We have all heard the saying: “Anyone man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a daddy” Well, I’m here to tell you that it is absolutely true.
The birth of a new baby is a wonderful opportunity in life and it should not be taken lightly. The Art of Being Daddy is a skill that will be tested and improved upon for the rest of your life, so don’t think you will learn everything you need to know overnight. With that being said, here are a few secrets that will help you start off on the right foot:
1. Change your baby’s diaper! The new mommy is going to be exhausted immediately following Baby’s birth, so help out in whatever ways you can – including jumping on the opportunity to change as many diapers as possible.
It may not be the most enjoyable activity; however, changing diapers is great for lots of reasons, including:
It allows you, the new dad, to pick up and hold your baby.
It allows you to look directly into your baby’s eyes while changing.
It allows you to talk to your baby.
It allows you to nurture your baby.
It allows the new mommy a moment to herself; maybe she can have a chance to go to the bathroom as well (which earns you brownie points).
It allows you to practice and perfect the Art of Diapering, which is important, as it will go on for the next three years.
2. Swaddle your new bundle of joy. In those precious first 90 days, your baby will be happier if he or she feels safe, warm, and confident. Swaddling, which can be taught and practiced at Daddy Boot Camp, as well as by the nurses in the hospital, allows Baby to feel that safety. During the first few weeks, a tighter swaddle is best, and then as time progresses you can begin to loosen the burrito wrap and eventually let Baby’s arms out, too. Trust me on this one: learn to swaddle; it is a lot easier to cradle and hold a swaddled baby than an unswaddled one.
3. Mom is in charge. It’s a fact, and you may as well get used to it now! Do what she says and try your best to keep her happy, and you will all be happy!
Remember, the road to daddyhood is long and sometimes even bumpy! As long as you are patient and do your very best you are sure to do great.
Daddy Nickell, father of 7, founder of Daddyscrubs.com and the Daddyscrubs parenting blog.