When your baby comes home, you’ll find that there’s a lot to do. For such a little thing, your baby requires a great deal of your attention, and it’s not surprising to hear that many parents — especially moms — get overwhelmed in the midst of feeding, diapering, welcoming visitors, and answering baby’s cries at all hours of the night.
Dads offer a unique support system. Short of breastfeeding, they can do anything that moms can do, plus more, especially if the baby was delivered by C-section.
Here are some ways that fathers can help, as told by new dads:
My wife was very serious about breastfeeding, but I wanted to help too. I bring the baby to her, I burp the baby, and when she's done eating, we snuggle. The baby is usually falling asleep after eating, so it’s just a nice time that we can spend together. My wife will usually grab a book or glance at her phone, and it’s a chance for her to do something without worrying about our daughter. – Andrew, Oswego, NY
Before we had the baby, my wife asked if I would help keep the house clean. I knew that lots of people would visit. She asked me to clean the bathrooms, the kitchen, and the nursery. She wanted the living room clean, because that’s where most people would be when they visited. We agreed to close the bedroom doors. I cleaned every morning after I gave the baby his bottle, and again when I came home from work. After about a month, we hired someone to come and give the house a good cleaning. – Matias, San Diego, CA
I can’t tell you how important Facetime is to me. My wife gives me a list of things to get at the store, and if I can’t find it, I call her and show her the shelves using my phone. She tell me when she sees the product she needs, and then I make a note so I can find it next time. I know exactly what diapers and wipes to get—it’s the reason I’m at the store so much. I’ve also been buying easy freezer meals, so I can do that for her too. She likes to cook but there’s no time right now. I work nights so she is the one up with the baby, and I want to be sure she’s eating right before I leave for work. I’m tired, but my wife is too. – Jared, Framingham, MA
My girlfriend breastfeeds during the day, and I’m giving the baby a bottle at night. That way, she can rest, and I get time with my son. I’m trying to make sure she can sleep at night, and right now, this is working for us. We’ll figure out if we’re doing the same thing when she’s done with maternity leave. Part of me can’t wait for my son to start sleeping more through the night, but part of me really likes to get up with him to feed him. – Nate, Atlanta, GA
I tell my wife every day that she is an amazing person—a great mom and wife, and I tell her how lucky my son and I are to have someone like her. She’s doing a really great job, and she’s really enjoying this time. I like to remind her that she’s special to both of us. – DeShawn, Columbus, OH