Hello, First time Dad! We were all new to this at one stage or another so don’t feel that you have no idea what you’re doing because trust me, we all had no idea what we were doing at first, and the one thing I could really have used was a basic first time Dad survive guide, so I’ve thought about what I would like to have known in the first couple weeks of being a Father and come up with “first time dad stuff you really need to know!” I hope you get everything you need out of this post and the comments that follow. Just quickly If anyone has more information to add please do so in the comment section! We would like as much help as we can get for the first couple of weeks!
Babies cry, a lot
Your son/daughter isn’t broken I promise you. Babies can’t talk and tell you what they need nor can they make many different sounds at all in the first few weeks so they cry and it’s up to you to figure out what they need. Mind you when a baby cries it can be the most mind-bending, nerve ripping, bone-crunching, blackboard screeching sound you’ve ever heard. But that’s ok you will get used to it, in the meantime, you must remember that babies will cry and all you need to do is go through this list,
- Do they have a dirty nappy?
- Do they have gas?
- Did they scare themselves awake?
- Are they hungry?
- Do they just want some cuddles because they miss the womb?
- Are they just tired?
- Are they too cold or too hot?
If you follow this list each time they cry, you will find yourself getting to a point where you understand what each cry means and how to go about fixing it. Of course, I should mention the longer they cry the more gas they inhale which in turn make them cry more. But I am certain by the end of this post you’ll have a better understanding and be more confident with your little one! <3
Be Prepared with spares of Everything
Being prepared doesn’t just mean have a nappy bag with all the essentials in it. It means to be ready for anything to happen, have 2 spare outfits, have 10 spare nappies, have an entire pack of wipes! etc. etc. Because you never know when a poo explosion might happen or vomit or some sort of spill you never knew was possible, or something that hasn’t happen to me yet. I know in my sons second week we were out with friends for one of the kids friends birthday party and you can only guess what happened next; lets just say we had to throw out the lambswool pram liner, a nice going out shirt and my boy had no spare clothes so he was wrapped in a blanket for the rest of the outing. (we pretty much went straight home, we were so embarrassed) it can happen to anyone! So be extra prepared
which brings me to the next point…
Don’t Ever Feel Embarrassed!
I know I just told you how a story about how I had an embarrassing moment, but rest assure, it comes from a learned experience! There are a lot of people out there that will try to make you feel like you’re not doing it right, or they think they have a better way of being a parent well they are not the Mother or Father. The Mother and Father always know what’s best for their child! Whether you think so or not. So don’t ever let anyone tell you how to do your job or tell you what you should be doing because it is your child and your life. As for the title of this paragraph; these are baby humans we’re talking about, they will have little mishaps, there will be a vomit from time to time, you will have times where you will need to go off and change your baby in the middle of the grocery shop or out at dinner, or just about whenever you’re out of the house. (It’s murphy’s law) There is no point bringing yourself down just because “Joe Blow” made you feel bad about your parenting if they don’t like it then tell them to leave! Which brings me to women breastfeeding in public, (this is a big one) let me remind you that breastfeeding is the most natural way of feeding a child, that’s what the boobs are there for. So be proud of your woman when she gets them out in public to feed your child and defend her like a knight defends his queen from all those nasty people out there who don’t understand the circle of life!
The Baby always comes First
You may not realise this at first but, you are not the most important person to your partner anymore, your son or daughter has taken that role and you’ll need to understand this sooner than later to avoid any fights or miscommunications! But in reality this is a positive thing because you and your partner get in a routine of putting them first, like making sure they eat before you do that way you don’t forget to feed them (It hasn’t happened to me yet, but I have seen it happen, its easier to do than you think, unfortunately) Your kids will always be the centre of your world, and that goes for your partner as well, so while you may be feeling left out your partner might also be feeling the same way, and in turn you both need to remember each other.
That brings me to…
Remember your relationship
From time to time it is always a good idea to remember your relationship and make sure you keep things alive. When a new baby comes into the family all the attention goes to him/her, and it all has to come from somewhere, usually, that means the relationship suffers a little bit. BUT, you can change that, firstly take a deep breath and remember how far you’ve come already! Next, it doesn’t take much to keep your partner happy and show her you are still thinking of her, furthermore, you don’t even have to spend money! It could be as simple as making breakfast. Or as straightforward as doing as many chores as you can so your partner can get a good rest while the baby is sleeping. Especially if your partner is breastfeeding, I mean could you imagine waking up every 2-3hours to feed a baby? I should know because I have tried. I was able to because my Son is bottle-fed, and I can tell you, it puts a lot of strain on the body and mind to feed a baby 24 hours a day 7 days a week. So when you can make your partner feel better to do so! Give her a foot rub, make sure all the other jobs in the house are done, give her a gift to remind her she is loved (find some ideas here) and take the newborn off her hands when she needs a break. Do you know how hard it is when your baby will not settle and you really need to pee? Well, that’s a good question for your partner. 😉
Learn to adapt quickly
Your child is growing very fast, and as he/she grows they will require different needs, more attention, change of feed times, different clothes that are difficult to put on at 2 in the morning. For example my son was changing his routine for feeds every 2-3days, so every couple of days we had to do things completely different, I would end up being late for work because I’d be watching the baby as my partner was finally able to have a shower after dealing with him for the last two hours, but then tomorrow we are free because he slept through his “normal” feed time and changed it again, ohh the joys of being on baby time. All I’m trying to say is be ready to call your boss and let them know you’ll be late or be ready to get no sleep when you’re already tired. Or be ready to change your baby’s outfit at some early hour of the morning into some weird outfit that your mother-in-law gave you that you’ve got no idea how to button up but its the last piece of clothing you’ve got for your child.
A baby will change your life in more ways then you know! They will help you grow as a person, as you will help them grow into beautiful/handsome little human beings. And let me tell you every tired, eye-popping moment in the first few months is worth every second that you get to spend the rest of your life watching them grow <3
Tell me in the comment a few ideas you would have wanted to know in the first few weeks!
And on that note Happy Parenting!
PS. Have a look at these first time parent gifts!