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Dads and Newborns

Dads with newborns
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Dads and newborns can be a funny mix; there are first time parents that adapt to their new role of parent with the greatest of ease, little support and just instinctively know what to do. For others it may be a rockier road and many dad’s can find themselves overwhelmed with this crying little pink thing that is suddenly in their lives. While most mums have had the luxury of bonding with their baby throughout pregnancy, for dad’s, having a new baby can have a sudden impact and many might benefit from a little extra support.

First time fears

For some men, the first time they hold a baby is when the midwife hands their child over to them after birth. You might feel like you have the most precious, fragile glass doll in your arms that will break at the slightest movement, but newborns are tougher than they look and if they aren’t comfortable or happy, they will certainly let you know!Dads with newborns

If you have been handed your baby, usually one arm feels more comfortable than the other, so ensure their head is rested in the bend of your arm and thoroughly supported as you cradle them against you. If you’re picking your baby up, scoop them with both arms, one supporting the head and neck while the other supports their back and bum. You might feel clumsy and terrified but you will soon get the hang of it.

Crying babies

Most new parents are shocked at the noise that can come out of such a small person and a baby’s cry can panic even the most confident of dads. Crying is your baby’s only way of communicating with you and even a healthy newborn will cry between one and three hours a day. Crying indicates they are hungry, sick, wet, cold, tired or just want a cuddle and in the beginning it feels like you’re going down a checklist in order to figure out what your baby wants. Though a baby’s cries can be distressing, always stay calm and in control and before you know it, you will soon start to distinguish between the types of cries and develop a sense of their needs.

Help with feeding

If you’re partner is breastfeeding, while you might not actively be involved, breastfeeding can be tough so your partner will need your support. If you’re bottle feeding, there are the bottles, teats, sterilisers and formula to get to grips with. All these contraptions facing you might seem overwhelming at first but are pretty easy to use once you’ve attempted a couple. Always read the instructions on the formula to make sure the feeds are made correctly (most are 1 scoop per ounce of boiled water).

Bottles should be clean and sterilised after each use and you should only make up enough feed you need at the time as it’s no longer recommended you make up bottles and store them in the fridge. You should hold your baby securely in your arms at a 45 degree angle, ensuring there is milk in the teat and neck of the bottle to make sure they aren’t sucking in air which can lead to belly ache and wind. Don’t force your baby to finish the bottle, if they’re hungry, they’ll drink! Once you baby has finished give them time to burp and encourage this by gently patting or rubbing their backs while they are upright.

Bath timeDads with newborns

Bath time can be another anxious moment with the added pressure of water and a slippery baby to contend with! Make sure the room is warm and draft free and the water is at the correct temperature. For the first few weeks your baby will just need to be washed with a warm wet towel progressing onto their own bath. Have some cotton wool on hand to clean their eyes, neck, face and ears and make sure their bums and bits are cleaned well. Have a warm towel on hand to snuggle them up after wards, getting them dry as soon as possible.

Dirty nappies!

Now for the messy bit – nappies! A first time nappy change can be quite an experience but one you will soon get used to. Before you know it, you’ll be discussing the shades and smell of your little ones poops with the best of them! The choice between disposable and reusable nappies is your own but most parents opt for disposable out of ease. Nappies need changing regularly to avoid rashes and you should avoid scented wipes on newborn bums. Get everything ready before you take their dirty nappy off and make sure you clean in all the creases. Girls should be wiped from front to back to avoid transferring bacteria and nappies should be secure but not too tight.

Babies don’t come with a manual but you will soon become a pro!

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About Rebecca Robinson

About Rebecca Robinson

After spending the last 8 years juggling life as a mum of two, wife and working full time as a Project Manager for a global telecommunications company, Rebecca Robinson made the decision to follow her love of writing and took the plunge; turning her passion into a full time career. Since becoming a full time writer, Rebecca has worked with various media and copy-writing companies and with the ability to make any topic relevant and interesting to the reader, now contributes to The Working Parent on articles ranging from credit cards to teenage relationships. Ever the optimist, Rebecca's dreams for the future include a house in the country filled with children, dogs and horses in the field!

Website: Rebecca Robinson

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