Are you a new dad with a new baby? Cherish every moment and hang on for the ride of your life. Remember: we’re here for you at Westchester Health, with tips, advice and guidance in this exhilarating but exhausting time in your life. To help you cope, check out this great blog by Lauren Adler, MD, FAAP, a pediatrician with our Westchester Health Pediatrics group.
5 tips for new dads
Let go of your need to control everything
Even though you and your partner are the most mature people in the house, guess who’s in control? That’s right, your baby! He/she needs to be fed, needs endless diaper changings, needs bathing, needs burping, needs to be held, needs to be put down, needs sleep…that’s a lot of needs. That means you have to come second. And remember, things with a baby rarely (if ever) go as planned. So inhale, exhale, let go, and enjoy this wonderful time.
Take a time out
Due to stress, sleep deprivation, and your partner’s hormonal changes, the first three months with a newborn could drive any new parents over the edge. When things are escalating and one (or both) of you are at your wit’s end, take a time out. Take a walk, go to the gym, meet a friend, shoot some hoops, go for coffee. After taking a break, things often seem a lot calmer and the crisis doesn’t seem so big after all.
Be a student of your child
While there’s no shortages of books, articles, friends and relatives telling you how you should be taking care of your new baby, there’s no one right way to do things. Every child is different, every family is different. This is your time to figure out what works best for you, your partner and your baby.
Find a routine
Apart from injury or sickness, there are 3 main reasons babies cry: they need to sleep, they need to be cleaned or they need to be fed. Sometimes all three. Your baby will decide when diapers need to be changed, but you can be proactive in setting up an eating and sleeping routine. It will take awhile for your newborn to sync up with your schedule, but establishing a routine will give your life more structure.
Get your sleep (yeah, right)
This sounds crazy but try to get as much sleep as you can. There’s no reason why both you and your partner need to be up at 3am or getting up at the crack of dawn to take care of the baby. Take turns so one of you can sleep. You’ll all be better for it.
Want to know more about caring for a newborn? Come see us, we’re here to help.
If you’re a new dad feeling a little overwhelmed, or want more information about caring for a newborn, or maybe just want to talk, please make an appointment with Westchester Health to see one of our pediatricians. He/she will happily answer all your questions and offer advice and guidance for raising a healthy child. Whenever, wherever you need us, we’re here for you.
To read Dr. Adler’s blog in full, click here.