5 Head start Advice for New Fathers
With each passing trimester, if your reading list is getting longer, Congratulations! You have already started experiencing fatherhood. Contrary to popular belief, fatherhood is just as emotionally fulfilling as motherhood. Research by the Centre for Developmental Social Neuroscience, Israel has revealed that a father’s brain releases the same amount of serotonin as a new mother after childbirth. This sparks the joy of fatherhood and subsequently helps in forming a bond with the baby.
Here are five pieces of advice to start with
Paternity leaves is the period of absence from work granted to a father after or shortly before the birth of his child. If your employer has the policy, great! If not, burn those vacation/sick days and make time for the baby. The E-mails can wait, initial time with the baby cannot. The first few days with the kid can be handful for new moms, hence these leaves will not only strengthen your bond with the baby but also help your partner out.
Learn as you go
Given how every child is different, you cannot be entirely prepared for them by reading books or watching videos. You may have read all the books on parenting out there but ask for help if needed. Ask your wife or your parents to help out where you fall short and learn from the process. Do what works best for your baby and it will be smooth sailing.
Right from the beginning, take part in all the rituals that come with the new baby. Take turns changing diapers, staying up at night when needed. Also feed, dress, settle and carry the baby to increase physical intimacy. These everyday activities also create lots of one-on-one time with your baby, which is the building block of a positive relationship. Another plus is that your partner gets a break too.
Take care of yourself
When we say take care of yourself, we mean it holistically, be it your health, your relationship with your social circle or your wife. Take full 8 hours of sleep, have a guy’s night out, go out with your wife once in a while and try to discuss something other than the baby. Your baby needs you for a long time. Being a healthy and happy dad is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your kids.
If you feel your baby is sick, call the pediatrician. Don’t panic. The little one’s may look delicate but are in fact sturdier than you think. If you still feel they are not as cheery as usual, take them out for a walk. Stimulation is great for kids and not to forget, they get you lots of attention.
Yes, being a new dad can be hard sometimes, but the benefits of fatherhood will make it all worthwhile. Try to keep these things in mind as you work through the challenges of those first few months. Don't expect to keep up with your normal daily routine as you're adjusting to your new baby. Some days, just taking a shower will be a major accomplishment, but that smile or that first step will make you forget all the struggle in a minute.