To celebrate the upcoming Father’s Day holiday, we checked in with the dads in our community to ask them what advice they’d give to a new father or dad-to-be. See what they had to say, and add your own advice! Rock on, dads.
On the Postpartum Period
“Ask her what she needs, and OFFER to change those diapers, especially during her postpartum recovery. Oh, and smell that baby noggin as often as possible.” Ben C.
“The first couple of weeks are just about survival.” David M.
“Help your wife with everything.” John S.
“It’s hard sometimes to have mom get so much time with the baby. Whenever you can, pick them up and cuddle them, go the extra step. It’s hard to see them only be comforted by mom, so if you make yourself as involved as possible then you’ll be able to soothe them too. Speak up for yourself, you matter too.” Justin G.
On Sleep Deprivation
"Get any sleep disorders checked out by a doctor ASAP.” John M.
“It seems obvious, but always remember that you are a team. Nobody is going to be sleeping well for the first few months, and mom least of all. That lack of sleep can make it hard to remember that raising a kiddo is a group effort. If she needs a night off from feedings to recharge, prep the coffee pot and let her sleep. Inversely, don’t fight her when she tells you to take a nap or a night off.” Scott M.
On Feeling Like You Don’t Know What You’re Doing
“It’s normal to be scared and you’re going to make mistakes. Nobody knows what they’re doing. You’ll also never love anything ever again as much as your kids. You don’t know unconditional love until you have kids. The baby literally comes out doing nothing but eating, pooping, and crying, and you are proud of those moments.” David C.
“Just about anybody can become a father. That’s an easy road that doesn’t require much from a guy. It takes a ton of patience and hard work to be a dad. There will be so many moments when you feel like you’ve got it all wrong. Those moments are like blades of grass and it feels like there are a lot of them. But the great moments when you feel like you’re doing it right are like trees in a forest. They’re scattered here and there but they’re tall, strong, and the roots grow deep. Makes it worth it.” Jorge G.
“Breathe. You won’t break them. Just be there and do whatever you can.” Justin H.
“Don’t panic.” John O.
Share Your Stories
Any seasoned dads out there? Share your own advice for new dads so they know they aren’t alone!