My husband told me that I am ignoring fathers on this blog, so here is something just for every soon-to-be father out there. You may think you’re prepared for your little precious bundle of joy that will enter your life soon, but trust me – you are not.
Here are some things every soon-to-be father needs to know that nobody tells you about
1. Three hour feeding cycles.
Oh yes. This is a thing and you will hear about this a lot. The 3 hour feeding cycle is your new clock. There’s very little you can do to prepare for getting up every two hours to change, feed, and soothe a baby so that they can be on a three hour cycle. Don’t let this be only on your wife. Give her some time to sleep too. This will pass – it’s recommended to do this just for the first few weeks. Well, our daughter is 2 and a half and she still wakes up at least once a night, so – maybe you should get used to sleepless nights 🙂
2. Taking care of the mother
If your wife is nursing the baby, you will have very little to do, and because of that you need to focus on her. She will be tired, hungry, frazzled… Your job it to make it easier for her in anyway you can. That means changing diapers. Yes, you can do that. Heat some food and take over the baby so that mom can get cleaned up and get something to eat, and maybe even sleep. If a mother is having some problems with, for example, breastfeeding, go on a mission and find her a solution. She won’t really be able to surf the net and look for the answers. For example, there is a great article with lots of tips about making more breast milk the natural way on Mommy Edition that lots of new moms will surely appreciate.
Be at her service all the time – at least first couple of months.
Don’t do any big projects around the house that will definitely drive her crazy. For example, if you guys have to move (like we had as soon as I came back from hospital), don’t do everything by yourself. Hire real movers.
3. Newborn babies will cry.
Ok, you can probably deal with some tears, but the problem is – babies can’t tell you why they are crying, so you have to guess. Don’t panic – it usually boils down to these things: hunger (just feed the baby), dirty diaper (change the baby), tiredness (sleeping time) or fear (hug them, rock them, walk them…).
Honestly, there is not really much to know. Spend the first couple of weeks just to get to know your baby and that is it. Soon it will seem like you had that baby forever!
If you’re scared, read some helpful guide, like The New Father: A Dad’s Guide to the First Year . Join some parenting message board or check questions on Quora. It will be easier when you realize you are not the only one going through this!
Love this! I think you make a good point though (or at least, your husband did). There are a lot of things that dads need to know too. Great post!
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#2: in our house we call it survival mode for a reason! And #3, dads should know that newborns cry but also that sometimes you will have no idea why. Babies can’t talk or do anything, so crying is sometimes just going to be the way they express themselves or try to self-soothe, and nothing but time is going to “fix it.” It gets better!
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