6 ways for dads to get involved in pregnancy and parenting

May 31, 2017

Wouldn't life be easier if babies came with manuals? Learning to parent through trial and error can be exhausting, confusing and overwrought with emotion. But along with the bafflement, there are millions of opportunities for joy and laughter. And that's true for dads too!

If you're a soon-to-be-dad here are some simple ways that you can get involved in your partner's pregnancy and the many magical years of parenting that follow:

  1. Massage mum's baby bump with a moisturising oil to keep stretch marks at bay, help mama relax and bond with your soon-to-be arrival. Babies can hear sounds through their mum's tummy, especially during the final trimester, so keep talking, singing or whistling to get your little one accustomed to your voice. Once your tot arrives you can continue with this routine through baby massage at bed time.
  2. Encourage nesting and prep your home in advance of the birth so that mum feels assured that everything is ready. Talk about the jobs that you'd like to take on, such as bath time, strolls in the park or evening feeds. That way you can get excited too! Plus, take care of building the crib, painting the nursery and ordering supplies like bottles or babygrows.
  3. Be in charge of the nappies! Newborn babies wet their nappies frequently, especially during the first few months before they can eat solids, so make it your job to clean up the messes and give mum a rest. Prep your changing area and keep it organised for quick changes and soon your baby will recognise that diaper time = daddy time. Better yet, if you've had to deal with a poop explosion, take care of the extra laundry too!
  4. If your baby will be taking a bottle or combination feeding take up the challenge to handle the night feeds. The truth is that feeding your little one during those quiet moments can be extra special, giving you lots of opportunities to bond and for you to feel confident in your new role.
  5. Bath time is another magical moment of the evening where you can get hands on. The sound of the warm water soothes a tired baby and, because you've got larger hands than mum, you can safely cradle your tot in your arms. Follow up by reading a book to complete your baby's bedtime routine.
  6. Among all the practicalities, don't forget the fun! Play with your bubba, sing songs, read the paper together or cuddle! Every moment you get to spend with your little one is an extra opportunity to lock down your parenting technique.

 

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