New Dad

Congratulations on the birth of your baby!  You might be overwhelmed by your new arrival with all the emotions you are feeling, some may be of tiredness, excitement and love you have for your new baby.
Dads are just getting better and better as it is now reported that up to one third of dads provide the care given to under 5’s

You and Your Baby

 You have probably noticed that Dads are very different to Mums in very obvious ways, some of these being the way you look, smell, sound, even down to the way you hold your new baby. This is why it is so important that you start your bonding process with your baby and this can start with you and baby having skin to skin contact soon after birth. You may have heard of this and thought that this is what the mum does but this can also be an enjoyable experience and feeling for you as a dad.  If Mum needs extra care, such as stitches after the birth, this can be a great time for you to hold your baby.  If you’re wearing a shirt, you can unbutton it so baby can get really close & learn your smell. 
Other things you can do with your baby include wearing a baby sling.  Babies love being carried and held close; you could do this while doing a bit of cleaning while mum has a rest. You could take a lead on bath time helping your baby to feel relaxed while being washed. And the task that we all sometimes fear - changing your baby’s nappy!  Sometimes not always pleasant but will give you time to make eye contact and talk to your baby.

What can I do as a Dad?

  • Try and have as much time off work as you can – ask about paternity leave
  • Help with household tasks like cleaning, cooking and doing a bit of shopping
  • Always encourage your partner to ask for help or advice if she has any problems
  • If your partner is breastfeeding encourage her to carry on and tell her what a great job she is doing
  • Let family know when is convenient for them to come round so you can have some time as a family.

Do I need to know about breastfeeding?

The answer to this question is yes, very much so.  You play a massive part in this as the more supported and confident she feels about breastfeeding the longer your partner will continue to feed for. It is proven that mothers are more likely to start and continue breastfeeding when dads have made the decision with them.

You and your partner

Becoming a parent, especially for the first time, can be a very emotional time for both you and mum.
Be considerate about sex – it may take weeks or months before the baby's mum stops feeling sore, so think about discussing other ways of showing your love for each other until sex is comfortable.
Some mothers become depressed and need a lot of extra support, both practical and emotional. Make sure you know how to spot the symptoms of post-natal depression and where to get help.
You may also get depressed. Your partner is facing the biggest changes, but that doesn't mean you should ignore your own feelings and you may have concerns about money or how your life is changing. You need support, too. Keep talking and listening to each other, talk to friends, and be patient. Life will get easier in time.

Here are some links you may find useful for advice and information; offers a range of articles and advice and there is opportunity for dads to seek advice from the dad talk forum parenting advice site specifically for dads


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