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5 ways to keep new dads involved

Author: Lisa Becker
Published: Dec 2 2013

New babies are exciting. They are amazing little people that need all of your love and care right from the minute they are born. While new moms can quickly step into the caregiver’s role, many new dads feel left out and confused. Sadly, after a short period of time, these new dads back off from the new baby and the mom, becoming the outsider. This is devastating to them personally, and it has the potential to destroy relationships.

Keep new dads involved

New moms need to remember that a newborn is not the only one who needs nurturing. The new dad also needs to feel important and involved, and that his contributions to the care of the baby go beyond stopping by the store for diapers on the way home from work. The following five suggestions should help any new dad adjust and feel needed when the new baby arrives.

1. Dad Friendly Feeding

Most moms set up an area where they feed the baby. Make sure that dad is welcomed by making sure it is set up to meet his needs when he feeds the baby. A soft nursing pillow, such as one found online, always helps in keeping baby and dad comfortable. Even if you are breastfeeding, you should find a way for dad to take part of this very necessary aspect of the baby’s life, such as changing the baby's diaper before the feeding and getting mom a drink to keep her hydrated during nursing.

2. Trust His Instincts

New moms are inclined to hover when someone else is tending the baby. While another mother might understand, an equally-new parent may feel as if he is not trusted with his own baby. Learn to step back until he asks for help. You have to trust him, and this trust will set the stage for a lifetime of parenting partnership.

3. Share The Responsibilities

Take turns with the ongoing responsibilities, such as getting up with the baby, changing diapers, washing bottles, and bath time. Sleep is a coveted commodity with a new baby, and getting just a few more winks will pay the duel dividend of helping you regain your strength and your partner getting some special time with the infant.

4. Talk About Everything

Make sure that you you keep the lines of communication wide open. Your partner needs to know and be told that you value his input in decisions regarding the baby. Even if you're pretty sure you have the answers, include him in the conversation. You'll benefit from his input and might even change your perspective.

5. Always Include Him

It is very easy for a new mom to become over-occupied with the new baby and forget dad. You might even get a little cranky and snap. That's natural and even somewhat expected. When it's over, however, make sure he knows he didn't do anything wrong and that he is as important to you as ever, even more. It is important to continue to nurture your relationship after the baby arrives and beyond, because one day that baby will leave the nest. That's hard to imagine at this point in your life, but it happens. Knowing he is important allows him to relax and feel less competition for your attention.

This is a challenging time in your life: concentrating less on your career or social life and more on raising a baby can be a bumpy road. You will survive! People have been doing it for thousands of years! These simple steps and suggestions can help both the new mom and the new dad adjust to their their new bundle of joy and set a course for a long and happy life together.

Lisa Becker is the youngest and only girl of a family of five and knows a thing or two about male behavior. She shares these tips from her own personal experience and that of the many new families she's had the pleasure of welcoming into the extended clan. She has found that offers nursing pillows online for snuggling with the baby.

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