The life of a new dad is similar to being inside of a tornado. It just keeps spinning and spinning until the moment the tornado randomly decides to stop spinning.
In other words, being a new dad can feel like a lesson in being out of control.
So, because we care about helping you navigate one of the biggest life-changes you could ever experience: becoming a father, we’ve compiled a list of advice tips for new dads.
The list could be much longer. For example, just look at the parenting section in your local bookstore. Obviously, there is more new dad advice out there than what is included in this post.
But, in the end, these are 7 solid and tested pieces of advice for new dads.
Buy Butt Paste
This piece of advice for new dads is at the top of the list. Buy LOTS of butt paste. If you’ve never seen a newborn baby’s dirty diapers, you have no idea what you’re getting into. Actually, let me just take a moment to describe it to you…
Just kidding! You can figure that out on your own.
The bottom line is that babies have highly sensitive skin, especially in the places where they poop and pee. That means they constantly get diaper rashes and irritations that, if left unchecked, can prevent sleep and make for some long days.
Stock your cabinets with butt paste and then message us to thank us when it’s all said and done.
Keep your baby at an angle
New dads who love some good old fashioned, practical tips, this one is for you! If at all possible, keep your newborn at an angle. Why? Because it’s better for digestion. Imagine you ate until you were full at every meal – so full that someone had to help you throw up what you couldn’t keep down.
Well, that’s what a baby does at every meal.
Their stomachs are filling up with milk and their bodies are learning how to handle all of that food and, yes, all of the gas that comes with it. If you hold your baby at an angle, they will have less gas and experience less discomfort. And by the way, you can hold them this way in most scenarios – sleeping, diaper changing, and eating.
Pay a little extra attention to your wife
This little piece of advice is more of an art than a science. There are going to be days when this is more important than others and it’s up to you to figure out when your partner needs more attention and when she doesn’t. If you’re like most dads, you have no idea how to do that now, let alone when a newborn enters the picture. So, here are some great questions to ask yourself
- “Is there anything I could do around the house today?”
- “Have I told my wife I love her today?”
- “Does my wife look like she could use a break?”
- “Have I asked my wife what I could do to help today?
- “Could I watch the baby for a little bit tonight and let my wife get some extra sleep?”
The truth is that you could get all the new dad tips you ever wanted. And the reality remains the same: being a new dad is stressful. Being a new mom is stressful, too. So, you’re going to have to remind yourself to pay attention to your wife even in the middle of the chaos.
Schedule, divide and conquer
Crazy hippie parents can’t comprehend that someone might want to build a routine around taking care of a newborn. If that describes you, skip to the next tip for new dads and let me talk to the same people for a second.
Between the two of you, or between you and whoever is helping you care for the little one, make a chart that designates family responsibilities. This might sound like something you’re supposed to do for kids. And, you’re right, it is. But it also applies to new parents who are trying to manage the normal pressures of life along with an additional crying bag of flesh.
Learning to parent is a tough gig. So, to ease some of the pressure, divvy up jobs. That way you and your wife can devote brainpower only to the things you each have to do.
Podcast Ep. 93 55 Tips for New Dads – The Ultimate Guide For New Fathers
Spend some alone time with the baby
If there was a tip for new dads that didn’t make this list but probably should have, it’s this: enjoy the moment. Don’t start wishing for the next stage… and the next stage… and the next. If you do, you’ll miss out on some pretty fun stuff.
With that being said, make sure you spend some time alone with your newborn. Don’t assume that your wife wants to spend every waking minute with them (honestly, that’s probably the furthest thing from the truth). Give her a break while at the same time make some memories with your child. Need some ideas? Here are some simple ideas for spending time with your newborn:
- Walk around the mall together
- Go to a local park
- Play on the floor together (while mommy takes a nap)
- Read books together
It doesn’t have to be complicated at all. The important thing is that you take the time to bond with your little one. You’ll look back on these times and be glad that you did.
Don’t take it personally
One of the most difficult parts of being a new dad is trying to figure out why the baby is crying, why he or she is unhappy, or what to do when the crying won’t stop. If you’re like most dads, you can struggle not to take it personally. You can start to think, “Why does this kid hate me? Why did I sign up for this? I’ll never figure this out!”
If you’re about to become a father, let me give you some new dad advice: It’s not about you. Your newborn is trying to understand the world as much as you’re trying to understand your newborn.
The movie, Boss Baby, is NOT based on a true story.
So, when your newborn pisses you off – and he or she certainly will – pause. Take a breath and tell yourself, “This baby is not making me mad on purpose.”
Don’t expect to be a perfect parent
There will be countless times when you feel like a failure like you don’t know how to be a parent. In fact, early on it will feel like you spend most of your time in the loss column than the win column.
Just know that it’s perfectly normal to mess up or, at the very least, feel like you’ve messed up. Your new baby and you are learning to manage this thing called life together. When you feel imperfect, remember you are awesome, brave, and you will get through this.
Billions of other dads have survived fatherhood and you will too!