Fathers that share tasks and care about your children’s education have stronger affective bonds with their families.
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Give birth to a baby is a unique experience, but it also represents a huge emotional load to a woman. There are so many changes (body, house, family, thoughts) and so many news, it can be really hard to a new mom handle her fears and insecurities by herself. For that, it is fundamental the dad’s presence since the pregnancy to baby’s care.
The dad must show to baby that exists life beyond mom’s lap and give support to woman in the first months after pregnancy, when she stills unsecure about her new maternal function and exhausted with the newborn’s care.
When baby arrives, it is normal that the dad feels a little bit displaced with no right paternal function. It happens, in the most part, because the newborns basically only sleep and nurse. It means: or the baby is sleeping or he is nursing in the mom’s lap. Not counting that, many times, mommy is tired and isn’t in a good mood. And the dad? What can he do? After all, he doesn’t have “equipment” to nurse the baby.
So, the question is how to involve dad in your baby’s first months? We have few tips to help dads to participate more and also relieve mom’s life.
1- Lose the fear.
Your baby won’t break if you take him in your lap. It can sound silly, it is true. He won’t slip when you give him a shower or fall when he be in your lap. You can catch him with all love that exists in you. Because of it, there is no risk.
2- Help with baby’s care.
There are many tasks beyond breastfeeding. You can give bath shower, hold the baby while he is sleeping, put to burp, change diapers and clothes. Don’t be afraid! If you don’t know how do it, ask your partner to teaches you, she will do it with pleasure! Watch her giving shower to baby, changing diapers, get interested for all the tasks and learn how to do it by yourself too. Having kids is a big adventure!
3- Assume the responsibilities to shop.
Maybe you hate to go to supermarket. But, think a little bit, it is not good walking around with a newborn and shopping with a baby can be the hell. Going out with a baby has many previous cares: clothes, diapers, bag, coordinate baby’s sleeping time and nursing time. So, it is more convenient if you (dear daddy and partner) assume this responsibility. All family will be happy!
4- Collaborate with domestic duties.
You don’t need to be a master of domestic tasks. Make the bed, take out the trash, wash the dishes and avoid to make messy – this is a great beginning. If you want to help more, you can clean the furniture’s dust and the floor. What do you think about doing the laundry? Remember: mom doesn’t have time for it…she has priorities now: the baby.
5- Sleep without guilt.
Not you. Mom. Create an ambient that she can sleep without guilt. Do not complain of things like: the house is dirty, I’m tired, I’m hungry, and other. Have sure that she is doing the best that she can do at this moment. A baby need attention the whole time. It means that she is tired because her sleeping time needs to adapt to baby’s time. She needs to wake up in each two or three hours in one night, or even hour in hour.
6- Organize the visits, filter phone calls and problems.
It is very important, specially in the first days. Talk with your partner to know what she desires related to visits and make the maximum to coordinate things following what she needs at the moment. Answer and filter the phone calls. You don’t need to lie: say that she is sleeping, nursing, tired or whatever you feel comfortable to say.
7- Encourage her to take care a little of herself.
It means to forecast what she needs during the daily routine. If the baby is hungry, ask her if she want that you catch him while she does quick thing before nurse – it is a good example.
8- Don’t be inspector.
Please, do not inspect her cares with the baby. Don’t be one more person to pressure her. Work with her, it is so much less stressful e more productive for both of you. You can do it asking her how she is feeling, what she needs to feel better, find a solution for her problems. Be a partner!
9- Avoid pressuring her to have sexual relations.
Give her time. There are hormones, tiredness and concerns. If necessary, be patience with your partner and give her space. Talk with her about it, but with no pressure. Soon, the baby will get more independent and demand less attention.
10- Compliment her.
She is probably tired and with no time to take care of herself, maybe she didn’t lose the weight she earned during the pregnancy. You need to collaborate with her self esteem. Remember that she is doing the best to raise your child.