Father-to-be Guide 101
Congratulations on becoming a father! These pointers, tricks, and guidelines will assist you in adjusting to fatherhood for the first time.
It’s not rocket science, but it’s also not the most simple thing in the world. Get ahead of the game by reading these frequently asked questions from expectant fathers, and then show off your newfound fatherhood skills when your child arrives. It’s never been easier to learn how to be a dad!
What Should I Do to Prepare for Labor and Delivery?
Even if your partner is the one who will deliver the baby, it is natural for fathers-to-be to be concerned about the situation. Deborah Krahl, M.D., of The Mother Baby Center, has some suggestions: attend a class offered by the hospital or your doctor’s office, schedule a free tour of the labour and delivery area, read about the stages of labour, and learn pain-relief techniques for the mother-to-be. “The more comfortable you are with your surroundings and what to expect at each stage of labour,” she says, “the more relaxed you will be when it happens.”
What Should My Child Eat?
“Remember that a baby’s stomach is very small, so the volume required at a feeding is quite small, and it varies within the first few days of life,” says Sunny Carlisle, a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator and a DONA International Certified Birth Doula. According to Carlisle, a newborn’s stomach is about the size of a marble and holds about one teaspoon one day after birth. She goes on to say that by day 10, a newborn’s stomach is the size of a large egg and can hold about four tablespoons. “A baby should appear content after a feeding,” Carlisle says, “but if he/she is fussy, try burping and offering the breast or bottle again.” More information on baby portion sizes can be found here.
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How Do I Get a Bottle Ready?
If you aren’t solely reliant on breastfeeding, learn how to make a bottle before leaving the hospital. You could use a bottle-warming gadget or another method to heat it. Warm it to around 98.5 degrees Fahrenheit using a food-grade thermometer or the temperature monitor on your bottle warmer. Go through the entire procedure so you don’t have to wake up your wife/partner at 4 a.m. and ask, “Honey, how does this thing work?”
What Should I Expect in Terms of Dirty Diapers?
“A baby should have at least one wet diaper by the end of the first day of life,” Carlisle says, “and this should increase to five to six wet diapers by the end of the first week.” However, dirty diapers will differ slightly depending on whether the baby is breastfed or formula-fed.” Typically, one dirty diaper for every day the baby has been alive is a good rule of thumb in the first week (one dirty diaper on day one, two dirty diapers on day two, and so on) until the fifth or sixth day. Following this, a breastfed baby may have one to twelve small stools per day.”
The Baby’s stool will also differ in appearance. “A breastfed baby’s stools will change colour as mom’s milk matures from colostrum to mature milk, from blackish-green to tan to mustard yellow,” Carlisle continues. “A formula-fed baby may have fewer, larger, more formed stools that are tannish in colour.”
What Is the Best Way to Change a Diaper?
“Baby boys turn into peeing fountains when cold air hits their little tummies, so learn to create a shield with the front of the diaper (the tape is on the back half),” says author/mom Pam McMurtry, adding that a hand towel is also handy. “Little girls should have their private parts wiped from front to back to avoid faecal material getting into their genital area.” Don’t leave a baby in a wet or dirty diaper for too long; they’ll get a rash and be more difficult to potty train later.”
You’ve got a dirty diaper on your hands once your baby has been sufficiently changed. Some people have a system in place for wrapping dirty diapers and placing them in a diaper pail; others have cloth diapers that need to be washed. Decide what you’re going to do and be prepared to deal with it before it all goes downhill.
What Should I Put in a Diaper Bag?
“Diapers, wipes, at least one change of clothing, and a burp rag are essential diaper bag components.” “If you’re using cloth diapers, don’t forget to bring a wet bag to transport wet/soiled diapers back home!” Carlisle advises. Unless you are travelling to an area where water safety is not a concern, formula-feeders should bring a few bottles, formula, and water (if using powdered or liquid concentrate formula). “If your baby uses a pacifier, keeping an extra in your diaper bag may also be beneficial,” she adds. “A changing pad, hand sanitiser, baby toys or books, and a clean shirt for mom or dad are all valuable items.”
What Is the Best Way to Swaddle a Baby?
Dad “Ask the nurse how to swaddle a baby,” says Alex Antonowitsch. (Alternatively, you can read our how-to guide here!) “Basically, you use a blanket to make a baby burrito.” It simulates the comfort of the womb and aids in the baby’s sleep.”
What Is the Best Place for My Baby to Sleep?
“The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that newborn babies sleep in their parents’ room—in either a crib or a bassinet—because it helps with frequent night feedings when the baby is close,” Carlisle says. To avoid sudden infant death syndrome, your baby should never sleep in your bed and should always sleep on his back (SIDS).
Carlisle also suggests that you sleep when the baby sleeps. “Yes, your newborn is lovely, and it’s difficult not to gaze at his/her cherub-like face while sleeping, but parents, too, require rest.” Take a nap while the baby is sleeping!”
How Many Car Seats Will I Require?
“You’ll almost certainly need two car seats (I know, it’s ridiculous),” says Harlan Cohen, author of Dad’s Pregnant Too! To begin, you’ll need an infant car seat that snaps into the base and allows you to move the baby in and out of the car without waking them. Then, for the next few years, you’ll need a convertible car seat (one that ‘converts’ from backwards-facing to forward-facing).