New Dad

Becoming a new dad or “fathering” is the activity of bringing up a child as a father.

Being involved in your baby’s life is important. Research shows that when you are involved it improves your child’s overall mental, emotional and social wellbeing. Being involved also helps build a relationship with your child and shares the parenting load with your partner.

Start from the bottom up

Your baby will need their diaper changed a lot! Doing your share of the everyday work of looking after your baby is an opportunity to get to know them and for them to get to know you. Spending time with your baby through activities like walks, baths and tummy time helps you learn about your baby’s personality, their likes and dislikes. Check out Welcome to Parenting for more information on caring for infants. The more you put into fathering, the more you get out of it.

Like some new mothers, some new fathers do not feel an instant love for the new baby. You’re not alone. Most new fathers go through a time of confusion and adjustment. It isn’t easy, but it’s normal.

Invest in fathering by:

Taking care of your health (click to expand) »

Taking care of your partner and your baby takes strength and energy. Eating well and staying active helps to supply food for your body, boosts your mood and reduces stress.

Supporting and respecting your partner (click to expand) »

This is a time of change for you and your partner. Your baby will not sleep through the night for several months. A new baby increases the amount of housework to be done. At this time of change you’ll need to talk to each other about sharing responsibilities and about how you feel.

Talking about your feelings (click to expand) »

Being a father takes time. If you’re tired, lonely, worried or left out, tell your partner how you feel. Pick a time when the baby is sleeping. Don’t be surprised to find that they feel the same way. Talk about what’s bothering you. Listen to what’s bothering your partner. Once you’ve got your feelings out in the open, you can begin working things out together. This isn’t always easy, but it’s worth the effort.

Accepting that nobody’s perfect (click to expand) »

You’ll make mistakes—lots of them; so, will your partner. Everybody does. Don’t worry—trial and error are how you learn to be a parent. Never be afraid to ask for help.

Recognizing that life will be different from now on (click to expand) »

This doesn’t mean that it will be worse. Getting used to so many changes can be difficult and exhausting. Right now, it’s easy to get bogged down in the inconveniences of a new baby. But it’s not all bad. Your new life as a father will also hold joy, satisfaction, and a deep sense of purpose and pride. It’s true that life will be different, but so will you.

Learning about how your baby will grow and develop (click to expand) »

Learn about how a child grows and develops to be a responsive parent. You may be surprised at how much you already know about your baby.

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Last updated: 2019-08-14