Newborn dads go through a gamut of emotions before and after the arrival of a child. It’s not easy for a man to see the woman he loves screaming in pain and writhing in agony.
Trust me, I know!
However, everything changes and the world seems a far happier place when eyes catch sight of those tiny hands and little feet. For a new father, this cycle that traverses through emotions, such as happiness, joy, frustration, exhaustion, hope, fear, etc., never ends. There are days when fathers feel ecstatic, and then, there are also days when the newborn father frustration reaches its zenith.
Most fathers find it challenging to deal with this frustration on an each-day basis. We assure you that if you are a dad frustrated with your newborn, you will be in a better position to deal with your emotions by the time you have reached the end of this article.
Newborn Father Frustration? Here’s What You Need To Know And Do.
1. You Can’t Control a Newborn
New dads, here’s the first thing you need to know: you can’t control a newborn.
You may have baby-proofed your apartment, but your newborn will still find a way to get out. You may spend hours and days trying to align their sleeping schedule with yours, but they will still get up at 3 a.m. and demand your attention. They will grunt, cry, poop, and pee around the house.
If you are a dad frustrated with a newborn child, stop trying to control an infant.
Instead, learn to laugh at and laugh with them when they do things you find stupid.
2. Learn to Comfort Your Child
Learn some skills that will make your life easier.
To make your baby feel secure, learn to swaddle them in a blanket. Once you have fed them, hold them in your arms and turn their body on the left side. This exercise helps with digestion. Find a sound or music that calms your newborn child and use it when nothing else works.
Parenting is an art and a skillset that people develop over time.
People aren’t born parents; they learn to be parents. Fatherhood is an acquired skill set. It is, thus, entirely okay if you are struggling to be a father. You will learn all the tricks you will need up your sleeves, but this won’t happen in a day.
Once you accept you are struggling, you will be more open to seeking advice and help from others.
4. Ask for Advice
Here’s a crucial tip: ask for advice. There is nothing wrong with it.
Speak with fathers and mothers of other newborns. Remember all of you are in the same boat and therefore, hold great potential to make each others’ lives better. Seek help and provide it too.
Talking to grandparents is another good idea. They have already been through the journey you are just starting. Grandparents can give great tips and suggestions.
Basically, reach out to someone… anyone!
5. Be Prepared
All new dads, here’s another thing you must remember: always be prepared.
This essentially means you must have everything you might need while dealing with a newborn child. Pacifiers, teethers, food, diapers, bibs, blankets, and baby wipes should be within a hand’s reach.
You must know clearly where the bottles and extra clothes are.
Always stock up on medicines prescribed by your baby’s doctor and have a few emergency numbers by your side in case you need help.
6. Learn Your Newborn’s Routines
Newborns have their routine.
They sleep up to 20 hours a day and may decide to wake up at 4 a.m. Nothing you can do will change this…sad face.
Newborn father frustration arises when new dads attempt to change their child’s routine, which is a futile exercise.
Babies decide when they want to sleep, eat, and play. As a new dad, all you can do is learn these routines and try and work your way around them. You will have to wait for your baby to grow at least a few months old before you can begin to condition him into a routine that compliments yours.
Until then, let the baby rule.
7. Leave the Room
This advice may seem like a horrible thing to do, but it is not. When you are in the thick of things, it becomes easier for emotions to disarm you of logic completely. This can lead to repercussions and actions you may regret later.
When you feel frustrated, the best thing to do is to remove yourself from the situation and gather your thoughts. You will come back with a peaceful and calm mind and will be in a better position to deal with your baby.
8. Blow off Some Steam
Here is the most essential advice you will ever get: find some time to blow off the steam.
Dealing with a newborn is exhausting and can take a toll on your mental and physical health. It is, thus, crucial that all new parents take some time off to blow off the steam. Take a short vacation or maybe go out on an hour-long date with your partner.
Reach out to your parents and friends and ask them to babysit your child while you are away. Make a routine: once or twice a week, step out with your friends and do something that relaxes you.
Your partner can look after the child while you are taking a break. However, once you feel mentally rejuvenated, help your partner do the same.
Few things change a man’s life as much as becoming a father. It’s daunting to be wholly responsible for someone’s else life. Raising a child isn’t easy.
As a father, you will always be switching between hope and fear and happiness and maybe some sadness too.
When you are a parent, good and bad days will follow each other.
However, one thing can be said with certainty, and it’s this:
there is no better joy than watching your child grow before your eyes.
You are not simply bringing a child into this world. This is your legacy, your gift to the world. But, what the hell do you do with a newborn? What do they need? Here, I take a look at 10 100% essential newborn baby tips for Dads.
Being a Dad to a newborn can be overwhelming. The stress levels are high, the focus on you is intense, and money seems to fall out of your wallet for new baby equipment you didn’t even know existed!
Take a deep breath, because I have you covered here with tips that I wish I knew before I started this journey…
10 Newborn Baby Tips For Dad
Learn What Do Do When The Baby Is Crying
One of the biggest concerns for any new Father is knowing what to do when your baby cries.
Some guys will just hand the kid back over, but that isn’t the way you should play it. Especially if you want a close bond with your newborn.
Babies cry for lots of different reasons:
Uncomfortable (Full diaper for instance)
…lots more reasons no-one will ever know about!
Your job is to figure out how you need to act in every one of those situations. Then, when your newborn cries you can cycle through each of the responses until you get it right.
Obviously, if your baby is crying, the first question should be ‘when did they last eat‘. Most of the time, you will have the reasons straight after.
They are hungry, go feed them!
Next up, check their diaper is not full up. Babies get cranky if they are uncomfortable.
Whether your baby is breastfed or is fed with formula, you are certain to use feeding equipment. This is especially trued if Mom plays to express milk so you can feed your newborn at night too!
Learn what equipment needs to be sterilized and how to do it. Babies are fresh out of the womb and are prone to illness. Sterilizing their feeding equipment will limit the chances of them picking up a nasty bug.
If you have a short fuse then now is the time to put some steps in place to rectify that.
Do whatever it takes, take yoga classes, go and speak to someone, or learn to walk away for a few minutes to calm down (huge tip)!
Kids will get on your nerves, they will push your buttons. You are the grown-up, and they will learn from you.
Don’t teach them to be angry! It only makes them angry…
Learn Warning Signs For Sickness
I mentioned above that newborns are prone to picking up an illness. It is because they are no longer protected in the womb, and their immune system has not had a chance to build up immunity from outside viruses/bacteria.
I suggest that you learn some of the warning signs of the real big illnesses that your newborn could pick up.
Sure, they will get the sick bug, they will pick up a cold, but it is the big hitters that you need to be aware of.
100% yes! It is something that every new Dad should do, as soon as possible. Simply remove your top and lay your newborn on your chest.
Do Babies Know Who Their Dad Is?
This is a difficult one to answer! We can only guess that a baby will know their Dad by the sounds of their voice. Once their hearing has developed in the womb, they will be listening to what is going on in the outside world. One of the most common noises they hear and Mom and Dad’s voice. It is likely to be very soothing to them during the early weeks!
How Can I Be A Good Father To My Newborn?
Care for your child, and show them much love and affection. Be a leader and a rock. Make decisions. Do not take yourself too seriously. Do not be a dictator. Treat everyone with respect. Your child must love you and respect you, not fear you.
If you have memorized these 10 newborn baby tips for Dads, then you are on the path the Fathering greatness!
I must warn you, it is just the start.
Most of what you learn now will not be needed in a few years when it is replaced with stuff you need to know for a toddler, then pre-teenager, then teenager!
Time moves very quickly when you are a parent, so my last advice is this:
Cherish the moments you share with your newborn. They are only this little once. Enjoy the moments when they cannot crawl, or walk. You know where they are, and you know they are not doing something dangerous! This moment does not last long.
Before I begin, if the baby is not born yet then NOW is a good time to start bonding! Fathers can begin bonding while he or she is still in the womb. Secondly, the sooner a dad holds his baby after being born, the greater the bond will be.
As I said above, dad has some serious competition in the form of Mother Nature. Mom’s have everything that a newborn needs when they are in the womb, and as soon as they are out of the womb.
Dad can step in at this stage and be present during feeds if breastfeeding, spending time with mom and baby when feeding is in progress.
The more that dad is present during feeding, the more the baby will look to dad as an important part of that particular process. Just ensure that you are not taking anything away from mom when you are doing this.
The key point is that you work together to ensure your baby builds a strong bond with dad and mom.
Maybe dad can take some of the night feedings? Just a thought!
Not only does it improve language development, but it also means the dad spends more time with baby and acts to strengthen the bond.
You can go one step further here and read a book that is ABOUT dad!
These books can be fun and interesting to read. Take a book called The Dinosaur That Pooped Daddy for example. This book has some awesome pictures and is very funny. When daddy reads this with a smile on his face, his baby will see happy dad and the bond will grow stronger!
Children love learning. Sure, they might not show it sometimes, but their brains are thirsty for knowledge.
Dad needs to be aware of this and needs to act on it.
Even as a baby, children love to learn. Respect quickly grows towards all the people they see as teachers, those who are the font of all knowledge.
Obviously, I am not talking about dad bonding with his baby by running through a few long calculations here! I am talking about simple things, like pointing at items and explaining what they are and what they are used for.
Babies are not going to be able to remember a lot of this, however, simply the act of teaching is enough to strengthen the bond, and will feed their inquisitive nature!
Outdoor time builds on the tip above about being a life-tutor. It also doubles up as some outdoor special time with your baby!
Spending time outside has some huge benefits for dad and baby. For a start, it opens up the world you the baby by allowing them to see things that they do not see indoors. Wildlife, shops, and nature.
Be a teacher outside the house where they will have so much information to take in. As the baby looks around at objects, dad can be pointing them out and giving them a name.
Secondly, fresh air will make the baby very tired, making it much easier to settle them later on in the day! Dads need to know these things if they want a little more sleep!
When babies are born, they look to their parents and notice similarities. The challenging thing here is that they are much smaller than you are.
By wearing similar clothes, you are matching yourself with them which will help to build a bond.
We all know that matching is a very common way to build rapport with someone, so why not use that to your advantage when dad is building a bond with his baby?
If dad has a favorite sports team, why not buy a matching sports kit? Does dad have a favorite band? Favorite car manufacturer or a favorite drinks brand perhaps? There are so many options out there, and each one of them will help to build a bond.
Be careful with this one because it can quickly turn into a habit where they will not able to fall asleep without someone there! I know this because it happened to me…
Babies nap. A lot. Napping is the perfect time for some skin to skin contact!
Before you lay your baby down in the crib, consider whether you have some spare time to let the baby nod off on your chest. There is nothing that builds a bond stronger that skin to skin contact! Use this time to your advantage.
Bath time is an awesome time for some dad and baby bonding!
Not only does dad get to spend some quality time with his baby, but there are also so many fun things to do during bath time that will entertain his baby until it is time to get out.
Being new to this world, a baby will love bath time because the feeling and movement of water cause sensory overload!
Spend some time pouring small amounts of water over their legs and watch the reaction. If it is good, carry on. If it is bad then it is probably best to stop and move on.
Squeezy toys, bubble machines, and books are great ways to entertain a baby during bath time, so use them to your advantage.
Attend Baby groups together
There are many baby groups that dad can take his baby to for some awesome bond-building time.
When my son was a baby, I took him to a Baby Yoga class. It meant that I was able to spend some good quality time with him, and the room was full of dads doing the same things!
I admit, my son did not really enjoy the Yoga class. In fact, he cried after 20 minutes and then we left. Maybe a Yoga class was not for him, but there are tons of other baby classes that dad can choose from.
A simple search in my area brings back a list of possible classes to attend:
Signing and Singing
Baby Massage Class
Baby Sensory Class
There are tons of options, so take a look in your local area!
Above are 9 awesome dad and baby bonding ideas that you have to try if dad is looking to build a strong and healthy bond!
There are so many reasons why it is good for dad to have a strong bond with his baby, and whilst I have covered a few already in this post, there are more benefits too, such as:
When you are speaking with Mom (see above) ask for some alone time with the Baby. Maybe you can take the Baby out for a walk, allowing Mom to have some relaxation time on her own?
Alone time is the perfect opportunity for a Dad to interact with a new Baby without the feeling of being judged. PS – you are probably not being judged!
All you need to do is take the Baby for a walk and talk to them about what they can see. Point things out and tell them what it is. This will strengthen your bond with the Baby because they will see you as a source of knowledge.
Take Advantage Of Alone Time With Baby
Alone time is fantastic. I mentioned above that it will strengthen the bond between Dad and Baby.
There is one problem though, and that is distractions.
I see it all the time when I am outside the house, and it is not just Dads who do it. Recently, I was in the local park with my Son and across the other side of the park was a Mom and her Daughter. Whilst her Daughter was playing, I witnessed the Mom with her head buried deep into her cell phone.
I did not think too much of it when I first saw because we do have a life outside of kids. Over the next hour, every time I looked over at the Mom she still had her eyes fixated on her cell phone.
I stood and wondered why.
Could it be that she is going through a tough time, and she was trying to resolve it over the phone? Could it be that she is responding to work messages because she is going through a busy period with work?
Ultimately, it does not matter why she was doing it. The time she has with her Daughter is precious, and she needs to take advantage.
When you have some alone time with your new Baby, actually be there with them. When you are on your death bed, I guarantee that you will not regret spending less time looking at your phone instead of interacting with your kids.
Whilst it is good to be able to discuss how you are feeling with those who are close to you, sometimes you will need to discuss your feelings with an impartial therapist.
Search locally for someone who specializes in helping postpartum depression and book yourself in for a few sessions. I have no doubt that the tips on this page will help you if you are feeling left out, but it is also good to talk.
Speaking with someone about feeling left out can kickstart the process of being more involved, which your new family will thank you for!
If you are a new Dad and you are feeling left out or useless, you will be pleased to know that you are not alone.
The feeling is very common, especially for Dads who are new to the game.
I cannot emphasize it enough, the more useful you are, the less you will feel left out.
Let’s have a rundown of the most common symptoms of the Daddy blues:
Feeling Down For No Reason
This is true for all forms of depression.
Sometimes in life, we go through periods when we feel down for no reason.
Whilst this is unlikely to be the sole symptom of depression, it should raise a red flag and prompt you to start looking at other areas of your life for clues, and other symptoms.
Being a new Dad is tough. Nature dictates that the Baby will gravitate towards Mom in the very early stages after being born. The reason is clear, the Baby needs food and Mom has a natural supply!
Because Mom has a natural supply of food for the Baby, the bond between Mother and Child is much clearer to see, especially in the early stages.
Nowadays, we have another option for feeding the Baby, which is by using formula.
But just as a Baby knows that he or she needs to cry to get attention, but they also have a natural awareness that Mom has the food supply, and that can lead to Dad feeling useless.
Before the birth of the Baby, Dad only had himself and Mom to worry about. Now he has a Baby to add to the pressure.
Being a new Dad can be very overwhelming, especially at first. Common questions will be asked of himself, and each one adding a little bit more pressure to an already waning person. Those questions include:
Am I good enough?
Will I mess it up?
How do you look after a Baby?
Mom is doing everything, how do I compete?
What if I lose my job?
Sure, these questions do not make sense to some, and others may dismiss them and just do their best. But if you are suffering from the Daddy blues, these questions will play on your mind until it is full of fear and trepidation.
That can lead to a withdrawal from the situation.
Do Not Want To Be Home
I mentioned above that the additional pressure may force a reaction whereby Dad does not want to be at home.
He will look for reasons not to go home and may throw himself into work, or out of work activities.
This reaction will only add to the pressure. If you are not at home much, Mom may begin to withdraw too, causing all kinds of stress for your family, including your new Baby.
This is a difficult one to identify because having a new Baby at home will lead to erratic sleeping patterns!
Watch out for insomnia, and watch out for the increased need to sleep more. These are both signs that something could be wrong.
If you are sleeping erratically, do not assume that you have the Daddy blues, but it is a red flag that should prompt you to investigate further.
What You Can Do About Daddy Blues
Speak To Your Family
If you have a concern that you or someone you know may be suffering from the Daddy blues, it is extremely important that you speak with your, or their family.
Not only is a problem shared a problem halved, but it also allows them to begin helping Dad out, and give him some TLC.
Speak To A Professional
Secondly, you must speak to a registered professional.
These people are trained to deal with situations such as these and have all the tools needed to overcome the Daddy blues.
I have said it before, us Men are not very good at asking for help, so help us to help ourselves.
I know it is easy for me to say, but the more engaged you are with the Baby in the early stages, the more you will feel part of their life.
It is easy to become pushed out after childbirth, but it is up to you to step up and begin interacting with your new Baby.
Being useful in the early stages of a Babies life is tough. I mentioned above that Nature dictates that the Baby gravitates towards Mom for obvious reasons.
It is your job to be useful to both Mom and Baby. When you have a purpose in life, it gives you direction.
Learn how to change the Baby
Learn how to feed the Baby
Suggest changes that will help Mom and the Baby
Get the shopping sorted
Put the Baby to sleep while Mom has a relaxing bath
Be useful and you will feel useful.
Being organized is one of the key ingredients to successfully bringing up a Child.
If you do not have routines for feeding times, bath times, or sleep times, then create them.
Speak to Mom to ensure she is cool with them once you have put them together.
Organize your work around the new Baby.
If you have a job where you are regularly away for meetings then try to avoid having too many nights away during the first 2 months of your Babies life.
Not only will it bring you closer to your new Baby, but it will also really help Mom out too!
You will find that the more organized your life is, the less stress you impose on yourself and those around you.
Organize Your Family
Similar to the above tip, when a new Baby arrives, it does not automatically mean that you will be living in chaos! Although sometimes it does feel like it!
Organize what you are doing as a family.
At the start of each day that you are at home, arrange for things to do during the day. Go for a walk, go to the local park, go and see family.
Finally, a new Dad can avoid drifting too far into the Baby blues by accepting that it is tough being a Dad. You will find that life is much easier when you accept the following to be true:
People will question you
You will question yourself
Finances are a concern for most people
You will be judged
You will make mistakes
BUT you WILL LEARN as you progress through the journey of being a Dad. You cannot expect to jump straight into Fatherhood knowing everything you need to know.
Daddy blues are common and can affect 1 in 10 new Dads.
It is up to you and those around you to identify the symptoms so you can work on getting better.
A stressed Dad will pass those feelings onto Mom and the new Baby, so it is vital that help is called when it is required.
If you are a new Dad and you think you may have the Daddy blues, speak to your family and a professional as soon as possible.
If you leave it, the symptoms will get worse and more difficult to come back from.
Do you know a Man that could be suffering from Daddy blues? The answer is the same as above, seek help as soon as possible.
I will leave you with one final comment. Although new Daddy blues can strike any new Dad, if you have prepared well for becoming a Father, then you are one step ahead of the game!
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. I put together these 10 top tips for a new Dad because I wish someone would have given 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…
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.
Also, always make sure the items are topped up. You do not want to run out at 2 am!
Prepare A Routine
Change, eat, sleep, repeat.
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.
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 Friend
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 tips for a new Dad.
Experience can teach you so much more, so why not learn from the experience of others around you.
If you do not work with a new Dad then think about any family members who have become a new parent recently. Tap them up for some advice, or even use them as a sounding board when you get stuck.
It is very important that you get equipped to be a new Dad.
Mentally, yes. Physically too though.
Throughout my time as a new Dad, I was helped by a few items. I will name a few items here that really helped me through the early stages:
I made a huge error when my Son was born. I did not get my Wife a push present!
Serious Husband points were lost with that decision!
Mom has just been through the terrible ordeal of childbirth, make her feel special. Think about the kind of things that she like, 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 new Dads!
Chill out, Man! You’ve got this.
Being a Dad is easy (mostly), all you need to do is learn the basics (see new Dad tip 3). Once you have those tips covered, you can do it.
Your new Baby is not going to like stressed Dad. Not. At. All. So, why don’t you be no stress Dad?
Being stressed is going to 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.
A new Dad needs 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 read them again.
I was once a new Dad, and now I am a slightly more experienced Dad. You never stop learning. The things you learn when they are a Baby is cool, but they are not going to help you when they are 3 years old. Well, some might be, but on 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.
There are some things that a new Dad wants, and then there are things that a new Dad NEEDS.
When I thought about this list, I thought about gift ideas that help him be a Dad, not help him survive.
Let’s take a look!
New Dad Must-Haves – The 7 Items
Getting a baby to sleep is also a challenge that new Dads need to master. For those nights where they just simply will not settle, those nights where everything you do is not working, let an awesome baby carrier take the strain.
Babies and toddlers love movement. It settles them and sends them to sleep.
A baby bag is a 100% must have! Whilst there are a ton of options for Moms, the baby bag options for Dad are lower. Personally, I did not really care what the baby bag looked like, I just saw it as a piece of functional equipment.
As long as it has separate compartments for everything you need when taking your baby out then that is all you need.
Take this dad’s baby bag as an example. It has multi pockets, functional, and pretty plain looking. Perfect for Dad! Boy, or Girl, Dad will not be worried about taking this out with him.
As an added bonus, he can use it even when he is not out with the new baby!
Portable Baby Changing Mat
If you are at home, out visiting friends/family, or you are just simply outside because fresh air is good for you, it is so much easier to change a baby if you have a changing mat.
I am not talking about a regular rectangle changing mat here, I am talking about a roll-up, easy to store, has everything you need changing mat.
Take this portable baby changing mat for example. It has a section for wipes, a section for diapers, and a section for the disposable bags that you need to use.
When my wife approached me about buying a portable changing mat, I was skeptical. Not because I do not like spending money, I just did not see any real benefit. After all, you can change your baby anywhere, right?
I was wrong.
The portable baby changing mat was one of the first items in the bag when I took my son out when he was a baby! It was extremely useful and without it, I would have struggled a number of times.
Baby Night Projector
As a new Dad, it is awesome to spend some time with your new child! It is also VERY awesome when they are settled, in bed, fast asleep.
See, I am a bit of a worrier and spent some time listening to my son sleep after he was born. Obviously, I couldn’t keep that up all night every night, so I needed some help.
I decided to get a top baby movement monitorto take the strain. It was amazing to know that if there were any issues with my son breathing during the night, I would be woken up so I can deal with it.
Obviously, Dad needs much more than this! Support, time, and a good deal of sleep, however, these 7 items are certainly my top new Dad must-haves!
These 7 items will definitely help the new Dad as he enters the world of parenting for the first time (or even if it is his 2nd, 3rd, or 4th time).
It is really important to ensure Dad has everything he needs for the first few months of the new baby’s life.
Although there are some items on this page that he has already taken care of, I am sure there are some items that he has not.
It is true that during the later stages of pregnancy, Mom can enter the ‘nesting stage’ which includes arranging and cleaning the house. It will also include ensuring the new baby has everything they need to enter the world.
While we are discussing these new Dad must-haves, it is worth pointing out that being a new Dad can take a toll on a person, as well as being a new Mom.
If you know someone who is just about to become a parent then the best thing you can do is keep an eye on them to ensure they are keeping it together under the extra stress.
A card is the first item that should be in a new Dad gift basket because if he is like me, he will keep this card because of the sentimental value it holds.
The type of card depends entirely on the type of person he is. Does he like to have a joke (who doesn’t!). Is he straight-laced?
Think about the type of person that Dad is and buy a card that reflects his personality.
If you have a photograph of the baby scan then why not stick that in his card too? It is the first of many photographs.
God yes, candy!
For a start, we need the sugar hit. After potential sleep deprivation (if the birth is anything like my sons) and knowing that he is heading straight into MORE sleep deprivation, sugar can be a friend.
What is his favorite candy?
It is such a simple present, but you know us Dads – we do love our candy…unless we are diabetic of course!
When you become a Dad, the bond between baby and Dad is immediate and sometimes overwhelming. Suddenly, you are responsible for a new person. It is your job to keep them safe, and you will do anything on this planet to protect them. All of that for someone you have literally just met!
This item is going to be the tearjerker in an already emotional time for Dad!
Before birth, write a letter to Dad from the baby letting him know how important and loved he is going to be when they enter the world. Not only will this strengthen the bond between Dad and baby, but it will also reduce the possibility of Dad feeling useless when the baby arrives.
Tell him what the baby is looking forward to doing with Dad, let him know that the baby is going to be testing his patience. Use this letter to apologize for keeping him awake, and for making him go to work too tired to even stand up straight. Tell him how much your baby already adores him and is looking forward to meeting him.
At the end of the letter, apologize for spending his money for the next 30 years too.
A letter from baby is one of the best (and free) items you can add to a new Dad gift basket!
Sometimes, when you are busy looking after a new baby, your eating habits descend into chaos, eating whatever you can whenever you can. This can lead to some poor eating choices. Where before you may have carefully considered what you are eating, you are now on the hunt for convenience food! This can impact the Dads intake of the important vitamins and minerals that he needs in order to function well.
A good multi-vitamin will keep him loaded with everything that he needs to function. Dad needs to keep healthy and alert, especially if he has already returned to work!
If Dad likes to have a drink to relax then why not treat him to a bottle of his favorite tipple.
Mine’s a JD please!
You have two options here, you could either buy him favorite alcoholic drink, or you could buy him a bottle of something that was bottled that year. That way, he can keep it for a special occasion, like graduation.
Personally, I pretty much stopped drinking when my son was born. All of a sudden I realized that I needed to remain active.
If Dad does not drink much alcohol, then buy a bottle of his favorite non-alcoholic drink. I would have happily settled for a few bottles of root beer in my new Dad gift basket!
Like a survival kit, a new Dad gift basket is a very welcoming sight when you return home after becoming a new Dad!
The 10 items on this page are awesome gifts for new Dads!
One of the most important things about becoming a Father is that your time is no longer your own. Having a newborn is very tiring for both parents, and time is a gift that we can give for free.
Think about what you can do to help the parents of a newborn settle into a new life as parents. Really think about what you can do for them that will help.
Finally, look out for both new parents in the early stages. As I said above it can be tough, but it can be too tough for some. If you think that Mom or Dad is finding the task of being new parents too tough then do not feel bad about discussing it with them, and helping them to seek guidance and assistance.
Oh, and do not forget the basket to put the perfect gifts in!
We don’t need an instruction manual, we know it already, right?
Here is an exercise for you, close your eyes and go really deep for a minute or two. Get right down and open up that box of feelings that we keep slammed shut (just me?).
Inside, you might find something that gives you the sweats.
The kind of feeling that you get when your partner opens up the internet history on your computer
Did I delete it all?
That feeling is trepidation because you are going to be a first time Dad. I got it, all my friends got it, and you have probably got it too.
It is natural to be nervous about something this big that you haven’t done before, just chill Man!
The key to being cool about this whole ‘I am going to be a new Dad‘ vibe is preparation. That word is in at least 80% of my posts. You can prepare by asking, or by picking up one of the best books for first-time Dads.
Do not look at it like it is an instruction manual.
They will not simply tell you how to change a baby and what to do when they cry (and Mom isn’t available). These books will also prepare you for some of the other stuff (like being an awesome birthing partner). Stuff you might go through during the birth, and long afterward.
Best Books For First Time Dads
Let’s take a look at some of the best books available. These are in the order that I recommend them.
We’re Pregnant! the First Time Dads Pregnancy Handbook is well written by Adrian Kulp, who is vastly experienced in the art of being a dad.
This witty book will give you everything you need as a first-time dad without any sexist undertones. It is one of the best pregnancy books for dads!
That is extremely important when it comes to writing about this topic for Men. We are not all beer drinking, knuckle-dragging imbeciles who shy away from getting hands-on when it comes to bringing up a child. We’re Pregnant! the First Time Dads Pregnancy Handbook will simply give you the information you need and will let you get on and deal with it.
By far the best bit about We’re Pregnant! the First Time Dads Pregnancy Handbook is the way it is broken down into chunks.
Each section will give you knowledge about what to expect and will also give you some useful tasks for you to complete. Top marks!
The Pocket Commando Dad book is only one part of a range of books written by author Neil Sinclair. All of which are excellent books for new Dads.
You can probably tell the tone of the book by the title and the picture on the front of the book! You guess it, this is a no-nonsense guide to being a new Dad, written in a military-style.
Some new Dad books can be a little flowery, they can take a little while to get to the point.
Not Pocket Commando Dad: Advice for New Recruits to Fatherhood: From Birth to 12 months, no sir!
This book will hit you like a 2-week boot camp with a commando.
I have Pocket Commando Dad: Advice for New Recruits to Fatherhood: From Birth to 12 months and found it to be very engaging, witty, and full to the brim with useful information. Information that will help you through the first year as a new Dad.
When you are going to be a first time Dad and you are looking for advice, a pediatrician is your perfect guide! The Baby Owners Manual: Operating Instructions is written by Louis Borgenicht, and Assistant Professor of Pediatrician.
You may think that a Pediatrician is going to fill a book with complex, medical words with little or no engagement for people who do not understand it. If you do, you cannot be more wrong.
The Baby Owners Manual: Operating Instructions book is laid out just like an owner manual for a car.
Yes, it may be assuming that the only thing Men can understand is a car manual but it IS VERY easy to read. Packed with useful diagrams that you can easily reach out to when you need them. Great first-time dad book!
The Baby Owners Manual: Operating Instructions just has the information that you need, there is no back story, there is no self-praise, just a simple, easy to understand baby manual.
Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads looks like an old School book published in the 1970s, but it genuinely isn’t! In fact, it was first published in 2004.
The delivery style is good! In fact, there are a few laughs in there, which kept me entertained when reading (If I don’t laugh, I book the book down)
Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for new Dads is another no-nonsense book that covers many topics. Although it does not go into a great deal of detail, it does cover what you need to know about being a new Dad.
Becoming a Father for the first time is a daunting task! The biggest problem is the pressure you put on yourself to be a ‘perfect’ Dad and the pressure you (and other people) put on yourself to not mess things up…
The good news is, it isn’t that difficult. Especially when you fully prepared!
Now is the time to begin preparations, and this post will give you some tips for becoming a Dad for the first time, from the horse’s mouth!
Being a Father for the first time can be scary……
From the very moment you find out you are going to be a Dad, the concern hits you. Especially as you usually find out within the first trimester, which is the most important time of pregnancy.
It is the most important time because, during the first trimester, the foundations are built for the child to grow in the womb. Like building a house, if the foundations are not set correctly, the house will not be built.
After the first 12 weeks, you can relax a little. Not much, only a little.
During the remainder of the pregnancy, you may be feeling overwhelmed by what is about to happen. You may begin to feel a bit nervous about being a Dad. Questions like:
Will I be good enough?
How will I know what to do?
What if something goes wrong, how am I going to cope?
The truth is, you don’t know. You can only assume one way or the other.
As is true for everything in life, if you are prepared, you stand a much better chance of increasing your confidence by preparing correctly, and by preparing well in advance! Preparing means learning and applying your knowledge by practicing what you have learned.
How can I prepare for being a father for the first time?
This is where I can help! I have put together 10 tips that will help you prepare for being a first time Dad. I have been there, and I have learned some vital tips that I am now passing onto you. Sure, I learned some of them AFTER the event, but learning is still learning!
These tips work in well with the new Dad survival kit post, so make sure you read that so you can be fully prepared!
1. Chill Out, Dad!
First things first, just chill out!
Worrying is like running on a treadmill, it wears you out but you don’t actually get anywhere. Ok, so running on a treadmill will improve your fitness (you will need it!), but you don’t ACTUALLY get anywhere….physically…hopefully you know what I mean!
Take some time to chill out, both you and your partner will work better together if you are chilled.
Do not worry about being a bad Dad, because you have time to prepare. The truth is, you are not going to be a bad Dad, not once you learn and practice.
When you have spare time (lucky you!) take some time to simply lay down and do nothing. Have your favorite music playing in the background, and do nothing.
When thoughts of work, or thoughts of becoming a Dad for the first time enter your mind, just acknowledge them and move on.
2. Prepare for the hospital run
The hospital run is hurtling towards you like a steam train. Know where you are going, and make sure you have both bags ready, one Dad hospital bag, and one for Mom.
When you have moved up the DEFCON levels and it is time for you to leave for the hospital, it will give your partner tremendous confidence knowing that you have everything in hand. You are the Man, step up and take responsibility for preparations.
Take some time to learn the hospital run. Use some free time (if you have any) to go out in the car and learn a few other ways to get to the hospital. Prepare for the event that there might be a road closure just when you REALLY need it to be open.
If you have to break out the sat-nav when your partner is 8cm dilated, you might never hear the end of it! That kind of thing stays with you!
3. Get your baby stuff organized, ready for the arrival
Easier said than done, I get that.
The key to improving your confidence in yourself, and to improve the confidence that others have in you in to get stuff ready before you need it, I can’t emphasize that enough!
Here is a checklist:
Moms hospital bag
Dads hospital bag
Car seat in the car
Sleeping quarters set up for the baby
Baby clothes organized
Baby monitor set up
Cleaning equipment topped up (you will need this on hand)
Toiletries topped up (for everyone)
Baby first aid kit
While you are at it, always make sure the house is in a good state before you leave to go anywhere. Make sure it is clean and ready for the arrival at any moment. Never let the clothes pile up for washing, get on it, it is your job too.
4. Attend a baby first aid course
Attending a baby first aid course gave me tremendous confidence that I knew what to do in the event of an emergency.
What do you do if they are choking? What do you do if a baby stops breathing (I HIGHLY recommend a breathing monitor by the way)? If they are in an accident and there is a head injury, what do you do?
If you do not know the answers to the above questions, get on a baby first aid course. When you are about to become a Dad for the first time, attending a first aid course will increase your own confidence and the confidence that others have in you.
5. Attend a birthing class
When you finally arrive at the hospital and the birth is imminent, you might find yourself standing in a room where Mom is in pain and the clinical teams are moving around you like a swarm of wasps.
That preparation resulted in me strutting into the birthing unit like a Don. Chill out, I got this. Even when I was left alone with my wife and she was in the final stages of labor, I stepped up and took charge….before she was whipped away to the theatre (nothing to do with my lack of ability whilst in charge I must add!)
6. Develop a Routine
When you get your kid home for the first time, it can be a bit manic. BUT, not if you have prepped correctly (see tip 3).
One of the most important things is that you have a routine. You and your partner agree on the routine and implement it, take the reigns.
Sleeping arrangements? Who does what feed? Who sleeps, and when. How about the bedtime routine? Bathing? Get it done, implement a routine. You will thank me for it.
7. Support Your Partner
This is a very big tip and one that cannot be ignored.
Let’s face it, your mental toughness is going to be tested, both during the pregnancy, during the childbirth, and after the childbirth. Actually, for the rest of your life!
BUT, you are not going to be in as much physical pain as your partner. AND you haven’t got hormones dictating every mood. Seriously, these bad boys will load up at the drop of a hat, and crash in an instant, leaving your partner flicking between moods, and between being tired, and wide awake.
The important thing is that you are there for your partner. What does that mean? I will reiterate; be prepared, take charge of the little things, take charge of the big things.
Increase confidence that you know what you are doing. That will give your partner confidence that they can leave the baby with you while they sleep. Your partner will need to see you as a partner and not a burden. Be useful, be a Dad!
8. Capture Everything
When you look back to becoming a Father for the first time, you will want pictures and videos of the whole experience.
During childbirth, I received a few short responses for wanting to capture the moment. Instead of doing it anyway, I respected the wishes of my wife and only took pictures when she wasn’t looking!
The annoying thing is, after a few months, my wife wished there were more pictures of the whole experience. We more than made up for it when my son was born.
Make sure you have the ability to take pictures and record videos of the build-up, the childbirth and the first moments that you both become parents for the first time. This really is very important.
You can set expectations right at the very beginning by agreeing that you will be recording the memories, even if you are not keen on the idea at the time.
You need to be fully prepped and ready to rock and roll at the drop of a hat. Make sure you are ready…..
At this point, you should already have the hospital bags ready, but there are some things you might be missing.
Have you arranged your work around your leave? Do you have any important meetings close to the big day? Now is a good time to move them forward if you can. How about visitors after the birth, have you spoken to friends and family to arrange it? Make sure you clear it with your partner first!
Ultimately, if you have prepped this far, the last few weeks is going to be a simple of case waiting around for it to happen. You should be at the stage where you can grab the car keys and go.
Actually, that brings me onto another word that you will need more of in the whole ‘becoming a Father for the first time’ experience, and that is PATIENCE!
Patience is a virtue, so they say. It is a virtue that you will need in abundance too.
10. Learn to relax
Learning to relax is a key life skill that is never more important than when you are due to become a father for the first time!
Relaxing before the birth will reflect onto those around you, who are like to be concerned about the childbirth, and what they are about to go through.
Relaxing during birth will give your partner confidence that everything is fine. It is like being in a plane through turbulence, take a look at the stewards/stewardesses, are they worried? Nope….then everything is cool. It is the same thing during childbirth. Be careful though, this could backfire if you look too relaxed, it is a fine line!
Relaxing when you are back home is important because you are now a brand new first time Dad, and you need to chill out so your new baby does not pick up on your anxiety!
When you are becoming a Father for the first time, you can alleviate the concern and reduce the tension by preparing correctly and following the tips above!
I keep mentioning it, but preparation REALLY IS key to being a good Dad and being a good partner.
As they say:
Failing to prepare is like preparing to fail.
Be the Don and get stuff organized. People will respect you for it, and you will respect yourself. Confidence in yourself will increase and confidence that other people have in you will increase.
Respond to your trepidation swiftly and accurately, and you cannot fail!
If you are becoming a Dad for the first time, I wish you good luck and good health to you, your partner, and your new Baby!
He doesn’t know what is about to hit him. But it will hit him, like a steam train of noise, emotions, and cost.
He needs a gift, big time. With that in mind, in this post, I am going to take a look at 10 awesome expectant Father gifts!
I’ve been there before, the expectant Father. And although I was pretty cool and laid back about the whole thing (sure), I still wanted to be showered with gifts.
I am only human!
Gifts Ideas For An Expectant Father
Expectant Father = Stressful Times
You have to look at the situation they are in, and then find gifts that will help him out.
I have already covered a few gifts in the new Dad survival kit. The gift ideas in that post and more for AFTER the birth. This is specifically for a Man, who is just about to be promoted from being a Man to being a Father!
What is an expectant Father going to need?
Before you say it, time machines do not exist. Nor do buttons that when you press them, time is paused and you can go to sleep for hours without affecting ‘normal’ time. I know it sucks, but I am dealing with reality here. A harsh reality.
What has an expectant Father got to deal with?
Emotional Wife? False alarms? Shopping for baby stuff? Worry?
When you are buying a gift for a soon-to-be Father, you need to bear the above in mind. Having been there, done that…I believe I am in the best position to pass on some advice!
Let’s crack on with the list…..here are the 10 items that I would love to receive when I was an expectant Dad!
10 Awesome Expectant Father Gifts
1. Learning Material
Make sure he gets some reading in before the big day!
The only time I love shopping is when I am buying something for myself. Selfish, I know!
Even then, I know what I want and I know where to go to get it. I’m in the shop, I pick it up, I pay for it, I leave the shop. It is too easy.
When shopping for baby things, none of the above applies.
You kind of know what you want, you kind of know where to get it. When you get there, there are too many options. Not only that, the marketing material is designed to pull at the heartstrings! You’ve lost the battle before you get in the car.
Give him a hand and get him some vouchers. Pick a store where you can buy items for babies and get some vouchers.
At least then he knows where he is going and he knows that he has to spend them in that shop.
Even online, check out stores that sell equipment for babies (strollers, monitors, thermometers, etc) and get him some vouchers for that. Then he will not have to spend days looking around baby shops AND he can buy what he needs from home!
3. A Neck Pillow
During the childbirth, I spent around 15 minutes asleep on a hospital chair. It was not the most comfortable, or the most refreshing sleep that I have ever had!
It was uncomfortable, it was too short….and all I could hear was my Wife dragging away on the Nitrous Oxide!
After the childbirth, my wife and son spent 8 days in the hospital. I spent my nights swapping between the chair and the cold, hard floor.
Not only for the birth itself but afterward, when we were back at home. When you have a newborn baby, you will need to get some sleep when and where you can. A neck pillow will be the reason why he wakes up without a sore neck!
Yeh OK, it may sound strange but trust a Dad!
He will need to be stocking up on medication for home when the new baby is here.
Lack of sleep and a little additional stress might result in a few more headaches for him. The next 2 years of his life will also be full of colds/sick bugs, you name it!
The type of medication I am talking about here is regular, over the counter painkillers. The type that you take if you have a headache or the flu, not the strong stuff that can be addictive!
Keep him topped up with essential vitamins, because having a newborn baby can result in erratic eating patterns and even skipping a meal!
It is really important to keep him functioning and keep him healthy because now he has a baby to bring up!
By giving him a long supply of multi-vitamins, he will not be missing out of his daily dosage of important vitamins, like:
It greets me in the AM with a fresh coffee and keeps me topped up until I leave for work.
I am a bit of a coffee snob and ensure I prep only fresh coffee….that includes grinding the coffee beans right before it brews!
All he needs is a basic coffee maker! One that can take ground coffee beans, take the water and brew enough to last him the morning.
If he is a coffee snob like me, then you might want to get him a Bialetti Stovetop Espresso Maker. It is cheaper than the machine options, and it is the correct way to make a decent coffee….when you have time!
8. Baby Carrier FOR DAD
We are Men! I find that regular Baby carriers are ok, but they are not that manly.
We love spending time with the kids, even when they are babies….they need to feel close to us too.
Kids need to have a close bond with their Dad.
So many times I have heard Mothers complaining that their baby ‘only wants me, not their Dad’ and I personally think that bonding with the baby when they are small will mean the load can be shared between both parents.
Having a baby carrier that Dad likeswill mean he doesn’t feel emasculated, and it means his partner can take a break while they go for a walk together.
9. Alcohol Bottled This Year
A bottle of something alcoholic!
If you are able to get a bottle of his favorite alcohol, bottled the year his child will be born, he can keep that for a special occasion (marriage, graduation).
Bear in mind, some alcohol will not keep for that long, but the best ones do!
Find out what his favorite alcohol is (spirits or Champagne works best for this) and get him a bottle.
10. Man Bag
Again, like the baby carrier, it will be cool if we could get a baby bag that doesn’t make us want to leave it at home….the bag, not the baby!
Seriously, I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to take a changing pad wherever you go with the baby. You never know when they are going to spring am emergency change on you!
If you can get a baby bag with changing pad, then it is a perfect choice and one that he will be grateful for, even if he doesn’t know it yet!
So, there are the 10 gift ideas for the expectant Father! There are some options in there that suit all budgets.
I urge you again to think of the situation he is just about to find himself in and think about what you can buy to help him out as soon as he becomes a Dad.
He may not know it yet, but the gift ideas above will definitely help him in his journey.
By the way, I am not suggesting here that he has the most difficult job in the parental partnership! We know that giving birth is easily the worst bit, and we certainly appreciate the fact that it isn’t us that has to do it!
During my time as an expectant Father, I had a vague idea of what to expect from being a Dad, but nothing can really prepare you 100% for when it happens.
It is a journey and a learning curve that only experience will give you the answers for.
I am sure you will find some inspiration on this list, but if you are still stuck, you can always ask him what he needs.
I am sure he can whip up a quick list of a hundred things he needs to buy!
As I write this, I have averaged 4.8 hours of sleep per night throughout the last 6 days. I’ve had a lot of time to work that out. The reason for my disturbed sleeping pattern is my Son has had the Flu, with all of the classic symptoms!
It was at 3 am this very morning when I thought ‘I know what has come in very handy during this illness, a digital thermometer‘.
Hence, this post was born! Here I give you details of the best digital ear thermometer. I should know, I have owned enough of them!
How Does A Digital Ear Thermometer Work?
You stick it in their ear, press the button and it tells you what their temperature is, right? Yes…but if you want to get more technical, read on!
All temperatures above absolute zero emit thermal radiation, we can’t see this.
Digital ear thermometers use thermopile, which is a device that measures the thermal energy and converts it into electrical energy. Ear thermometers read that electrical energy and convert it to a predetermined temperature value, based on the thermal reading.
So it basically uses infrared to measure the thermal radiation and converts is to show the temperature value.
It must be comfortable – It never wakes my Son up!
More expensive than other options
Sometimes, I can’t find it and I have to settle for another.
Top of the charts for the best digital ear thermometer is the Braun Thermoscan 7 and was the 3rd ear thermometer I purchased after I lost the first 2!
Out of the 5 I have owned since becoming a Dad, this is by far the best digital ear thermometer!
Without a doubt.
The temperature readings are very consistent and it is so easy to use. Sometimes, when I take my Sons temperature I immediately forget what I have just read! When you are reading the temperature of a sleeping child, you don’t really want to be doing it twice. Even though it is a very comfortable thermometer, there is still a danger of them waking up. For that reason, I am thankful that it stores the last 9 readings!
It is the most expensive out of the 5 digital ear thermometers I have owned, but it is well worth it.
If I need to take a temperature, I will look around the house for a thermometer. If I find this one first, I stop looking. If I find another one first, I might carry on looking for the Braun.
I hate looking for things so that in itself is probably the biggest endorsement I can give it!
Must use the forehead function for kids less than 3 months old
I ordered this digital ear thermometer recently, as a replacement for the first 4 that are still lost in a house covered by toys.
After taking the baseline temperature (you need to do this for all new thermometers), I found the reading to be very accurate.
There are some drawbacks with this digital ear thermometer, the first being the inability to use the ear function for kids under 3 years old. It isn’t so much of a problem for me at the moment, but it is worth bearing in mind. You can use the forehead function but I tend to find that reports very slight differences every time, so use with caution.
For the price though, this thermometer is a fantastic option and I will not hesitate to buy another when I lose this one!
Why Does Your Temperature go Up When You Are Sick?
When you have the flu or an infection, it is either caused by a virus or a bacterial infection. In both instances, your body will initiate an attack on the virus. This can make your kid irritable, and argumentative…..like they need a reason!
Let’s take the flu. It is caused by the Flu virus. To combat this virus, your body will react by:
1. Blocking Up Your Airway
It does this to stop other viruses and bacteria from getting into your body. With a blocked nose, your body is protecting itself against a further attack while it deals with the Flu virus.
2. Raising Your Core Temperature
Your body will raise its core temperature in a bid to kill off the virus. This is where you will need to keep an eye on the temperature because if a body gets too hot, it could begin shutting down important organs in your body!
You can treat a high temperature with certain over-the-counter drugs but be wary, a body is trying to kill the virus/bacteria by raising core temperature. If you treat a high temperature to try and bring it down, you are working against the body! Sometimes, the high temperature will need to be treated. If you are unsure what to do, please speak to a professional (Nurse/Doctor).
Your body will increase the size of the infected area, in another attempt to ensure it blocks off any further infections entering the body.
It is very important to take a baseline reading when you first buy a digital ear temperature. Take a few readings when your kid is not ill and make a mental note. When you have your baseline, you will be able to know if the temperature has gone up or down too much.
I have used quite a few digital ear thermometers in my time as a Dad. Mostly because my wife and I are not that great at putting things back where they belong!
Also, when my Son was old enough to pick things up, play with them and when finished, put it in the deepest, darkest part of a room we never go in, never to be seen again.
Time to buy another digital ear thermometer…and this time, we will put it back where it belongs.
Do you use a digital ear thermometer? Have you use the Braun Thermoscan 7 and have had a good or bad experience? Leave a comment below!
Every hospital bag MUST have Chocolate or candy in. The sugar is your friend! Unless you are diabetic of course.
You will pay a small fortune in the snack machines if you are at the hospital for 3 days with limited sleep!
Other good food options for your hospital bag are Protein Bars, water and some gel recovery sachets. These are fantastic for a quick energy boost.
3. Change Of Clothes
For me, I needed 3 lots of clothing to change into! For some Dads, you won’t even need another pair of underpants…
You never know how long you will be in the hospital for, and it is best to be prepared.
Unless you live pretty close to the hospital, you are going to want to take at least 2 days’ worth of clothes with you.
Some births take a while, some are quick. Some births, although they are quick, maybe difficult and your baby and/or partners needs to stay in the hospital for a few days after childbirth.
That is a good time for you to disappear to get more clothing….and to get a good night’s sleep!
I mentioned above, I needed 3 days worth. That was just for the ACTUAL birth. They both had to stay back for 8 days before being released.
Luckily, as I lived only a few miles from the hospital, I was able to go and get some rest and a change of clothing, knowing I wasn’t going to miss the birth.
4. Swimming Gear – For a Pool Birth
If you are going for a water birth, you will need clothing for it!
Stepping into the birthing pool in your underwear is frowned upon.
While we are with swimming gear, how much do you want to see? Is it worth taking a pair of goggles or a full-on face mask so you can see whatever you need to?
Leave the snorkel, flippers, and wet-suit at home though, that is taking it a bit too far!
5. Painkillers For You
Why do people pay a lot for painkillers? You have branded pain relief and non-branded pain relief.
IT IS THE SAME INGREDIENT!
On the first day of my wife’s childbirth session, I was hit with a heavy cold, the symptoms were; a sore throat, blocked nose, headache.
I needed some pain relief….and they wouldn’t give me an epidural for my head, despite my begging for one!
I took a stroll to the shop – what was the only option? Branded tablets, awesome. Not only that, the mark up was even higher than the supermarkets. Even still, I needed them, so I bought them.
It isn’t a great deal of money, but you can still save some cash by packing some in your hospital bag. That way, you can keep the change for the snack machine!
If your house is anything like mine, there will be at least 4 cables in each room, including the toilet….and at least 2 plugs!
If you do not have any spare, then order some more in preparation. Here are the two most common cables:
USB-C – For newer phones, such as Google Pixel 3 and the latest Samsung phones. iPhone/iPad – For iPhones and iPads, obviously! Micro USB – The generic cable for most Android phones/tablets.
What is the difference between Micro USB and USB-C? Well, if you can only fit the cable in one way, then you have a Micro USB. If you can turn the end of the cable over and it still goes in, that is a USB-C.
In the build-up to the big day, slip a couple of cables and a couple of charging plugs into your hospital bag. While you are at it, slip a couple into your partner’s hospital bag too!
What about other chargers? Do you have a smartwatch? Are you taking a laptop? Do you need a charger for your camera?
Make a checklist for chargers and make sure you have one of each in the bag before the waters break and you need to rush off quickly.
Do not rely on having ANY time to prepare on the day.
Although most mobile phones and tablets have excellent cameras, you may like me, have an entry-level DSLR prepped, ready to record any special (or funny) moments in better quality.
Make sure it is packed, and make sure you have packed enough memory cards and spare batteries (including chargers!) too.
If I were to find myself with the need to prepare a hospital bag again, I would take my laptop with me, along with my DSLR. Why? Because I would like to be able to back the photos up, or maybe edit them on the fly so I can send them off to family members!
You might not have a lot of time when you get home, so take advantage of any downtime you have in the hospital.
8. Neck Support
This is totally for comfort! The 15 minutes sleep I got during childbirth was on a hard leather seat. I had nothing to support my neck!
Thinking back, it was lucky that I only managed 15 minutes of sleep! Any more than that and I may have woken up with a sore neck….take one of these support pillows with you, they are small and cheap.
You could go full-on and take a blanket with you too, but I just stole one from my wife’s bed, she had plenty.
When I say money, I am talking about change more than notes. You may need change for the:
When you are hungry, and you have run out of the food you already packed, the options are the restaurant or the snack machine.
A snack machine is going to be closer, and you don’t want to miss out on any of the action!
Car parks can be a spare change draining machine. Seriously, if you spend long enough at the hospital, the money will be hemorrhaging out of your pocket!
Make sure you have enough change, or better still, invest in a day ticket if your hospital does them. Then you will have more change for the snack machine!
10. A Present
I made a HUGE error when my Son was born.
This is something I SHOULD have put in my Dad hospital survival kit FIRST!
I never bought my wife a gift – called a Push Present – for when the baby arrived!
Worst. Husband. Ever.
To make matters worse, I suggested my Son was enough of a present, why should she need anything else?
Looking back on it now, and as I remember her laying on the bed, looking like she has gone through 12 rounds with Mike Tyson, followed by a 6-year stint in World War 3 (on the front line), I maybe……possibly…….potentially should have bought her a push present.
I truly hope my wife isn’t reading this.
I was very tempted to write an article on the best push present gifts to buy a new mother, but she would actually castrate me.
So I thought I would sneak it onto the back of these tips, in the hope she will never read this far down the page.
You have headphones….it is the first in this list….now you need something to plug them into.
In reality, this is probably the first thing you think of putting into a hospital bag for Men! Just…..because we are Men!
Your phone is likely to be in your pocket, so there is no need to put that in the bag, but you will need to put your tablet in there!
If you do not already have a tablet, I thoroughly recommend you buy one! Not only will it be extremely useful at the hospital, where you can both relax and watch a movie (if you have time), it is the perfect time to buy a tablet.
Let me explain:
Buy a tabletfor the hospital bag, then in 1 1/2 to 2 years, you will want another one….how do you convince your partner that you need another tablet? Simple….you give this tabletto your Son or Daughter!
They will absolutely love it.
When you eventually give your Toddler the tablet, make sure their time is limited on it. Although it is a very good tool to teach your kids technology, counting, reading and conversational skills (It is amazing what they pick up from YouTube!), they need to be spending more time with manual toys, like building bricks. Toys that are going to use their imagination.
Anyway, I digress…..put a tablet in your hospital bag!
Your child’s first impressions of this world are very important. Once they get past the look of the midwife, he might get passed over to dear old Dad!
You don’t want their first smells of this world to be from your armpits, sir!
Be clean and fresh! Make sure you load your bag up with the essentials:
So there you have it, those are the 12 things I would add to a Dad hospital survival kit.
I have been through it, and I know the kind of things you need to keep you entertained, relaxed and maintained throughout the birth, as your partner screams in agony.
I’ll say it again, it is very important to remember number 10 on this list! It scores you some serious relationship points!
Can you think of anything else that should be in this bag? Did you take something that really helped you out during childbirth? If so, then please contact us, or leave a reply below and we may even add it in!
We need a new Dad survival kit! But what do we actuallywantin it? What will make our lives easier, now that we are a responsible, good-looking, extremely humorous Dad?
C’mon, it can’t be just me!
As a New Parent, What Do We Want In Our Survival Kit?
I wanted to create a post that explains the best things we would LIKE to see in a new Dad survival kit.
Straight from the horses mouth, so to speak.
Because it is all well and good receiving gifts (thanks by the way) but we actually like to be able to use them too.
By the way, the list below doesn’t have to be the complete kit….but it is a good list to give you some ideas of what to put in the kit. Don’t go spending all of your hard-earned cash on every item in this list.
Unless you are rich, then go ahead!
New Dad Survival Kit – My Top 10 Items
The rumor is that you don’t get a lot of time when your baby is fresh into this world.
It’s a lie!
To some extent at least.
The truth is, when they are older, you look back on the time when they were a new-born baby and wish you could go back because you had more time!
Trust me, when your kids begin crawling, you are on your feet a lot more than you were when they are a baby….and that is only warming you up for when they start walking…..then running!
When your baby is sleeping, it is the perfecttime to get onto Netflix, Amazon or any of the other streaming subscription services.
Our heads start to spin a bit with everything going on in the early stages of parenthood. We need to kick our feet up and unwind by escaping reality for a few short hours!
On the plus side, the whole family can enjoy it!
We genuinely do love this as a gift. A photo framewith a picture of our kid in is not just something that Mothers think is cute.
At work, I have a picture of my son on my desk (The picture was taken when he didn’t answer me back). It to relieve the stress at work. Looking at the picturewill give Dad some added focus on what they are trying to achieve.
I was trying to achieve a stable, safe and warm environment for my son to grow up in.
This is now the reason I work, and I look at the photograph every time I need to be reminded.
Ah man, you have got to put some coffee in it!
If he does not like coffee, fine, move along. But if like me, he does, then put some in.
Trust me, he will love this book! It gives practical and funny advice!
Pocket Commando Dadis a book that is not only highly rated by me, but it is also highly rated on Amazon. Neil Sinclair (The Author) presents this book in a no-nonsense, you need to read this to survive a newborn kind of way.
Extremely well written for the Dads and Dads to be out there!
It is also a great read for both parents, but it is his present….so let him read it first.
New Dad Utility Belt – Batman!
All the top people wear a utility belt! Look at Batman…
These are pretty funny, very useful, and I wish I had one of these when my son was a baby!
They are baby utility belts, that have spaces for everythingyou will need for those stinky tasks that form part of a parents job!
As soon as he is called upon to take on one of these thankless tasks, he will grab his belt and rush off like the regular superhero he is.
So what can you do to give the immune system a boost?Multi-vitamins is the answer!
Tiredness during the day can dumb you down and force you into making silly mistakes too. Vitamin B12 can perk you up and increase awareness when you didn’t get enough sleep the night before!
With a multi-vitamin, you can be sure that despite your lack of sleep, and despite your erratic eating patterns (welcome to parenthood!) you will be getting the daily dose of what your body needs, in terms of vitamins.
Dad’s will need these! So will Moms.
Berocca is very good for a quick boost, so throw some of these in for some extra Dad energy.
Give him some light at the end of a long and lonely tunnel!
At the very least, a packet of condoms is awesome for mocking him…
Sure, you won’t be ready as soon as you come out of the hospital, we know that. Tiredness will kick in with both of us and neither of us will have the energy.
As long as some magic happens before the use-by date passes!
……and hey, it also protects us both from another round of childbirth!
PS – don’t get too many, you don’t want to set unrealistic expectations. A friend of mine once said to me, after becoming a Dad:
‘When you first get together with a girl, put a coin in a jar every time you have sex. When you become a new Dad, take a coin out every time you have sex. You will soon realise that the jar will never be empty.’
Time is very, very precious!
If you could package up some free time and add it to our Daddy to be survival kit, that would be awesome!
You might be getting enough sleep, you might be getting your daily dose of vitamins but NOTHING helps me reset than having time to myself.
I know that the Moms will also want time do to their own thing too, before you bring that up!
Why not print off some ‘Time Promises’ and put them in a new Dad survival kit. It’s a cheap present and probably one of the most effective too!
Get a bit of A4 paper and print, or write, 1-hour slots marked as ‘Dad’s Time’. Cut them out and put them in the gift box.
Dad gets to call on these promises whenever he needs to, within reason! i.e. not just after he notices the kid needs a change!
While you are at it, do the same for the Mother! Then she can also call upon these cards in times of need.
The rules are simple – when these ‘time promises’ are called upon, they are onlyto be disturbed in an emergency.
Dad’s – if you use these to go and have a drink, you need to use the rest to get over a hangover. Do not blow them all in one go!
Bag for ‘New Dad Stuff’
This one is a bit more expensive than the rest but it is still a great idea! So if you have loads of cash, maybe you could put ALL his gifts in an awesome diaper backpack!
Because we really do not want to be walking around with the one you have bought. I know you think it looks cute, but it really isn’t that functional.
Something like this backpack is perfect for everything we need to take the little one out and about.
You don’t have to go overboard, and it doesn’t have to look pretty. Basic man colors are fine. Black, Grey and Dark Blue.
No flowers. I don’t care if it is a girl, just no.
So there you have it. 10 items that I consider to be VITAL in a new Dad survival kit.
All you need to do now is package it all up and give it to him with a smile, that would be awesome!
Don’t forget, one of the biggest gifts you can give a new Dad is absolutely free! Support.
New Dads need support too, although the best of us make it look like we are taking it in our stride. Sometimes we need a bit of advice and for someone to go easy if we mess up, which we are sure to do once in a while.
Hey, we are only human, right?
Like I mentioned above, it genuinely is fantastic to receive a gift as a new Dad. Sometimes, we are missed out because all the attention is on others. Probably rightly so!
I know, lets get a violin out for poor old Dad!
Don’t get me wrong, it does not bother us to be missed out (it didn’t bother me at least) but when you get unexpected recognition, by way of a survival kit, that’s pretty special!
After all, it is called a survival kit because it is something we need to help us survive…..