The baby is here. And suddenly everything is different. Joy, questions, dark circles. You are dad! It’s just great that active fatherhood is increasingly important to men. What can you do now for your baby and your partner? Protect and support you!
Our tips for fathers:
Take an introductory leave
Even if you may not be able to take long-term time off from your job, an extensive phase of getting to know each other is of inestimable value. Even two months of parental leave help strengthen the father-child bond and grow together as a family. If it is not possible for you to back off in your job, you may be able to adjust your working hours a little to the new situation so that you can have a permanent place in your baby’s life. Changing diapers in the morning or always putting them to bed in the evening – binding dad rituals are important for your baby.
The work-baby balance is admittedly a very difficult balancing act! Perhaps, like many fathers, you will initially secure the family income on your own and now work all the more? Or do you find that the working world with its regular breaks can almost be relaxing when the 24-hour baby service is waiting at home? Of course, you are subject to many constraints in the world of work. Nevertheless, check your priorities regularly and honestly.
Snuggle with the baby
Yes, dads cuddle! Cuddling makes you happy, cuddling gives security, cuddling promotes the father-child bond. In short: physical affection is important for you and your baby. And especially at the beginning, baby care and physical contact are the main connections with your child.
You can do anything – except breastfeeding
Through the months of pregnancy and breastfeeding, mother and child have a particularly close connection. Sometimes other baby care tasks automatically remain in mum’s hands. But it is just as important for you to establish contact from the start so that the baby can develop an equal relationship with both of you. Carrying, changing diapers, and bathing are important father-child moments and of course also mean a little break for the mother.
Support the mother – share tasks
Especially in the first weeks after the birth, your partner has to recover and needs all her strength for the newborn, which demands a lot of attention. Household? Shop? Cook? Administrative procedures? Some women even forget to drink enough! Your support is particularly in demand now. For the time after that, you should also discuss a fair division of tasks that is tailored to your life and work situation. One of the biggest mistakes: belittling the mother’s task. Remember that she is on duty for your baby 24 hours a day. You are a team, you are family together. As a rule, none of you have too much free time.
To be patient
After the birth, the new mother’s hormones can go on a roller coaster again. Not infrequently, in connection with fatigue and all the new demands, this leads to a low mood in which your partner can be easily irritable, sad, or depressed. Now she needs your love and understanding all the more.
Protect the family
You are now a father, and I’m sure you’re proud that grandparents, aunts, and friends are happy with you and want to marvel at the baby. But: You now need time for yourself and extended periods of rest are also very important for the newborn. Therefore, it is better to keep a close eye on the flow of visitors and make sure that you do not overwhelm yourself. Politely putting off is allowed!
Dad time: being alone with the baby
For many fathers, being alone with the baby can be a bit of a challenge for the first time. But it is worthwhile for everyone involved to start as soon as possible. You deepen the relationship with your child and give him security. And the mother learns that she can hand over her baby from time to time without any worries. Because that is sometimes not so easy for them.
Don’t be so strict on yourself
We’ll tell you a secret here. Neither do mothers always know what to do. Yes, you have already been in close contact with the baby for 9 months and read maybe 20 guides. But you become a mother just as suddenly as a father. Starting position? Fairly balanced! You both have to grow into your new role. Go through this time together and be as mild to yourself and your supposed mistakes as possible.
Create free space
Family time is now a priority. This also means that personal freedom takes a back seat, especially in the beginning. That can lead to frustration. But asking for free space without knowing it can seem pretty selfish in a phase of mutual overexertion. Four evenings a week for men? Better not. Today a break from exercising (or sleep) for you, and tomorrow a break for a long bath (or sleep) for your partner? Absolutely!