25 brilliant fatherhood tips. March 15 2016, 0 Comments

fatherhood

Are you expecting parents, new parents or experienced parents?

If so, this incredibly interesting article lists the top 25 different experiences one man went through after the birth of his first born. Written by Will Dalrymple, just after the birth of his first child, a baby girl called Kate.

It’s straight forward, honest and definitely worth a read... Enjoy!

1. At last, you're in control. For the first time in your life, you and your partner (and not your parents) organise your time and the baby's time. Now you're the parent in charge, and you decide where you go and what you do as a family.

2. Just joking. Actually, you're not in control - the baby is, and he or she will completely disregard your attempts to plan anything at all (so remember to tape any sport you want to watch because if you don't, the screams will start just as something interesting happens).

3. Your baby is unique - there's no way of knowing what she's going to be like, and what she will like or dislike. Sometimes it's scary not knowing what she wants, but this is your chance to be in the front row to witness someone who is new to the world.

4. During pregnancy, the baby can be anything - boy, girl, dark, fair, big, small - but when it comes, it won't be everything it could be. There's nothing wrong with grieving for the things that didn't turn out as you expected - it doesn't mean you love the child you do have any less.

5. I didn't think a new baby would be so fun to be around. We are constantly laughing about how completely unselfconscious babies are (no worries about straining to do a poo).

6. Carrying a baby takes at least one hand, so lose an arm or buy a carrier. I have had great success with a sling, which is secure, and leaves both hands free.

7. Your baby will change every single day, and anything new that she does is a revelation. Small things, but you'll bore your friends to distraction talking about them.

8. Love didn't come automatically the moment she was handed to me after the birth. Right now, cuddling, hugging and rocking my baby feels right, and my feelings for her have grown through physical contact.

9. Don't underestimate the effect the labour will have on you, as well as your partner. Thirty-six hours of contractions and then an emergency Caesarean wasn't part of our birth plan, and it took me a week to recover from the stress.

10. If you're wondering when you're going to have sex again, it's probably best not to make jokes about it in the early days - they will be met by stony silence.

11. You will delight in calling each other 'Mummy' and 'Daddy' (something everyone else will find revolting).

12. Your own parents need to grow into their role so give them time. And new parents don't stop being their parents children. If your mum wants to cook for you or do your washing, just enjoy it.

13. Take a 'babymoon'. We found that by limiting visitors during the first two weeks we could get used to our new lifestyle on our own, without the stress of entertaining.

14. Any kind of physical contact between you and your partner is off the menu if one of you is always holding the baby. And conversations are likely to be interrupted as the baby throws up all over both of you.

15. You may feel that you're living through one long day - newborns can't differentiate between day and night, and within days you won't be able to either. It also means that at 7.30pm you'll have to choose between sleep - as much of it as you can get before the baby wakes up again - and your more usual evening activities.

16. The tiredness is manageable, but during the day there are weak moments.

17. I cannot contemplate life without a washing machine or a dishwasher. Both seem much more important than travel systems, for example. Keeping the laundry bin empty and clean dishes in the cupboards helps maintain my sanity (and my wife's everlasting gratitude, or so she says).

18. You'll learn to eat with one hand, turn pages with your feet and fast forward the video with your nose. Luckily you only need one hand to pee (leaving the other free to cradle your asleep-at-last child).

19. Sort out your own toys before settling down with a baby you don't want to wake up. More than once I've been caught on the couch without the remote control and had to stare at the wall for three hours while she slept.

20. What do you do when a rested baby has a full stomach, a clean nappy, and is crying? Troubleshoot. Our baby seems to like the traffic noise, going outside, being rocked gently, and perhaps a little gentle classical music (for a while at least). I have also been known to sing to her. If something doesn't work, try something else. Don't be afraid to experiment - though it probably won't work, it won't hurt either.

21. Agree division of labour terms. Who gets up when the baby cries? Who does a 2am nappy change? You and your partner need to decide, but be realistic. You can't stay awake all night tending to a crying baby and then put in an eight-hour day at work, so if it's bad, you may need to sleep on the couch.

22. Forget minimalism - baby paraphernalia will overtake your house. Have you thought about where it's all going to go? (And yes, your partner's right, you do need it all - don't resist).

23. Returning to work after paternity leave can be a relief. I'd gladly take the low-level but predictable stress of work to the unpredictable stress of a baby.

24. As a first-time dad, it's normal not to have the faintest idea of how to care for your baby. Don't panic - within a week you'll look back and be amazed at how far you've come (and how good you are at changing nappies).

25. Friends with older babies have grown sentimental when seeing such a tiny infant. Now, at a month old, she looks around more and is awake for longer periods than she used to. Soon she will no longer be a newborn and will need me to look after her in different ways.

Article sourced here