New Dad? Here’s a cheat-sheet to make your life simple!
Being a first time father has been a monumental moment of your life apart from her saying “Yes” to your proposal. Hasn’ t it? After all that indulgence in the dreamy pregnancy shoots & the joy of shouting out to the world that “We’re Pregnant!”, being a new dad is a pretty surreal experience.
Mothers are “believed” to be naturally bonding with the child, though it’s usually not quite a reality all the time. Especially, when the physical weakness, pain & hues of postpartum depression is what your wife has been through following birth. However in a cultural atmosphere, the technicality of the father’s anatomical association with the baby is seen only up to the deed of fertilization. And therefore, your lady who had been the center of all the attention through these 9 months, is also seen as somebody who’s entirely responsible for every fit of crying your tiny bambino is throwing. And you wish you could help, but something holds you back.
So, what is it?
- You think you’re not “naturally equipped” with the comforting touches & hugs?
- You remember reading somewhere that babies can hear their mums from inside the womb & that is one of the HUGE reasons that they recognize & bond only with the MAMMA first, not YOU, huh?
- Oops, you assume that your mustache, stubble or the ‘almost half a foot long’ beard might just scare the shit out of your tiny creation!
- Ew! You’ve never cleaned anybody’s butt.
If THESE have been your apprehensions as a new dad, here’s what I really want to share with you today. Not from me this time. I jabbed the husband a little early this morning to jot down things that he’d love to share with YOU, my friend.
Here’s a very clean cheat-sheet for a new dad by your virtual buddy (the one I let become a dad! :-)).
Manage at least a week’s extra leave
Thankfully, paternity leaves are there to make things tad easy already. If you could squeeze in an extra week of leave, it’d be great to help you out in ways you’ll realize later. This time would be when you’d get to bond better with your revamped lady love & your kiddo.
Hold the Baby
Come on, as contrary to the myth that new moms know how to be good moms, you too cannot be a perfect father as soon as the baby pops out into this world. Your wife/partner is still learning to hold & nurse your child with the help of her mom, aunt or the lactation expert. All this while she’s been on pain-killer drugs after a C-section or an episiotomy.
Ask for baby-holding instructions from the same person who’s been guiding your wife. And by the way, there’s no dearth of tutorials on YouTube that would show you how to be holding the baby in different positions. Plus, there’s no threshold of minimum days that the baby must be old enough for you to hold him/her. You’ve created it, so if not you & the mommy, who else is as entitled for this pleasure?
Holding the baby close to your chest while talking to his/her face just lets you both bond faster magically.
Learn to BURP your new darling
Babies need to be burped frequently after every feed & your wife gets way too tired by the end of a maddening day when the baby hasn’t taken to a parent-friendly sleep routine. And you just don’t know how many weeks or months it would take for the bliss to happen.
Hold the baby upright supporting the buttock & rub the back softly until you hear the burp sound. I tell you, the feeling is no less than a ‘Eureka’ moment! 😉 This would help your wife catch up with some uninterrupted sleep if she’s been breastfeeding the little one while lying in bed. Because, it seriously isn’t easy to rub one’s eyes from some miniscule sleep, sit upright suddenly, grab the baby & start nursing until he/she sleeps back. So, if you could even help the momma with bringing the baby to her for the night feed, that would be equal to a million bucks worth of help that a new dad could do.
Your help is just a drop in the ocean
Having a newborn baby in the house is quite enough to drive you both to the edge, specially if you guys have no other support system from the elderly family members. So, you could very easily assist the mom with:
- Dumping stuff into the washing machine & starting it up for the wash.
- If the baby gets his/her bath done before you leave for the office, try to offer help in toweling dry. There’s a special feel that can make you just ‘DAD-GASM’ when your fingers rush over your baby’s tender skin & it either smiles or gasps silently with a startled look.
- Assuring your wife of a stress or worry-free 3 or 4 hours at her spa/beauty parlor when the baby is enjoying some afternoon siesta! Because man, she deserves this.
Tell her she’s BEAUTIFUL!
A hunky-dory pregnancy ending up in a tiring & often scary childbirth experience wears the mother out emotionally & physically. She’s dealing with that ugly deflated pouch-like look of her once flat & sexy abode of her abs! And there’s an equally intimidating thought she’s got on her head all the time – that she’d always look pregnant hereafter. Just like a few of her peers scared her.
Well, don’t try to motivate her by talking about a gym-membership while saying, “Don’t worry. You’ll get back in shape.” During this phase, even a “You look more beautiful & charming than ever. Trust me.” is enough motivation for her to take the body challenge in her stride & do things at her own pace.
This way, you’ll only make her trust & love you more dearly than ever.
Now, those are many ‘NEW DAD’ brownie points! Aren’t they?
Wait for the SEX
Postpartum sex could just be off a new mother’s mind until she & her gynecologist are assured that it’s safe for her to engage in any kind of sexual activity owing to the healing phase of the womb, cervix, the vagina, & also the incision wound after a C-section. All the more, lactation causes libido to decrease drastically. So, talk things out with your partner. Engage in other loving gestures such as cuddling up in bed, hugging as you cross ways or greeting each other with a quick kiss after a long day. Intimacy is not just the nookie! Right?
Plan a DATE NIGHT together
Now after a month or so, you’d both find some passion coming in as the baby is likely to sleep better than it used to in the initial weeks. So just buy home a few movie DVD’s, cool earphones/headphones & some healthy snacks to watch together snuggled up in bed. Just make sure you catch glimpses of the baby regularly though so that the earphones don’t ‘deafen’ your ears literally for the baby’s cries. Oops!
Finally, what my better half suggests is that you be subtly prepared to enjoy slinged bike trips with the baby, a couple of sleep-deprived nights (especially during weaning) & some ravaging action over your laptop in the coming years. ?Not to forget, censoring your vocabulary to prevent some slips-of -tongue!
You may fret them now, but you’d lament not having them until very soon!
That’s with a lot of love from the hubby to you, NEW DAD!
Linking this to Write Tribe Festival of Words – June 2018 #writebravely