Top 8 New Dad Tips - Crucial Advice for First Time Fathers

baby Mar 18, 2021
Top 8 New Dad Tips

Did you ever see that scene in Black Panther where T’Challa coolly says, “I never freeze” — but ends up freezing a minute later because he was unprepared?

Many new dads find themselves in a similar pinch: thinking they’ve got everything under control before their child is born, then getting hit with the reality of being a first-time father and freezing up. And that’s totally normal!

Fatherhood is an exciting new journey but it can also be intimidating and overwhelming. After all, you’re basically diving head-first into the great unknown. With the right guidance, though, you can navigate this new part of your life without freezing up.

Today, we bring you Dad University’s carefully curated list of advice for first-time fathers.

Don’t Take Things Personally

No matter how much you feel like your baby is purposely trying to make your life harder or targeting you by crying whenever you hold them — trust us, your baby isn’t doing that to mess with you.

You can’t expect a newborn to be on their best behavior all the time — they can’t even control when they pee or poop. You can’t expect a baby to communicate their needs and emotions in the same way that adults can.

Don’t beat yourself up if your baby cries, screams, or vomits in your presence. They’re just trying to communicate that they aren’t comfortable yet. As long as you keep spending time with them and let them become familiar with you, your newborn will soon calm down in your presence.

Focus On Quality Time, Not Quantity of Time

It can be tough to balance work, household chores, and spending time with your new baby. But remember, it’s not always about the amount of time you spend with your child — it’s about making each moment count.

So, how exactly can you do this? It’s simple: make sure to be actively present when you’re spending time with your baby. Put away your phone, turn off the TV, and just focus on being there with your little one.

Don’t let yourself get distracted by the things around you and other responsibilities you have. Instead, put your all into bonding with your baby, whether it’s bathing them, feeding them, or playing with them.

Spend One-On-One Time With Your Baby

From taking them for a walk around the neighborhood to just cuddling on the couch, spending one-on-one time with your baby can help strengthen your bond and create precious memories.

And with each moment of father-daughter or father-son bonding time you get, you also become more confident in caring for your baby. The more one-on-one time with your baby, the more they become familiar with you as well.

This takes us back to number one of our new dad tips: as your baby becomes more comfortable with you, you’ll feel like your child is out to get you less and less.

Be Okay With Your Mistakes

Let’s face it, no one is a perfect father. We all make mistakes and that’s totally normal. The important thing is to accept them, learn from them, and move on. Your baby doesn’t expect you to be perfect — they just want your love, care, and time.

So, don’t be too hard on yourself if you make mistakes. If you do mess up, just make sure you learn your lesson. Do your best to avoid repeating the mistake in the future and keep moving forward.

Be Empathetic

Here at Dad University, we talk about empathy a lot — and for good reason!

Empathy is key to any successful relationship, including that with your partner and child. Being empathetic means being able to take a look at the situation from other people’s perspective.

Having empathy helps you understand the reasons behind other people’s actions or attitudes better. Being empathetic to what your child may be experiencing and feeling can guide you toward making better decisions as a father.

Get Organized

When it comes to crucial first-time father tips, do not underestimate the effectiveness of getting organized. Between diaper changes, feedings, nap time, and bathing, as well as your other work and home responsibilities, it’s easy to lose track of necessary tasks and when these tasks need to be done.

Creating a schedule can help you stay on top of everything baby-related. Don’t be afraid to divide tasks with your partner or other family members as this not only helps alleviate some of the stress but also helps ensure that everything gets done. Even better, proper scheduling and task division can make dad responsibilities seem less overwhelming and more doable.

Enjoy the Present

One of our most valuable pieces of advice for first-time fathers is to truly savor each moment. As a first-time dad, it’s natural to wonder about all the milestones your child will reach in the future. Phrases like “I can’t wait until she walks” or “I can’t wait for our first real conversation” often cross parents’ minds.

Try not to get too caught up in waiting for future milestones, though. You have plenty of awesome moments unfolding right in front of you now. The gurgles, the coos, the tiny grip of their hand — these might not be major milestones, but these are precious yet fleeting moments that will change rapidly. So, focus on the present and immerse yourself in these precious interactions.

Remember, babies grow astonishingly fast and you can’t turn back time no matter how much you regret not spending enough time with your child.

Be Confident in Yourself

Being a first-time father can be intimidating, but remember that you are capable and you can do this. Feeling stressed out and overwhelmed doesn’t make you a bad dad — it simply makes you human.

Yes, being a new dad can be challenging, but it’s also one of the most rewarding experiences in life. Armed with these new dad tips, we’re confident you can successfully navigate all the twists and turns of fatherhood.

As long as you learn from your mistakes and care about your little one, you’re on the right track. Trust yourself and have confidence in your abilities as a father. And don’t forget to seek support from family, friends, and other dads who can relate to your experiences.

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