The Ultimate Cheat Sheet For First-time Dads

There are plenty of advice out there for first-time moms, but what about first-time dads? As a new dad, it could be daunting, not knowing whether you’re doing too little or too much. Well, let us break it to you – there’s no such thing as helping out too much, because your baby mommy will need all the help she can get.

As starters, here are some tips we can offer you:

1. Attend childbirth education classes.

Source: Parents Magazine

The hospital or your doctor’s office will usually offer classes on how to handle the labor and delivery process. It’ll teach you about the stages of labour and pain relief for the mother, and you’ll usually have a free tour of the labour and delivery area. Familiarise yourself with the surroundings and know what to expect for each stage in labour.

2. Monitor your baby’s drinking habits.

A newborn baby’s stomach is very tiny, so they won’t drink much, but it also varies for the first few days of life. On day one, their stomach is about the size of a marble ball and can only hold 5ml of liquid. It will increase around day three, when it expands to the size of a ping pong ball. By then, they should be able to hold 25ml of liquid. Then comes day 10, when it’ll expand to the size of a large egg, with the ability to hold around 60ml of liquid.

3. Know how many diapers your baby need.

Babies typically have at least one wet diaper by the end of their first day of life and it should increase to five or 6 by the end of the first week. However, the numbers aren’t standard, as it depends on whether the baby is breastfed or formula-fed. After the first week, their stool colour and amount can change, so it’s imperative to check often.

4. Learn how to swaddle.

Source: Jojo Maman Bebe

Swaddling is the act of snuggly wrapping your baby in a thin blanket or sheet. It stimulates the coziness of the womb, helping the baby sleep.

5. Know what goes in your baby’s diaper bag.

Diaper bags are a must for babies. It has all the essentials – diapers, wipes, a change of clothes, a burp rag, formula, pacifier, and more. It differs for every family, so know what goes in yours and make sure you don’t leave anything out! Aside from the things mentioned, other valuable items are changing pads, hand sanitizers, baby toys, or a clean shirt for yourself or your partner.

6. Learn how to change their diapers.

Baby boys and baby girls need different care. The former will pee when cold air hits their tummies, so learn to create a shield with the front of the diaper. For baby girls, you have to wipe their private parts from front to back to avoid fecal material getting in their genital area. Regardless of their sex, dirty diapers should be changed as soon as possible, as it could cause your baby to get a rash.

7. Learn how to dispose of their diapers.

Now that you’ve changed their diapers, what do you do with the dirty ones? Some parents have a systematic way of wrapping up their diapers, while others use cloth diapers that require washing. Figure out which method you’re going to use beforehand, because you don’t want to be holding on to it.

8. Connect with your baby through physical touch.

Source: Baby Gaga

Physical touch makes your baby feel safe and secure. It also builds trust and connection between the both of you. Apart from stimulating your baby’s brain development, holding your child close to you mean that they can hear your heartbeat, which will familiarise themselves to you.

9. Most importantly, learn their cues.

Babies cry and whine a lot. And they can’t speak too, so it’s difficult to understand what they want. Learn to be patient, and through trial and error, you’ll gradually understand your baby’s needs.

Sources: Parents, Raising Children.