The first six months of the new arrival in the home always seems like the greatest time in any new family’s life…unless you’re currently going through it. Most new families quickly learn that the first six months are less than stellar. Not only is it hard for the new baby who’s been dragged from it’s exceptionally warm, self-feeding, super comfy, poop removing water bed, but it’s then thrown into a cold world and completely dependent on you for its survival.
Does this sound like something you would be interested in?
Your wife or partner soon becomes a zombified slave, answering only to its call, feeding at all hours of the day and night. The hours that used to belong to you. It’s in this time that dads can feel a little left out. Everything that the newborn wants right now seems like it can only be provided by Mom. And Mom seems to see nothing but the newborn.
That’s why the first six months can be the hardest on a first-time dad. So, if you feel like you have no role, what do you do? Well, let me tell you something. You do have a role, a very important one. You are the deciding factor on whether this new arrangement will work smoothly. What makes the difference is a supportive father/husband/partner and here’s how you can do it. Well, here’s how I did it, anyway.
This seems like a no-brainer, but dads can often feel so overwhelmed with what to do that they don’t think to offer help. And a new mom (so I’m told) won’t actually willingly ask for help. So, step up, and even if she doesn’t ask for it, offer to take a shift. Let her sleep through a night while you change the diaper and heat up a bottle.
And on a bath night, offer to spend some time with the baby and have some fun splashing in the little tub while mom has a nap or a shower. It will make a world of difference and gives you a few moments of special bonding time with the baby.
Cook & Clean
No, you don’t have to do it every single day because your wife (well, mine anyway) likes to cook a meal sometimes. She said it made her feel like a normal person and not a milk machine. But a few nights a week, you do the cooking. Give mom a break.
In addition, do a few loads of laundry, scrub a couple of toilets, and make the beds. Because when the baby is napping, mom is supposed to nap, too. But they often don’t, they usually use that free time to clean because they’re masochists. So, do her a nice favor and free up that time for her to catch some Zs.
Use Your Words
She’s used to hearing the battle cries of a baby all day long. So, at least once a day, tell her she’s beautiful or remind her how amazing she is. Say how you feel, express how much you love your new family and talk about all the cool stuff you guys will do together when the baby is older. Positivity and reassurance. That’s the key.
And that’s about it. Whether you’re a new dad or a dad to be, these should be helpful. I know it’s a short list, but these three tips will make a world of difference, I promise. And it may not seem like much to you, that it’s not enough, but Mom will appreciate it more than you can ever imagine.
If you found this to be helpful or had any of your own newbie Dad tips of your own to share, feel free to comment below! And for more awesome Dad Tips delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our free newsletter!