Family & Social Child Developement
How dads can help out when the baby arrives
Parenting is a joyous journey, yet not without its share of ups and downs. A new life demands much from its caretaker. You would have experienced or heard of sleepless nights, unending exhaustion and emotional rollercoasters that the postpartum phase brings on. It is not uncommon for a young mother to feel overwhelmed, or a new father to feel lost in all the baby-centric happenings. This can stifle the unparalleled joy brought on by the chubby cheeks and tiny feet. The solution is for partners in life to become equal partners in parenthood, supporting and helping one another. Mothers must realise that help is not far, in the form of Daddy coolest! And Daddy coolest must up the coolness factor by taking on responsibility. New fathers must do their bit by helping their partners. Here's how.
1. Do the diapers:
Newborns seem to be constantly pooping or peeing, leaving Mommy and Daddy always on their toes, cleaning up after the event. Eight to ten diaper changes through the day are not uncommon for a newborn and the entire ritual of cleaning up can seem like a repetitive and exhausting task if done singlehandedly by mom. Share the load by doing the diaper changing at night or before and after work hours and feel free to go beyond that by doing other tasks like always ensuring everything is packed in the diaper bag before a family outing.
2. Volunteer to feed the baby:
Waking up to feed the baby every 1-2 hours can leave the mother more exhausted than ever. If you are using pumped breast milk why not take this opportunity to allow Mommy dearest some much-needed rest? It's also a great way to bond with the baby through some quiet me-time. There's something very soothing about giving a baby its necessary life-energy and watching him or her feeding.
3. Take on household chores:
For the next few months your life will revolve around the baby. Everything else will take a backseat, but this does not mean everything else comes to a standstill, right? The grocery shopping must be done, the laundry must be done (more frequently, now that Baby Boss is here)! A mother is the primary caretaker for the first few months, so it's the dad's time to step up and take the reins of the household in his hands! Take initiative- discuss and work out a schedule of who does what chores and when, share responsibility and halve the pressure!
4. Get used to taking the backseat, for the time-being:
It is natural to feel anxious about losing one's independent way of life. Everything seems to revolve around the new entrant and as a new dad you may feel powerless. It may feel like you have suddenly been asked to vacate the driver's position and the baby handed the steering wheel of this journey called your life. Worry not, take this in stride. It's a phase that shall pass soon, so be willing to let go of the controlling element in you, for now.
5. Show some extra care:
Postpartum depression or baby blues is a real thing that affects new mothers. The roller coaster of hormones leads to this medical condition that may require medical intervention if severe. Try and be extra sensitive to your partner, talk to her and watch out for symptoms like too much overwhelm, crying and irritability or sleeplessness. Go the extra mile to be nice to her, take sudden mood bursts in your stride. While your partner may not be her original self, simply being extra-understanding can go a long way in helping her overcome the blues. It will also strengthen your bonding.
6. Give her some me-time:
Time spent in solitude can be rejuvenating for new moms, whether it is taking a walk or reading a book. Mothers often spend their entire time cooped up at home with no one but a drooly and demanding kid. Allow your partner me-time by offering to take care of everything including the baby, house etc. periodically. Encourage her to meet a friend or just take a walk in the garden to grab some fresh air.
7. Create some together-time:
With a newborn, couple time may often be the last thing on both of yours' minds. It is especially important to connect and communicate with your partner during this phase. Make extra efforts to enhance your intimacy, both emotional and physical. Celebrate some occasion at home, or cook dinner for her on the weekend. Another complex conundrum many new dads face is whether and when to initiate sex. The birth of the baby may leave both parents totally exhausted with little time or energy for anything else. As a new dad you may also be emotionally torn in between playing the roles of lover and father. Take it one step at a time and try to maintain the intimacy of your pre-baby days.
Being a new dad or a new mum is definitely not an easy job, but the journey can be made smoother and enriching by proactively sharing responsibilities, being mindful of the emotional and physical changes and spending more time and effort in helping each other.
About the author: Rhucha is a Mumbai-based writer and poet, travel entrepreneur, photographer and nature lover. She loves to freeze beautiful moments through her words and her lens, whether it is a wildlife expedition or a cute new born baby.
Discussion with two friends on their personal experiences- they spoke about rekindling intimacy and the emotional support angle more than the physical help that dads can extend.
Loved this article?
Still got questions?
We're here to help! Book a FREE consultation with our Experts
Join 1 Million+ families who
love KinderPass 🎉
Get a personalized daily curriculum of over 1200 skill building activities
Book live consultations with child experts
Track growth, development milestones and identify red flags
Subscribe to our newsletter
Receive weekly advice and guidance on child development in your inbox