Top Tips You Need to Prepare for Fatherhood
Communicate With Your Partner
There can be a lot of things to think about when you're becoming a parent. From practical to emotional, there are a lot of decisions to make and that can be daunting. But, talking to your partner and planning ahead can reduce your worries and help you feel prepared. Discussing things like sleeping arrangements for the baby, feeding choices, who gets to visit after the birth (to name just a few) will help you be ready for when your baby arrives.
Everybody has different ideas of how to parent. So talk to your co-parent and try to get on the same page about the important things. If you're not on the same page right away, that's ok! You can find compromises. For example, maybe one of you would like to co-sleep with the baby, and the other doesn't feel comfortable with that. There are compromises here - you could have a next to me crib, or a cot in the same room. The important thing is that you're talking about it before your baby arrives so that you're prepared and working together.
I can't stress how important it is for these conversations to happen before your baby arrives. I'm not going to lie to you... you will be very tired for the first few weeks, maybe even months. Not many of us make the best decisions when they are tired but if we have a plan in place early it might be one less thing to worry about.
Expand Your Knowledge By Taking A Course for New Dads
Mums have been doing antenatal and NCT classes for years now and many dads have started accompanying their partners at these sessions. They are a great way to learn about what to expect in Labour, how you can help, and the things a mum goes through when becoming a parent. Even better is to do a course specifically aimed at dads. These are very new and there aren't many out there but they specifically tackle a mans journey through becoming a parent. Answering the questions men have and tackling the things men need help with. At Dadvengers we recently launched our very own Course for New Dads which I personally deliver to online groups. The response to date has be amazing and we're confident that it will soon be the most popular expectant dad course in the UK.
Practice Makes Perfect
In life, we rarely get things right the first time. The same can be true when you become a parent. There are so many new things to do with a baby that you might not have done before. You might be concerned that you're not going to be good at changing nappies, bathing or comforting your child. But, like with anything in life, practice makes perfect!
Think about the things that you're not experienced at, and is there a way to practice that? Use a teddy to practice nappy changing, practice putting the buggy up and down, even practicing how to use the steraliser can help you feel more prepared when baby does arrive. If it is something you can't practice, try reading about it and checking advice online. We have some great New Dad posts on our website that are aimed at helping you feel more comfortable learning how to do things like bathing your baby.
Find a Community to Support You
There are also parenting communities that you can join to build an army of support on this exciting new chapter in your life. Dadvengers is one of those communities! We formed in 2020 after I realised there was a lack of support for dads in the parenting world. And now we have a great community that is growing every day. We know that preparing for fatherhood is scary for some, and talking about your worries can be difficult. But it is easier when you're talking to people who can understand what you're going through.
With a community like ours, you're bound to find someone who has been in the same position, or something very similar. You can get advice, support and resources from fellow dads. And find the light relief in parenting when we talk about our parenting fails, or funny parenting moments. Talking about your parenting worries will help reduce the stress you might feel, and that will make you a happier, more confident dad. We've also set up the New Dad Course. This is a perfect opportunity for you to meet other dads in the same boat as you and learn skills to help you as a new parent. Each of our courses brings together a group of dads whose babies are due around the same time. We do this so that you end up with a group of likeminded dads in the same position as you. You can then lean on each other and talk about parenting with someone going through it at the same time.
Prepare for Fatherhood At The Baby Show
There is a lot of "stuff" you're going to need when you prepare for fatherhood. From cots, to babygrows, prams to changing bags - there are some things babies do need! The best place to find those things is at The Baby Show! With stands from all the best baby brands, you can discuss your needs and find the items that are right for you - at great prices!
Plus you can join brilliant live talks on topics parents love. We're going to be there and I'll be up on stage hosting a panel for the dads. It really is a one stop shop for everything - from the physical things, to getting some advice and support. Come and find us there!