Written by Lance Green
First off, congratulations! Being a dad is a major life event for any guy. Having a baby is an exciting and terrifying experience at the same time, kind of like a rollercoaster ride.
The first four weeks as a dad can often be the scariest. You might be anxious about what you can do for the baby, or how you can bond with your baby, and a lot of other things. Truth be told, there is a lot to learn. But knowing how to handle your newborn and supporting your partner during the process is all you need to know.
Here we have compiled tips, and tricks to help you ease through the first month of this journey.
It’s Ok to Be Confused
You may not always know what exactly it is that you must do. You might not be informed or experienced enough to handle certain situations that are thrown your way. And that’s okay. Take a deep breath and go with the flow. If you stay open to learning more about how you can be a better parent and partner, you’ll be fine.
Handling Your Finances
You don’t need rocket science to know that babies mean a lot of money. Take some time to sit down with your partner and figure out how your baby might affect your finances. Come up with ways in which you can cut down expenses and save a bit more or earn more money. Make a budget that includes the baby’s expenses as well, and don’t forget to save some for the future.
Bonding Through Touch
Physical touch plays a crucial role in building a bond with your junior. It helps the little one feel safe and secure, while also aiding brain development. Physical touch is also a great way to soothe a crying baby. Pick up the baby and hold them close to your heart until they can hear your heartbeat.
Don’t try to fight it, the faint smell of slightly cheesy cream is your new scent. Make peace with it. Babies puke, and that’s completely normal, it usually just means that their little tummies are full. But as time goes, you’ll be able to know when your baby is about to vomit, in which case all you have to do is hold your baby at an arm’s length, facing out and let them vomit on to the floor.
Changing nappies can feel relentless. So, you just took the effort to remove a stinky full diaper, wiped your baby clean and changed the baby into a new diaper, then it happens again. You feel as if your bundle of joy was waiting for you to finish changing the diaper to unload a massive poo. Again, there’s nothing you can do about it, other than accepting reality and keep going.
Bye, Bye Sleep
It’s time to say goodbye to those good ol’ days when you used to get eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. Yes, your baby is going to be asleep for 12 to 15 hours each day, but unfortunately, they only sleep for an hour or so at a stretch. The best thing you can do is sleep when your baby sleeps.
Feeding Your Baby
If you aren’t relying on breastfeeding alone to nourish your baby, then you should probably learn how to prepare a bottle of formula before the baby gets home from the hospital. Trust me, you don’t want to wake up your partner at three in the morning and ask them, “Hey Hun, how does this work?”. That said, breastfeeding is the best way to nourish your baby at least.
Be There for Your Partner
About 4 in 5 men have express agony about being present during labour, mostly due to the presence of bodily fluids. Well, suck it up, you are going to be alright. In case you need to look away or step out, then do so. But it is important that you are there for your partner. Out of the labour room, your spouse/partner needs someone they know they can trust to be there and take care of their little bundle of joy.
Post-partum depression is a major issue faced by mothers. So, keep a watch for any signs of mental distress on your partner’s side and get them medical help if necessary.
All the poop, vomit, and cries aside, you are still you, don’t forget to give yourself some love. Do things you love and keep up with your hobbies. Connect with other dads that you know and create a space where you can talk about your problems with people that are on the same page as you. If you feel things are going out of hand, don’t hesitate to call for help.