Top tips for new dads
Becoming a dad for the first time for most us is a daunting prospect. If your anything like me you've visualised every possible dad-and-son or daughter moment for the next few decades and are blurting it out to anyone who will listen.
But remeber pregnancy is a long wait for us dads, and the focus will be on mum-to-be and you're left wringing your hands because you feel you should be doing something but nobody's told you what, when or how.
So lets make a start.....Love and respect your partner.
- Love and respect your partner. Hopefully you already do but even so, make an even bigger effort to ensure the mum-to-be's life is as blissful as possible. This means back rubs, candles in the bathroom, handing over the remote control (I know it's not easy this one) kitchen tasks and more importantly biting your lip and taking a deep breath.
- Get the car ready for baby or the trip to hospital. As well as keeping the petrol topped up and getting maintenance work done, planning the route to the hospital. You need to get a rear-facing group 0 car seat ready for the return trip as you will not be allowed to take your baby home from hospital without a child seat. Might be good to add some cushions and blankets in the car - in a few months you're likely to have a passenger in pain and we know how much women like cushions.
- Share in the baby's development. It's difficult when we can't physically feel the daily progress of our little marvel, but it's definitely worth making the effort to find out how big they are, how their organs are shaping up (literally) and what sounds and sensations they may be experiencing. Also recommended is going along to the 12 week (or so) check-up and the ultrasound scan later.
- Think about baby names. Stun your partner with your forward thinking/foresightedness by making a shortlist of potential names and even buying a baby names book.
- Check out toys. Yes, this is the time in your life you've been waiting for - you are officially allowed to start playing with toys again! Of course, the interesting ones are still a few years away but there's nothing to stop you looking.
- Ignore the 'mummy media'. Although they're getting better, pregnancy and baby magazines still put too little focus on fatherhood and when they do it is often patronising. Unfortunately this can lead to a lack of self-confidence and the temptation to take a back seat. Don't let them win! Instead, try FQ, a magazine for fathers, and some of the growing number of fatherhood websites out there, as well as other dads-to-be. They will help you gain or maintain enthusiasm and inspire confidence that you don't need expert knowledge or experience to be a great dad