- Family and Parenting
New Father Survival Tips
My baby boy, Lincoln Knox 6 week journeyClick thumbnail to view full-size
Welcome to daddyhood
January 22, 2011, the day my life changed forever, and the day I never got 8 hours of sleep again. I have only been a dad for about a month and a half now and I am no expert, I repeat, I am NOT AN EXPERT. If you are able to find me an expert father I will give you a hug. I felt I could write this hub to help new fathers who maybe didn't know what to expect, but thought they new what to expect and just want to see it from another daddy's perspective. I think I have done a decent job so far of taking care of my son Lincoln. Hopefully I can give a little insight and just a few words that you can try to read in an hour or so because your baby keeps crying and you have to stop reading, enjoy.
What are you afraid of most?
Get ready, its here
My advice to any father is to be prepared. For the 9 months up until my boy was born all I could do is wait and get excited. It wasn't until I was in the delivery room that I thought....hmmm... this just became real. I had read my daddy book...... ok I never finished it but I should have. I highly recommend reading your daddy books, getting everything ready at home, and just breathe. Have everything you may need ready, diapers, car seat, clothes, blankets, batteries, bulbs, music, anything and everything you might need. I can say my wife and I were really lucky that we came home and everything seemed pretty set. I never felt overwhelmed with needed anything. Being prepared for each task makes it a lot easier, diapers, baths, clothes, food, etc. Be prepared.
Get good at diaper changing, it will make everything better. I had never changed a diaper before my sons and i'll be honest, I was a big fail whale the first couple of times. The nurse made me do it and my family just laughed. After you go home there will be times when you are tired, in a hurry, or are pissed and don't feel like doing it. The better you are, the easier it is to make it through the tough times when you don't feel like doing it. Being a dad makes you the diaper changer, sorry dude, fact of life, get over it. I recommend having the diaper laid out, wipes ready with at least one out, cream open, and get into a routine of how to do it fast, and efficient.
Sleep.... ha, good one, you don't get to sleep anymore. Once you take baby home night time won't be the 8 hours of sleeping, and flirty time with momma. It will mainly consist of you putting the little bugger to sleep, you getting ready to sleep, then as you finally get sleeping, you wake up to screaming. If your baby momma breast feeds there isn't much you can do. With my wife I would get her things she needed, blankets, water, change the baby, etc. The weird thing is that when the baby does sleep, if you here him move you still wake up and run over in your boxers thinking something is wrong, but really, they are just fine.
Knowing your baby will help you figure out why they are crying or getting fussy. Babies usually get upset for a few reasons. Food, sleep, comfort, and dirty diaper. Check to see all these needs are met, if they are, its possible the baby is just fussy for no reason. Your baby could also be Cholic, google here , basically your baby hates the world. Your baby could also have something bugging them, booty rash, something poking them, hot, cold, noises, whatever. Getting to know your baby will make it all easier once you know their clues on what they want, and when they want.
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Keep on keeping on
Think outside the box is one way to keep your baby happy. My boy, bless his little heart, has some sort of weird obsession with loud annoying noises. Sometimes when he is just cranky pants and won't go to sleep, all I have to do is put on my IPhone app that plays the sound of a Jet engine.... yes a Jet engine....like an airplane.... I know, i know. Anyways, knowing these little things will help you a ton, take them outside, blow in their face, take them into the bathroom with the fan going, weird stuff like that babies love. I promise you, it will save your life.
Not becoming a baby yourself will help you stay sane. There are times when I get pretty fed up with the whole situation because it feels like there isn't anything you can do but I just stop, take a moment, and re-center myself. It's not the babies fault he doesn't know how to express what he is feeling. take a moment to think about the situation and figure out how to deal with it. Acting like a baby won't help your baby, it will just make your baby momma really mad.
Love each moment and don't miss anything. Yes you may have a job that requires you to be gone most of the time but don't let that take away from each milestone. Being a part of your babies life will help you bond with your baby and make them feel secure. Try and go to as many Dr. visits as you can, take a walk with the baby, just try and do anything you can to be there. I have been taking pictures of my son almost everyday, I think I have missed 2 days total. I love that I can go back and from the beginning look at his progression. Be there for their first smile, their big burps, their laughs, holding their head up, everything.
You can do it
Sometimes you may feel like giving up because you feel helpless, I promise you, your baby doesn't think you are helpless. They don't care how much money you have, what you wear, if you brushed your teeth, what you eat, watch, say, or anything else. All they want is your love, care, and smiles. Keep your cool, your the dad, you need to be strong for them. Each day your baby will change, be there to see each change. Before you know it, they will be telling you to go away. Babies are like drunk friends, they are helpless but you have to help them, the only good thing is that baby throw up doesn't stink or stick like alcohol vomit. Good luck, now go get some sleep.... haha, jokes on you.