Home Baby Pregnancy Embrace the Journey without a Baby Book: A Dad’s Guide to Parenting

Embrace the Journey without a Baby Book: A Dad’s Guide to Parenting

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man reading book at park, white and red book, man smiling, baby book // Healthier Baby Today

Are you considering buying a baby book because you want to know how to be a good dad? Let’s talk about it. We want you to know right away that each baby is unique and different in their way. There is no one-size-fits-all guide to being a father because everyone gets to define what it means for them. Let’s get started!

Do your Research Early!

man with glasses, reading book at desk, laptop open, plenty books // Healthier Baby Today

Okay, maybe buy one baby book, but only to read up on what we aren’t covering in this article – like how to support your partner postpartum! YouTube and certain websites also offer great insights into pregnancy, your baby’s development, and your partner’s changing body. 

If you’re old school and prefer to buy the actual baby book, look at Father’s Ed. It’s a comprehensive course on how to care for your baby based on professional research, tested by real dads (and moms), and packed with valuable resources.

Get Through The First Trimester, Read Up On Pregnancy

Every baby book will tell you this, and so will we. This is a very delicate time frame in the pregnancy. It’s best to avoid posting about the news on social media for now and instead focus on scheduling your first appointments with an OB-GYN clinic or reviewing pregnancy health and safety guidelines. 

Now is an excellent time to gather information and do preliminary research on a few topics. There is no need to go crazy, but making a basic plan is pretty low-stress and will benefit you.

Decide Where To Spend The Money

When searching for baby preparation, you will be met with many price tags. Babies are expensive, but they are well worth spending your money wisely on. The most important things to invest in are cleaning and diapering your baby, safe sleep options, feeding, and moving your baby.

Be There For Your Partner

If your partner is pregnant, it’s easy to feel like there’s nothing you can do to be a part of this whole baby thing right now. Pause. Think. The first step is to get through the first trimester. You will learn much about each other during this process, which may change your relationship. It is usual for dynamics to change, but staying in tune with one another is critical as you go through these changes.

Remember that your partner is going through a lot during this time (this applies even if your partner isn’t the one who is pregnant; couples who are adopting or using a surrogate should consider this as well). So be there for her. Go above and beyond. Give a foot massage. Surprise her with something nice.

Sleep!

dad playing with toddler, wearing glasses, laying on bed, lifting girl // Healthier Baby Today

You should get as much sleep as possible because your nights will not be any easier once the new baby arrives.

Sleep is, undoubtedly, one of the most important skills you can develop as an expectant parent. It is reasonable to expect nights with little to no sleep; it does happen! Don’t allow yourself to fall into an endless cycle of sleeplessness for the sake of everyone, not just yourself. Read up on how to create a good schedule for your baby; it will pay dividends.

Build Dad Joke Repertoire

Some people are naturally good at telling dad jokes, while others are not. Nobody will know if you are browsing a dad joke subreddit at midnight. Don’t worry, we will not tell anyone. 

Discuss Feeding Options With Your Partner

Breastfeeding is not guaranteed for everyone. If you are adopting or do not have access to breastmilk, formula will be an option. Even if breastfeeding is an option, you should discuss it with your partner rather than making assumptions.

Even if breastfeeding is the option you and your partner have chosen, there are times when it can become difficult to keep supply and demand even. Baby formula can save lives, and there is no reason to feel guilty or ashamed about feeding your baby formula.

Prepare For Cleaning Your Baby

Diapers, boogers, burps, and the occasional blowout are your responsibility, too! Get a doll and practice changing diapers. Learn about the bum cream application and how to wipe a girl vs. a boy! A baby book with step-by-step instructions?

Prepare For Moving Your Baby

You will have to move your baby. It will be scary at first (we’re talking about you, driving home from the hospital). Moving precious cargo is an investment worth making, and it will benefit you to become familiar with the equipment early on. Read up on rear-facing car seats, Isofix, and how to keep your baby safe in the vehicle.

Power Through The Second Trimester

Hooray! You made it to the second trimester! Most couples are starting to tell people about their baby now that the risk factor has decreased. It is a good idea to begin doing more in-depth research into things like daycare and pediatricians; these things will take longer than you think, so they are not good candidates for procrastination.

Start Healthy Habits

How to be a good dad starts with healthy habits. It can take time to develop, and your health as a new dad can be vital to your baby. The healthier you are, the more energy you will have to give your baby. You don’t have to become vegan and start working out with a fitness group thrice at 5 a.m. That’s wild. Do small things to make yourself happy. Take care of yourself and your partner because little things will eventually be passed down to your children. Healthy kids are happy kids.

Share Responsibilities And Divvy Things Up

Being a great dad begins well before the child is born. If your partner is pregnant, you probably realize that a human is growing right before you. Give your partner some slack and assist her with tasks. Co-parenting is a powerful tool that exemplifies creating something more significant than the sum of its parts. It’s like synergy or something, guys. While you wait for the big day, dividing up tasks can make you feel more included and get you started on co-parenting.

Go To Doctor’s Appointments With Your Partner

There may be scheduling conflicts at times, but attending doctor’s appointments in the run-up to birth is a great way to show your support for your partner. You will also learn much about the process by attending the appointments and be better prepared. Be bold, ask questions, and get information from your OB.

Talk And Sing To Your Baby

dad standing next to child, girl is baking cookies, 2 small pumpkins, plant in the background // Healthier Baby Today

“My baby isn’t born yet, though.” Yes, we understand. Singing and talking to your baby while still in the womb can be highly effective. Research shows it can make a baby happier, but we believe it can also make you happier! It’s about taking time out of your day to spend with your baby from the start and strengthening that bond. To simplify things, you and your partner can now read (or sing) whatever you want. So keep reading those soapy romance novels that you enjoy.

Guess what? If you adopt, you will still have a close relationship with a happy child. We promise. Researching, reading, and preparing for your baby can achieve the same results.

Take A Babymoon

A what? Take a trip with your partner before having your baby. Soon, it will be all baby all the time, which is something to look forward to, and you deserve one last partners-only trip for a little while where you can spend some quality time together. Suppose you can’t, don’t worry. In that case, grandparents and babysitters will be available later, but the first few days with your newborn should be spent at home.

Discuss The Boring But Important Admin Details

Health insurance, life insurance, wills, employee benefits, and certificates are all significant factors. Although discussing what you intend to do for each of these items with your partner may be tedious, it will save you a lot of trouble in the long run. When dealing with insurance companies, you should never make assumptions; it is bad practice.

Determine how your plan will change once you add a baby, and then adjust the other pieces of your financial pie accordingly. Planning and staying on top of things can be exhausting, but planning and discussing will make it easier. The hardest part is getting started.

Hospital Baby Bag

It’s a great idea to bring items such as phone chargers, comfortable pillows, reading material, snacks, caffeine (hospital coffee is awful), clothes for you and your child, a list of names, and a camera to the hospital. Do everything you can to ensure a seamless visit.

Learn The Cues, Remember Baby Talk Is Manly

To strengthen your bond with your baby, you can keep talking and singing to them, but after a few months, you’ll notice that they begin to respond. Their speech pattern will undoubtedly differ from your own. We’re all confused at first, so it’s okay. Spending time with your baby will help you become familiar with their cues. Just give it some time, and before your baby babbles in English, you will have a Ph.D. in their language.

Just one more thing: start talking in a baby voice! This may come much more naturally to you than you would think. It may initially seem awkward. Don’t worry; you’ll become an expert baby talker very quickly. Don’t hesitate to act silly. Here’s a secret: if your spouse, wife, or partner finds it extremely attractive to watch you acting silly around your child, it’s likely because you’re a fantastic caregiver.

The Truth about Baby Books

man readin in library, book in hand, chess pieces and board on table, brown chairs, plenty books // Healthier Baby Today

Becoming a dad is the most stressful thing you’ll ever do. How to be a good dad does not depend on a baby book. Your kid will thank you for all the effort one day, so keep doing your best!