How to Be a Great Father (to a Baby)
When it comes to dads, all we really want to know is how to be a great father. We’ll spend time reading about the importance of sleep habits and nod our way through conversations about the intricacies of breastfeeding, but the whole time, all we’re thinking is, “Okay, but what do I need to be to be a great dad?”
The truth of the matter is, I don’t know how to be a great father after only seven months as a dad. However, I do know how to be a great dad to a newborn. This is not because I am a great father and because I always did the things it takes to be an amazing dad, but because I didn’t do these things. You know, do as I say and not as I do. These are the things that I should have done over the last seven months – these are the five things you can do that answer that age-old question about how to be a great father to a baby.
1. Be Patient. Remember those jack-in-the-box toys from childhood? You’d turn the crank and wait for something to happen and wait for something to happen and wait for something to – Oh my gosh a clown just popped out of the box! Well, being the dad of a newborn is just like that, except for there is no music and nothing exciting ever happens. You just turn the crank (change diapers, make bottles, etc.) day after day after day. Of course, something will happen eventually, but only after you’ve resigned yourself to the fact that your child is a giant lump of boring.
2. Be Gentle. It’s no surprise that babies are fragile and you have to be gentle with them. What is a surprise is how much they appreciate your gentleness. They’ll be happier if you change their diaper as carefully as possible, they’ll fall asleep faster if you talk in a soft voice and they’ll cuddle up closer to you if you slowly ease them into your body. It might take some work, but you’ll surprise yourself with how gentle you can be and your baby will surprise you with how much they fill up your heart.
3. Be Attentive. There is a reason behind everything your baby does, so pay attention. If they’re unhappy, they either need to be fed, burped, changed or put down for a nap. If you can’t read the cues to which one, just try all four until you figure it out. The more attentive you are to your baby’s cues and needs, the happier you both will be. Also, do not let your baby fall off the kitchen counter and onto the open dishwasher.
4. Be Present. The beginning of fatherhood is a grind. It’s tedious and redundant and the only reward is the hope that you are on the right track. Stay optimistic and enjoy the moment. Your future self will be proud of you for it.
5. Be a Good Husband. If you only do one thing as a new dad, choose this one. It’s a harsh reality, but for the first couple of months, you are strictly in a supporting role to your wife/girlfriend/spouse. The biggest answer to how to be a great father to a baby is to be a great husband and help make sure that your new mom is happy. Make dinner, do the dishes and spend a few minutes every day telling her how much you appreciate her. She’s given you the one thing that you’ll spend the rest of your life loving the most. Don’t forget how thankful you are for this, and most importantly, don’t ever let her forget it, either.
Thanks for reading, and thanks for hitting “like” on this post if you appreciate it. Also, make sure you check out the amazing company, Bavia, that makes this new dad to be blog possible. I’m a huge believer in Bavia’s services, and the fact that it’s the best baby shower gift you can possibly give. You even get $15 off any service by mentioning this blog (promo code: TinyHuman). Order at Bavia.com or by calling 952.698.7400.