Becoming a parent is the most exciting thing that will ever happen to you. But it can be a bit frightening too. After our first daughter was born, things didn’t quite go according to plan. I was sick with post-birth complications, and our premier baby had feeding problems.
On one particularly hard day, I sat on the floor and cried, with our baby girl crying on the floor next to me. Thank goodness for my husband. Having his support was a lifesaver in the first few months of parenting.
Dads can be a huge help to their partners. Try these tips and be a hero to your partner and child…
Encourage her in her role as a mum
Becoming a mum is life-changing. One day, you only have yourself and your partner to worry about, and the next, you are totally responsible for a precious newborn. Mums want the best for their children, but aren’t always confident with how to achieve that. My husband was always positive, and helped me to relax when I was anxious about doing things exactly right. Reassuring your partner about what a great job she is doing will go a long way towards helping her gain confidence as a parent.
Help her grab some time
Your partner will also find it easier to be a great mum when she can get some time out for herself. When a newborn is in the house, it can be hard to get so much as a shower without being interrupted. Being available to look after bub while your partner takes a break will mean the world to her. I really appreciated being able to have a nap, knowing our daughter was safe and well-cared for. Whether it’s so she can take a nap, get a haircut, or grab a coffee with girlfriends, giving your partner some ‘me-time’, while she knows the baby is safe, will help her in more ways than one!
Help around the house
A new baby in the house also means extra work. Besides feeding, there’s comforting, nappy-changing, and establishing sleep routines. And, all the usual household chores don’t go away. Every little bit you can do takes some of the pressure off her. Something as simple as putting the washing on or loading the dishwasher frees her up to focus on the bub. If you can cook a meal or vacuum the house, you’ll get extra brownie points in the dad department. As an added bonus, research shows that couples who split childcare duties have better relationships and sex lives than those who don’t.
Be a hands-on dad
I can almost still hear the giggles as my husband played with our girls—blowing raspberries, tickles and peek-a-boo games. They loved playtime with their dad, and still enjoy hanging out with him now that they’re older. Did you know that children whose fathers are fully involved in their lives are more successful? A review of studies by the Father Involvement Research Alliance shows that babies with involved dads are more likely to explore their surroundings, be emotionally secure, be confident in unfamiliar situations, and are more sociable. Toddlers with involved fathers are also better problem-solvers and have higher IQs by the age of three. By being a hands-on dad, you’ll be giving your kids the best chance for a successful life.
Look after safety at home and in the car
Being involved with your kids is great, but keeping your precious bundle safe-n-sound is the most important job of all. Life is a journey, and you want to give your baby the safest start.
Make sure you’ve looked at the following:
- Around the house, make sure stairs or any other dangerous areas are blocked off with child safety gates;
- Ensure all potential poisons are safely stowed out of reach;
- Use child-safe devices for cupboards
- Safeguard your baby from electrical outlets, power cords and power bars with one of a range of plugs or covers that are available.
Probably the most important place to think about baby safety is in the car. Ensuring you have the best child car seat, and that it’s correctly installed, will give your partner peace of mind. It will also keep your little one safe-n-sound.