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Tales From Fatherhood: Year One

Updated on July 10, 2015
Elias with blankie.
Elias with blankie. | Source

Accepting My Role As A Father

I had some worries about writing about Fatherhood. So many people have different opinions on parenting and so many people seem to struggle through without asking for help. I was intimidated by the topic.

A few days ago I was talking to one of my co-workers and she said that I should have a lot to say since I have three children. We talked some more and I realized that it is the small things that first time Dad's really need.

So I thought back to when Sam was within his first year, then Hannah, then Elias and I think I was able to conjure up some helpful hints.

I would like to start with a discussion of the importance of excepting our roles as Fathers and realizing the importance of Fatherhood on the emotional and cognitive development of our children.

We need to realize that our role is as important as Mother and that we should take the time to learn new things about parenting with every step and to be present with love and care when our children need us.

Be Curious

Once that newborn lands on your lap take some time to be curious. Think about questions that you might want to ask your pediatrician.

Look online for stories about parenting that catch your attention.

Spend as much time as you can and learn what your baby needs.

Figure out how your baby communicates and how you can understand.

Look into your babies eyes as much as possible.

Hold your baby close every chance you get.

Research has shown that babies within the first year learn the most from eye contact and physical contact. By simply looking your baby in the eyes and holding them tight you are helping your baby reach their potential for their age.

The Diaper Bag: Or Staying Prepared

When Sam was born we did not have a clue. After the first time we accidently left the house without diapers and wipes we realized that we needed to be prepared if we were to ever leave the house.

Those first few diaper bags we had we kept full of everything from diapers, wipes, bottles, and a whole mess of baby items. It was a burden to carry this bag and we found that hanging it from the back of the stroller was preferable to carrying it on our shoulders.

When Hannah was born we packed much less and with the birth of Elias we finally reached the perfectly packed bag. Most of us don't want to wait until there third child is born to realize what is really important and what is not.

There is only a few items really necessary. The first and foremost would be diapers and wipes. Always bring at least three more diapers than you think you will need for the time you will be out of the house. Never forget wipes! We usually keep six diapers and wipes in the diaper bag at all times for easy exit.

Second, bring a change of clothing for your baby. There is nothing more stressful than a diaper that fails to hold the goods and it is no fun to have to explain to everyone you meet why your child clothes are wet or discolored. We like to keep at least two fresh outfits.

Bring a bottle that has been premade. If your child is breastfeeding than this may not be as important, but even then it is nice to have a premade backup for hunger emergencies. Bring as many premade bottles as you will need to keep your child fed for the time you will be travelling.

Bring a toy, a book, or a blankie. You know what keeps your babies attention, have this item packed and ready to go. You will be amazed at when you will need to calm baby down with their favorite toy, book, or blankie.

The above is all you need. The rest is just filler. I have made a little chart for easy viewing below.

What to Pack in the Diaper Bag

Short Trip
Long Trip
Overnight
Diapers
Diapers
Diapers
Wipes
Wipes
Wipes
Change of Clothes
Change of Clothes
Change of Clothes
Toy, Book, or Blankie
Toy, Book, or Blankie
Toy, Book, or Blankie
Premade Bottles
Premade Bottles
Premade Bottles and Formula
 
 
Baby Shampoo

Don't Forget Mom

The first year for baby can be quit and sometimes you feel all it does is sleep, eat, and go potty. This is true for the most part and as long as these three things are taken care of you should have a happy baby.

One of the biggest concerns within the first year is helping Mom. Mom just went through a long and tedious pregnancy and is probably still battling the hormonal changes that have occurred along with any physical changes. She really needs support during this first year especially if she is suffering from post partum depression.

Take some time to find answers to things and share with your wife. Be open and communicative about how each of you feel about parenting, about being new parents, and similar discussions.

Be honest and helpful and try to begin to build the team that you need to be to raise your new child.

Elias and Sam hanging out.
Elias and Sam hanging out. | Source

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A Few Other Small Items

Here are a few things that I have learned from the raising of Sam, Hannah, and Elias.

When Sam was a few months old I didn't check the temperature of the bath water and stuck him straight in. It was not scolding and did not hurt him physically but to this day he has a phobia of hot water. SO always check the bath water temperature.

The same goes for bottles. Squirt a little of the bottle contents, either formula or breastmilk, onto your forearm before you feed the baby. Make sure that the temperature is luke warm or that it is comfortable on your arm before you put the bottle in the mouth.

Our family keeps diapers and wipes and emergency toys strategically placed around the house so if an emergency occurs in the living room we have options right there. No running to find things you need, like changing a diaper without wipes.

If you give you baby a toy or something to get there attention, maybe even a diaper itself, they might stay still long enough to change the diaper without a fight.

These are just a few things that we have figured out the first year.

Did I write this just to share Elias photos?  I will never tell.
Did I write this just to share Elias photos? I will never tell. | Source
This ones for you kido!
This ones for you kido! | Source

Happy Fatherhood

I realize that this article is short on the tales and long on the hints. To be honest I do not have a lot of stories that are remarkable or lesson worthy from the first year.

Now when we get into the later years, like three years old or seven years old, the anecdotes will be available one after the other.

I do know that the first year, to me, is extraordinary and incredible to witness. Every day that the baby is in my arms I feel so much comfort and love.

I hope that your first year as a Father will provide you similar feelings and remember stay positive, don't sweat the small stuff, and give it your all! Go be the Father you were meant to be.

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    • jhamann profile image
      Author

      Jamie Lee Hamann 3 years ago from Reno NV

      Thank you suraj punjabi I am glad that hub was able to help you. The birth of a new child is always such an adventure, a wonderful adventure. Jamie

    • suraj punjabi profile image

      suraj punjabi 3 years ago from jakarta

      Just like your diaper bag, this hub has all it needs and no fillers! :) I'm going to be a father soon and I found your article very helpful and it made me look forward to having this tiny person in my arms. Wish me luck! :)

    • jhamann profile image
      Author

      Jamie Lee Hamann 3 years ago from Reno NV

      Thank you midet38, it is a pleasure to hear from you. Jame

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      Beautiful and helpful too, Jhamann. You clearly make a wonderful dad!

    • jhamann profile image
      Author

      Jamie Lee Hamann 3 years ago from Reno NV

      Thank you Romeos Quill, I appreciate you stopping by for a read and I hope you have a good weekend. P.S. I am beginning to get really excited about poetry month, it is around the corner. Jamie

    • Romeos Quill profile image

      Romeos Quill 3 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

      Very useful tips on fatherhood Jamie and it's refreshing to see dads taking responsibility seriously for their kidddos.

      You have a marvellous family there and thanks for the reminders.

      Good advice for babysitters/childminders as well.

      All the Best,

      R.Q.

    • jhamann profile image
      Author

      Jamie Lee Hamann 3 years ago from Reno NV

      Thank you kerlun74. Jamie

    • kerlund74 profile image

      kerlund74 3 years ago from Sweden

      I am not a father, but I like your hub and it makes me think of our first child, the first year. A fantastic time in life that pass to fast. And we learn all the time, parenting is not there from the first day. Great advices and hub:)

    • jhamann profile image
      Author

      Jamie Lee Hamann 3 years ago from Reno NV

      Thank you Theresa, Jodah, Bill, Audrey, JayeWisdom, and Ann for your wonderful comments. I was feeling a bit insecure about this hub and you all have made me feel much more confident. Thank you again. Jamie

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      This is such a positive, practical hub about fatherhood and, of course, general parenthood.

      I'm a mother and a grandmother but I still appreciate what you're saying (maybe more!). Those first times you hold a new-born are so emotional, magical and mind-blowing!

      Great hub. You're obviously a great father and I love those photos - what beautiful children you have. Ann

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 3 years ago from Deep South, USA

      You seem to be the kind of dad whose children will always remember how loving he was when they were little. That is priceless--to you and to them. Your suggestions for other new dads are good, too. The "perfectly balanced diaper bag" will prevent a lot of overpacking while ensuring that the right items are handy.

      Love the photos. You certainly have cute kids!

      Voted Up+++

      Jaye

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 3 years ago from California

      Very practical--but also so loving Jamie--

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I miss those years. I loved holding my son and rocking him to sleep...I even enjoyed changing his diapers. LOL Thanks for the enjoyable read; that's a great kid you have there.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Good guide for new dad's Jamie, and great photos. Well done.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Jamie - Great practical hints and suggestions. And such adorable pictures. You are so right, being there, being available cuddling, snuggling. These are the things that matter with babies...and with mommies. :) Sharing. Theresa