Congratulations on becoming a dad! You’re probably excited about your bundle of joy and still adjusting to life with a newborn. While a majority of new dads look forward to their fatherhood journeys, most of them are not sure where to start, especially if they’re first-time parents. Here are some tips on how you can help out your partner during those first couple of weeks of parenthood.
Things dads can do to help with the baby
Helping with the baby is a crucial part of being a new dad. Keep in mind that every new mom is different, so don’t assume what kind of help your partner will want - make sure you ask her what would be most helpful to her. Here are some of the most common things you might like to offer help with:
- Learn how to bathe the little one
Bathing your baby is one of the most important skills to master as a new dad. Bathing time can be a great opportunity for you to bond with the baby, especially if you work long hours and dont get as much time with the little one as your partner does. It’s also a great way to help out your significant other.
There are several options when it comes to bathing your baby: topping and tailing, using a baby bath, washing them in the sink, or using a tummy tub. You don’t need to give your little one a bath every day for the first few months. Always be mindful of the water temperature and use baby-friendly shampoo and soap.
2. Help to change diapers
Changing diapers is hardly anyone’s favorite job to do, but you’ll soon become an expert in the texture and color of your child’s poop. Here are some top tips on changing your little one’s diaper:
- Make sure you change diapers regularly to keep your baby comfortable.
- Be careful around the cord area when cleaning the baby.
- Avoid using perfumed wipes as your newborn’s skin and senses can get overwhelmed by all the chemicals and fragrances.
- Keep diapers, baby wipes and a clean outfit handy when you go out with the baby in case they need a change.
3. Help with feeding the baby
If your partner is breastfeeding, all the early feeding will be down to her, but you can still offer her support by making sure she’s comfortable. If your partner isn’t breastfeeding, you’ll want to help out with preparing the formula and helping to bottle feed. You can help with early morning or middle of the night feedings.
4. Comfort the baby when he/she is fussy
As you may have realized by now, babies cry and fuss a lot. Even completely healthy newborns cry for about 1-3 hours a day. The hardest thing can be trying to figure out what your baby’s cries mean, and it can be frustrating when you don’t know how to get him/her to calm down. However, with a bit of practice, you’ll soon recognize his/her crying patterns and start anticipating his/her needs. It might help to know that babies cry for a few predictable reasons: because they’re hungry, they’re uncomfortable, they need a diaper change, or simply because they want a cuddle.
5. Shop for the baby
Babies grow at a rapid pace. You’ll find that your little one outgrows his/her cute onesies and rompers very fast, which means you’ll be constantly shopping for new clothes. To help out, take the initiative and do some shopping for your baby. Thanks to the numerous baby clothing stores online, you can browse and shop for new outfits without having to leave your home. Here are some tips on how to shop for your baby:
- Babies have very sensitive skin, so you’ll want to go for clothes made from hypoallergenic, soft material such as cotton
- Buy clothes that are either exactly their size or a size larger so that your baby can grow into them.
Things you can do for mom
Regardless of how your partner delivers, she’ll need plenty of time to recover. Keep in mind that pregnancy and birth puts extreme strain on her body, and she’ll need all the help she can get to recover. Here is how you can take care of your partner:
1. Make sure she eats
Cook her any meals if you can - for example, you can make her breakfast before heading out to work, or take over cooking dinner as often as possible. Make sure that she eats wholesome meals as well as drinks plenty of water.
2. Give her a listening ear
Let her talk to you about the labor and birth, especially if it was a difficult or disappointing experience. Allow her to be emotional and simply comfort her if she gets overwhelmed.
3. Run her a bath
Throw in a cup of epsom salts and her favorite essential oils for emotional and physical benefits.
4. Take the baby out to give mom some alone time
Mom needs a break from all the chaos that comes with having a newborn baby from time to time. Offer to take the baby out for a walk so that mom can have some quiet time.
5. Help to look after any older kids
Help out with the older kids so mom can adjust to life with a new addition to the family. This will also allow mom to spend quality time with the baby.
Things dads can do to help out around the house
Here some things you can help with around the house:
- Help out with household chores
Focus on cleaning the main areas where mom spends time with the baby. If there are dirty clothes, do a load of washing and then neatly put them away. If you’re unable to do it all on your own, hire help where possible.
2. Take over grocery shopping
Mom will hardly have the time to go out, so you could take over grocery shopping or do the shopping online where possible.
3. Handle the nitty-gritty details
Take over responsibilities such as paying bills, checking emails and making appointments, and organizing thank you notes.
If you’ve been wondering how you can help out with your newborn, these tips should offer some insight into some of the things you can do. As long as you’re willing to take on more roles with your little one, partner, and in the house, you’re well on your way to becoming an awesome dad.