Simple yet Effective Ways New Dads Can Help New Moms

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Once you and your partner welcome your little bundle of joy, be prepared for life to change. While parenting is a joyous journey, it does have its fair share of ups and downs. Most new moms are generally prepared to embrace this new phase in their life thanks to all the research they did during their pregnancy. However, new fathers generally feel helpless. It might seem to them that all the baby wants is the mother and the reward of their sweet milk. Well, during the initial few months, your baby will look at your partner as their safe place but that doesn’t mean that you as a dad have no role to play.

Parenting is a joint effort. Don’t expect your wife/partner to take charge as soon as they are home. They’re likely to be a victim of sleepless nights and exhaustion, and might be experiencing a whirlwind of emotions. The postpartum phase can be extremely overwhelming for a new mom. The last thing they’d want is to see their partner being aloof. It can be frustrating for them.

Therefore, as a new dad, you might not be able to read your partner’s mind, but there are so many different ways in which you can help. Just being there for your wife and newborn can make a huge difference.

This blog is for all the new dads or dads-to-be. It’s always better to be prepared before the big day arrives. The little things you do for your partner and baby can definitely make you the coolest dad in the world.

Daddy Duties: Roles Men Can Play in the Household with Newborns

Happy ethnic father on bed with black infant

  • Be involved from the Beginning

The first step to feel connected enough to your baby is by being there from the very first day. If the hospital allows, be present in the room during childbirth. Watching your partner deliver your baby is all you need to develop paternal instincts. It’s a beautiful process and this will further encourage you to play the part.

Young father changing diaper of newborn baby

  • Take Turns with Baby Care

Newborns are so tiny and fragile that it can be intimidating for new dads to care for them. Well, the only way to become comfortable with your baby is by taking the plunge. Diapering and rocking them to sleep is a good place to start. It’s not the sole responsibility of the mother to bear all the burden of baby care. Since newborns poop and pee constantly, eight to ten diaper changes are normal. It can be exhausting for a mom to handle all of this single-handedly. Therefore, as a father, take charge. Take turns with diaper changing. If you see your partner enjoying a good nap, cuddle your baby, put them to sleep or simply distract them with their favourite toy. Spending one-on-one time with your baby is the best way to build a positive relationship with them.

  • Be Around when your Partner is Breastfeeding

A lot of first-time dads feel frustrated that they can’t do much with nursing the baby.  Well, it’s not your fault. However, that doesn’t mean you’re not needed when your baby is hungry. If your partner is waking up in the middle-of-the-night, wake up with them. As they feed the baby, ask them if you could help in any way. Check if they want to have a snack, need a coffee refill or want their phone to be charged. During the breastfeeding process, fathers can provide ancillary support. In other cases, if your baby is drinking formula and not breastfed milk, you can take turns to feed them as well.

  • Surprise Her

With the baby coming in, there will be a lot of changes in your relationship with your partner. Expect fewer date nights, lesser romance and no sex. However, don’t let the romance die out. Keep the love in your relationship alive by showing your partner frequent gestures of kindness. Consider how they’ve been away from their favourite food or drink for nine months. Do something that will instantly bring a smile on their face. It could be something they love, a bouquet of flowers, a bottle of wine or even their favourite ice cream. It doesn’t have to be an expensive present. Think of some of the best gifts for new moms. You could also surprise them with a massage, pedicure or a blowout so that they feel refreshed again.

Besides these little gifts, there’s no better way to show your partner you care than telling her what a great job she’s doing. A lot of new moms doubt themselves. As a partner, you have to reassure her that she’s doing a great job and state that you’re proud of her. Encouraging them can boost their morale and they’re less likely to feel overwhelmed with parenting duties.

Photo Of A Man Washing Dish Plates

  • Take Charge of Household Chores

For the next few months, expect life to be topsy-turvy. Your partner’s life is going to revolve around the baby. However, that doesn’t mean everything else comes to a standstill, right? If you have parents living with you, household chores and kitchen duties may be sorted but what if it’s just you, your wife and your baby?

You need a stocked kitchen, laundry needs to be done, house needs to be cleaned and bills need to be cleared. Since the mother is usually the primary caretaker for the baby, it’s time for the dad to step up and take the reins of the house in their hands. You have to ensure household chores are taken care of. If handling all the responsibility is making you feel overwhelmed, you could also recruit help. Arrange for a house cleaner, grab takeout meals or even hire a nanny for your baby.

Amidst all you do to help your partner, don’t forget that you have work and a job to go back to. Though the concept of paternal leave is quite popular, you will have to return to work one day or the other. Thus, if you’re the chief breadwinner for the family, plan your schedule so that you can care for your partner and baby, and provide for your family at the same time.

  • Help with Cleaning & Sterilising Infant Feeding Items

Before the arrival of the baby, parents-to-be are likely to stock up on a gazillion feeding items. Your partner might even receive these as baby shower gifts. Well, the more feeding items you use, the more the washing and sterilising. Take ownership of this task. With the COVID-19 pandemic around, ensuring your baby has access to clean and sanitised pump parts, bottles, pacifiers and nipples isn’t just a mother’s job but even a father’s. Devise a routine with your partner, and clean and disinfect these items as often as possible. It can be exhausting for a mother to handle this alone. Therefore, share the load.

Photo of Woman Sitting Beside an Indoor Plant

  • Let her Enjoy some Me-time

Postpartum depression is real. Your partner may not just be experiencing a rollercoaster of emotions but also might be missing their pregnancy phase. This recovery period and taking care of a new human altogether can be tiring. As a husband/partner, you need to go easy on her as she has a lot on her mind.

Allow her some me-time as often as you can. Let her nap longer, let her enjoy uninterrupted showers, let her get out and grab some fresh air while you take care of the baby or simply encourage her to meet a friend. Remember, her hormones may be all over the place. Don’t snap at her. Instead, hear her out and allow her to vent. There may be a lot of questions and thoughts running through her mind, and it can be mentally exhausting. Thus, make sure you’re there for her without judging her moods or being too critical.

  • Manage the Visitors

Once the mother and baby are home, you’re likely to have visitors every now and then, pouring in with gifts. While it’s a happy feeling to see aunts and uncles coming in to meet their niece/nephew, it can get difficult to manage things. A good idea would be to let your friends and family know when you’re able to host them. You could also stick up a list of rules on your room door letting the visitors know the protocol they need to follow before meeting the baby. It can include things such as handwashing/sanitising if they’re going to be holding the baby, a no-pictures policy and removing footwear before entering. Also, as a new dad, it’s your duty to politely wrap up their visit. Don’t be hesitant to use the word “no”. Your wife/partner may be tired or may be the baby needs rest or his/her hourly feed. Whatever it is, let your visitors know and they definitely won’t take offence.

Being a new mom or a new dad definitely isn’t an easy job. Along the journey, there may be several road bumps that you may have to endure but when the responsibilities are shared, parenting can be less daunting. As a first-time father, spend time with your partner, make a conscious effort to check on them and most importantly, enjoy this beautiful new phase as much as you can.


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