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Pregnancy is an exciting time for families, but it can also be hectic trying to prepare everything for your baby’s arrival. Moms are often the focus when it comes to coordinating anything related to the baby.
Think about it. You prepare the list of baby essentials, coordinate all the prenatal appointments, decorate the nursery, and do anything else baby-related.
However, getting dads involved with the new baby is just as important. There are plenty of ways dads can help with the baby’s arrival and bond with their newborn.
Here’s your dad-to-be cheat sheet with newborn advice so he can feel like an amazing dad from day one.
Your Husband’s Dad-to-Be Cheat Sheet
1. Arrange for Paternity Leave
The Family and Medical Leave Act is a federal law in the United States that provides employees with twelve work weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for certain family reasons. This includes the birth of a new baby and now covers dads.
If the dad-to-be works, have him check with his employer’s Human Resources Department. Some states and companies offer additional benefits he can take advantage of as well, such as partial pay, etc.
When dads take paternity leave, they have precious opportunities to bond with their newborn, assist with baby care at home, and help run errands.
This helps decrease the new father frustration some dads feel after the baby arrives when they have no idea how to help.
2. Learn to Change Diapers
Dads can be a huge help by learning how to change diapers. Babies will need to be changed often and you are going to be exhausted with this around-the-clock, daily task.
Dad can learn how to change a diaper by attending a baby class with you. If this not a desirable option, he can also check out online tutorials.
Although diaper changes may not be a dad-to-be’s first choice, it is part of a new dad’s role. It can take a lot of stress off of you as the new mom, making him an amazing dad in your eyes already.
It’s also more important now than ever to choose the right diaper for your newborn. Nowadays, there are so many to choose from it can be hard to decide on the best.
What if the name brands cause consistent leaks? What if the Eco-friendly one you researched as the best diaper gives them a rash?
Diaper Dabbler allows you to sample more than 20 brands of diapers including name brands, store brands, and even premium environmentally friendly diapers. Choose a custom pack or a variety pack, so your newborn can feel comfortable and dry in the perfect diaper for them!
3. Plan the Menu for the First Few Weeks
After you give birth, you will be busy non-stop changing diapers, feeding, and trying to find time to sleep. This is where this dad-to-be cheat sheet comes in handy!
Dads can help with the baby’s arrival by planning the household menu for at least the first few weeks after the baby is born. There are a few options on how they can do this.
First, he can check with his employer’s HR department to see if they offer perks, such as home-delivered meals. This is not a common benefit I see among most companies.
However, there are some large companies that offer home-delivered meals for employees who just had a baby.
If the dad-to-be is not a cook or savvy in the kitchen, he can stock the freezer with easy-to-prepare meals. This way he can help facilitate meal time after the baby is born.
Have him check this off his baby checklist sooner than later in case baby decides to come a bit early. No one wants to run to the grocery store as soon as you get home!
As ambitious as you are, you are simply not going to have time to prepare 3 meals a day, every day for your family in the beginning.
Dads will be a huge help by getting meals ready for the family, even if it’s just sticking a frozen pizza in the oven and frozen vegetables in the microwave.
4. Tour the Hospital Beforehand
I strongly encourage both expecting moms and dads to take a tour of the hospital before your expected due date. Many hospitals are large and difficult to navigate without proper preparation.
The last thing parents want to try to figure out is where the closest parking lot is or how to get to the maternity ward when you’re in labor.
5. Set Up Health Insurance
If both you and dad-to-be have separate health insurances, you need to discuss which insurance the baby will join. It’s important to evaluate premium costs, as well as what is covered under each health insurance plan.
If you decide the baby will be covered under dad’s health insurance, he should prepare to add the baby to his health insurance plan.
It’s also important to check into the regulations for the newborn’s coverage in the hospital if both parents have separate insurances.
These regulations can vary from state to state. For instance, New York has a “birthday rule” when it comes to hospital coverage for a newborn.
6. Figure Out Sleep Schedules
Even when formula feeding, you will be sleep-deprived after the baby is born for at least a few months. One of the most helpful ways dad can help with the baby’s arrival is to cover a night feeding.
For example, if you are waking up 3 times a night to feed the baby, dad can cover some of those feedings.
This helps prevent you from waking up 3 times a night, every single night in a row, for the next 3 months. This will help you not go into extreme exhaustion.
If you are breastfeeding and the dad-to-be cannot help with feedings immediately, he can help with diaper changes at night to lighten the load.
Although you may still be waking up 3 times a night, you know he is there to help you out. If that’s not the best dad in the world, then what is?!
Dads are an important part of the baby’s life. It’s important for new moms and dads to discuss how dads can help with the baby’s arrival before the expected due date.
This will help everyone get involved, minimize any possible resentment, and have the couple feel more like a team.