I recently did a guest post for Eddie at Yorkie…not just for dads – and it made me think about the days / weeks immediately after Graysons birth – and how I (hopefully) helped Ash get through (probably) the most traumatic times of her life so far. In lieu of writing a huge post like I normally do, this is a simply 5 point list of new Dad advice, to hopefully help Dads realise that there are so many things they can do to help out (because trust me, you’ll feel useless watching mum try to feed and sleep at the same time!)
My new dad advice :
1: Don’t try and be the hero.
There is only so much you can do – you might not be able to feed the baby, for example, if your partner is exclusively breast feeding. You might want to make it your sole duty to change the nappies, to help out. But think about the bigger picture. Run the hover around (it’s likely that your partner will NOT fancy the exercise a few days after giving birth!) – pop to the shops, cook dinner, empty the dishwasher. I mean, it goes without saying that you should just do these things anyway, this isn’t the 1940’s, but you know, just make that extra effort. Yes, you’re tired, but so is mum 🙂
2: A baby crying isn’t just a mums job!
It’s 3am, you don’t want to get up, no one wants to get up! But just do it – take a deep breath, and see what’s up. Me and Ash took turns with G, without really thinking, we’d alternate who woke up – although 99% of the time we both ended up awake, that’s just how we work. As in point 1 – you might not be able to feed, but you can try and stop the crying, check and change the nappy – just try to help. Drifting back off to sleep and leaving your partner to sort it – that’s not cool.
3: Be present
Life DOES change when you have a baby – for both of you. Once things get back to normal (whatever normal is) – then you can get back to the rogue nights out with the lads (if that’s your kind of thing) – but in those first few weeks, just be there for your partner.
4: Wing it
Honestly – wing it. There’s no “how to” guide for being a dad / parent. We’re all thrown in the deep end the moment you hear that first cry. You’ll get through it – you’ll probably amaze yourself at the things you’ve achieved, things you never thought you’d do (want to do, or be able to do!). Your own intuition and instincts are the best guidance you’ll get – trust what feels right.
5: Enjoy yourself
Enjoy every second of it. I look at Grayson now and can’t even begin to understand how he’s grown up so quickly. Right now, I can hear him chatting away and laughing with Ashleigh downstairs. I mean, I don’t miss the days of him crying at 3am and vomiting after every feed – but I do, really, deep down. He’s still adorable, but just take in all you can. And get pictures, as many pictures as possible – they really do grow up quickly!
If you have any tips or new dad advice, then please do comment below to share them – or if you wanted to read more from our Parenting section, check out these.