Baby care dads can do it too!
Fatherhood is simultaneously one of the most exciting and nerve-wracking experiences you have ever had. Your wife may be snuggled on the couch with the new addition to your family, but take a moment to learn all about Baby care dads (and postpartum mommy!)
You’re not the only one wondering how to care for your little baby. Fathers only 39% feel they are doing a “very well job”. With a little more knowledge, this number could steadily increase so that fathers feel they are doing their best for their child. Here are some tips to help your baby and your partner adjust to their new lives, heal from childbirth and figure out the million-and one things she has to do.
Newborns require constant contact and care. This makes sense considering that they have been in a small, dark, enclosed space for nine months, and now are being thrown into a large, cold, and noisy world. Your baby and your partner need your support during this time. Your partner can help you with bottle-feeding difficulties such as tongue-tie, incorrect latch, nipple confusion and tongue-tie. You can give your partner a break by having lots of skin to skin contact with your baby, singing, rocking and bouncing or any combination of these activities! Your partner can count on you to be there to listen and to offer support. Sometimes your presence is enough to soothe a hormonal mama who is stressed out.
Take turns doing diaper duty. Your partner will appreciate your help and it will make you more confident when handling larger tasks. Begin with clean hands, a flat surface such as a table or the floor. Gather materials like
- cloth or disposable diaper
- All natural diaper cream
- baby powder
- Unscented wipes
In the event that your baby needs to eliminate any waste from the diaper change, remove it and fold it under their bottom. To remove urine and feces from your baby’s skin, use one to two wipes. If you are changing a boy, make sure to clean from top to bottom to prevent any infection. To protect sensitive skin, you can apply a thin layer of diaper cream to their bottom and genital areas. Apply a little baby powder to the bottom of the diaper and then secure it with a tight-fitting band. Congratulations! You can now complete the task again in 30 minutes over the next few months.
Calming a Fussy Child
Sometimes, babies just cry. Even if you have ruled out hunger or overtiredness, a wet baby diaper, or stomach troubles, just holding your baby close might help her calm down. To recreate the sound and feel in the womb, wrap your baby in a muslin blanket. Kangaroo care (also known as skin-to-skin touch) is another great way to soothe your baby. Your baby may need to be suckered while you sleep. Pacifiers can help. When caring for your baby, be gentle and calm. Stress and tension can be picked up by newborns, and anxiety can also result from your uncertainty. It is fine to let your baby take a deep breath and to lay down. Even the most patient parent can be exhausted by dealing with a crying baby. You can give your baby to someone you trust or let her cry in a calm environment until you regain your composure. Keep in mind that while you learn about your baby, she is also learning about you.
A strong support system in place
It’s true that Mom goes through huge changes emotionally and physically, but that doesn’t mean fathers don’t have overwhelming emotions. When you both need a break, make sure that your family has someone to help. It doesn’t matter if it is your family, friends or trusted neighbour, having someone to help you with newborn care can make a big difference in your emotional well-being. You can enlist their assistance to do the housework, have a little rest, or go on a date with your partner.