The idea of being a parent is terrifying, especially for would-be and new dads as they have no idea what they are supposed to do and how. If you are also a would-be dad or a new dad, you should read the tips for new dads collated by the team of MomJunction to ensure that you can be the person your kid, your spouse and your marriage wants you to be. As these tips are shared by experienced dads who have been there and done the parenting thing, they are truly tried and tested.
1. Establish a routine
One of the vital tips for new dad is to establish a routine. Remember, the little one is the boss here. So, you can’t decide when your child will sleep, eat or soil the diaper. But you can adjust your routine according to the kids’ schedule so that you are always there when your child needs you.
2. Decode crying
The first thing you need to learn as a new parent is how to decode the meaning of your baby’s crying. A baby usually uses crying as a means of expression. So, babies cry when they are hungry, bored, or in pain. You need to decode what the baby wants and learn how to help them stop crying. You can try methods like long shushing noises, swaying the baby or having a quick car ride.
3. Be ready for the outside world
When you have a new baby, everyone from your neighbors to your long-lost cousin would want to visit the baby. Hence, one of the newborn tips for dad is to ensure that people come to your home according to a set schedule. It will ensure that the baby doesn’t get scared. Also, ensure that only the closest loved ones arrive in the first few weeks. When guests come, they must spend minimal time with the baby, and you or the home doesn’t need to look put together!
4. Seek help
An important one among newborn tips for dads and moms is to seek help when needed. If your parents are offering to take care of the baby for a couple of hours so that you can catch up on sleep, do it. Similarly, if a neighbor wants to do marketing for you, thank them and accept the offer. You can’t fight every battle alone.
5. Care for your partner
If you are a good spouse who followed tips for dad during pregnancy, you should know that caring for the baby doesn’t mean that you should stop caring for your partner. No matter how busy you are, take the time to hug, or kiss your partner. When your baby can be looked after by someone else, spend some “we time” with your partner so that your relationship stays loving!
6. Connect with your baby
When seeking newborn baby tips for dads, make sure that you learn to maintain eye contact with your kid. Babies can see about a foot around their face. So, while talking to the baby, you need to stay close, smile and look them in the eye. It will help your baby to get used to you and feel connected to you.
7. Offer the magic touch
All babies crave love and attention. Make sure you give them that as a new dad. Hold your baby close, bounce them and jiggle them as often as you can. The movement will help your baby’s brain development and will improve their sense of balance. Be their motion magician by offering the motion your child craves. It can be anything like roaming around with the baby’s head on your shoulder or bouncing them.
8. Stick to your words
An amazing one among new dads’ tips is to be there for your kid. If you promise your baby that you’ll meet them in the evening, make sure you do. Similarly, if you promise a treat to your baby if the child finishes the soup, make sure you fulfil that promises. Parents are the first teachers, so you need to make only those commitments you can keep.
9. Do chores
Being a parent is more exhausting for a mother more than the father. So, you need to remember an essential one among tips for expectant dads and new dads, that is to help your partner with the chores. You can make a lot of difference by choosing one appliance, be it the dishwasher or the washing machine and doing all the chores related to it. Your partner will truly appreciate it.
10. Let the mom go…for a while
This tip works only after a few weeks of having a baby as the child cannot stay away from the mother for the first few weeks. When you think your baby can stay with you for a couple of hours, let your partner enjoy some much-needed “me -time.” You can do that by planning a get together for her with her friends or booking a salon appointment. Your partner will love you for this.
11. Make your baby a priority
It is a fact that you need to focus on your career or mow the lawn. But it is also a fact that your baby is your priority. So, if you miss an important meeting because your child was sick or you couldn’t mow the lawn because you were busy having lunch with your little munchkin, do not regret it. Your baby will grow very fast, so make them a priority and don’t regret the precious moments you spend with them.
12. A potty is a serious business
When talking about first-time dad tips, we can’t avoid the potty issue. As a new dad, you need to understand that when your baby wants to go to the potty, you can’t ignore it. As babies can’t hold or control it as adults can, you need to drop everything and take the baby to the toilet.
13. Be kind
Another vital one among tips for dads to be is to be kind. There will be times when you would get frustrated or angry at the baby for making the same mistake over and over again. In such a situation, you need to learn to be kind rather than angry. Make eye contact with your baby and explain why something is wrong. It is a simple way to make a life-long connection with your kid.
14. Be aware of what you wear
As a new dad, you should try to mold your life around the baby. One of the ways to do that is to start investing in clothes with lots of pockets, like cargos. It will allow you to keep a lot of baby stuff like diapers, toys and other nick-knacks in your pockets and will save you from the hassle of carrying a baby bag everywhere.
15. Always be prepared
Babies leak everywhere, be it on the cozy cushions you just bought or your favorite shirt. So, another thing you need to remember when seeking tips for dad to be or new dads is always to be ready for the cleanup. Make sure you have some tissues with you all the time. Also, keep a pack of tissues in every room of the home and even in your car.
16. Work as a team
Being a mother is a new experience for women too. The simplest parenting hack is to work as a team. You need to seek the help of your partner when you don’t know something, like changing a diaper. At the same time, you need to understand that your partner is new at this too. So, don’t expect them to be your savior every time.
17. Make memories
Every parent will tell you that babies grow too fast. Make sure that you capture every special moment and make loads of memories. Have a camera handy to record special moments like your baby’s first walk, first tantrum or the first word. Similarly, spend time with them to make memories that you will cherish when they are all grown up.
18. Travel with your baby
Traveling with the baby can be tiring or sound exhausting, but it can also be wonderful. But one of the most amazing baby tips for dad we have for you is to travel with your baby. Just make sure that you don’t have a tight schedule and take a lot of breaks so that you don’t panic when your baby poops unexpectedly or when your little one wants a nap. When you are at a hotel, having the staff to look after your baby will be a huge relief.
19. Buy good shoes/slippers
One of the personal safety-related tips for first-time dads is to invest in good slippers and shoes. Having a baby at home means you will step on toys or bump into baby furniture more than you can assume. So, you better get the protective gear!
20. Have some quiet time
We are so obsessed with gadgets that we rarely spend quiet time with our loved ones. As a new dad, make it a habit to spend some quiet time with your kid every day. Make sure there are no gadgets in the room. You can spend this time telling the baby how your day was, share a story or even sing to the baby. This small habit will strengthen your bond and make a big impact on your baby’s life.
21. Be involved
When you have a newborn, there is no such thing as being overinvolved. Spend as much time as you can with your baby and make the little one a priority you cannot skip. When you come home from the office, ask your partner how your baby spent the day, what they ate, how was their mood, etc. Gather as much information as you can.
22. Remember babies add fun to life
There is no doubt about the fact that babies need a lot of attention and raising a kid means a lot of hard work. But they also add the fun element to your life. All your stresses go away for a while when you cuddle your little one or hear them laugh or just look at you with those big and beautiful eyes. So, one of the most straightforward baby tips for dads is to enjoy the fun times and feel blessed to have a baby.
23. Nursing moms need extra attention
If your partner is nursing, you need to assume that you are taking care of two babies. They will need more attention, care, love and respect than usual. Sometimes, even giving a glass of ice water can help save your life. Also remember that nursing moms might be sleepless, irritated and cranky, so you need to handle them with care.
24. You need the “me-time” too
As a new father, you need to take some “me-time” as well. It will help keep your thoughts in order and will offer some much-needed relaxation. Spending an evening with friends or going to the beach could do the trick. Plan things in such a way that you get your me-time on one weekday while your partner gets it the next time. Like every Tuesday evening is for me time.
25. Let things go
Though it’s natural for parents to find out the reason for everything their kid does, you need to learn to let go of things too. For instance, if your baby was cranky at night but you couldn’t find out the reason, but the baby is fine now, accept it and move on. Don’t dwell on why you couldn’t figure it out and stop overthinking.
26. Don’t play the blame game
Mistakes are a part of life, and as a new parent, you or your spouse might make a mistake. It can be anything like not buying enough diapers or not leaving the night light on. In such a scenario, don’t blame your partner or judge them. Just move on. Blaming each other might harmfully impact your relationship.
27. Do anything you like
A baby doesn’t care what you do with them, they care whether you spend time with them or not. So, if you want to spend time with your baby, you can keep the baby in the room while you take care of chores like washing clothes, doing dishes or cooking food. If your little one can walk, allow them to follow you around and see you do stuff.
28. Appreciate your partner
Though moms are more tuned to a baby’s needs (because hey, the baby was inside her), they also feel frustrated, incompetent or question their abilities. When your spouse is in that zone, it’s your job to motivate and appreciate your partner. Let her know that you believe in her abilities and count the ways she is better than you.
29. Be a hot dad
Believe it or not, women find it sexy when you change the diapers or feed the baby. She will praise you to no end, and it will be good for your reputation. Being a hot dad is easy. It might attract your partner a bit more towards you.
30. Diffuse arguments
One of the golden tips for new dads is that you should take on the responsibility of diffusing arguments. Pregnancy and nursing are tough phases for a woman. So, she might get angry over small things and blame you for anything and everything. In such a situation, it would be good if you don’t stretch the arguments as a fight will do no good. Instead, diffuse the argument by doing what she wants. For instance, if your wife is blaming you for not putting the plate in the sink, go a step ahead and do the dishes. She would appreciate it, not at that time but later on.
Being a new dad is a challenge that requires physical, mental and emotional energy. So, you must remember these tips for new dad before moving forward. Also, make sure that you get the best stuff for your child. Here are a few baby care products that you might want to invest in. Do try them and share your experience in the comments.