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DAD.info | Fatherhood | Being Dad | The new dad survival guide- our 10 best first time dad tips

The new dad survival guide- our 10 best first time dad tips

Maya Griffiths

Maya Griffiths

You’ve just got home from the hospital- but now what? You’ve quickly got to adjust to life with a small human who relies on you for their every whim. Being a first time dad isn’t easy but with our first time dad tips you’ll be off to the best start, taking to life as a parent with ease.

When it comes to ‘surviving’ life as a new father, knowledge is key. Keep these tricks and tips up your sleeve to deploy when needed.

Don’t overbuy

It can be tempting to ensure you have every possible gadget for every eventuality, but babies are little people with basic needs- sleep, food and comfort. To start off ensure you have the basics:

  • plenty of babygrows (they poop a lot, and it can be explosive)
  • nappies and wipes (ditto)
  • a changing mat
  • a car seat
  • a cot
  • muslin cloths for burping
  • blankets for swaddling
  • bibs
  • bottles and a steriliser
  • a baby bath
  • baby soap and shampoo
  • a pram
  • a dummy, if desired.

Your baby will enjoy toys and play mats as they start to grow, but not until roughly 3-6 months old.

Lean on each other and others for support

Your partner’s hormones will likely be all over the place, and sleep deprivation also plays it’s part in feeling emotional. Talk to each other about how you are feeling and any lean on other sources of support, too.

Baby not sleeping? Try a car ride

In desperate need of sleep? Strap the baby into their car seat and settle them by going for a drive. Yes, it’s 3am. No, there aren’t many other cars around. Are you desperate for sleep? Yes, so give it a try. When baby has dropped off drive home and get some rest yourself.

Fill up the freezer

Amongst the chaos of nappies, loads of washing and a recovering partner, the last thing you want to do is worry about meals. Make sure the freezer is stocked up beforehand with plenty of easy-to-heat-up food and stock the cupboards with snacks. Your stress levels will thank you.

Balance rest with activity

It can be tempting to whip around and get everything done while the baby is asleep, but prioritise rest above all else. A lack of sleep and massive life change means your body is tired and your mind needs time to switch off, so grab the chance when you can.

Take time for skin to skin contact

Babies love to bond with you through skin to skin- it’s how they get to know your smell. It also calms your baby. Try laying with your baby on your bare chest- they can hear your heartbeat and will enjoy being close with you.

Reading time

Even though the plot of the story may be lost on little minds, babies love it when you read to them. Choose board books with colourful pictures, and pictures they can feel. These books engage their senses and help develop their brains. Over time, reading with your child encourages their creativity, language skills and builds their closeness with you.

Don’t underestimate bath time

As adults we see baths and showers as a necessity, but for babies they are a sensory wonderland! Bath time can be an activity in itself. Babies love to kick and splash in the water, and over the months they can start to enjoy bath toys too.

Teething pains

Teething is the bane of your little one’s existence (and yours). Aim to soothe their pain by always having a teething toy to hand, and if the pain is too much, try a teething gel.

Get out and about

It can feel like you’re handcuffed to the house as a new parent, but make sure you get out of the house for at least an hour a day. Going for a walk with your baby in their pram offers them the opportunity to look around, and you some much-needed fresh air. When you start to feel that you’re craving a slither of your normal life back, walking to get a coffee or taking a turn around the nearest park can work wonders for your wellbeing.

Want to chat to other dads? Join our forum.

Looking for more parenting help? Try our parent website, Spurgeons.

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