If you like to set goals in order to measure accomplishments, then start with these seven milestones for your first three months as a father. If you’re an overachiever, you can always speed up the timetable or add more milestones:
- Get hands-on involved with your baby from the very beginning at the birth and throughout the hospital stay.
- Learn the basics of holding, changing, dressing, burping, and swaddling within one week.
- Learn to comfort your crying baby within two weeks. If he has colic, try not to get too frustrated and make it three weeks.
- Select one activity – like bathing your baby or “tummy time”– and make it your own within four weeks.
- When he’s six weeks start going out with your baby, just the two of you; walks, stroller rides, etc. Get out at least once a week.
- Spend four hours alone with your baby by the end of the 2nd month (you may have to boot mom out of the house).
- Take her on your first “show her the world” adventure – like to a hardware store – by 3 months.
By hitting these milestones you’ll become an expert on taking care of your own baby. After just a few weeks of burping, swaddling, bathing, etc., taking care of him will be second nature. Your baby will also learn how dad does things. With you and him in sync nobody in the whole world, with the possible exception of mom, will do it better.