Preparing for your family’s new member may seem like an overwhelming responsibility, especially if you do not have a clear plan. For first time daddy’s, it can be a little intimidating, if not overly challenging. The first few days after birth will definitely be a nightmare. Nonetheless, getting prepared will give you the physical and mental strength to deal with anything the baby throws your way.
There are various little things you and your partner can do to ensure the new child comes to a safe comfortable environment. If you are an expecting mom, you can review unique gift ideas for new dads to choose special gifts that will help your partner learn more about pregnancy needs and how to get ready for the newborn. For expecting dads, below is a brief look at some of the things you can do to prepare for your newborn.
Birth and pre-birth preparation
It is important to start thinking about your baby’s health the moment they are conceived. Delivery and post-birth will greatly influence how your child’s life shapes up. For this reason, most dads often concentrate on what happens following delivery. However, supporting healthy pregnancy is just as crucial. Womb conditions give your baby a representation of what they will have in the outside world. According to studies, mothers who starve during pregnancy are likely to have children with a higher risk for diabetes since the child’s system is designed to save up more that it spends. It is therefore very important to ensure your partner is healthy and well cared for during pregnancy. Other that, the pre-birth preparations you should focus on include;
- Take a childbirth class to learn the basics of what to expect and how to prepare for different situations.
- Learn about the best pain management solutions for your partner, including how to offer gentle massage.
- Choose the facility where your partner will deliver and identify the fastest, safest routes to the center. You should also visit the facility to make sure it has everything required for safe delivery.
- Have important numbers on speed dial. This may include emergency hospital numbers, transport services and people to notify after the child is born.
- If you have other little children in the house, arrange for childcare services during pregnancy.
- Quit bad vices such as cigarette smoking, drug abuse and anything that may cause stress or poor judgment and decision making.
Home and car preparations
Delivery aside, you must ensure your home and car is ready to accommodate a new member. There are various adjustments you should make before bringing your little one home. They are not only important for the safety of your child, but also make childcare less strenuous. Your partner will be quite exhausted following childbirth so it is your responsibility to help out with getting the house ready. Some of the things you can do include;
- Baby proof the entire house – Although your child will not be able to move on their own for a couple of months, it is important to baby proof the house early enough. Take away anything that could compromise the health and safety of your baby.
- Inspect and clean your air conditioners – a new baby signals the ideal time to inspect your air conditioners and ensure there are no mold, debris or particle allergens accumulating in your ducts. Simply make sure the air quality in your house is pure. Clean the air conditioning system, replace filters, vacuum sofa sets and upholstery, inspect the entire house for mold, mow the lawn and trim the shrubs. You should also exterminate any pests that have infested your compounds.
- Baby crib and nursery – this should be an easy one. Simply find an easy-to-install baby nursery for your child. Involve your partner in this decision since they will be spending more time with the baby. Set up the nursery weeks before birth to avoid last minute rush. You can also shop for baby clothes, bags and gifts.
- Stock up the freezer with cooked meals – your partner will gradually grow tired and unable to finish tasks such as cooking and cleaning. You can ensure they still get essential nutrients by cooking and stocking ready-to-eat meals in the freezer. If need be, you may also look into housekeeping and childcare help if need be.
- Install a car seat for your newborn baby – childproof the car and install a car seat. You should also purchase a baby stroller, outdoor blankets and carriage bag.
Baby care preparations
Parenting is a huge task for both parents and while no book contains everything you need to know, there are various classes that can help you get prepared for this new world. Finding a parenting class to attend with your partner is only the first step. You will be required to learn how to hold and feed the baby, prepare their meals, change diapers, clean/wash the baby and read bedtime stories or woo them to sleep. These courses do not only increase your understanding of childcare, but also promote baby-parent bonding, which is very important to the growth, development and wellbeing of a newborn. It is recommendable to read about child development, common illnesses and infections, baby signs and communication, among other relevant information about your baby’s health and development.
Work and financial preparations
Planning your finances early can help you deal with various milestones down the road. You can apply for a paternity leave to spend some time with your partner and newborn. Also make sure your family and health insurance covers are lined up to accommodate the newborn. You can start a college or an education fund immediately or open up an account to begin saving something for your child. More importantly, consider speaking to a professional financial planner to assess and determine viable financial strategies for your expanding family.
As an expecting dad, your primary role is to the best parent and partner for your family. Most preparations revolve around learning how to care for a newborn. Taking some time to read and research is a good start towards becoming a great dad. Buy a children’s book or enroll in a parenting class. Basically, gather as much insight as possible regarding taking care of a newborn. The above guide provides tips on four critical areas that will help ease up the process of bringing in a newborn. If you are purchasing any product, make sure it is safe for your baby.