by Donna Favilla
If you are like most guys, you know your wife or partner’s due date. Here are some helpful tips to make this transition to dad easier before and after the baby comes.
- Make a list of projects that can be started at least six months before baby comes home. Some suggestions are painting the baby’s room, ordering furniture, or buying diapers.
- Organize what you need downstairs and upstairs. Items that will be helpful include bassinet, crib, playpen, toys, changing table, rocker, baby swing, extra diapers, onesie, burp cloth, blankets, wipes.
- Go to doctor appointments and ultrasound. If you are unable to attend, you can always use zoom or skype.
- Plan a babymoon or date night before baby comes so that you can enjoy the time together. Plan activities like dinner, dancing, movies and meditation.
- Communicate with your partner about how you are feeling. Sometimes it is difficult to discuss emotions that come when expecting. Start journaling, meditation or join a new dads group.
- Start a baby journal that you and your partner can write in together, regarding your feelings about your baby.
- Put a shelf next to mom’s nursing chair that has supplies that she can use. The first shelf could have diapers, wipes and change of baby clothes. The second shelf could have water, healthy snacks, tissues, nursing cream, books to read to baby, neck pillow, nursing pillow, burp cloths, bibs and anything else that would be useful to her.
- Childbirth classes are a great way to really understand how to support your partner during labor. These classes can teach you techniques for comfort that include massage, relaxation, breathing and different position movements. The best thing that you can do for her is stay calm and be present for her, be her advocate and make sure she’s well hydrated.
- Install car seat and assemble cribs/strollers.
- Cook an easy meal, clean or food shop. Also you can order your groceries and have them delivered to your home.
- Remember that teamwork is important at home and during labor.
- Know how many weeks she is pregnant, which is really important!
When the baby comes home, make special time for you and your baby. Here are some tips.
- In the morning before you go to work, take time to change the baby out of her pajamas into an outfit.
- Bath time or massage is a special time for dads to bond and spend time with baby.
- Read a story or sing to your baby, no matter how young she is.
- Use a baby carrier or sling to be with your baby and have hands free!