How To Be A Good Father: Tips & Advice For Dads
The role of a father is always changing in our modern world. Read our advice and tips for being an engaged, supportive and loving dad.
What does it mean to be a dad? The art of fatherhood is evolving as society and the traditional family changes. With these positive parenting tips, dads can help their children build confidence and self-esteem, and in turn, learn how to be an engaged, supportive, and loving father to their children.
Todays families are increasingly more diverse, including single parent families, blended families, same gender parents, unmarried parents, and multi-generational families. Over the past three decades, societal changes including the rise in numbers of women working outside the home, escalating divorce rates, remarriages, and blended families are causing shifts in both maternal and paternal roles.
Ask a dad today and he will probably tell you that his father-daughter or father-son relationships differ widely from those he experienced with his own father. Changes in parenting styles have given men more options for responding to obligations as fathers, husbands or partners. Todays dad is less likely to automatically rely on his own childhood experiences for fatherhood guidance. With the constantly changing roles of dads, what worked well for his father 30 years ago, may not work at all with the complex and varied challenges modern fathers face.
How To Change A Diaper
Spread the diaper in the position of the diamond with you at bat. Then fold second base down to home and set the baby on the pitchers mound. Put first base and third together, bring up home plate, and pin the three together. Of course, in case of rain, you gotta call the game and start all over again. Jimmy Piersall, MLB center fielder, on how to diaper a baby
A new baby is a poop and pee machine. Youll be amazed that such a small person can produce so much waste. With a newborn, you can expect to change a diaper every two hours. Thats twelve changes in a single 24-hour day! Wowza! As the baby gets older, the changings will get less frequent, but youll still be plowing through a lot of diapers. Unfortunately science has yet to create a self-cleaning baby, so its up to you and your wife to clean your little tyke and keep their waste-producing faculties in shipshape condition.
1. Assess the damage. If you smell something funky, you know you need to change your little turd machines diaper. When you go to check the damage, be prepared for anything. You might have just a small little nugget waiting for you, or you could have a runny, hazardous waste explosion that has left the confines of the diaper. If its the latter, its best to move the baby near the bath, so you can thoroughly clean her.
2. Get your materials. Grab a clean diaper and four or five baby wipes . Place them to the side.
10. Give your baby a high five.
Listen & Accept Or Ask For Help
One vital tip for being a new dad is to listen. Many people, from relatives to strangers in the street, will offer you advice, but your partner and your baby are the most important ones to listen to. The more time you spend with your baby, you will learn what they are telling you and what they need. Spending time and supporting your partner, especially by talking through the challenges and how you are feeling, will allow you to know you have your teammates back and vice-versa and help you both as parents not feel overwhelmed.
Also, remember to ask for help when needed. Whether youre a tried and tested experienced dad, or dealing with your first little once, accept assistance when its offered, or ask your family for help, whether it is cooking a meal, doing laundry or helping you or your partner to take a break or an opportune nap.
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Talk And Sing To Your Baby
My baby isnt born yet though. Yeah, we know. Singing and talking to your baby while it is still in the womb can still be very powerful. There is research showing that it can lead to a happier baby, but we believe it can lead to a happier YOU too! Its about taking time out of your day to be with your baby from the beginning, and strengthening that bond. To make things easier, for now you get to read what you and your partner want to. So keep on doing you with those soapy romance novels that are your go-to.
Guess what? If you are adopting, then you will still have a strong bond with a happy child. We promise. Spending time doing research, reading, and preparing for your baby can accomplish the same thing.
Take Everything With A Grain Of Salt Remember Theres No Perfect Parenting And Have Fun
We do a lot of research about babies, baby gear, baby food, sleep, so on and so forth. That doesnt mean we have all the answers. The crazy part about being a dad/parent is there is no single right way to do it, because every baby is so unique. We hope these tips can give you at least some direction, but without a doubt, you will find things that work for you that arent on this list.
Whatever you do, remember to have some fun. Laugh it off. Take parenting seriously, but not yourself. And enjoy the journey.
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Discuss Feeding Options With Your Partner
Breastfeeding isnt a given for everyone. If you are adopting or dont have access to breastmilk, then formula is going to be the option for you. Even if breastfeeding is an option, its something you should discuss with your partner, not assume.
Even if breastfeeding is the option you and your partner have chosen, there are times when it can become difficult to keep supply and demand even. Baby formula can be a life saver and there is no reason to feel any guilt or shame in feeding your baby formula. We have a full in-depth review on a baby formula that knocked our socks off: Bobbie Baby Formula. If youre looking for more on breastfeeding, the CDC has a nice list of FAQs here , and the blog Milk Drunk provides interesting viewpoints from many types of parents.
He Is The Best Teacher:
A father teaches lessons not just for academics but about life. He shows how children can channelize their emotions when met with failure or disappointment, how they can use their energy for their good, how they can plan their careers or study hours.
If we sum up all the above characteristics of a father, we can understand that all of them arise from the mans involvement and interest in his childs life. The fathers involvement varies with the stage of his fatherhood.
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You Feel How Your Dad Felt About You
You might have fought with your father a thousand times, but he kept telling and showing you how much he loved you. Now it is your turn to argue with your wayward teenage son and daughter who says that they must get a tattoo. You understand the frustration of knowing that your experience and knowledge are being set aside for the “hard way.”
It is your turn to feel what your father felt the good, the bad and the ugly. While you may feel like you’re talking to a brick wall at times, they are listening, but children must live their own lives and learn some life lessons on their own. And this process might be painful to watch, but remain the soft place to land after a hard fall and everything will work out for the best.
A Fathers Duty To Raise His Child Starts At The Moment Of Conception Not At The Moment Of Birth
Once a couple announces their pregnancy, its not unusual for the man to become the target of a little good-natured ribbing. His wife is suddenly a mother, and hes a father and the obvious inequality of the burden of pregnancy is a little ridiculous. The mans contribution to his new childs life was fun and quick, and his wife gets stuck with the short end of the stick. At the bare minimum, the next nine months are all her problem and while shes pregnant, the man couldnt take care of that baby even if he wanted to, right?
Wrong. Not only can you, dad, take care of your unborn child, but its your duty to do so. Just because the baby isnt born yet doesnt mean that you dont already have a new child, and every child needs a mother and a father. A fathers duty to raise his child starts at the moment of conception, not at the moment of birth.
But how the heck do you act like a good father to an unborn child? Well, not the way the mother does, thats for sure. You dont have to provide space for the child, and safety, and nutrients, and antibodies, and essential gut microbes, and milk, and the irreplaceable maternal attachment that an infant needs to thrive.
Also Check: How Much Is Too Much Formula For A Newborn
Prep The Nursery Well In Advance
For parents who have the luxury of extra room, preparing the nursery will probably be part of the nesting process. That said, it should take place well before the baby arrives. Parents who give themselves enough time can use nursery preparation as a time to relax and daydream about the coming life change. But allowing for more time also means that a baby wont be sleeping in a room filled with paint fumes and chemical off-gassing from new foam mattresses, window dressings, or wall decals.
Establish A Routine Now
One of the best, most practical tips for new dads is that they start to establish a schedule long before the baby arrives. A solid, baby-led schedule can mean the difference between a kid that eats and sleeps easily and a kid that makes the nights and days a living hell. But parents cant simply impose a schedule upon their kid and hope it works. The trick is in waiting for the kid to establish their own routine of sleeping, eating, and alertness. Theyll usually have something worked out around the 3-month mark. Then theyll abruptly change it up a month later. This is okay and normal. Parents just need to follow their kids lead and adhere strictly to the schedule the kid establishes.
Along with that schedule, parents should develop a nightly sleep ritual that primes the kid for laying down. Even though they lack teeth, the routine could include some gum massaging, a story or two, and a song. Kids should be put down while sleepy but not asleep so they can learn to soothe themselves.
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Are You A New Father Here Are A Few Tips From Some Real Experts: Other Dads
1. When the going gets tough, take a break. There will be moments when the world conspires to make dads mad: when you haven’t slept, the baby is crying, the phone is ringing, the milk is boiling over, and your partner is cranky. Turn off the stove, go outside, and take as many deep breaths as you need before re-entering the fray.
2. Make time with your family a priority. When you look back on your life years from now, you won’t regret not having worked longer hours. What you might regret is not having spent more time with your kids. Time spent playing on the floor or watching your baby sleep is time well spent. Enjoy this great excuse to hang around and “do nothing.”
3. Play a lot. Nothing is better than fun for dissipating tension and for forging trust and good relationships with babies.
4. Take advantage of your baby’s portability. Don’t be afraid to take your baby out with you. It’s easier to take them out before they become mobile. Stimulation is good for kids, and babies make great adventure companions. Besides, you’ll get lots of attention, too.
5. Be extra patient, supportive, and communicative with your partner. Giving birth can be traumatic, and hormones continue to ebb and flow after childbirth. If there is ever a time to be understanding of your baby’s mom, and available to them, too, this is it.
6. Try not to schedule too many things in one day. Everything takes longer with a baby involved.
Love And Honor Her Mom:
When you love and respect your wife, your daughter will develop respect for you. She will appreciate the fact that you know how to treat women. It gives her an idea of what kind of men she needs to be with when she is mingling with boys in her school and college.
Focus on discovering ways to fulfill your daughters needs by developing a rapport with her.
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Read What Your Partner Sends & Consider An Online Parenting Class
Your partner is likely staying up late reading material about how to parent as well. If they send you stuff, read it! Being on the same page when it comes to preparation is a great idea. Dont be afraid to send them stuff to read too! And, while reading is great, consider an online parenting classcourses that use video can be a great way to learn skills, knowledge, figure out gear, and more.
The Source Of Encouragement:
You are the source of encouragement to your kid. Be it a football match or a debate competition, your presence at the venue gives a boost to your childs confidence. You are the happiest when they succeed and you are the one who will make them strive better if they fail. Your words will make a world of difference to your child. Your words have the power to make or break them.
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Time Management Becomes Easy
You may find it hard to leave your partner and baby and go out with the boys. In fact, many men quit going out and having fun altogether. That is, until they realize how much fun being a dad actually is.
Take fatherhood as a challenge and plan your time well so that you can make sure that youve left enough time for everything including your social time. Remember, it is important for both parents to maintain a social life because it helps you to appreciate the time with your children even more.