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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.

10 Ways Dads can Help with Newborn

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.

Related post:
Motherhood is Tough
All you need to know as a New Mom
3 Truths about Postpartum

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.

Diaper Bag Essentials

Diaperbag_essentials

Download our Free Printable list of Essentials that should be in your Diaper Bag

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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

how dad can help with newborn

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

signatureXOXO

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Diaper Bag Essentials

Diaperbag_essentials

Download our Free Printable list of Essentials that should be in your Diaper Bag

Powered by ConvertKit

37 comments

  1. All really helpful tips that can narrow it down for new dads to be super supportive. Love the tip about knowing what goes in the diaper bag!

  2. Very thoughtful post. I agree that some dads need that nudge or “education” to show how to help around busy moms. I esp like the diaper bag idea, i feel as if i used to be the only one who knew what was where and esp in the bag!

  3. Dad’s today are more hands on than previous generations. I thought my husband was the bomb when he baby carried and got up in the middle of the night to feed our twins by himself so I could sleep in a little.

  4. I don’t get the whole point of having a partner when you can’t rely on them when it comes to taking good care of your new born. Dads should share the chores and all that. This is a great guideline! It’s not easy to deal with a new born especially if it’s your first time.

    1. So true. The first time you’re completely lost and the worst is that everyone seem to think that because you give birth to that beautiful creature you should know it all!

  5. I was lucky with my kids because my husband was always very helpful. Men just have to realize that a mother of a newborn has a 24 hour job that she can’t ever call in sick for and they have to pitch in when they can.

  6. I was lucky and my husband was able to get paid time off to help me. I know that most people don’t have such a luxury but it was very helpful.

  7. This is really appropriate since we expecting our second child and although my husband was fantastic with oour first it will be a great reminder for him!

  8. This is great! My Husband always feels so helpless. My youngest is now 3 months and he’s starting to feel more comfortable with him. It takes time though.

  9. Wow I am so glad I came across your wonderful post. Me and my hubby are trying to get pregnant hopefully this year and this is a great post that I can show him if ever it’s a success. Worth sharing.

    1. First of all let me wish you all the best and that you are successful in no time. If that’s no the case though please read our post (This is how we conceived our Miracle Child) because it might help put things in perspective.
      We have many posts that you will find useful once you get pregnant so please make sure to check the other ones too. Keep in touch and if there’s anything we can do to help please give us a shout

  10. My husband was so helpful with a newborn but some days I, still, want to explain that he can’t just know things without making an effort to learn. “I don’t know how to do that…” only goes so far!

    1. I did not have to face what you went through but it must have been very hard. I’m glad you found a person like your husband to help you take care of your daughter and give her the love she deserves

  11. You know at the time it didn’t seem like it. But I can’t imagine how hard it is for dads during the transition into parenthood. These are such great tips and I hope they help new dads!

  12. These are great tips. I would also add be supportive to this list. I breastfed and that was really challenging for me. I t would have helped if my husband could have been more understanding here and supportive even though he didn’t get it.

    1. Rachel you’re so right! Having someone that shows you support is huge. Especially when you feel so lost. Thank you for sharing

  13. Great article! I wish I would have read this when we brought our daughter home. My husband had a hard time knowing what to do since he couldn’t feed her! Thanks for the great read:)

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