat every 2-3 hours the first few days. That also includes the night time. Now, you might be thinking, but why do I need to get up? My wife is the only one that can feed the kid.
Well, for starters, it’s your kid too! Secondly, how long do you think your poor wife will be able to keep her sanity if she has to get up and get the baby all on her own each and every time they need to eat at night? Not long. Get up and give her a hand. Believe me; she’ll really appreciate it!
Babies, especially newborns, cry often. They’ll cry because they are hungry, tired, or just want to be held. You might not be able to help with the hunger part if your wife is breastfeeding, but you surely can sing some songs and rock them to sleep. Sure there are tons of fancy rocking gadgets out there, but none of them compare to the comfort that dear old dad can bring to that little bundle of joy.
And don’t think that this isn’t helping you too. With all of this extra holding and snuggling, you are strengthening the bond between you and your baby, making a connection with them that will last a lifetime!
Before I had kids, I never really did too much laundry. I mean, the occasional shirt or pair of slacks yeah, but never a full load of wash. However, once I saw how sore my wife was after the birth of our baby, I made sure that she didn’t need to carry heavy loads of wash up and down the steps.
Even now that we don’t have a newborn, I still help out with it. Plus, now I know how to get poop stains out of clothing. You never know when something like that’ll come in handy, now do you!?
This is another big one. Your wife, as I have mentioned before, is going to be an emotional and physical wreck for a little while after birth. You can be a huge help by running the errands, with a baby in tow, so that she can get a little bit of privacy and recuperation time.
The last thing that you want to do is to expect your lady to keep up here pre-baby work pace. It’s not fair and could be really unhealthy in the long run.
Now, Don’t You Feel Proud?
While the mother is often thought of as the primary caregiver in a traditional sense, that doesn’t mean that a father’s role with a newborn isn’t important too. You need to jump into this new adventure with both feet so that you, your wife, and your baby have as smooth of a transition into your new life as possible.
I hope that this article will help give you the motivation you need to get the job done right! If you have any questions or comments, please let me know in the comments section below. Congrats on the new baby and have a great day!