First-Time Dads Helpful Tips

Here is an article with helpful tips for first-time dads. Some of the information might seem like things that everyone knows, but they are mentioned here because when you are a pregnant couple, everyone gives you advice to the point of overload, but most of it goes to mom, and very little to dad.

First Time Dad: "They are so little!"

First, most of us feel like clumsy oafs handling our offspring when they're very little. Those pink, chubby little ones look pretty fragile and, if you’re not used to babies, handling them can be nerve-wracking.

Happily though, newborns are far tougher than they seem. They’ll let you know if they feel uncomfortable or insecure. Just remember: the more you hold them, the more they'll get used to you.

• If your baby’s lying down, scoop up with both arms, one hand/forearm supporting the bottom and the other under the shoulders and beneath the head - you'll get a feel for it. Take care to make sure the head is safe (because for a baby under about six months, supporting their head with their neck muscles is a challenge).

• If you’re on the move and will be walking about, a baby carrier is a great idea – and babies love being close to their parent’s warm body.

• Remember, we offer a Newborn Care Class every month, that will help dad feel much more comfortable.

Crying - How to Handle that for a First Time Dad

Another thing that freaks out even the most unflappable first-time dad is crying. Better get used to it, as it’s baby’s only way to tell you he's hungry, wet, cold, tired, sick,or whatever he feels, very intensely, at that moment.

Even completely healthy newborns cry for between one and three hours a day.

• The hardest thing can be figuring out what he wants, and it can be upsetting when you don’t know how to comfort him. Nevertheless, you’ll soon recognize his crying patterns and start anticipating his needs – you’ll know when he is ready for the next feeding before he does.

• Babies cry for a few predictable reasons: normally because they need food, a clean diaper, to be comfortable, or simply because they want a cuddle.

Feeding - What a First Time Dad Needs to Know

If your partner’s breastfeeding, all the early feeding will be down to her, but there's a lot you can do to support her. She will also need your encouragement and support - after all, she is providing the best nutrition for your baby, and one of the biggest factors that determines whether she will be able to do this successfully is whether or not she gets your support. We also provide Breast Pumps for rent, that gives the first time dad a chance to help with the feeding while allowing baby to get the best nutrition available.

If your partner isn't breastfeeding, you need to follow the step-by-step instructions on the formula milk label, as it is important to prepare the formula correctly to insure best nutrition for your baby.

• Only make up a formula bottle you're going to use straight away as it is now recommended that you don't store made up formula in the fridge.

• When your baby feeds, make sure your baby is not sucking in too much air by holding him/her at a 45-degree angle and tilting the bottle so the nipple and neck are always filled with milk. And vary the side they lie on to encourage head turning in both directions. So, one feeding from the left, and then the next time you feed, do it from the right.

• Don't force your baby to finish a bottle - you'll come to know the signs when he’s finished. Leave plenty of time for the little one to get the air out of their belly with a few hearty belches.

Bath Time with the First-time Dad

The last two new-dad skills to master are bathing and changing diapers...
For the first couple of weeks, gentle cleaning with a warm, wet flannel is easiest. Make sure the room is warm and lay the baby on a clean, warm towel.The main areas to clean are the eyes, neck, face and ears and the bottom/genital area.

If you do decide to give the baby a bath using a bay bathtub, bear in mind that they are really slippery when wet, I mean really! If the water is warm, and the room is warm, and the baby feels really secure in the baby tub, then bath time will be a breeze. If the temperature of the water or air is too cool, or the baby does not feel secure, then there will be crying, which will make the whole thing really stressful, for the baby and you.

The First Time Dad and Diapers

That leads us nicely on to diaper changing. Everyone is poor at it in the beginning, so it is most important to persevere. And to not really care if it all doesn’t come out perfect. The baby certainly won’t know. While most folks opt for disposables, washable diapers are also available and have many advantages. Disposable diapers contain numerous dangerous chemicals. Using cloth diapers will certainly be better for baby and the environment and they are cheaper than using disposables.

• Make sure you change your baby's diaper regularly to avoid diaper rash.

• Be prepared. Have a clean diaper, trash bag or dirty diaper holding bag, baby wipes and cream (if your baby has a rash) handy.

• Newborns may be sensitive to perfumed wipes for the first few weeks, so just use plain warm water on their behinds.

• During these first weeks, you'll also need to take care of the cord area. There may be a little bit of cord still attached to the belly button or it may have come off. Either way it needs to be cleaned carefully with plain water to prevent infection.

Now, that wasn’t so bad. Have fun and enjoy this special time, and join us for our Newborn Care Class. Call today to sign up: (951) 694-8388.