Being a first-time father is incredibly daunting. The following has been adapted from the helpful advice dads have offered on Whirlpool on how to weather those initial months of sleeplessness, uncertainty, and let’s face it – downright terror.
- Don’t creep around the house while the baby’s sleeping. You should carry on normally so that they baby gets used to the sound of their parents moving around the house. If they get complete silence when they sleep, then they’ll expect it all the time. Consider investing in a white noise machine.
- If the baby is fed and has a clean nappy, but refuses to sleep, this is your time to shine. Grab the pram, blanket, spare bottle and nappies, and take the little one for a walk. It doesn’t have to be long – just enough for mum to get some sleep or even have a moment to take a long shower or bath.
- Similarly, be ready to take the baby for a walk when you get home from work. Mum’s likely to be exhausted and at her wit’s end by this time. Take the baby to the nearest park and just sit with them for an hour so mum can squeeze in a power nap ahead of her night shift.
- Remember that you’re not alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Having a baby is a huge adjustment, and friends actually do want to help – they just need to be asked.
- Save up enough money so that you can hire a cleaner for the first three months – even if only for a fortnightly clean. It’s relatively affordable (particularly with gig economy services like Airtasker and OneFlare), and ensures you can both focus on life with the new bub.
- Take the maximum amount of parental leave you can. This is precious time you can use to bond with your newborn and also help support mum during a time she really needs it.
- Snap photos and print them for an album. Those first few months go by fast and the baby will change incredibly quickly. These photos are lovely to look back on when they get older.
- While it’s nice to have some cute baby clothes, onesies that zip up both ways are by far the best outfit in terms of ease of use, especially when it comes to changing nappies.
- If mum is happy to express milk, invest in a decent breast pump. You can hire hospital grade ones from the chemist if you want to see if it’s worthwhile. The best brands are Spectra, Medela and Ardo.
- Coles/Woollies home delivery for groceries is worth every cent with a new baby.
You can find the full thread here: https://forums.whirlpool.net.au/thread/98wy6xy3
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