5 Crucial Tips for Expectant Fathers

baby Nov 23, 2021
5 Crucial Tips for Expectant Fathers

As an expectant father, you’re about to embark on a journey that’s as thrilling as it is daunting. Amid the excitement and happiness, you can also expect to go through a whirlwind of emotions and worries as you anticipate the changes and responsibilities that come with your new role.

As with anything in life, change can be tough on us — especially when it’s as big as becoming an expectant father — but that’s what Dad University is here for! Today, we’ll be giving you five crucial expectant father tips to help you find your footing as you navigate fatherhood.

Tip 1: Have Empathy for Your Partner

Empathy is perhaps the single most important quality you need to learn and cultivate — not only as a father, but as a partner. Having empathy essentially being able to understand their experiences and emotions on a deeper level. It means truly seeing things from their perspective.

Pregnancy is one of the most physically and emotionally demanding experiences in any woman’s life — they are growing another human being inside them, after all! From morning sickness and swollen feet to hormonal mood swings and feeling perpetually tired, your partner is going through all that and more. She needs your support now more than ever. 

Have empathy and put yourself in her shoes. Anticipate her needs, be there when she needs someone to talk or vent to, and above all, be more understanding whenever she gets frustrated or upset.

Tip 2: Don’t Waste Time Worrying About Tactical Things

By tactical things, we’re referring to the physical tasks that many soon-to-be dads end up worrying too much about. Prime examples of these are changing diapers, holding your baby, feeding them, burping them, and putting them to sleep.

We’re sure you’ve seen numerous movies or TV shows where expectant or new dads run around frantically and panic over figuring out how to change diapers or even hold their baby. Trust us when we say you don’t need to waste precious time worrying about these things. 

Yes, taking care of a new baby can be overwhelming and anxiety-inducing. This is understandable, especially if you’ve never done it before. However, worrying about all that — when your little one isn’t even born yet — does you no good. 

You’ll learn them as you go along, and your partner will also be there learning with you. More importantly, once you get around to doing those tasks a few times, you will quickly get the hang of it! Instead of letting those worries fill your mind, it’s better to spend your time and energy doing something more productive, like helping your partner or preparing your baby’s room.

Tip 3: Buy What You Need, Not What You Want

As a soon-to-be dad, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and buying all sorts of trendy and must-have things for your newborn. How many of those “must-haves” are actual necessities? The answer is hardly any.

In truth, babies only really need a few things. Beyond the basics of food, clothing, a safe place to sleep, and a car seat or carrier, everything else is optional. Anything extra isn’t a need, regardless of what influencers or your loved ones might say.

You need to recognize the difference between your needs and wants. Sit down with your partner and discuss this as she may have an idea of what you’ll need already. Instead of going on an early shopping spree for baby things, hold off until your baby is born. Let your experience taking care of your newborn guide you on what is genuinely necessary to help you take better care of your son or daughter. 

Save your money and wait on the wants — your wallet and bank account will thank you, too!

Tip 4: Expect Emotional Chaos

We often hear how pregnancy is a major life change, bringing on a rollercoaster of emotions. This doesn’t only apply to expectant mothers though — expectant fathers get their fair share of emotional chaos as well. 

While you may not be physically carrying your child, you are also carrying the responsibility of becoming a parent. As an expectant father, it’s normal to feel scared, overwhelmed, or even have moments of doubt. It’s also normal to go through self-reflection and have long-buried emotions or childhood experiences come to the forefront of your mind.

The emotional turmoil is all part of the process, as your mind prepares you for fatherhood and helps you adapt to your new role. When this happens, the key is to be open and honest with your partner. Sharing what you’re feeling with her or with your loved ones can greatly help reduce your stress or anxiety.

Tip 5: Have a Plan, but Be Flexible

Having a plan is great; it makes you feel more prepared and in control. Feeling all of those — especially as a first-time expectant father — can boost your overall confidence. However, here’s the catch — just because you have a plan doesn’t mean things will always go according to it.

Take pregnancy and the expected birth date, for example. The OB-GYN might give you a date or week for the baby’s arrival, and you might plan your schedule based on that, but the baby can just as easily come early or late. Once you have a toddler, there’s no telling when your plans might have to change based on their health, daycare schedule, or other things.

Plan ahead — but don’t forget to plan for flexibility and sudden changes. Be adaptable and learn how to go with the flow. This can save you a lot of headaches as a parent!

Start Your Fatherhood Journey Right

Becoming an expectant father is a huge responsibility, but it’s also an exciting and rewarding experience. Always remember that you are not alone in this journey. You not only have your partner by your side, but also your loved ones. Plus, you have the entire Dad University community cheering you on and supporting you.

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