Have your home clean and tidy to welcome your partner and baby home. A few flowers wouldn’t go amiss, nor would something nutritious for her to eat on her return, clean fresh bed for mum and clean sheets on the baby’s Moses basket or cot. You can always enlist the help of relatives and friends to do this with or for you.
Don’t be surprised if you are exhausted by the exciting experience of your baby’s birth. Stock up your freezer with food for the early days and ask those closest to you to cook a dinner if they ask how they can help.
Dads often find the early days a confusing and exhausting time, trying to work out how best to support mum as well as getting to know their little bundle.
Mum, even if it’s not quite how you would do things sometimes, they love your baby just as much as you do. Let them do it their way sometimes.
Like learning to live with a new partner, becoming a parent is a steep learning curve.
Aim to become a team! Before 2 become 3, chat regularly about how you will enjoy your new bundle. A few topics to chew over:
- How will we manage our visitors? All at once when they want, or by appointment?
- If you are planning to breastfeed, how is mum feeling about feeding in front of family and friends?
- What are you really looking forward to?
- What are you a bit worried about and how can you address that worry now?
Congratulations, your journey starts here. Funny how all the people you know and love and love you insist on telling you their tricky birth stories?? For some it is an opportunity to offload stuff that hasn’t been shared for a while.
Practise filtering what you hear, collect the good bits and throw the rest over your shoulder!
Things always seem worse in the middle of the night. Avoid discussions in the ‘Twilight Zone.’ Always forgive each other in the morning and save forward planning for a mellow hour of the day.
Feel like ships that pass in the night? Try and find an opportunity to chat with each other during the day. How about:
Five minutes about your little one.
Five minutes about how you each are feeling.
One positive statement about how proud you are of your partner as a parent.
Dads: sex/ intercourse may need a more creative approach and need handling sensitively and gently. Morning sickness, tiredness and a growing baby can all have an effect on how mums view themselves and their desire for sex. Most pregnant women would prefer a cuddle and massage to full sex (and one never know where a cuddle might lead…).
Ssh! Daddy sleeping…..
Dads Space provides a website with links and information on every element of being a dad, including behaviour, child development, child safety, being a dad, making contact and much more.
Families Need Fathers is firstly a social care organisation, helping parents whose children’s relationship with them is under threat. It offers information, advice and support services for parents on how to do the best for their children and is the only organisation that provides these services on a national basis.
Some dads may stay at home, full or part time, while mum goes back to work after your baby is born.
Dads at work – your employment rights once you have become a parent:
Dads UK is a news and information site dedicated to giving a voice and support to all people interested in fathers’ rights. This includes partners, grandparents, uncles, aunts and anyone who has some kind of involvement with the father. Dads UK supports the growing demands of fathers in today’s society.
Young Fathers’ Network
In a nutshell, Young Fathers’ Network (YFN) has created an information service that any young dad and their families can easily access. The Network aims to offer young men who already are or are about to become fathers, a no-barrier, easy-access pathway to assistance that will help them become better dads. In return it will listen to what you tell it and consequently be better able to offer young dads more effective support.
Dads Talk is a community of men championing fatherhood and exploring what it is to be a dad in 21st century Britain. Dads Talk gets dads talking both on- and offline. Whether it’s sharing or accessing information, or getting answers to questions – chances are, a dad out there already has the answer!
Commando Dad was set up by an ex soldier, and is a practical guide with tips about raising baby from a dad’s perspective.