10 tips for brand new dads
Supportive information and helpful hints for young fathers
- So, you’re a dad! Your life has changed. It can be exciting. It can be a bit frightening. It can be both of these and more. It can certainly be an amazing experience for you and your child. You’ll be learning lots of new stuff. It’s the same for any new dad. Parenthood is no walk in the park! It’s tough – babies either want to be fed, have their nappy changed, have their soother back or they want a cuddle. Try not to worry though, you will eventually learn what your baby wants.
- Make time to spend with your new baby as s/he grows up. You’ll be glad now and in years to come, as will your child. There are many ways to spend time with your baby and to show that you are interested in what s/he is doing. For instance, when your baby is very small, bath time can be very special.
- Learn how to give your baby a massage.
- Talk to your baby’s mother about how much it’s actually costing her to provide for the baby. Babies are expensive, so try and work out as best you can what’s a fair amount for you to contribute every week. Treoir has a sample “Expenses Sheet” to help with this.
- Don't smoke in front of your baby.
- Manage your drinking, as looking after a baby with a hangover is dangerous and not at all pleasant.
- Baby carriers that you can strap onto your front are brilliant. Your baby can feel your warmth and hear your voice and the rocking movement while you move is very soothing.
- If you have a car, don’t forget to get that baby seat for the car sooner rather than later.
- Currently, if you are working, there is no paid Paternity Leave available. However, 2 weeks paid Paternity Leave will be introduced in January 2016. There is Parental Leave, but it is unpaid. Each parent is entitled to 14 weeks unpaid Parental Leave that must be taken before the child is 8 (or 16 if the child has a disability).
- All children need lots of love and support. You, as Dad, play a big part in providing that love and support. Where Dads take an interest in their children’s lives, they are telling them they are valued, cared for and important. Spending time with your children gives them a better chance of growing up to be happy adults.
“Babies are productive members of society. They spread optimism and good cheer more effectively than any adult. Help them do their work.” – Alan (Father of a 6 year old)
Content developed by Treoir the National Information Centre for Unmarried Parents.