Being a new dad is tough. Everything revolves around the new baby and mommy, especially in the initial days. It can lead some dads to feel worthless or sometimes, even worse, totally marginalized.
However, there are practical ways for any new dad to get involved, help out more and provide a welcome break for mummy.
The best part is your partner will be more connected to the new baby and that relationship will continue to strengthen as they both grow older.
It’s important to remember that this role as “new daddy” is very valuable and the more your partner gets involved with family life the easiest it will be for everyone.
9 Ways New Dad Can Get More Involved With New Baby
1. Form A Bond Fast
Newborns are stimulated massively by touch. A great way to form an instant and lasting bond with a new baby is skin to skin contact. Remember, this doesn’t need to be complex or troublesome.
Help your partner find a safe and warm place in the home and then ask him to remove his shirt or t-shirt. Now place the baby directly on top of his chest.
The best position is where your baby can feel and hear his heart beating. This will be a very familiar beat and will help ease and soothe your baby naturally.
2. Take the Night Shift.
One of the most valuable things your partner can do to help out is to forfeit some sleep. Newborns take up an unbelievable amount of mummy’s time and energy. Usually, by the end of the day, you will be noticeably drained and exhausted.
Ask your partner to try to accommodate you by being available in the night-time. The dreaded “Graveyard shift” (12am – 4am) is usually the most difficult to do, but if he can find the energy to take over it won’t go unrecognised.
Remember, emotions can run high with a reduction in sleep. By reminding your partner to give you more time to sleep he will be worth his weight in gold!
3. Diaper Duty
One powerful way for daddy to feel useful is to do get him more involved with diaper duties. Although this isn’t always a pleasant job, it still needs to be done. It’s also not shocking that most new daddies shy away from it.
Try to remind your partner that it’s a special bonding time for him and your new baby. Singing a nursery rhyme or a song is the perfect thing to do while he takes care of “business”
Remember, his role is to relieve as much pressure from you as possible.
Changing diapers doesn’t have to be a continuous struggle and the more he does it the better he’ll get at it.
4. Get a Baby Carrier
A smart way to balance duties is to get a baby carrier. This will help your partner to carry out everyday household duties and simultaneously bond with your new baby.
Remember to ensure that the baby carrier is suitable for your baby’s age and that you have all the straps and harness precisely in place.
The more your partner uses it, the easier it will become, and this means he’ll be able to get lots more done at home and will be able to bond more with the new baby.
5. Baby Massage
The best part about being a new dad is getting to do enjoyable activities. Asking him to massage your new baby while they play, laugh and bond is very enjoyable for them both.
Newborns are stimulated tremendously by touch and massaging baby stimulates the central nervous system, which triggers serotonin (the feel-good hormone)
Consequently, your partner will be helping the baby’s mind to grow and reach developmental milestones quicker.
6. Be a Fun Dad
Too many dads overthink the concept of fun. Babies are amused and entertained by nearly anything and as newborns, they just need to be stimulated with frequent communication, touch and contact.
For the first few weeks, your newborn will probably not respond much to the things that your partner does, so it can be a bit discouraging for him at first. But if he sticks to it, the hard work will pay off.
The first time he pulls a silly face or does his best “Donald Duck” Impression and your baby smilesback, it will be completely worth it.
7. No Distractions
If you want your partner to be more ‘hands-on’ with your newborn, try to remind him to remove any unwanted or unnecessary distractions. That’s the only way to really understand the babies wants and needs.
Being distracted and having your mind on other things is normal but remember that your baby will eventually sense him being preoccupied. This will lead to your baby not feeling worth his time and ultimately give them the impression he can’t give his undivided attention.
Smart babies & toddlers will begin to “act out” to gain his attention. If this isn’t monitored it can turn into unwanted tantrums or disruption as they grow older.
8. Bath time Fun
Bathing your newborn can be one of the most delightful activities your partner ever does. It’s so fascinating to watch them kick, splash and play in the water. It’s a very rewarded job and the best part is he’ll still be helping out.
9. Equal Responsibilities
Many new dads want to do more, but they feel as if the newborn stage is primarily a mummies field. While this does have some merit, your partner must find equally important things to do.
His job is to help you and facilitate your role with the baby as much as possible. If that means doing washing for the next 3 months, then so be it!
Having your partner being more involved with your new baby shouldn’t be a burden. It may take a lot of trial and error, but eventually you will begin to see improvements.
Try and be patient and remind your partner to never be scared to ask for help as practice always make perfect.
This is a guest post by Mo Mulla. Mo is a work from home dad who enjoys reading and listening to music. He loves being a dad and husband to a growing family. He loves writing about his passions and hopes to change the world, 1 blog post at a time! You can find his parenting blog here: www.ParentalQuestions.com
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