When I got to know that I was going to be a father, I saw a calm glow in my father’s eyes. It was the first time I realized how much he had loved me. But, soon, like all fathers, I had to set aside my shock and my overwhelmedness and start preparing for fatherhood.
The first thing I told myself was that I could never be ready enough. But I have to keep trying. So, I started and started by accepting how my life was going to change…forever.
Wait, are you also going to be a dad? Well, let me share some experiences so that it becomes easier for you. But let me promise you one thing, it is never easy.
1. You Are A Dad Now: And That Changes A Lot
When you become a father for the first time, a lot of things will change. You have a baby waiting at home. You cannot stay out late after work. Waiting in line for happy hour and late-night drinking might have to go. Your bachelor friends will laugh at you as they see you wearing that baby carrier.
Most importantly, your habits will change. You may have to quit smoking – maybe for good this time. Being a father will change a lot for you. It does not matter whether you are ready for them or not; you have to accept and embrace them.
2. Preparing For Fatherhood? Keep Researching
Just because you did not have to carry the baby in your belly does not mean you are not part of the process. It is the time when your partner needs your help the most. As for preparing, you should start by gathering as much knowledge as you can.
Start reading books about parenting and research about different symptoms of a baby and of pregnancy. You can get on social media and join groups about the same. When you know what to expect at this moment, you will be ready to take the right actions as a good father.
3. Quit Smoking, Get Healthy, Build Good Habits
This is the best time and the best excuse to get rid of the unhealthy habits you self-approve with the license of adulthood. Maybe you cannot save yourself from yourself, but your baby can. Your unhealthy habits can be unhealthier for your baby.
Why not quit smoking? Passive smoking is way worse for a baby. You can also build some good habits like eating on time, having healthy meals, and working out. Preparing for fatherhood is not easy because it is the greatest honor of a man’s life to have. You have to fight with your old self to earn it.
4. Be A Team Player/ Co-Parent
Raising a child is a joint venture. You cannot leave your partner with the burden of all responsibilities. You also cannot take everything upon yourself. Even if you and your partner are not in a romantic relationship, you need to be a team player while preparing for fatherhood.
Help out your partner when they are struggling with taking care of the baby. Maybe you can make breakfast or change the baby’s diaper. It might be your turn to take the baby to the pediatrician since the mom is busy at work.
5. Be Like Your Dad, Or Don’t Be
If you were blessed with a great dad, chances are that you will also end up becoming a good father. Because we men love to take after our fathers, it is good to follow in your father’s footsteps and be a father like him.
But, some of us want to go away from the imperfections of our fathers. Instead, we want to build a better future for our babies by choosing to be the type of father they want us to be.
6. Stock Up Essentials
Have you yet piled up clothes, onesies, diapers, socks, and other seasonal clothes? If you are preparing for fatherhood, you should ensure to read all the essentials your baby needs. You should keep everything ready, from food, medicines, diapers, toys, and baby accessories.
You sound like you have enough of these accessories. But there is no need to overdo it. You can stock up only the minimum amount you need for your baby.
7. Hang Out With Other Dads
It always helps to talk to people who are in your shoes – or at least who have been in your shoes. You should go out and meet other dads who are also preparing for fatherhood – just like you. You can ask them questions related to parenthood. They can share their experience, and you can learn from them.
Hanging with other fellow dads has its perks. You find out until you do it.
8. Your Sex Life Is Changing, And That’s Ok
You wake up at night but are not aroused by the thought of having the woman you love by your side. It is the baby – my god; it is always the baby nowadays. The frequency of romance and intercourse has decreased. But, try to stay calm, and hold your horses – literally.
Before the baby arrives, you should minimize the sweet romantic time. Once you can hold the baby in your own two hands and when your partner feels both physically and mentally ready, you can get back to it. But, for the time being, you should understand the circumstances and wait.
9. No Dad Is Superdad: Accept, Learn And Improve
You are not a super dad – No dads are. They make mistakes. Some cannot change the baby’s diaper; some are terrible at putting the baby to sleep, and some don’t understand if the baby is crying for food or if it is something else.
All of us have been there. You cannot be a pro at everything. The best thing is to understand that you are not an expert, but you can try and improve. Trust me; it is a crucial aspect of preparing for fatherhood. I can see you smiling at your early days of fatherhood once your get older – believe me, it is true.
10. You Are Important To Your Baby: Know That
The baby smiles when it looks at daddaa, doesn’t it? Well, that is because you are important to them. Yes, you might think that the baby does not understand how you feel yet. But they do in their own pure and newborn ways (maybe some divine power works behind it).
Your presence means just as much to the baby as your care does. They want you by their side. So, whatever overtime you got going at the office has to stop. The baby demands your presence at home, and you better be on time.
11. Make Hygiene Your Best Friend
You don’t want the baby to get sick due to germs and viruses, do you? So, it is critical to developing good hygiene habits before going to your baby. It is one important part of preparing for fatherhood.
You should always remember that a dad is a baby’s shield, but a clean dad is a super shield ultra pro max. So, my dear fellow dad, you have to always stay clean and clear.
12. Are You Alright, Mentally?
New fatherhood is a lot to handle. You have to focus more on the baby. Balancing your work, parenting, friendship, romantic life, and your own mental stability becomes hard at such moments. But should you give up? Obviously not. You are on an emotional rollercoaster. But, the healthy habits you build will get you through this.
This might seem like a lot to ask, but can you take a little break and focus on yourself for at least fifteen minutes every day? Pick up the sketchbook and draw the things you imagined; sing that new song trending on Instagram. You know what? You can spend time making some Instagram reels, also. Why don’t you take your baby with you? Babies are the real charmers nowadays, and dads trend pretty fast.
13. Keep A Week’s Meal Ready
You will obviously have less time to focus on yourself, your health, and most importantly, your food. You may not always have the time and opportunity to eat a freshly cooked meal.
What you can do is to keep food ready in the fridge. That way, you don’t have to skip healthy meals and compensate with unhealthy fast foods. If your health deteriorates, your baby might suffer the consequences. Do you want that as a dad? I guess not.
14. The Baby Is The Star, But Keep Away From Star-Struck People
I know that you want to introduce your little star to all of your friends and family. But don’t let the sudden attention of too many visitors overwhelm the baby. But, can you stop people from visiting? I guess not; also, some of them will not understand your position even if you clarify.
This is where preparing for fatherhood becomes helpful. You can just arrange for a zoom video call and let them see the baby. But, don’t be rude like me; I put a signboard with a visiting hour. My uncle did not talk to me for a month after that.
15. Consult With The Doctor
The earliest phase of fatherhood is the hardest. You have to frequently visit the pediatrician. But as the days grow older and the baby grows stronger, you will feel much at ease with the stability of the baby. But, if you see any signs of ailment, you should check with the doctor and get the proper baby treatment.
Fatherhood Is A Process In Development
Preparing for fatherhood will not come to an end, and you will enter new phases of your fatherhood as the child grows and progresses in their own new phases. You can never be too accurate and too wrong. You will fail, and you will succeed. But, through that process, you should keep trying.
And for the helping hand you were looking for; this article should be content. Reach out to me if you have anything to share on the same matter.
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