Find out how to help dad bond and adjust when baby comes home.
A lot of thought is put into mom’s experience with pregnancy, labor and delivery — but what about dad? There are plenty of resources available to help you learn how to adjust to life with a newborn at home. All it takes is a little research and a little practice.
Get involved in preparation
Before baby arrives, get involved with some of the prep work that goes on beforehand. This could mean putting together the crib, painting the nursery or installing car seats. Handling baby gear can help parents process the reality of a newborn coming home soon.
Take time off from work
After the baby’s birth, take paternity leave if possible. This is important bonding time for dad as well as mom. Use this time to connect as a family and navigate those early sleepless nights.
Help feed the baby
Even if mom is exclusively breastfeeding, dad can get involved by helping with the process. Help by burping the baby after feeding, or by getting mom and baby ready for nursing time. There’s no reason not to stay close and cuddle while baby is eating.
No one gets a medal for changing diapers. It’s just one of those tasks that comes along with a new baby. New dads should get familiar with the ins and outs of diaper changing.
Attend pediatrician appointments
Accompany your partner to visits to the pediatrician. Ask questions and read all of the paperwork that your baby’s doctor sends home.
Learn to swaddle
Practice swaddling your newborn. This can help with sleep and soothing. According to KidsHealth.org, swaddling can help limit the startle reflex, which can wake a baby.
Need more help preparing for baby? Check out the Childbirth Education Classes at Mercy Hospital to learn what to expect before, during and after the birth of your child. Call our free Consult-A-Nurse® service at (305) 285-2929 for more information or to register.