10 Ways New Dads can help the New Mamas with Baby
Updated: August 2017
Hey New Mamas and Papas,
Being first time parents can be really scary at first and downright overwhelming. We have been there and totally remember the feeling. I mean your child’s life literally depends on you and your partner, and if you ask me there’s nothing more terrifying than the thought of not having a clue of what to do. This overwhelming feeling is usually shared by both parents, which is totally normal and typically creates tons of tension between the two.
So, if you are a first time parent just remember that communication is key to your success…. Oh and did I mention PATIENCE.
Yes Mama you need to be patient with your other half because most likely he doesn’t have a clue of what to do, and needs your guidance every step of the way
Yes Papa you need to be patient with your other half because let’s be honest she’s an emotional and physical exhausted wreck. It took her 9 months to get to where you are now (CONGRATULATIONS by the way), she will need some time to heal and adjust as well. She was not born knowing all there’s to know about babies. It’s all new to her as well.
Now with this piece of information out of the way let’s get down to business…
Generally speaking it seems like guys think that there is nothing they can do to help, or they need to be told what to do and how and why, so we put together a short, easy peasy list for papas that want to help.
1. Be present
Nothing is really more important than this! Make sure she knows you are there for her, ask her if she needs anything, ask her if you can help.
She might say she is fine… But the fact that you show you care and that she sees you are around looking after her is going to make a huge difference on how she feels. Happy mamma=happy baby= everyone is happy.
2. Be considerate
Maybe because you are going to work she will take the full load of waking up during the night and make sure you can sleep so you are fresh and rested to go to work. SHE THINKS AND CARES ABOUT YOU… DO THE SAME IN RETURN. When you come home offer to watch the baby so she can take a bath, or nap or eat.. WITHOUT being constantly interrupted. Try helping her have some time for herself. ( A common feeling for a mom is to have disappeared as a person ). Specially watch for when she is on the verge of exhaustion and offer your help then, offer her a BREAK. She might not be going to work yet, but that doesn’t mean she is on vacation. Remember she is devoting her 100% to your child with no timeouts, she is exhausted.
3. Be understanding
She might not be in the greatest mood.. We go through the craziest and cruelest hormonal ups and downs after having a baby. You thought you had seen it all with PMS?? Brace yourself…That was a walk in the park compared to what she is going through right now.
So if she barks at you for no apparent reason, don’t start a fight or get super offended..try to understand what she is going through.
But also be aware that while you can expect things to be unstable, baby blues and post partum depression are very common and could easily be confused with hormonal craze .
If she is acting weird after a few weeks… You might be heading into a different situation.. Keep your eyes open, no one knows her better than you do.
4. Be helpful
Maybe she’s devoting herself fully to baby care for now. There is still laundry to be dealt with, dishes to clean, vacuuming to be done. Stuff that needs to be put back into place, you guys need to eat.
So, make sure you help out with the home load, she will be grateful. She’ll be eternaly grateful!!! Or simply look after you child while she’s pumping the life out of her. Trust us she’ll love you forever for this or she’ll give it for granted (You know your spouse better than we do and we can’t do anything about that!)
5. Be honest and open and listen back
You might be feeling a bit abandoned, she rarely looks at you or talks to you anymore. That is to be expected, specially during the first few weeks… She has tons of new non-pleasant stuff to deal with, and this is without a doubt the hardest, most consuming thing she has ever done. Nature wires us to be incredibly focused on the baby to guarantee their survival. So… It is not that she doesn’t care about you, she just can’t, she is overloaded.
But if you need some time with her, you need to talk. Be honest and open up to her, DO NOT demand attention because that is just not going to fly. Make her aware of the way you are feeling so she can try to gear some of her time towards you. And be ready to take some honesty and openness back… She might vent to you too. After all, that is what your partner is there for right?
6. Learn about the baby
Become familiar with the way she handles the baby and where his/her belongings are. Where to find PJs, onesies, creams, diapers, soaps, etc. So when she needs you to get her something she won’t end up going to look for it herself while holding the baby.
7. Learn what goes in the diaper bag
Pretty self explanatory. Know how to pack a diaper bag, what the musts are (how many diapers) and what other optional stuff she usually packs .. Like Baby’s favourite toys, blanket, soother, what additional items she brings, like change of clothes, extra diapers, etc.
8. Know what it takes to get baby out the door
Leaving the house now will require way longer than it used to. From packing up the diaper bag, to last minute diaper changes, stroller, carrier, feedings. There is planning behind every outing. Get familiar with it and figure out where you can help. That will help you get out of the house faster.
9. Spend time with your baby
Whenever you are home, don’t just expect her to look after the baby. There are lots of things you can do that don’t need mommy’s involvement. You can give your baby a bath, change his/her diaper, play, show them around, read (you can read the news or the sports page), sing to them (whatever you want to sing, no need for lullabies). This is your chance to create a bond with your child. Allow them to have fun with you.
10. Learn to soothe your child
It really doesn’t have to be mommy. Anyone can help a baby soothe… Unless maybe if it is hungry and breastfed. Other than that, there is a lot that can be done. The more time you spend with your baby, the easier this would be for you. Don’t be scared, just because you don’t have boobs it doesn’t mean that you can’t help your baby go to sleep or relax. You might even be better at it.
So dads, don’t underestimate how important your involvement is. There are really lots of ways for you to help, lots of things that you can do.
Your baby will be happier the more present you are, your partner will be happier … And that will make you happier too! It is a win-win situation.
Cuddos to you for actually caring and be willing to participate, that already makes you a fantastic parent and partner!
And now you can download our FREE Printable Diaper bag Checklist so you’ll know that one thing you’ll have down packed for sure without having to worry about it, and without having to ask your exhausted and overly cranky partner
Diaper Bag Essentials
Download our Free Printable list of Essentials that should be in your Diaper Bag