Finding out that you will be a father is a life-changing moment. Whether you’ve been nervous about this moment for years, or you’ve been holding your breath to hear news like this, you’re in for the ride!
Of course, every parent is different, but almost every father goes through the same motions once they find out they will be a father. Getting prepared for fatherhood is something that you’re probably already thinking about. Of course, just like mothers, it’s nearly impossible to feel completely ready to be a parent.
Here is our guide to getting ready to be a wonderful father to your beautiful baby girl or boy!
Read And Do Your Research!
You may not be the one carrying the baby, but you’re still going to be the parent of your child. So it’s vital to get ahead and get involved in the experience.
Like you would do to prepare for any significant moment in your life, doing your research is one of the most efficient ways to get some insight into fatherhood. So many dad books, articles, and blogs will give you the information you need to feel prepared -- and just know what to expect.
Educating yourself about many things, from how to change a diaper or how to keep your baby safe, will make you feel more at ease and more excited too! One important tip is to research things about pregnancy itself, which will give you a better idea of how the mother is doing. Being aware of common pregnancy symptoms, discomforts, breastfeeding, foods to avoid, and the labour process will help you be a part of the pregnancy and make the mother feel more comfortable.
Make A Plan
After you’ve done your research and have gathered as much information as possible, it will be time to make a plan. This is when you put all of your ideas into action and get organized for the big day.
You should make a list of things that need to be done before the baby arrives. This may include preparing the nursery, organizing your work schedule, and getting your finances in order.
You should also think about how you want to be involved in the baby’s life. Will you be taking on more of the parenting duties? Do you want to be a stay-at-home dad? These are all important questions to consider.
Making a plan will help you feel more prepared and control the situation. It will also make it easier to adjust once the baby arrives.
One of the most important things to remember when preparing for fatherhood is to be patient. This applies to pregnancy and the first few months after the baby is born.
Pregnancy is a nine-month journey, and it can be a rollercoaster of emotions for both you and the mother. There will be ups and downs, so it’s essential to be patient and understanding.
After the baby is born, things will be hectic and chaotic. There will be late nights and early mornings. You will be tired and stressed. But it will all be worth it in the end.
So again, be patient and enjoy the ride!
Get healthy… And Stay Healthy!
Now is your chance for some me time! Once your baby arrives, your workout routine and other activities are no longer the priority. Take advantage of the time you have right now to get yourself into shape and achieve any of the goals you have set out for yourself.
It’s also important to get healthy for your baby and their health. If you smoke, it’s a good idea to quit that habit. Exposure to smoke during pregnancy can be harmful and increase the chances of health defects in newborn babies.
Take a moment to think about your eating habits. Do you watch what you eat and eat energy-fueling foods? Well, get used to it. Once you have your baby, you’ll need all the energy and strength.
Eating well now will prepare you for the long days and nights you experience during parenthood. Adding foods richer in fiber and immune-boosting will add that extra kick to your meals and your overall day.
You’re going to be someone your child looks up to. As a father, the health and safety of your baby is the essential thing… so start with your own!
Be A Team Player
Now is the time to focus on being a parent alongside your co-parent. The critical discussions about parenting styles and what kind of parents you plan to be will come up.
For example, when will both of you be working? What are your plans for childcare? Who is going to stay up when the baby can’t sleep?
Of course, things may change once the baby arrives, but it’s a good idea to get these ideas out in the air so you can both be on the same page.
Speaking of being on the same page… Now is the time to be a team player and think of yourselves as a team! No matter the terms of your relationship with your co-parent, it’s important to stay focused on the child and come together for that child.
Of course, life will start getting busy and maybe a little chaotic. It’s imperative to stay true to your roots and do the things you love. This includes spending time with your family and friends. Something you may find yourself doing is connecting with other fellow dads because they completely understand your situation and the challenges that can come along with it.
You may need to vent or ask essential questions at times. Your friends in fatherhood (or parenthood in general) will be there by your side to help!
Tips for juggling work and family responsibilities
Fatherhood can be a challenging but rewarding experience. It can be difficult to balance work and family responsibilities, especially when you are first starting out. Here are some tips to help you manage it all:
- Make a schedule and stick to it. This will help you stay organized and ensure that you are not missing any important deadlines at work.
- If you have a partner, make sure to communicate with them about your respective schedules and how you plan to divvy up childcare responsibilities.
- It can be helpful to create a shared calendar or Google Doc where you both can track deadlines, appointments, and other important information.
- Don’t forget to schedule some “me” time! Make sure to set aside time each week to do something that you enjoy, whether it’s going for a run, reading a book, or taking a yoga class.
- And lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Whether it’s hiring a babysitter for date night or asking your parents to watch the kids for a weekend, giving yourself a break will make you a better parent in the long run.
Don’t Worry Too Much -- Just Be Yourself.
There’s no doubting the challenges and the worry you’ll have on this journey. But take it one day at a time, and don’t be too hard on yourself. Embrace every second of fatherhood and take advantage of those baby milestones because those are the unforgettable memories you’ll remember forever!
Believe in yourself, and remember that you will be one of the most influential people in your baby’s life and an amazing father!
Some Additional Tips
It is important to take care of your baby. Your baby will need a lot of help and so you need to make sure that you are healthy for them and not doing things that might hurt them.
- If you smoke, it's best if you quit because the smoke can be bad for your baby.
- It is also a good idea to eat healthy and exercise because you will need a lot of energy to care for your baby.
- Make sure you get plenty of rest because you will need to be able to function with very little sleep.
- It is also important to have a support system in place, whether it is family or friends. They can help you with the baby when you need a break or just need someone to talk to.
- Support your partner as they adjust to being a mother. Make sure you are patient with them and understanding of the changes they are going through.
- Plan in advance to buy baby gear, clothes and baby furniture, and to set up your home so that it is safe for a baby.
- You might want to take a CPR class and learn about first aid.
- It is also important to think about your finances and how you will afford everything that a baby needs.
- Start saving now if you can, and make sure you have health insurance.
Resources For Fathers-to-be
These are only a few resources to help you on your journey but don’t forget about your closest ones. Ask your friends, family members, and co-parents for advice and support. They’ve all been there before, and they know how it feels.
Here are some of the best books you can find on preparing for to be a dad:
- The Expectant Father: The Ultimate Guide for Dads-to-Be
- The New Dad’s Survival Guide: Man-to-Man Advice for First-Time Fathers
- The Working Dad’s Survival Guide: How to Succeed at Work and at Home
- From Dude to Dad: The Diaper Dude Guide to Pregnancy
- Dude, You’re Gonna Be a Dad!: How to Get (Both of You) Through the Next 9 Months
Becoming a dad is an exciting time that comes with a lot of responsibility. But don’t worry, you can do it! Just be yourself and enjoy the ride.