Fatherhood can come unexpectedly for some, and be well planned for others. Either way, however, there are going to be some surprises along the way. Babies come into this world and turn things upside down, in a good way. While you cannot be prepared for everything that will come your way, there are a few things to take into consideration as you enter into the wonderful journey of fatherhood.
This Little Human is Delicate
Human life has persisted for quite some time on this planet, yet many sources will have you thinking you are sure to break the baby if you touch it. There is some truth to the delicate hypothesis. Read up on health and safety procedures. Go to the doctors’ appointments and learn all you can, this is your little human to protect. Also, console yourself with the fact that people have babies every day. There is some sort of natural ability that comes with the territory. As long as you can tell the difference between your little swaddled up baby and a football, you are going to be ok. P.S., the baby is the one with the pastel hat and blanket.
You don’t have to feel clueless, although the early mishaps of life with your baby can make some good stories later on. If you are determined to not be the dad that put the diaper on backwards, there is help out there for you. You can go to the new parent class with your wife at the hospital. If you don’t want her to know you really need it, approach it as a fun bonding activity. While you are there, however, pay attention! They will cover diapering, swaddling, and other basics. There will also be very important safety information given at this class. You can also stock up on books and hide away while reading them if you want to make it look like you already know it all. Hint, your wife will find it very romantic if she sees you reading her parenting books. Go ahead and show her your vulnerable side. That said, there are plenty of opportunities for learning around you every day. If you missed the class, the nurse is most likely going to put that first diaper on, watch her. Watch other parents at the grocery store and see how they handle shopping with baby, read directions on packages, and listen to your baby. The baby will have ways of telling you what it needs. They usually don’t just cry for fun. By the end of it all, you will know what every little sound means.
Don’t Ignore Mom
Moms are all different. Learn about your wife and her parenting habits, quickly! Mothers turn into angry lions when something is not right with their little ones. If you find yourself on the receiving end of one of these moments, remember it is not necessarily about you. Nature has some interesting tactics in place to ensure the survival of the species, mothers are one of these. They will do anything and everything to protect their young. A mother’s body is going through hormonal changes that actually assist in caring for the baby. Learning how to care for your baby can help mom feel secure. Read the parenting books, put information into action. It will benefit everyone involved. Also, don’t forget to do something a little nice for mom every now and then.
You can get through early fatherhood with success by observing your surroundings while waiting for your baby to arrive. Read, observe other parents, and talk to friends as you prepare for your journey. Raising your child is going to be the best part of your life. There will, of course, be surprises. Prepare as much as you can, and embrace the chaos the rest of the time.