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10 things you might not know when becoming a new dad

10 things you might not know when becoming a new dad

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Most new dads have a few months to get used to the idea of fatherhood but there’s more than a grain of truth in the adage that nothing can prepare you for becoming a parent. Here are a few things you may not already know.

Making it up as you go along

Many men figure that once the baby is born they’ll instinctively know how to parent. While this is true to a certain extent, there isn’t a parent in the world who doesn’t wing it at least sometimes, whether their child is 18 hours or 18 years old.

Changes in your relationship

You may discover a newfound love and respect for your partner. After all, she’s been through a physical and emotional rollercoaster and has given you the most precious gift. However, that precious gift has a knack of interrupting romantic moments and making you both irritable through sleep deprivation. Don’t worry though, most couples come out stronger in the end.

You’ll scrutinise bodily fluids

There will inevitably be times when you end up with poo, pee and/or puke all over you. Then there’s the poo that comes out a weird shade of green. You’ll analyse the contents of that nappy until you’re absolutely positive there’s nothing wrong. And you know what? You won’t even mind.

Post-natal depression

Many people make the mistake of thinking that post-natal depression is a women’s thing but it affects many new dads too. A 2010 Medical Research Council study showed one in 28 dads suffer from depression within a year of their child being born. If you think you may be suffering from depression then it’s important to speak with your GP.

You can no longer travel light

If you ever wondered at the size of your partner’s handbag, that’s nothing compared to a baby’s bag. Nappies, wipes, cream, nappy sacks, dummies, muslin cloths, teething powders, breast pads, hand sanitiser and snacks are all essential. As is a changing mat, blanket, hat, at least one change of clothes and enough feeds to last for the length of time you expect to be out. Once you’ve got all that sorted and think you’re ready to go you’ll hear the unmistakable sound of an explosive nappy, meaning you have to change baby again before you even leave the house.

Small talk

10 things you might not know when becoming a new dadWhereas before you would chat to friends and colleagues about the football/films/music/whatever, now you’ll be regaling them with tales of first smiles, cute laughs and funny antics. Then you’ll get your phone out to show off pictures and videos of your baby. Basically you’ll become obsessed.

Everyone has an opinion

Whether it’s on the best buggy, the easiest way to deal with colic or the clothes you dress your child in, everyone will have an opinion. Listen to advice from people you trust, do some research and make your own mind up. What’s right for one baby won’t be right for another and vice versa so do what’s right for your family.

You’ll look forward to going back to work

And at the same time you’ll hate every second you’re away. Returning to work after paternity leave can be tough; it marks the start of everything returning to ‘normal’. But while you miss your baby and partner immensely, you will truly appreciate drinking a cup of tea while it’s still hot and eating your lunch in peace.

Playing becomes a legitimate way to spend time

From the park to the living room, the world will become one big playground. You may never have quite grown out of sliding, building, digging and exploring but having kids means you get to enjoy them all over again.

Overwhelming love

Nothing in the world can prepare you for the love you feel towards your child. It may appear early on or take a few days or weeks to kick in but you can’t mistake it -and it will make you the proudest man on the planet.





About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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