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Okay, having a baby is one of the most exciting yet scariest things you’ll probably ever encounter in life. It’s rather bittersweet. You carry and nurture this newborn baby in your belly for over 9 months and then when it’s time for them to come out, it’s like nothing you do can protect them any longer. This has always been something that I have personally struggled with and apparently, I’m not the only one because I see a lot of moms mention this in a mom group I’m in on Facebook.
As much as you want to protect them and care for their every need if you have the help and support you should embrace it.
A common post I see in the group I am in on Facebook is how they don’t trust or want their significant other/baby’s father to help them. It’s not because they don’t trust them either, rather that they feel like they can do a better job or they’re just too critical.
It’s important to allow the baby’s father to help you in every way that they can. There are several things that a father can do to help support the mother and be involved at the newborn stage. It’s hard at the beginning for most dads because they aren’t sure how they can help.
I’ve listed a few things that they can help with below.
1. Ask for Help
This is the biggest thing! It is so important to trust your spouse/baby’s father with the baby. You need to ask for help when needed. Asking for help is something that I struggle with because I strongly feel like no one can care for my child as well as I can but it’s hard doing it all on your own. If you have someone there that is willing to help and be a team player, consider yourself fortunate and ask for help!
2. Bath Time
There is no special skill required for bathing a baby. All you have to do is wash them. This is definitely something that requires little effort that dads can help with. Suggest they give the baby a bath to help you out. It really is quite fun. There’s nothing better than a freshly cleaned, good smelling babe!
3. Night Time Support
If you breastfeed at night, most dads can’t wake up and feed the baby but they can still show their support. They can wake up and help change diapers before/after the feeding, rock baby back to sleep after, or even act as a cheerleader. Also, If you are pumping in the middle of the night, they can help by taking the pumped milk and parts to the refrigerator after you are done to help out.
If you are bottle-feeding, of course, they can help by switching off during feedings in the middle of the night or just prepare the bottle while you feed them.
4. Play Time
Even newborns like attention. In our house, my husband is known as the “fun” one. Dad can take the baby and talk to them during tummy time or play with different toys with them. There’s always a way that dad can help entertain the baby for a little bit to be more involved.
Reading is a big thing for my kids. They love for us to read to them at night before they go to bed. My oldest is actually of the age now where he can read to us, but Kennedy loves for us to read to her before bed.
One of the biggest things we did for our baby showers were to ask for books instead of cards.
Luckily, each of our kids has racked up on books at their baby showers so they have a good start on a book collection before they were even born. Even a newborn can be read to. Encourage Dad to read the baby a book.
6. Diaper Changes
This is a biggie. Diaper changes happen so often, especially in the beginning, so it’s important to take turns. Enough said!
7. Nap Time
I don’t mean nap time for the baby either. Us moms need our beauty rest too. Even if it’s just for an hour or so, dad’s can help with the baby while we take a nap for a little bit. ASK FOR HELP. Try not to be sleep deprived if you don’t have to be!
The biggest piece of advice that I can give is to actually allow them to help. There is no reason to be scared (unless they’ve actually given you a reason and I truly hope not) to have your spouse/baby’s father to help you.