Tips and Ideas for New Dads

Finding out you’re going to be a daddy can be exhilarating. Your role is just as important as your partner’s, and we’ve gathered some tips and ideas to help you start preparing.

Start preparing early. The day you find out you’re going to be a dad is the day you want to start getting ready. Read books, and help your partner research the best local doctors and pediatricians. Do your homework so you know what’s ahead. But keep in mind, all the reading and researching you do will never fully prepare you for the moment you first hold your baby in your arms—your heart and love for your new little one will take over.

Find older, wiser fathers. Early on in your partner’s pregnancy, find older, wiser fathers you can talk to for advice. Talk to your dad or her dad, or find someone you trust who is a seasoned father.

Research what’s good and bad for pregnant women. Help your partner find out what she can and can’t eat and what medicines she can and can’t take. Do some research on your own to find out how to best care for her and your baby during pregnancy and after.

Treat your partner well. She’s got a big job ahead of her. Pregnancy and motherhood take courage and strength. During pregnancy, do what you can to pamper her. Give her foot rubs and back massages. Cook dinner, and do some cleaning. After pregnancy, take turns caring for baby when you are able, to give your partner a chance to sleep. Whatever you can do to ease her load, both before and after pregnancy, will give her time to rest and be the best mother possible.

Keep the tank half-full of gas in the third trimester. Baby decides to come regardless of your schedule. And he or she probably won’t wait for you to stop for gas. So keep that tank above half full so you’re always ready. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to keep your phone or camera charged so you can take plenty of photos and videos when baby shows up for the first time!

Take paternity leave, if possible. Your partner will need you around for a week or two (or more, if you can swing it) after baby comes home. Your presence is vital for her sanity. Let her rest as much as possible, and help with feedings, diaper changings, bath times, or other household tasks.

Bond with baby. Time at home will help you and baby bond. The more you can interact with your new little one, the stronger your bond will be. Even little things like changing a diaper will help baby connect with you. Enjoy the time you are able to spend with your new little one—he or she will grow up quickly!

Seasoned fathers, do you have any great advice for the newbies? Please share if you do!