Being a new dad is going to be tough!
Not only do you have yourself to look after, you now need to look after a baby!
Oh, and mom, if she had particularly bad childbirth.
As a dad, we need to be available, calm, and willing to pitch in with anything at the beginning. If you are not a seasoned pro, then you will need some advice, double time!
I put together these 10 top tips for new dads because I wish someone gave them to me before my son was born!
Get used to it, your life will never be the same again. You will be feeling tired, worn out, but extremely happy! Now you just need to know how to survive…
Before we begin, one tip is for you to put together a new dad survival kit! Now… onto the rest of the tips for a new dad!
Table of Contents
10 Top Tips For New Dads
There is no doubt that sharing the load was one of the best decisions we made when my son was born.
It is not just during the day but also during the night. In fact, the night is probably the most important time for load sharing.
Babies wake up numerous times during the night, and to stop impromptu disagreements at 3 am, discuss which feeds you are both doing and stick to them.
Personally, I did not sleep much when my wife was in charge of feeding, but that is just me!
Whilst there are plenty of baby tips for fathers, this is the one that stopped many arguments between two exhausted people.
Get Sleep When You Can
Being a dad to a newborn will reduce sleep, so get used to it!
When your baby is asleep, there are times when they are likely to be asleep for a couple of hours at least. That is the time when you need to get your head down.
All of those symptoms are not good, but they are even worse when you are a sleep-deprived man!
First-time dads need to be on the top of their game, alert, ready for anything. Your little one may ruin your nights, so sleeping during the day is an excellent way of topping up the hours.
Learn The Basics
You must learn the basics for two reasons:
- You do not mess things up
- To share the load
- Changing the baby
- Bathing the baby
- Feeding the baby
- Getting the baby to sleep
- Entertaining the baby
- Taking the baby’s temperature
- Applying the medicine to the baby
- Learning what you need to take out with the baby
In fact, that list, although it is not exhaustive, will see you well into the toddler years.
Get to know how to care for your new baby, and in turn, you will also be caring for mom while she recovers from the ordeal of childbirth!
Know Where Things Are
To perform these tasks, you need to know where things are and how to use them. Do not get caught short; when your baby needs to be changed, they may need to be changed pretty quickly! If you spent 10 minutes looking for the diapers, then you are already on the back foot.
A good guide to being a dad is always to make sure the items above are topped up. You do not want to run out at 2 am!
Prepare A Routine
Change, eat, sleep, repeat. If you are wondering what to do as a new father, that is pretty much it.
Routines are KEY to successful parenting. Without routines, you are being ruled by the demands of a baby/toddler.
Create a routine for sleeping, create a routine for eating. Create a routine for creating routines!
Speak to mom to ensure she is cool with the routines and stick to them.
You and mom need to be a well-oiled machine. Being organized will build confidence in you both as parents and will help the new baby to settle into life on this planet.
Find A Dad Friend
Being a dad is tough, and it helps if you have someone to sound off to. If you work with many people, the odds are that you will work with someone who has recently become a parent. Talk to them.
Find out how they have got on. Find out if they have any advice for new dads they can share with you.
Experience can teach you so much more, so why not learn from the experience of others around you.
If you do not work with any fathers, think about any family members who have recently become a new parent. Tap them up for some advice, or even use them as a sounding board when you get stuck.
Fatherhood advice is free; all you need to do is ask!
You must get equipped to be a dad.
Mentally, yes. Physically too, though.
Throughout my time as a newbie, I was helped by a few items. I will name a few items here that really helped me through the early stages:
I am talking about technology here, not equipment like diapers, wipes, etc.
The movement monitor REALLY helped me get some awesome sleep. Many people argue that they do not like the fact it could false alarm, but I genuinely believe that I had a better sleep because I knew it would wake me in an emergency.
Don’t Forget The Push Present.
I made a huge error when my son was born. I did not get my wife a push present!
This is not simply one of my tips for a new father, it will get you some serious husband points too! I lost a lot of husband points when I forgot the push present!
Mom has just been through the terrible ordeal of childbirth, which makes her feel special. Think about the kind of things that she likes. Even something small will show your appreciation for what she has just been through.
Apparently, telling mom that you have just given her a new baby is not enough of a gift!
Some women like jewelry, some like to relax in the bath. It is pretty simple, get mom something that she will love to receive as a gift. You could even think about getting something with a personal touch.
This is one of the most important tips for a new father!
Chill out, man! You’ve got this.
Being a dad is easy (mostly); all you need to do is learn the basics (see tip 3). Once you have those tips covered, you can do it.
Your baby is not going to like stressed dad. Not. At. All. So, why don’t you be one of those ‘no-stress’ fathers?
Being stressed will affect the two people you have in your new family, mom and baby. If you are stressed, then you will simply be passing that stress on to your family. Do not do it.
Find a happy place, find a calming song, become more organized. Do these 3 things to ensure you remain as calm as you need to be.
Get Stuff Done
Broken things through the house? Fix them.
Does the trash need taking out? Do it.
Does mom need some time on her own? Take the baby out.
Has a light bulb blown? Change it.
Dads need to be on top of ‘stuff.’ It does not matter how little these things seem to you. Just get them done so there are fewer things for mom to get upset about.
Above are the 10 top tips for a new dad. Read them, and then reread them.
I was once a new father, and now I am a slightly more experienced dad. You never stop learning. The things you learn when they are a baby are cool, but they will not help you when they are 3 years old.
Well, some might be, but for the most part, they will not.
Approach parenting with an open mind and a willingness to learn all of the time and you will find it difficult to fail.
Good luck! And if you have any tips for being a new dad, get in touch!