New dad? You’ve got this. Follow these 5 tips for fatherhood fun
Congratulations! You’re a new dad. Now what?
You have everything you need to help your new bundle of joy get off to a good start in life. In case you’re not sure where to start, start here with these tips from Hello Baby Pittsburgh.
1. Hands-on help.
When you’re involved in the daily care of your baby, you’re not just providing care, you’re building confidence and familiarity. Diapering, dressing, playing and bathing are all activities that build a strong relationship. And don’t be afraid to go it alone. Start out with solo stints of 20 or 30 minutes – maybe first thing in the morning or after baby is freshly fed – to start your own routine with your baby.
2. Dad jokes start now.
Believe it or not, talking to your baby as early as day one helps with the development of their language and learning skills. And helps you develop a strong punchline. So chat while changing diapers, sing while driving in the car, and tell stories or jokes at every opportunity. You can even create a special song or story that you build on over the years. Your baby will associate your voice with a safe, welcoming environment.
3. Learn your baby’s language.
Every baby provides cues or signals to what they need through their behavior, body language and noises. Soon, you’ll learn the difference between the sound of “I’m sleepy,” “I’m hungry,” and “I’m glad to see you!”
4. Feel the power of touch.
Physical touch makes your baby feel safe and secure while building trust and connection with you. Bonding through touch also stimulates your baby’s brain development. Hold your baby close to your chest so they can hear your heartbeat. You can also “wear” your baby in a sling or front pack. It’s a connection that will last a lifetime.
5. Accept help, resources and information.
There’s always something new to learn. And there are always questions that arise. Be sure to tap into your network of friends and family. Or connect with other dads and parenting groups. It’s easy to get started at hellobabypgh.org. Check out the information and resources that are at the tip of your fingers, whether online or by calling 211.
Welcome to one of the biggest adventures of your life – fatherhood! It’s not always easy, though, so be sure that while you’re looking after your baby, you’re also looking after yourself. When you have support (and sleep!), you’re a better partner, better dad and better you.