First Time Father Advice - Be Sure To Do These 9 Things

baby Jun 11, 2020

Becoming a father is a wonderful and unmatched experience — a special time filled with many firsts and new emotions. At the same time, it can be a bit of an anxiety-inducing rollercoaster ride, especially if you’re a first-time father.

Thankfully, you’re not alone in your experience. Plenty of new dads have come before you that you can learn from. So, that’s exactly what we have in store for you: valuable first-time father advice that has helped us on our journey.

From things we did to things we wish we did —  here are nine things you need to do to make your fatherhood journey much smoother.

Be Affectionate

One of the most important pieces of advice for first-time fathers is to be affectionate with your child. Times have long changed. Instead of being frowned upon, showering your child with affection is the new normal. In fact, it’s even supported by science! Findings have shown that being affectionate with children is incredibly beneficial — helping them grow up happier, more resilient, and less anxious.

Don’t be afraid to challenge stereotypes and tradition. Shower your kid with kind words, hugs, kisses, and let them know you love them — both through words and actions.

Express Gratitude

As a first-time father, it’s normal for the changes and first-time experiences you encounter to be stressful or overwhelming. We’re talking about all-nighters because your baby won’t sleep, losing personal time, and more. At times like these, choosing to be grateful and expressing gratitude is a big help.

Remembering all that you have to be grateful for, from your healthy baby to your loving partner, can make the challenging parts of first-time fatherhood seem less daunting and more rewarding. And speaking of partners, don’t forget to let them know how much you appreciate them, too! Whether it’s a quiet thank you or a kiss, make sure they know how grateful you are for their support.

Spend One-on-One Time

A lot of first-time dads are nervous or even uncomfortable about spending one-on-one time with their newborn child — they feel like they don’t know what to do or how to bond with a baby. However, there’s no better way to learn how to be around babies than practical experience.

More importantly, spending alone time with your little one is essential for building a strong relationship and creating special memories. Spend a little bit more one-on-one time with your baby until you feel more comfortable being alone with them. This first-time father advice isn’t just about bonding but also understanding your child better. As you spend more time with your baby, you learn their cues, their likes, dislikes, and can take care of them better.

Be Empathetic Toward Your Partner

While becoming a first-time father is a huge milestone, it’s also important to remember that your partner is going through a lot, too. From the physical and emotional toll of childbirth to adjusting to life with a newborn, they need support just as much as you do — and in some cases, maybe even more.

Understand that your partner is going through their own set of challenges. So, put yourself in their shoes. Be sensitive to their needs, especially when they are having a difficult time. You don’t need to solve their problems — just be there for them, listen to them, let them vent, and reassure them.

Don’t Take Things Personally

As a new dad, you’ll likely encounter times when your baby appears to prefer their mother over you, but remember, it’s not personal. Babies naturally gravitate towards their moms, mainly because of the breastfeeding connection.

This doesn’t diminish your role as a father, though. Understand that sometimes, their constant crying and preference for mom just means they’re hungry and want milk. Keep interacting and bonding with them and they’ll soon feel as comfortable with you as with their mama.

Take Care of Yourself

You might be focused on taking care of your little one, but remember, self-care is crucial too. You can’t pour from an empty cup, after all. If you’re not at your 100%, it’s hard to be available for your child and your partner when they need you.

Not to mention, if you get sick because of a lack of self-care, you can’t be around your baby as much, and that’s not something anyone wants. Sleep might be somewhat of a lost cause but you still have a choice with everything else. So, choose to take care of yourself — eat well, exercise, rest when you can, and take mental breaks when needed. Your health is just as important as your family’s.

Create a Schedule

Babies thrive on routines — and so do new parents. A schedule helps bring some predictability to the chaos of being a first-time father. You need to learn how to make a schedule, not only so you remember when your baby needs feeding but also to make sure you get the breaks you need.

It doesn’t have to be perfect or complicated. It can be as simple as writing down who’s responsible for meal times and the general time for it. It’s also okay to deviate from the schedule. Use these times to figure out what schedule or division of labor works best for you and your family.

Be Okay With Mistakes

As the saying goes, “To err is human.” Let’s face it: as a human and first-time dad, you are definitely going to have your fair share of mistakes and mess-ups. And that’s okay. Mistakes are part of parenting.

Whether it’s a diaper put on backward or holding your baby the wrong way, it’s all part of the learning curve. What matters most is how you respond to mistakes. The best first-time father advice we can give you is to laugh at the mishaps, learn from them, put in the effort to avoid them going forward, and move on.

Remember, you’re doing the best you can, and that’s what matters.

Enjoy the Present

Last but not least, enjoy every present moment. Try not to get too caught up on planning your kids’ future. It’s easy to get caught up in the worries and responsibilities of parenthood, but remember, these moments are fleeting. Time goes by quickly and your kids will grow up before you know it!

So, let yourself enjoy every present moment with your child, soak it all in and savor each second — from the joys and laughter to the chaos and sleepless nights.

Final Words

Fatherhood is equal parts fun, exciting, and challenging. With these nine pieces of essential advice for first time fathers, we hope your journey into parenthood will be a bit smoother.

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