Becoming A New Dad | A Survival Guide For New Fathers
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- How To Navigate Through Pregnancy When Becoming a New Dad
- What a New Dad Should Expect During Labor For The First Time
- What To Do When Bringing Home a New Baby When You Just Became a New Dad
- What Changes To Expect Within The First Months When Becoming a New Dad
- Tips For Becoming a New Dad
You know that becoming a new dad will change your life, but what you may not know is how and in what ways. It can be overwhelming trying to learn what to expect when becoming a dad for the first time.
Here’s a guide for what to expect when you become a father for the first time. This guide will provide you with how to prepare for the pregnancy and birth of your child and a preview of how your newborn may change your life– before the big day arrives.
How To Navigate Through Pregnancy When Becoming a New Dad
For dads, finding out you’re going to be a parent can be a wonderful experience — but for some men it’s terrifying. Many men feel numb or in shock at first and this is normal.
These emotions are similar for whether you’re becoming a teen father or a well-established man becoming a father.
Both the mother and father may face similar challenges when becoming a new parent such as stress and financial planning in addition to the emotions that arise from becoming a parent.
Both the mother and father’s lives are changed when they become pregnant and as a partner and a father, there are certain ways you can be supportive throughout the pregnancy.
Your partner will go through physical, emotional, and hormonal changes with pregnancy. You can be supportive at this time by helping her to have a healthy pregnancy, including by eating healthily and doing physical activity. You can also take this time to focus on your relationship and preparing to become a larger family.
“Nesting” during pregnancy is the overwhelming desire to get the home ready for the new baby but this is an essential aspect of preparing to bring a baby home. It’s important to have everything prepared to ensure a smooth transition and saving possible stress. Allow yourself time to prepare the home for the baby so you aren’t left rushed, stressed or unprepared.
It’s a good idea to be as involved as you can throughout the pregnancy. This can include things such as going to doctor’s appointments with your partner (so you will be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat) and understand more about what’s going to happen during the birth.
Talking about your feelings will help you both deal with the emotions a pregnancy can bring.
It’s important to note, the mother has had 9 months of bonding time during pregnancy while you have had almost no time. So once the baby arrives, spend time in those early days to bond with your baby.
What a New Dad Should Expect During Labor For The First Time
During the birth, your role as a birth support partner is to give emotional and physical support and encouragement. You can help your partner by reminding her to breathe slowly, massaging her, and helping her to get more comfortable.
It’s important to go with the flow and offer the support your partner needs. Try to keep calm and breathe deeply and steadily if it all becomes overwhelming. If you feel faint, put your head between your knees, and breathe slowly.
Pay attention during your childbirth education classes. Learn about the phases of labor, what’s happening to your partner’s body, and the reasons for a C-section. It’s important to discuss and understand the birth plan, so you are able to advocate for her if she is unable to do so.
Knowing what to expect will make the experience less terrifying for you. There is a lot of action in the delivery room and staying calm and focused will help your partner. If something is going on that you don’t understand, don’t be afraid to ask the nurse questions.
What To Do When Bringing Home a New Baby When You Just Became a New Dad
Bringing your baby home from the hospital is a major event in a new father’s life. Not only is it normal, but it’s also almost expected for you to feel overwhelmed during this transition.
When it’s your first time becoming a dad, it can be stressful making sure you have everything you, your partner, and your child will need. Take it from dads who have done this before, there are a few things to have in order before the big day.
The most important item for the trip home is a proper child safety car seat. There are specific laws and safety measures in order to protect your child. Take your time choosing carefully and prior to bringing home the baby.
Some parents of newborns find that a “travel system” style, which includes a stroller and an infant-only car seat that can be attached to the stroller, makes it much smoother to transition babies — especially sleeping ones — from the car to the stroller. Make sure to install it properly and know how to work it efficiently prior to the big day.
Prepare for a slow and momentous drive home as, especially for dads, this is often when it sinks in that you are utterly responsible for the care of your new baby. Don’t be surprised if you have mixed emotions as you bring your baby home, especially if this is your first child. It’s normal to feel nervous. Try to reserve this time for you and your family so that you can adjust to all the changes that come with bringing a newborn home.
Depending on the birth experience, you and your partner may be exhausted and sore. Use the time when you first get home as a time to recover.
By being prepared and having as much ready that you can before the baby comes home, you and your partner will also be less stressed and have a smoother transition when bringing your baby home when you just became parents.
What Changes To Expect Within The First Months When Becoming a New Dad
These first few days and weeks with your baby are all about bonding, getting to know your baby, and learning to be a parent. The early weeks after bringing the baby home can be overwhelming and you should be prepared to feel exhausted a lot of the time.
This time in your life will fly by. The days may feel long, but the years will feel short. Before you know it, you’ll be potty training, and then sending them off to college!
Don’t be in a rush to get back to normal too quickly as this is a special time for you to adjust to being a new family. It’s important to note that many changes can come with becoming a new dad and they can affect many aspects of your life such as work, your relationship, and your sleep.
If possible, cut back on your hours at work or delegate any work possible to others to allow you to focus on your new family without the outside stressors of work.
While work is necessary, right now may not be the optimal time to take on more roles or responsibilities at work in addition to becoming a new dad. Although it’s common for new dads to stress about money, now is not the best time to pick up a new side hustle.
Research shows that many men have conflicting feelings as they take on the role, and the identity, of a father, and you will need time to adjust to a new routine.
Having a baby changes your priorities and this can affect your relationship. Once you become parents, it’s important to remember to make time to keep a strong relationship with your partner. Communicating openly and honestly with your partner will help create the positive relationship you will need as parents.
You may be expecting to be tired, but you may underestimate just how much! Remember, babies can cry for an average of two hours a day and sleep only for a couple of hours at a time.
Your partner may be facing hardships with breastfeeding, postpartum depression or still recovering from childbirth. Help your partner by being patient, offering to take on more of the housework, handing night feedings, and encouraging them to seek counsel from other women who have been through this process.
Tips For Becoming a New Dad
Now that you have a preview of what to expect when you become a new dad, read our article 5 Tips For Being a New Dad!