Dad…are you feeling left out or maybe even totally useless?
With Mother Nature to contend with, you are up against it!
Luckily, I have some tips to stop dad from feeling left out with his new baby.
Mom gives birth to the baby, and the baby is naturally drawn to mom as the main source of nourishment.
It is Mother Nature at her finest!
Us dads are up against it, and because of the reasons above, it is easy to see why dads may feel left out or even completely useless during the early stages of the baby’s life. Even if you were totally ready for a baby!
But, what can a new dad do to improve this situation?
A quick shout out to dads and the family members around him. When dad feels left out and useless, it can lead to the daddy blues (real, by the way). 1 in 10 new dads have symptoms of paternal postpartum depression.
Dad, keep an eye on yourself. Family members, keep an eye on him.
7 Things A New Dad Can Do To Stop Feeling Left Out
Do Not Dwell On It
The worst thing you can do is dwell on the fact that you are feeling left out. It will not do you, the baby, or the mom any good.
Suck it up and move forward.
When you dwell on issues, they overwhelm you, leading to withdrawing from family life. It is a vicious circle that you can break right at the beginning.
Make Yourself Useful
One of the biggest reasons a Dad feels left out is that he thinks he has limited use at the beginning of a baby’s life. That could not be further from the truth.
A new Baby does not simply need feeding, changing, and sleep, not if you look at it from a wider viewpoint.
Sure, as far as the Baby is concerned, that is all it needs, but to allow those things to be available for the baby, so much more needs to happen.
This is the area in which dad needs to operate.
As a new dad, you need to know where things are and how these things work. It could be the pacifier, and it could be the diapers, baby clothes, medicine, thermometer, diaper bags, buggy, or bouncer.
There are so many things that new parents need to bring up a baby. Learn where they are and how to use them. Be on hand to Mom when she needs you.
When you have the knowledge, you will be needed.
Take Advantage Of Playtime
It is playtime when the baby is not sleeping, feeding, or pooping. Now it is your time to get to know your new Baby by interacting with them.
With you in charge of the baby, mom may want to take some time out to sleep or relax and unwind.
The more you interact with your baby, the more confidence you will have in yourself and the more confidence that mom will have.
Speak With Mom
You need to speak with Mom and let her know exactly how you are feeling. I know it is tough as a Man to do this, but it is so much easier if you tell mom that you are feeling left out.
During the conversation, ask for some direction. What can you do to make her job easier? What tasks can you take on?
Can you even swing a few feeds during the night? Suggest using a breast pump to express milk; then, you can take on any feed!
Push For Alone Time With Baby
When you speak with mom (see above), ask for some alone time with the baby. Maybe you can take the baby out for a walk, allowing Mom some relaxation time on her own?
Alone time is the perfect opportunity for a dad to interact with a new baby without feeling 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 would 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 were a mom and her daughter. Whilst her daughter was playing, I witnessed the mom buried her head deep into her cell phone.
I did not think too much of it when I first saw it because we have a life outside of kids. Over the next hour, whenever I looked over at the mom, she still had her eyes fixed 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 responds to work messages because she is going through a busy period with work?
Ultimately, it does not matter why she was doing it. Her time with her Daughter is precious, and she needs to take advantage.
When you have some alone time with your new Baby, be there with them. When you are on your deathbed, I guarantee you will not regret spending less time looking at your phone than interacting with your kids.
Reading to your Baby is an excellent way to use the alone time! Studies have shown some huge benefits for Children when Dad reads to them.
Speak With Someone
If you are a new Dad and feel left out, or you think you may have symptoms of the dreaded Daddy blues, then some people can help you out.
While it is good to discuss how you feel with those 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 do not doubt that the tips on this page will help you feel left out, but talking is also good.
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 feel left out or useless, you will be pleased to know that you are not alone.
The feeling is widespread, especially for dads new to the game.
I cannot emphasize it enough, the more useful you are, the less you will feel left out.
You must prepare for becoming a new dad. Then, when the time comes to be a dad, you have got everything ready, and you are already instrumental.
Also, please remember that the daddy blues are real, and if you feel left out, you could descend more and start displaying other symptoms.
You must look after yourself and do what you can to stop it before it gets out of control.
Check out my rookie dad’s guide to newborns to help get you through.