21 Useful Tips For Preparing For Fatherhood

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During pregnancy, people tend to pay attention to how the mother-to-be prepares for the big day when the baby arrives. But parenting is not just the mother’s domain. Becoming a parent can be equally emotional and overwhelming for a dad-to-be because your life is about to change drastically. Fatherhood is the moment that determines your life and changes all aspects of it. You need to gear up for the defining moment.

You have to learn new things to take care of the bundle of joy that is about to arrive. So, how do you prepare for the arrival of the newborn? We have collected some tips for preparing for fatherhood, to set you on the path.

21 Tips For Preparing For Fatherhood

Preparing for fatherhood is a continuous process. You cannot learn it in a day. However, if you are willing to learn with an open mind, it is much easier than you thought.

1. Spend quality time with your partner

Becoming a parent is one of life’s most precious moments for parents. However, once the baby arrives, the child’s mother will be occupied with several things. You may not have adequate time to spend with your partner.

Pregnancy is the best time for you to spend quality time with your partner through cooking together, going for walks or something that interests you both. You can even plan romantic dates before your baby arrives. Once the baby arrives, moments like these will become treasured memories.

2. Sleep

The phrase “Sleep like a baby” is wholly misplaced because new parents realize that babies do not sleep a lot or at least not in one stretch. They wake up several times during the night, keeping you awake.

Sleep as much as you can or whenever you can before the baby arrives. Even after delivery, you can take a 15-minute nap to refresh. These naps are essential if you don’t want to suffer from fatigue.

3. Watch other fathers

Go to a park, and you can see other fathers playing or strolling with their children. Observe other fathers to understand your little one better. If you like a specific trait, you can repeat it with your little one. You can even have a conversation with other fathers to gain insight into fatherhood. It will also help you build valuable friendships, which will help you when you need them.

4. Research

During pregnancy, women gather information about pregnancy, delivery, and other related issues. They often read various topics about parenting at all stages of a baby’s life. As a dad-to-be, you should also research multiple aspects of parenting. New parents have countless resources to understand parenting, from the right way to raise a baby to what you can expect at every stage of life. With proper research, you can support your wife during pregnancy and after delivery.

5. Document your journey

Becoming pregnant and giving birth is a significant milestone in a couple’s life. Whether it is your first baby or the fifth, you can always capture your memories and document them to relive the fond moments in the future. You can take photos, write in a journal, or even start a blog to document the physical and emotional changes you and your partner are experiencing.

6. Grow with your baby

While the baby is still in the womb, you can take the time to understand what it means to be a father and accordingly make necessary adjustments to your life.

For mothers, changes usually seem natural. Their body changes, and in the next few months, they will experience the baby’s movements and other physical symptoms that continuously remind them of their motherhood. However, for fathers, the experience of fatherhood occurs after the newborn arrives. Take the lead and become more mature and supportive as your baby grows.

7. Mingle with babies

The more you mingle with other babies, the more confident you will become when you are around your little one. Some men are naturally at ease with babies and can handle them with confidence, while some men don’t seem to know the correct way to hold a baby. You can keep practicing or seek suggestions. Ask your friends if you can spend some time with their little ones. This will give your friends a reprieve, and in turn, you will gain experience in holding the baby in the right manner. It is a win-win situation.

8. Attend parenting classes

If there are no children in your friends or family circle, you can join a parenting class. Many expecting mothers attend parenting classes to learn various aspects of motherhood before the baby arrives. You can join these classes with your partner. A parenting class teaches techniques such as holding a baby, feeding, or changing diapers.

9. Share the load

If you think about it, the mental burden of running a house will fall entirely on your partner. She is responsible for the house’s general maintenance and other tasks such as cooking, laundry, dishes, stocking the pantry, teaching the children, and school runs. You can share the workload at home. There are many things you can do to reduce stress.

10. Be ready to fall in love

Most parents claim to fall in love the moment they hold their baby in their hands. However, words cannot describe the emotional whirlwind that will strike you when you hold your baby. No matter how strong you think you are, the moment you hold your baby in your hands will be a life-changing moment for you. So, be prepared to fall in love.

11. Be involved

The dad-to-be who is more involved during the pregnancy period will adapt quickly to the changes that will occur after the baby is born. You have to involve yourself in different aspects of pregnancy. You can tell your partner how much you love her. These reassuring words will dramatically enhance her self-confidence, which benefits the relationship in the long run.

12. Prepare the nursery

The best time to prepare for the nursery is when you learn about pregnancy. While you are happy about the new addition to your family, these are some things you need to consider. Create a separate room for the baby. Design a nursery with your partner and incorporate the changes into your home. In this way, you can prepare yourself to accommodate the little one in the new environment.

13. Set up baby furniture

Setting up baby furniture is one thing that needs to be done before the baby is born. Set up the crib before the baby comes home. Remember, you will be left with little or no time when the baby comes home. Setting up furniture also includes baby-proofing certain parts of the home. Although the baby will not walk around the house for a few months, the sooner you complete it, the better.

14. Get an infant car seat

Many hospitals insist that parents know the correct method of installing and using infant car seats. Get an infant car seat and utilize the pregnancy period to practice strapping it correctly in the car. Then, using a doll, practice how to place the baby correctly in the car seat for maximum safety.

15. Decide the baby’s bedroom

Sit down and discuss with your partner where the baby will sleep, to avoid annoying surprises when the baby comes home. If you want to provide a separate room for your baby, ensure that the nursery is ready with cribs and other necessities. If you plan to sleep together, get a co-sleeping bed.

16. Divide labor

There are certain things that only mothers can do, such as carrying the baby in the womb, giving birth, or breastfeeding. But you can contribute to ease the burden on your partner. Division of labor is the best way to handle the situation. Consider time schedules and tasks, and share household work so that both of you have enough rest time.

17. Stock up on diapers

You will need diapers, lots of them. You can ask your guests to bring diapers as gifts to the baby shower. A newborn baby needs to use at least six diapers a day. Keep adequate stock to last several days so that you don’t find yourself out of diapers in the middle of the night. Parents need to decide which type of diaper to use. You can use conventional disposable diapers or environmentally friendly diapers made of cloth. Whichever you choose, you should practice changing the diapers on a doll. and

18. Cook meals and freeze

If you work full-time, you will find it difficult to manage household affairs. Likewise, your partner will be busy taking care of the baby full-time. In such a scenario, cooking a fresh meal may be bothersome, and eating out may harm your health.

Instead, you can cook and freeze meals for a week or two on weekends. You can make sauces, pastes, and other foods on weekends so that you can pop portions into the microwave and eat. You can start doing this before delivery and replenish it when the stock ends.

19. Focus on your health

If you smoke or drink, pregnancy is a good time for you to quit because your health will indirectly affect the baby’s health. You can adopt healthier eating habits to improve your health. Check your vaccinations and keep them up to date.

After becoming a parent, you might have to skip meals because your baby is crying. Now is the time to eat good food and stock up on essential nutrients. You can exercise regularly to keep yourself fit.

20. Take up a calming activity

After the baby arrives, there will be countless times when the baby will scream or cry. You will want them to be quiet, but you don’t know what to do to comfort them. You are likely to lose your temper because of the constant crying and screaming.

You must practice calming techniques to calm yourself down. You can go for a walk or a drive, listen to music, or watch comedy shows to keep yourself calm.

21. Work as a team

The foremost thing you must do is work like a team, which means discussion and communication between you. All decisions you make must be as a team by taking your partner into confidence.

If you do not work as a team, it may lead to discontentment. Teamwork is also a critical parenting skill. Children can feel the weak link and often persuade you or your partner to support things you don’t like. Collaboration reduces this possibility, and your child will also start seeking your opinion before making a decision.

A father is the child’s first hero. If you work full-time, you may worry about missing your child’s milestones or even fear that your child may love you less.  Your child needs you as much as they need their mother, and they will be happy whenever you are around, even if it is for a short time. They love you unconditionally, no matter what you do.

These tips should help you in preparing for fatherhood. As you prepare yourself for a new phase in life, these tips will help you become your child’s “best dad ever.”

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Dr. Maymunah Yusuf Kadiri

(MD)
Dr. Maymunah Yusuf Kadiri, popularly referred to as ‘The Celebrity Shrink,’ is an award-winning neuro-psychiatrist and mental health advocate with over 15 years experience. She is the medical director and psychiatrist-in-chief at Pinnacle Medical Services. She has created the innovative mental health app in Africa, HOW BODI. Dr. Kadiri is a Goldman Sachs Scholar on Entrepreneurial Management of Pan Atlantic... more

Shikha Thakur

Shikha is a writer-turned-associate editor at MomJunction. Her core interest lies in writing articles that guide couples through their courtship to marriage and parenthood. She also specializes in baby names. Being a postgraduate in Human Resources, she likes understanding people and their relationships. This reflects in her relationship articles, where she deals with both the rosy and the grey side... more