As a first-time mom your baby’s checklist is never ending, but for a new dad the list may be short or they may not even have one since they aren’t sure what is needed. As a mom, I wasn’t exactly sure how it is to be a first-time dad so I went to the best possible person to ask, my husband. We now have two little ones at home but I asked my husband what were things that helped and supported him as a new dad.
Give dad a baby checklist
To start, moms, if dad doesn’t have a baby checklist, give him one! With baby items, there are so many things to put together so add putting together furniture, the baby swing, pack and play and installing the car seat to dad’s list. Giving dad things to do to help will not only take things off your list but it’s a way for them to participate and get prepared for the baby.
When you are pregnant you shouldn’t be lifting heavy items so those types of tasks are perfect for dads. Give them other things within their skillset as well. If dad is the primary cook in the family have him put together some meals for after the baby is born. You can also give him some items you want to make sure to eat once the baby is here. If dad likes to research things as my husband does, give them a list of baby items that you are looking at and have them research the best ones for your family like strollers, car seats, and baby monitors, or if you need a new family car let dad handle that!
My husband said exactly this, “be patient with all their silly and repeat questions.” Dads may have a lot of questions and that’s great, encourage it! As moms, we are growing a human inside of us and know exactly how many weeks we are. We’ve also spent time researching all things baby and it may be hard for dads to remember all that information, let alone relate to being pregnant and birthing a baby. Be patient with dad and let him ask all the questions about how they can help support you and baby.
If they can go to doctor appointments, let them ask all the questions they want! You may have a list of questions for your doctor but let dad have one too! What better place to let him ask all of his questions?
Make dad an active participant
We’ve already talked about giving dad a list of things for baby prep but another way for them to be an active participant is for them to attend any baby classes you may be taking. Before my first baby was born I was taking a virtual breastfeeding class and mentioned it to my husband as hey I’m doing this, I know it doesn’t pertain to you but you are more than welcome to come. My husband knew absolutely nothing about breastfeeding so he joined and honestly learned a lot. It helped him to support me better if that is how I chose to feed our baby.
Let dad help!
If you are anything like me before having your baby you aren’t the best at asking for help. Full transparency – once the baby is here you will need all the help you can get! Utilize any help as much as you can, you grew a person and birthed it, take some much needed rest!
Let dad help with things that he may not normally do. For our family that was laundry, grocery shopping, and cooking at least for the first month or so after the baby was born. If you are pumping or formula feeding let dad take the night shift while you get some sleep. If you are breastfeeding have dad get you a snack and some water because you will need it.
So moms, don’t forget about supporting dads during this new transition into parenthood. Being new parents comes with its own sorts of challenges and learning curves so being able to support each other and be a team will make a world of a difference.