You’ve done it! You’ve taken the first step towards being a new dad, and your lady is pregnant and well on her way to giving birth to your new son or daughter! Whist it may seem like all the emphasis is being placed on mom to be, there is plenty you should know and be prepared for before the new life you have both created enters the world. Here are some of those skills you need to know!
Be Prepared for Contact
We all know that one of the first things that happens after a woman gives birth is that her new baby is placed directly onto her skin for some skin to skin contact. This helps to create the bond between mother and child, and is an essential and raw part of the newborn time.
Skin to skin contact is comforting for a newborn also. Studies have shown that this kind of contact can stabilize heart rates, respiratory rates, blood and body temperature. So this reason alone is why, when your newborn baby is stressed, you should periodically have skin to skin time with your baby, as well as for the great bonding aspect it nourishes.
Be Prepared on How to Hold a Baby
The Art of Manliness came up with this great graphic for how fathers need to hold their baby. The main thing to remember is, you always need to have full support and control of your baby’s neck, back and backside.
Be Prepared for Diaper Changing
Their bodies may be little, but they sure do produce a lot of waste. A newborn will typically need to be changed every two hours. So as much as you’d like to avoid it, it is inevitable that you men will need to change at least a few diapers a day. Here’s a rough guide on what to know about diaper changing, from www.theartofmanliness.com…
1. Assess the damage. If you smell something funky, you know you need to change your little turd machine’s diaper. When you go to check the damage, be prepared for anything. You might have just a small little nugget waiting for you, or you could have a runny, hazardous waste explosion that has left the confines of the diaper. If it’s the latter, it’s best to move the baby near the bath, so you can thoroughly clean her.
2. Get your materials. Grab a clean diaper and four or five baby wipes (if it’s #2). Place them to the side.
3. Put your gas mask on and assume the position. If your baby is formula fed, be prepared for a pretty potent smell. If your baby is breastfed, the stink isn’t quite as bad. If you have a boy, it’s always a good idea to juke to the side lest his little sprinkler baptize you into the Church of the Yellow Stream.
4. Undo the dirty diaper and lift up your baby’s butt. Lifting of the tuckus can be done by grabbing your baby’s ankles and gently hoisting her feet into the air. Use a clean part of the dirty diaper to wipe any excess poo from her behind.
5. Wipe. With your baby’s little butt lifted off the ground, grab a baby wipe and start wiping front to back. The front to back motion reduces the chance of spreading bacteria into their privates, which can cause a urinary tract infection (especially important for girls). Make sure you don’t miss a spot. Place the used wipes on top of the soiled diaper. Then, with your baby’s feet still suspended in the air, remove the soiled diaper.
6. Close the dirty diaper and dispose. Fold the diaper on itself with the hazardous waste and used wipes still in it. Use the sticky tabs to make a tight bundle. Place inside a plastic bag, tie the bag off, and hook shot the bundle into the diaper bin.
7. Pat dry. If you want to avoid diaper rashes, make sure your baby’s bottom is nice and dry. Apply some A&D or Desitin if her butt is red or irritated.
8. Slide the new diaper under your progeny. In order for a diaper to function correctly, it needs to be on right. The back of the diaper has the sticky tabs on it. Lay your baby down on this part.
9. Bring up the front of the diaper and attach the tabs. You want it tight enough so that it doesn’t slide off but not so tight it cuts off circulation to your baby’s legs. Most disposable diapers have little ruffles around the leg. Make sure those are sticking out, or you’ll have some leaking problems.
10. Give your baby a high five.
Be Prepared to Burp… Your Baby
Babies will get gas quite often, mostly from taking in air during feeding frenzies. You will need to burp your baby regularly to get the air out, and have a happy and comfortable baby. We’re talking burping your baby at least every 3 ounces of milk, and again at the end.
What to try when my Baby’s crying?
- Dirty diaper?
- Needs to burp?
- Physical discomfort?
Let’s talk about sex, baby
“I mention this up front, because in all honesty, it’s the first thing most men worry about when they think about fatherhood. I’d love to say nothing changes. That you and your girlfriend will still be at it like a couple of teenagers on a camping holiday. But the truth is that sex will be about the last thing on her mind after childbirth and, believe it or not, it won’t be on yours much either.” – www.babycenter.com
Being a new dad can be trying, with the inevitable lack of intimacy plus all the added tasks and skills you’ll need to master (as mentioned above), and of course couple this with a lack of sleep! So while your wife or partner is still pregnant, get educated and get prepared on what’s to come for you and for your wife. And ladies, don’t be afraid to send a few links (like this one) in the direction of your hubby!