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What do new dads want their partners to know?










QUESTION:

I am 25 weeks pregnant with our first child and I'm wondering what new dads wish their partners would do to help new dads help new moms. What do dads want us to know?

By the time the baby comes and I am postpartum, my husband will be under a lot of stress with his job. I know I will need help from him, but I don't know what to do to make it easier for him to help me rather than more challenging.

I want to support him becoming a new dad, and support him in supporting me (rather than nag or have unreasonable expectations) but I don't have any frame of reference for what new dads go through.




ANSWER:

Of all the questions we receive from moms-to-be, none is better than yours. You have his back as he prepares to be a dad, and want to know how to do it better. This bodes very well for you, your baby, and him down the road, as moms are the key factor in how well a dad does early on with his baby. The stress will kick in for you too once your baby arrives, so developing a plan now in a non-sleep deprived state is a great idea.

Suggestions:

  • Understand gatekeeping (new moms' pushing dad away from his baby). It is an instinctual, hormonal reaction for moms and we recommend talking about it with your partner before your baby arrives and agreeing with him that if he calls you on it, you step back so he can figure it out on his own, or even leave the room to avoid the urge to step in.
  • Go to an infant care class together. This will give him a head start on learning to care for his baby.
  • You will need him at home for awhile. Ask him to plan to make time to be home with you and the baby, maybe that means working in the morning and being at home in the afternoon. He will be glad he spent those first weeks with his new family.

The best suggestion is for him to go to Boot Camp for New Dads if there is one in your area.

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