How dads can help with newborns
My husband and I were watching Knocked Up the other day. If you don’t know the movie, Knocked Up is a 2007 rom-com about a woman who gets knocked up (get it?) by a guy she has a one-night stand with. The film stars Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl.
The comedy bit comes from the fact that the guy and the girl have literally nothing in common. Apart from that, though, to me, the plot read more like a horror movie than a comedy. Can you imagine getting pregnant by a one night stand? And keeping it?
I remember asking my husband what he would have done in that situation. As the father, I mean. Because in the movie, Seth Rogen’s character doesn’t want anything to do with the pregnancy at first, but he eventually comes around and steps up to the plate.
My husband said he would have supported the woman’s decision, whatever that may be. I think he was just being a gentleman; it’s never that cut and dry.
I have heard the argument that consent to having sex is not consenting to raise a child with that person. Which I think is pure BS for a lot of reasons that I won’t get into right now.
My point is, men who become dads and father figures in their children’s lives, no matter what circumstances those children were sired under, are a rare breed. That’s why dads who are there for their kids right from birth need to be celebrated.
So, you are one of these great dads expecting your first child. Or perhaps you are one of the lucky women who have snagged an adoring hubby and you are looking forward to welcoming your newborn home. How can he help?
Here is a list of some of the things my husband did to help with our newborn that I believe made a huge difference:
Helping with the baby
Helping with the baby is all about communication. Moms need to say what they need help with. At the same time, even if mom is not saying anything, dad needs to ask mom to let him know what it is that she needs help with.
Here are some of the ways dads can help with the baby:
- Bathing the baby: bathing time is a great opportunity to bond with the baby!
- Changing the bay’s diapers: might not be the best job in the house, but dad will soon become an expert!
- Feeding the baby: even if mom is exclusively breastfeeding, dad can help make sure she is comfortable
- Help comfort the baby when they cry or fuss
- Shopping for the baby: dad can buy a few blankies or grows that are all his
Moms need some time for their bodies to recover after pregnancy and delivery. Here’s how dads can help them:
- Feeding her: not literally, but dads can make sure mom eats at least 3 healthy meals a day and drinks plenty of water
- Listening to her: dads should let moms talk and be emotional and vulnerable. I had a traumatic birth experience and I was definitely glad my husband was there to listen to me when I got overwhelmed
- Running her a bath just because
- Taking the baby out for walks to give mom some time to herself
- If there are other kids, dad can help look after them so mom doesn’t get overwhelmed
Helping around the house
Here are some things of the things dads can help with around the house:
- Chores: dads can do some simple house chores to help out. If they can’t do it all, hiring some extra help is also nice
- Grocery shopping: since mom hardly leaves the house anymore, dad should take over grocery shopping
- Making sure the house runs smoothly: paying bills, making appointments, and so on
I hope these tips will help give dads out there some idea of how they can help with a newborn. And don’t worry, as long as you are willing to help out in the first place, you are well on your way to being a great dad!