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Great Ways To Get Dad Involved with a New Baby

Updated on April 28, 2015

Introduction to Great Ways To Get Dad Involved with a New Baby

Society seems to put so much emphasis on moms and babies, that sometimes Dad might feel like he's being left behind.

A baby doesn't come with an instruction manual and it's a learning process for both moms and dads.

This lens is focused on Dads.

(So Moms and Moms-to-be who are reading this, give your other halves this link now, and also read it yourself - be sure to read 'Making Sure Dad is Not Left Out')

So let's look at some great ways that Dad can get involved with a new baby and some new dad gifts that he might appreciate.

A baby doesn't come with an instruction manual

Flickr Photo Credit - David Clow
Flickr Photo Credit - David Clow

Dad's Role Starts During Pregnancy

Finding out you are having a baby (or rather your partner is), whether it's planned or a surprise is an emotional rollercoaster, especially if it's your first. So the first thing that you can do in your role as Dad is offer your unconditional support to Mom. Bear with her cravings and irrational behavior as her hormones are all over the place during pregnancy.

It's normal to worry and have fears. Your partner is probably thinking and worrying about the same things, so remember to communicate every concern, however stupid it seems, to each other. It will bring you both closer together. Also you can read parent guides together. Or consider going to parental courses and prenatal classes together too. It's this togetherness and communication that will prepare you and your expectations of each other once the baby is born.

Next thing to do is talk and sing to your unborn baby, so he or she recognizes your voice. You might even get some recognition like a lot of kicking every time Daddy speaks. Baby will also recognize Dad's voice once it is born, which will help with the bonding processing. Now is also a good time to relearn classic versions of nursery rhymes.

You can help set up baby's room by painting it, and putting in a crib or cradle. Mom-to-be will be very grateful, as she won't feel like painting or putting together cribs while pregnant. Make sure you do as many things as you can for her to make the pregnancy as bearable as possible for her, and strictly no arguing, as baby can already hear!

If you're crafty and would like to create something for baby, personalized rocking chairs can be a nice project for you and is something your child can use for years.

Lastly, do everything in your power to be present at the birth as the bonding process starts there. Imagine your pride as you cut the umbilical cord.

Here's a question for moms and dads . . .

Who is Better at Reading Bedtime Stories?

Great Ways To Get Dad Involved with a New Baby

Now the baby is born, you can expect close family and friends to be falling over themselves to see the new addition and showering you with new baby gifts like diaper cakes. It might be worth talking this over with new mom and see if you would both prefer to be left alone for the first couple of weeks, to start getting used to being parents, before the in-laws (whichever side) start offering all sorts of well meant advice.

One way to make sure Dads feel that they are involved with baby is to make sure that they have dedicated tasks. If Mom is breast feeding, then there is not a lot that Dad can do here until it is time be weaned off the nipple, but Dad can walk around and burp baby. Babies don't deal with burping very well when they are young, so it is a very necessary task. Bear in mind to put a towel over your shoulders, as burping often involves a little baby spit-up!

Of course, there is the diaper changing. You won't believe what and how much can come out of a baby's bottom until you see it first hand! A fun new baby gift like the Daddy Duty Baby Project Diaper Bag can give dad the tools he'll need to prepare for Diaper Duty!

The more pleasant tasks that Dads can do to bond with baby are bathing, night time parenting, playing with them and cuddling and carrying baby around. Babies love being sung to, cuddled and loved, so make sure you as a Dad get plenty of practice at this while baby is young, as then 'little one' will know that they can get comfort from either parent as they grow up.

Remember there are a lot of firsts to look forward and remember like first cuddle, first smile, first fart, first giggle and first diaper, to name a few. Some of these you might want to record with photos and video, or even write down in a journal, so you and mom can look back in fondness.

What You Can Look Forward to as a Dad - Funny Baby!

Making Sure Dad is Not Left Out

Moms will get the majority of congratulations and well done when the baby is born. In a way this is understandable after they have endured however many hours of labor, but Dad needs support and congratulations too. He has already missed out on nine months of bonding that Mom has already has and is raring to get started, so let this be acknowledged.

Of course when it comes down to it, it will be baby who gets the most attention and both mom and dad will be sidelined, especially by doting grandparents.

Another nice thing to do is make sure that Dad is not left out in the baby shower, some great gift ideas for Dad include a manly diaper bag, so when the baby is out with dad, he'll look cool and be ready for anything!

With all this attention on baby, moms and dads should try and not forget about each other. Grandparents usually make willing babysitters, so be sure to arrange 'dates' and make 'special' time for each other as well.

I know for new parents it can all seem so daunting and new, but there is plenty of support out there from friends and family - all you need to do is ask. Also a quick search on the internet and you are likely to find whole communities of people going through the same thing as you. So whatever happens, you never need feel alone. That applies to both moms and dads.

Now You're a Dad . . .

As your baby progresses from baby to toddler to school aged child to teenager, your main role is to love them unconditionally and support them and the best way you can to that is to show that you are proud of them and love them.

Fatherhood never ends, it is a learning curve that starts from your baby's birth and curves right on into their adulthood. It is a job that never finishes. As long as you do the best you can and don't put any unreasonable expectations on your child, that's all that anyone can do. Remember nobody is perfect.

What is the best advice you would give to a new dad?

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    • therealstig86 profile image

      therealstig86 6 years ago

      This is helpful advice. I'll need it soon!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Good read. Thought you would also enjoy my recent post about innovative ways to get dads more involved.

    • fluffyclouds profile image

      fluffyclouds 6 years ago

      Feel good about how amazed your wife is by you (even if she doesn't express it). I feel like I'm looking at a superhero when I feel our baby moving around inside me and I look at his daddy and know he helped put him there. My husband is my superhero and he will be our son's superhero too. Keep that in mind, fellas.

    • jdwheeler profile image

      jdwheeler 7 years ago

      It's a challenge. But well worth it. Remember it's a learning experience for you and the baby. Relax. Your children are the most important thing in the world. Make time to take time.

    • kimmer1491 profile image

      Kim 9 years ago from Big Lake, MN

      My husband was scared to handle our boys for the first few weeks, he thought they would break! My advice is to get dad involved right away, I handed my husband the baby and the bottle, the rest is history!