Your wife’s pregnancy test came positive? Or are you in the middle of the process of adoption? Whatever is the case with you, you must be celebrating and getting immensely delighted because you are going to be a FATHER. This feeling of a little one calling you ‘DAD’ is simply magical. However, this wonderful feeling comes with a lot of
Fatherhood is not rocket science, but at the same time, it is also not a cakewalk. It will bring a paradigm shift in every aspect of your life – your work, your diet, your sleep, your feelings, your hobbies, etc.
Being a father, you will play a pivotal role in the life of your child as well as your partner. Don’t think that your business is done after focusing more on the mom-to-be during her pregnancy period and you need not do anything after the delivery of your child. Such lack of understanding can give rise to various unintended negative consequences in the future that may create ripples in your family life. Not only the moms-to-be but also all the expectant fathers should start preparing for that day when their sweet little bundle of joy will arrive. Planning to be a father is good, but preparing for that plan is extremely important.
Having said that, it is time for all the expecting dads to be ready for the arrival of a new magical dose of happiness. This comprehensive post is a one-stop-solution for all your doubts, worries, and confusions regarding dad-to-be-related things.
Preparing for fatherhood: A Complete Guide
So, let’s first talk about what kind of attributes you should inculcate intentionally in yourself during the pregnancy period of your better half. And then, later on, we will discuss the points for how a dad-to-be can prepare himself for a baby.
Let’s dive deep into it!
What Attributes You Will Need If Your Soulmate Is Pregnant?
During the pregnancy period, it is extremely important for you as a father to understand all the growth happening to your child as well as its mother. An expecting mom goes through a plethora of physical, mental, and emotional transitions, such as mood swings, laziness, morning sickness, heartburns, food cravings, nauseatic feeling, physical discomforts, etc. In such a situation, your care and love count a lot to her as well as to your baby. Here is the list of some important attributes that you should bring in yourself during this period:
- Knowledge & awareness
- Sense of humor
- Ability to focus on details
- Responsive, immediate, and smart actions in emergencies
- Eagle eyes and owl’s ears.
Top 10 Tips To Prepare For Fatherhood
Although it is difficult to prepare yourself for becoming a father, we have got some tips for you so that you can easily manage those exciting-yet-exhausting months!
Here we go!
1. Do A Lot Of Research
One of the most important things that an expectant father should do is researching how to take care of infants. Although a pregnant woman does a lot of research related to parenting topics, a dad-to-be should also research and learn as much as possible about fatherhood.
In the market, you will find a plethora of books regarding fatherhood that every father-to-be should check out. One of the best books is ‘The Expectant Father’, which is written by Armin Brott and Jennifer Ash. The book has launched several editions and has been read by millions of expecting dads.
In addition to this, you can also choose to read blogs, papers, or articles based on pregnancy, birth, and parenting. You can also join some online groups that share such types of information and watch family-centric shows. By doing all such things, you will gain an in-depth understanding of everything from stressors of pregnancy, labor process, and breastfeeding to baby proofing and diapering.
2. Learn From Your Fellow Dads
Some soon-to-be dads are scared of the thought of having and raising a new baby in their life. The thought of taking care of an infant can be terrifying, especially when it is a new experience for expectant fathers. Therefore, it is great to find your fellow dads and learn from them. Hanging out with fellow dads can prove really helpful to get a basic idea of the experience of becoming a dad. You will also become cognizant of various challenges of parenthood and will also get an outlet for what it is like to have a baby.
You can ask questions from other dads, notice the attributes that they have specially inculcated for their children, understand their feelings, analyze the changes in their life, and learn from their experiences of handling babies.
All such things will provide you a much-needed perspective of what you should do with moving forward. Just mimic what you really liked in your fellow fathers and do not hesitate to talk to them about fatherhood.
3. Talk About Co-Parenting With Your Partner
Having known that you are soon going to be a dad, it is a great time for you to have in-depth discussions with your partner about what kind of parents you want to be for your child. Will both of you be working after the delivery? If so, then who will take care of the child? How will both of you plan for childcare? What will be your maximum budget for childcare? Do you want a separate room for your baby or do you wish the baby to sleep in a crib in your room? What precaution will you take once your child will become a feisty toddler?
Discuss all such things with your partner because you both have to take millions of other decisions together. Although all these things are theoretical, they may change drastically once the baby arrives. You may exceed the budget that you have decided for the baby. Breastfeeding might prove more challenging than you have imagined. You might feel that it is not an easy task to change the diapers or dress up yourbaby. Therefore, you should also discuss with your partner about such possible changes that could happen after the birth.
Make sure that your discussion is relevant and you are not just talking about unimportant things. When you start doing such discussions with your partner before the child arrives, you open various lines of communication and collaborate with each other to be on the same parenting page.
4. Attend Parenting Classes
If you are not a superfan of reading books or articles, then you can also choose to attend parenting classes as much as possible. Expecting mothers often go to such classes so that they could know what wrong and what right things they are doing all the time. By attending parenting classes, going-to-be dads can have a clear idea of what to expect once the baby arrives in their world.
Moreover, there are some organizations or institutes that provide father-centric classes to prepare soon-to-be dads for fatherhood and parenting. Such specific classes provide better tips, tricks, and hacks that new fathers can follow during their process of being a father. These classes also offer sound advice and suggestions that are more valuable than the advice you get from your friends and family members.
5. Make Your New Family Budget
It is very important to keep your financial ducks in a row when you have your little baby. Therefore, always pre-plan your family budget and the amount of money that you will spend on your baby’s care and growth. You might feel that it is early to make a new budget during the pregnancy or adoption process. However, the reality is that you should start planning your new budget the moment good news arrives. Let’s know the expenses that you will basically deal with!
- In the first year, diaper expenses will be high because it will take around 2000 to 3000 diapers for your baby.
- Crib sheets
- Creams and lotions
- Baby foods
- Hospital bills
Apart from these expenses, you should also set your mind for:
- Paternity leave
- Health insurance
- Meetings with a financial planner
- Stocking up things for the future
- Start a special fund, if possible
The more you will start planning ahead, the lesser new costs will rise.
6. Start Helping More In The Household Tasks
Do you know what is one of the best tips to prepare yourself for fatherhood? It is to start helping more around the house. Neither it will demean you in any sense, nor it will make you a lesser man. Helping your partner in the household tasks will help to lessen the mental as well as physical load, especially when the baby has already arrived.
Managing a baby can give rise to various mood swings for a mother. When soon-to-be dads start helping with the household chores, mothers will become happier and calmer than before. The lesser the things for her to worry about, the easier will be everything to manage, and the more responsible father you will become. And don’t think that this will end within the baby’s first few months, you will be engaged in household activities at least for 10-15 years. Therefore, you must prepare yourself for this drastic change in your life. Do not take it as a burden, rather, take it as an exciting opportunity to prove yourself as the best father.
7. Embrace The Change In Your Sex Life
Being a soon-to-be father, you should be cognizant of the fact that pregnancy and childbirth will definitely affect your sex life. You might have intense cravings for doing sex or you might feel nervous about doing anything that can affect the child in the womb. You need to accept that there will be a paradigm shift in your sex life, and hence, you should always keep open communication with your partner regarding this.
You need to embrace the fact that it will take time for your partner to do sex after pregnancy. It requires more than 6 weeks to heal the body after a woman delivers a baby. And at such a time, you need to be extra sensitive to all the changes that the newborn baby has brought into your life.
8. Create Ceremonies
Not just making the adjustments is necessary, but also capturing the memories as well as celebrating milestones are also important for an expecting father. You can simply keep a journal or blog, write a diary, click photographs and paste them in your diary, express your feelings about those moments – you can do much more than just making adjustments and accepting changes.
By creating ceremonies, you will have a sense of faith in yourself that you are developing some great qualities of fatherhood. Moreover, it will help you to acknowledge yourself and honor yourself, so that you can become a great father to your baby. In addition, try to practice gratitude even for the smallest things. This will really help you to be grateful for all little joys in your life, especially when times will be tough as a father.
9. Understand The Phases Of Pregnancy
Being an expecting father, you should be aware of every phase of pregnancy. It is extremely important for you to take appropriate actions and to make a valuable commitment as a father. In case you do not know about various phases of pregnancy, here is the process of five distinct phases that will help you to keep track of your baby’s growth:
- Phase 1 (First 12 Weeks): It is the time when the pregnancy is acknowledged. In this phase, a pregnant woman often feels nauseatic, tired, unwell, and irritated. So, you better get used to it and support your partner in such conditions.
- Phase 2 (12 To 24 Weeks): At this phase, women feel much better than before. She may feel the pride of carrying your baby in her womb. Therefore, your responsibility is to join that pride and develop positive fatherhood qualities at this time.
- Phase 3 (24 Weeks): At this phase of pregnancy, a woman can actually feel the kick of the bay. Also, this is the phase where you should start preparing for childbirth. You should be extra sensitive and aware of how your words, actions, and thoughts can affect the child during this stage.
- Phase 4 (32 Weeks To Birth): This is the phase when the belly grows bigger than before and the woman begins to have a lot of physical discomforts. This is because her body is preparing for an extraordinary process, i.e., for giving birth to a baby.
At this phase, it is extremely important for you as a father to take care of every aspect. How will you prepare for the delivery? Which hospital should you choose? How could you support your partner at the time of labor pains? You should be prepared for each and everything related to childbirth at this stage.
- Phase 5 (The Birth): The last phase of pregnancy is when a woman gives birth to a baby. This life-changing and the extraordinary event should be handled very carefully. Gain eagle’s eyes and owl’s ears, keep track of your baby’s growth, notice unusual changes or symptoms, choose the best location or hospital for delivery, and choose the best suitable method of delivery for your partner.
10. Have More Sense Of Humor
Do you know what is the basic key for moving through good or bad times? It is to LAUGH. Parenting is definitely not an easy task. It is complicated, exhausting, and messy. When you will be devoid of sufficient sleep because you need to change diapers of your baby, when you will struggle to dress up your baby, when you will accidentally use breast milk for your tea, when you will run after your toddler to avoid any disaster – all such events might be a challenge for you that you can overcome only by laughing and having jolly thoughts in your mind.
Parenting becomes exciting and rewarding if you have that extra sense of humor. Just lighten your heart, make your partner laugh, enjoy stupid moments, learn to giggle and crack jokes – you can do many things to feel delighted in the most mundane workdays.
The Bottom Line
Becoming a father is the most extraordinary thing that can happen in your life ever. The immensity of the fatherhood experience is almost impossible to realize until you are living with it. The above-mentioned tips and tricks will assist you a lot in preparing yourself for being a great father. Just because you are not physically carrying the baby, doesn’t mean that you are not a part of it. Your involvement should be as much as possible, even if you are using the adoption or surrogacy method.
When you will hold your baby and fall in love with him/her, that magical moment will be truly indescribable. Just imagine yourself sitting on your couch and holding your newborn, amazing right? When you will gradually inculcate all positive attributes during pregnancy and will start preparing for your new baby, you will feel lesser stress in your day-to-day life after childbirth. The picture will be entirely different from what you had thought. You will start enjoying each and every moment with your child and will no longer perceive parenting as a mundane task.