How To Be The Best New Dad – Are Mum To Be Gifts Necessary, Or Is There A Better Way?

How To Be The Best New Dad – Are Mum To Be Gifts Necessary, Or Is There A Better Way?

How To Be The Best New Dad – Are Mum To Be Gifts Necessary, Or Is There A Better Way?

 

There are lots of tips and tricks out their focused on new moms and there most certainly should be. Moms bear the most responsibility when it comes to newborns. But this blog is for the dads and it’s about how I survived being a new dad the first, second and now third time.

 

As I have learned time and again each kid is different and with every child comes a bit of hitch and rethink of your plans.

 

Being a new father is weird, regardless if it’s your 1st or your 5th. Every dad I talk to with multiple kids says each is different, in a good way. By the time you have multiple kids you are likely in a bit of a routine, or so you think. As I have learned time and again each kid is different and with every child comes a bit of hitch and rethink of your plans.

 

There is something so miraculous about watching your child coming into the world that I say you absolutely need to watch.

 

Let me start by saying I have been on the business end of the births of all of our boys. I captured every birth on video. With Dyl it was a bit different, he came out so quick, it was just myself and nurse in the room and the nurse was on the phone calling the doctor when… POP out came Dyl and had to play catcher. For all you dads out there who are worried about what it is going to look like, be like etc, there is something so miraculous about watching your child coming into the world that I say you absolutely need to watch.

 

For us dads, we are fortunate, while we have nipples, they are just for show, and our partners must do all they can to provide our new child sustenance if they choose to breast feed.

 

As you can imagine, the first few weeks are a bit of a whirlwind. The crying, the sleep deprivation, the new responsibility, the fear of thinking ‘can I break this baby?’, I get it all. But for us dads, we are fortunate, while we have nipples, they are just for show, and our partners must do all they can to provide our new child sustenance if they choose to breast feed. Let me say this, it is exhausting for them, constantly awake, feeling awful because of a lack of sleep, they are sore, hormonal and emotional.

 

My first tip; be helpful, and if you think you are being helpful, be more helpful. If it’s not your first kid, you should be on duty with your other kids, get them out of the house, or keep them quiet. After a feed, offer to take the baby out of sight; mothers have a sixth sense when it comes to their children and can feel them crying, or about to cry, and this disrupts the precious little sleep they get. Once you have introduced a bottle or if your baby is being bottle fed, give a bottle or two a day – it’s a great time to bond with you new child and it helps your partner immensely.

 

If it’s not your first kid, you should be on duty with your other kids, get them out of the house, or keep them quiet.

 

My second tip: get your hands dirty, and believe me they will be dirty. Don’t be afraid to change a diaper, clean up some spit up, do some work around the house like cooking or cleaning, or all of the above. These little things, while they may go seemingly unnoticed are not will be much appreciated. My only advice is be extra careful; when Dyl was born, I was cooking dinner and pulled a frying pan out of the oven and put in on the burner. Then by accident, I grabbed the handle and proceeded to carry the pan across the kitchen. I was so sleep deprived and burned my hand pretty badly. On the bright side, I learned to change a diaper one handed pretty well. A trick that is important when you have multiple kids and multiple diapers to change.

 

Don’t be afraid to change a diaper, clean up some spit up, do some work around the house like cooking or cleaning, or all of the above.

 

Tip number three: it is the little things that count. In every partnership it is a give and take, but after a child is born my good sirs, it should be more give than take. They don’t have to be extravagant ‘mum to be gifts’ or “push presents” but little things. Perhaps some fresh flowers, a back-rub or time on her own. Allow your partner to do the things she enjoyed before your child was born (as best she can). Give your partner time to go to the gym, if she so desires. Or time to get her nails done, or have time with her friends. Remember the two of you were together for more time then your new little bundle of joy has been around. Don’t forget that, it’s going to take a lot of teamwork and sacrifice to raise your child.

 

They don’t have to be extravagant ‘mum to be gifts’ or “push presents” but little things. Perhaps some fresh flowers, a back-rub or time on her own.

 

My fourth and final tip: enjoy the moments, they go by so fast. It’s amazing to me how much time seemingly speeds up when you have children.

 

Embrace the roller-coaster of emotions, live in the moment and remember for all intents and purposes, you are raising your legacy.

 

There are so many great things about being a dad; unlike any job it’s 24/7, 365, hopefully forever. Embrace the roller-coaster of emotions, live in the moment and remember for all intents and purposes, you are raising your legacy.

 

Too long to read? Here are some pointers for you new dads:

 

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  • Be as helpful as you can be with your new child and your existing children. All children will require additional attention, both the new born and others (if you have them) be there for your kids all the time.
  • Pick up the slack: do extra work around the house to make it easier on your whole family. The effort pays off in spades.
  • A little extra attention and appreciation goes a long way. You were together before the kids were born and will be alone again once they leave the house. Remember your partner is your queen and should be treated as such.
  • Be in the moment.

 

Do you have tips on being a new dad I’d love to hear them!

Read more on my time as a stay-at-home dad.

Andrew Levy PhD

About Andrew Levy PhD

Andrew obtained his PhD from the University of Waterloo in Physiology, a topic not entirely having to do with with kids health specifically. Andrew’s expertise in kids health and raising children stems from his now 4+ years of direct hands on experiences with 3 little boys. My goal is to share some practical advice and some of the little not-so-perfect things my kids have done and how we managed to figure it all out so you can too.

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