Much of the newborn care in the first few weeks often relies on you, Mom. However, at some point, Dad will have to get involved as well. The opportunity for dad to take care of baby means a much-needed break for you and bonding time for them. It’s not always easy to think of how Dad can start being more involved in baby care. Here are some ideas that will benefit everyone involved.
5 Ways to Get Dad Involved in Baby Care
1. Start the Involvement Early
Don’t make the pregnancy announcement all about you. After all, Dad did contribute to making it happen! That being said, make sure that Dad is just as involved as you in the announcement. If you’re planning to do a gender reveal party, take suggestions on how you’re going to do it from him as well.
Moms get baby showers, but it’s good to get Dads involved in all the excitement early, too. Think of it as a bachelor party, but instead of pre-wedding, it’s a pre-birth thing. So it’s more of a Dadchelor party. 😉 Have some of his closest guy friends throw him a party, and have them plan what they want to do. It can be a cookout, a simple hangout at the man cave, etc. You can also suggest to his friends to have a baby-related event, especially if they are dads. But ultimately, the decision lies on them. This way, you’re not the only one who gets a party that has to do with the baby’s pending arrival.
You can also get Dad involved in the planning by asking him to come with you to pick the decorations for baby’s room and when you’re shopping for the necessary items that you need to prepare before the baby arrives. The point being, his Dad status also begins long before the birth. That means getting him involved this early means that you’re also setting him up for more responsibilities and dad duties once the baby is born.
2. Let Dad Take Charge
Once Dad is comfortable with his parenting duties, schedule some time to leave baby in daddy’s care. It may go against your instincts as a mom to leave dad or anyone alone with your baby for extended periods of time, but if you believe in your mom instincts, it would be good to believe that Dad’s paternal instincts will kick in too. So let Dad figure out some things on his own while you take this time to get a little downtime of your own!
3. Give Him Some Fun Tasks
Both Mom and Dad have to figure out the daily nuances of taking care of the baby. Like diaper changing, burping, and so on. But every once in a while, allow dad to experience some of the more fun tasks. For example, bathing baby, reading or singing to, or playing with the baby. It is a great way for them to bond and helps take some of the tasks off your hands. You can still be present for these activities, just not the one steering the ship.
4. Give Regular Assignments
Since both of you are learning the ropes together, it’s a good idea to set some clear tasks assigned, especially to Dad. This ensures he is involved in taking care of baby instead of only asking him to do things when you can’t. These tasks can include burping, putting baby to sleep at nap time, diaper changing at certain points in the day, and more. This will allow dad to learn things on his own and have more bonding time with the baby.
5. Don’t Give Him A Hard Time
It’s normal for your hormones to make you irritable after birth, but don’t make it an excuse to take out your bad moods on dad constantly. Remember that the situation is foreign to him like it is to you. Both of you are learning from this experience together. Treat him as your teammate, and don’t criticize his parenting skills, because that can reduce his motivation and desire to be involved in taking care of your baby. If anything’s wrong, your baby will let both of you know.
There you have it, involving Dad doesn’t start after childbirth. You can involve him at the earliest points of the pregnancy, from the announcement to when the birth is coming up. And once your baby is born, it will make it easier for the both of you if you allow him to take charge more and be more confident in his parenting skills.