As a new father, you are about to embark on one of the most exciting journeys of your life. Like all journeys, there will be rough patches, but with a little foresight you can make the most of your child's formative years.
The most life changing thing that comes with having a new baby is bringing that little one home from the hospital for the first time and being alone just you, your baby and your partner. It's critical for Dad to know when it's important to help Mom and when he should just sit back and enjoy the ride. Most new mothers expect and appreciate a little help from Dad.
How to Help the Breastfeeding Mom
While it's obvious that Dad can't actually breastfeed, he can help in the task. Dad can pick the baby up, change his or her diaper, and bring her to Mom to be fed. He can also help out by burping the baby as need be during the feeding. Helping in this manner might sound like small thing, but for a mom who is feeding on demand (every three to four hours) any extra help in this department is greatly appreciated.
It's Time For a Bottle
If Mom isn't breastfeeding, it's quite simple to learn how to feed your new baby with a bottle. Just read the instructions on the formula container, or ask your partner how to prepare the bottle, along with how much to feed. Make sure to burp the new baby after every two-ounce feeding. Additionally, new dads can help out by making sure the bottles are cleaned, sterilized and ready for the feedings. There is nothing worse than having a hungry baby and no clean bottles.
Make Sure Mom Takes a Nap
One of the hardest things for new moms to make time for is sleeping. It's a good rule of the thumb that if the baby is taking a nap, Mom should take a nap too. However, many new moms worry about getting all of the other work done around the house. It's important to help Mom out where ever possible with the house work. Tell her that she deserves rest and put in the effort to get the house cleaned up. If you don't feel comfortable doing the housework, call Grandma or Grandpa over to your house for some help with the baby. They will get a chance to see the new baby and you will have some help with the housework.
Sometimes it's Best to Leave Mom Alone
It seems that day in and day out all your partner does is hold the baby, right? Well, that's perfectly normal and okay. You can't spoil a baby by holding them and newborns crave the attention. One sure way to upset a new Mom is to suggest that she is holding the baby too much or somehow spoiling them. While you may be starved for attention from your partner, newborns need to come first and that is where Mom's attention has to be focused. Don't worry, eventually the newness of the baby will wear off and Mom will have more time to spend with Dad.
All-in-all, anything you can do to help Mom will make her life easier. It's important to think about life in her shoes during this busy time. Help out around the house as much as possible and also jump right in to take care of the baby as well. Mom isn't the only one who should feed and clothe the baby; Dad is just as capable to do those things. The more you bond with your new baby now, the happier you will bee.