What to not worry about, what to do

"She came 5 weeks early. We were not even close to being ready."


"She came 5 weeks early. We were not even close to being ready."

What to Not Worry About, and What to Do

“Everybody says it’s going to change your life. OK—well, what does that mean?”

You have a lot of work ahead, crucial strategies to develop, and a life changing personal transformation to navigate. A man becoming a father has a lot on his mind. A good first step is to focus on those issues worth the mind space. Here are a few things our dads have learned that may help you out:

Don't Worry About...

YOUR BABY'S BIRTH: Go ahead and worry about your baby — everyone does. And worry about your wife being in pain. But as far as concerns about succeeding as her birth coach, we put everything you need to know in the Cornerman’s Coaching Guide on Newdads.com.(link to)Download, print, look it over, and when she says “I think I feel it”, you’ll be ready to go.

DROPPING YOUR BABY: Dads don’t drop their infants, and neither will you. On the other hand, once they go mobile at six months or so, our dumb and fearless babies regularly attempt to shorten their own longevity. That is when you should worry.

TAKING CARE OF YOUR BABY: In our workshops, even the most nervous guys only take a few minutes to get used to holding a baby. After just a few times changing, feeding, burping, or bathing your baby, you’ll get the hang of it. While the first few days can be frustrating, you’ll get 80% of it down after two weeks and soon you’ll be an expert on your own baby.

Things You Should Be Doing

Strategize the Registries/Shower Gifts
When it comes to equality in parenting, dads have made great strides in a lot of ways, but the registry is still a domain handled by mothers. While this may make things easier on you, it does not ensure that you will receive the items necessary for your baby. An easy strategy to combat this is to spend a little time with the LuciesList.com registry cheat sheet.

This cheat sheet is a twofold strategy

  1. If you and your partner do not know what needs to go on the registry, you have an easy access list of things to add.
  2. If your partner insists on many unnecessary items, you can refer to the list as a way of knocking off things you won't need.

Russell: Baby Registry Strategy (1:51)

Get the Car Seat Handled
Since your baby can sleep in a file box for a month, the only piece of equipment you really need is a car seat as they otherwise won’t let you take him home from the hospital.

Lucie's List: Car Seat Advice


Optimize Your Paternity Leave
Hands-on time with your baby in the first weeks accelerates biological bonding for both of you, allows you to support a quickly overwhelmed new mom, and enables a new family to get to know each other.

You Should Expect

Ambivalence at Times

Expect downs with the ups; you may cry joyfully at her birth and wonder what you got yourself into a week later. This is surprising and may run counter to your expectations, but sleep deprivation, rapid change in your life, and the sacrifices you make can overwhelm your feelings for a child you barely know.

To Gain Strength from Your Baby

A child brings out the best in us and make us stronger. All of us have issues we would like to handle — from getting a degree to quitting smoking. However, when we hold our very immortality in our arms, finding inner-strength and the motivation to get it done comes easier. The fulfillment you get from being a dad will fuel your drive to continually do more.

To Come Last for a While

The distinguishing characteristic of a man who transforms into a dad is that his priorities shift from his own interests to his child, partner, work, and then himself. The changes in their lives are profound, but they take them in stride, even when sleep deprived.

The Need to Be Proactive

It’s easy to get swept along in mom’s wake on the changes a new baby brings, but you run the risk of going in a direction you will regret. Fatherhood is a huge rite of passage for any man, and getting educated, developing a plan, and becoming involved is a no-brainer. Do you want a great place to start? Ask yourself what your own father was like and how you want to be.

Save Money
Buy baby furniture second-hand, or borrow it. There are stores that recycle baby items – from clothing to strollers and car seats to cribs. Lots of it is brand new – castoffs from baby showers or duplicate gifts. Most baby furniture and equipment outlives its usefulness after only a short while.

Matt: Equipment We Use (0:43)

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