How to Support a New Dad
So you’re ready to bring your baby into this world, or maybe you already have.
You’ve had your baby shower, you’ve prepared the nursery, and you’re ready to meet your sweet baby.
But, is your partner ready?
As you both prepare to welcome your new baby into the world, there are some things you can do to prepare to become parents.
Navigating parenthood can be tough, but figuring out how to support a new dad shouldn’t be. These tips will help you encourage a new dad.
*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link. I only recommend products I love or would personally use.
How to Support a New Dad
Encourage Dad to Take Classes
As you’re preparing for your new baby, your baby’s daddy is also doing his own preparations as he begins to figure out his new role and new responsibilities.
One of the best things you can do to support a new dad is to encourage him to take some new baby classes with you.
If this is your first baby, I encourage you to take a childbirth class together. It’s also a great idea to take a newborn course, and possibly even a breastfeeding course if you plan to breastfeed your baby.
By taking a class (or two), the new dad will be able to feel more informed and hopefully gain some much-needed confidence that he will be able to plan an active part in welcoming his new baby.
Discuss Important Topics with Your Partner
Everything about your relationship is about to change. Your finances, your personal relationship, household responsibilities, potentially daycare drop-off and pick-up, and the list could go on.
Babies change everything.
Rather than wait until something becomes a festering problem, begin to have some conversations now about each of your expectations.
Babies aren’t cheap. In fact, they’re going to be a new ongoing expense that you’ll need to factor into your monthly budget.
As a couple, you need to sit down together and see how your finances look. Will you be buying disposable diapers, formula, paying for daycare?
All of these things could potentially break your budget if it’s already pretty tight.
It may be the time to discuss what things can be either thrown out of the budget completely or at least which expenses can be reduced.
Take Advice from Trusted Friends
If you’ve chosen the right kind of friends, you should feel confident in taking their advice about welcoming a baby into your family.
If you’re a soon-to-be new mom trying to figure out how to support a new dad, make sure you ask your friends. Chances are, they’ll have some helpful advice on how to handle various things once you’re home with your new baby.
Share Ways to Interact with New Baby
You may find yourself frustrated at times and feeling like you’re doing everything, especially if you’re breastfeeding.
What I have learned is this- sometimes new dads just don’t know how to help or interact with their new baby.
It may be helpful for you to encourage the new dad to read a book to the baby, lay on the floor with the baby for tummy time, handle the diaper changes, etc.
Sometimes it isn’t that he isn’t willing to help, but rather that he just isn’t sure how to help.
Let Him Help/Share What You Need
Tagging right along with the previous tip, sometimes you’re just going to have to speak up. If you’re struggling with something and you need his help, kindly ask for help.
Being a new parent is a lot. It’s a lot on each of you emotionally, mentally, and physically (HELLO sleepless nights!), and depending on how you handle things, this could cause a huge blowup of an argument.
Before you reach your breaking point, which may not take much when you’re sleep-deprived, have the conversation and just ask for help.
Paternity Leave (or NOT)
I am fully aware that not everyone gets to have paid paternity leave. And for some, it may just be a few days.
Take advantage of any paternity leave you can because as new parents, it’s better to figure things out as a team rather than going at figuring things out on your own.
While your partner is home and adjusting to fatherhood, make sure you’re allowing him to help out with your new baby. Don’t be afraid to use his time and energy while he’s home with you.
Things He May Be Bothered By But Won’t Mention
As I mentioned before, finances can be the big stress of bringing home a new baby. A lot of men often feel the financial burden that comes with bringing home a new baby.
In fact, the feeling of not being able to provide for their family has thrown men into their own form of postpartum depression.
To alleviate this potentially happening with your family, make sure you’ve discussed your finances and you’re both on the same page. Then, make sure you’re discussing your budget every month so you stay on track with your financial goals and it isn’t completely falling on him.
New Roles and Responsibilities
As you’re both adapting to your new roles and responsibilities, make sure you acknowledge his new role as a dad. He’s trying to figure this out just as much as you are.
And, even though everyone is always doting on the baby, oftentimes, people will ask how you’re doing but the new dad can be easily overlooked. Check in on him and make sure he’s doing ok mentally and emotionally also. If not, there’s no shame in that, but always seek help if you think there’s an issue.
I feel like it’s kind of just an expectation that there will be sleepless nights when you become parents.
Not only is the baby not sleeping, but you especially as a mom are likely not sleeping well because you’re waking with every single sound your baby makes.
And if your partner is a light sleeper, then it’s very likely neither of you is getting much sleep in the first few days, weeks, and months of having a new baby.
As you adjust to the sleepless nights, take turns with each other and try to get enough rest to function.
Lack of Sex
I personally think this one can easily be overlooked because there is so much else going on.
Bringing a new baby home is just a lot. And, as you’re doing your best to meet your own physical, emotional and mental needs, the sexual needs of your partner may potentially NEVER even cross your mind. And even if it does, you may not have the energy to try and make it a priority.
If you find yourself here, you need to have a conversation and at least acknowledge the issue. Hopefully, a conversation can open up the door to a discussion that will resolve the issue.
Change in Relationship
It is inevitable that your relationship will change. Oftentimes you’ll adjust without even knowing you’re doing it. But for some couples, adjusting to a new baby is really hard.
Your time will likely be tied up with the baby for a while until you figure them out a bit. And even then, you will still be putting a lot of time and attention into caring for your new baby. This time and attention is what you once gave your partner.
You both may feel the strain on your relationship. Talk about it. Discuss your feelings and be rational about your expectations.
Although a new baby is such a huge blessing, babies also change things for everyone around them. As you work your way through supporting a new dad, always be willing to have a conversation. Talk about the things you need help with, talk about how you can help him as a new father, and always talk about how you want to parent your new baby together!
MORE Helpful Posts About Dads
The owner of this website is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties.