Now that your beloved wife is pregnant and you are expecting your bundle of joy, it’s time to prepare for your new role as a dad-to-be. Perhaps this is a huge responsibility on your shoulders. While your better half prepares for the transformation in her body during pregnancy, it is time to plan ahead and prepare your dad-to-be cheat sheet to handle any situation within the next nine months and thereafter when your tiny tot steps in your life.
Dad-To-Be Guide to Getting Started
Becoming a dad is an exhilarating experience. By preparing ahead of time, you can make sure everything goes on smoothly during pregnancy and after delivery, and that there are no hiccups at any stage.
- Start with educating yourself on how to give the best attention to your partner – looking after her needs, getting routine checkups, creating a peaceful and relaxing ambiance, and ensuring your full support for a healthy pregnancy and safe delivery and childcare later. Educate yourself on the different stages of pregnancy and how a woman’s body transforms during this period and what goes inside her.
- Learn and unlearn a few habits that can affect the mother and the baby in her womb. For example, if you smoke regularly, it is time to say it quits. Even passive smoking can harm a pregnant woman and nursing mother and her newborn.
- Observe your partner’s needs closely. In the early weeks of pregnancy, certain smells and tastes might make a pregnant woman to feel nauseous.
- Avoid indulging in any activities that seem minor to you, but might feel irritable to her during pregnancy.
In the last trimester, her body may feel very heavy due to the growing baby inside her. She may feel extremely tired, fatigued, and irritable. This is that stage in a pregnant woman’s life when she often starts to experience delivery blues, worrying about the safety of her child. She often wonders how she will be able to deliver her baby safely.
She may remain anxious. The anxiety can make her feel depressed. As a dad-to-be, it is your responsibility to pacify her and make her feel calm and relaxed in every situation. Be patient; talk to her, and allow her to express her feelings and fears. Find out a way to support her so she stays strong.
It may help to learn a few approved massage strokes for pregnant women that can help relieve her pain as her body grows and gets heavier. Talk to her about pain management during delivery, so she knows you are with her.
Dad-To-Be Cheat Sheet: Scheduling Appointments
You do not want to miss out on the doctor appointments. Regular checkups are necessary for your pregnant wife to monitor her health and that of the baby. The obstetrician may recommend a few tests at various pregnancy stages. Make sure the tests are done on due dates.
Dad-To-Be Guide: Stock Up Essentials
A pregnant woman often craves for goodies and treats. Make sure you have stocked it all in the freezer and kitchen cupboards. Nothing is worse than running out of stock when the mother-to-be craves for something. It is equally important to keep your stocks full with counter medications, and other prescription drugs recommended to your pregnant partner.
The same goes for stocking up on baby supplies, such as wet wipes, nappies, diapers, and formula, among others, so that you are fully prepared when your little one arrives.
Dad-To-Be Checklist: Getting Ready for the Baby
Learn the basics of delivery and initial childcare at a childbirth class. Find out about antenatal classes that you both can attend and learn the basics to welcome the new member in your life. The more you know about delivery as a dad-to-be, the better you could be of help to the expectant mother.
Does your partner want you to be present when she delivers your baby? If so, do everything to fulfill her wish.
- Take a tour of the facility where you plan the delivery. What is the best route to reach the facility in the shortest possible time? If you’re using your own car, stock up the petrol. You may want to do a trial run to check the time taken from your house to the hospital. This will help you plan ahead accordingly.
- Another important part of the dad-to-be checklist is to save all important numbers in your phone that you might need on the delivery day or immediately thereafter.
- Pack your hospital bag ahead of time so that you are in control of things. While you pack a bag for the mum-to-be and the tiny tot, do not forget to stock up a few essentials for yourself, such as phone charger, camera to capture the first glimpse of your baby, snacks for your own hunger pangs, pillow and blanket, change for vending machines, insurance cards, and a pair of clothes.When the baby arrives, you do not want to run here and there looking for things that could be easily managed before the bundle of joy enters your family.
- Learn to become a baby whisperer so you can soothe a fussy newborn. It’s your patient attitude and sense of humor that can come in handy at this time.
- Baby-proof your house even before the tiny tot arrives. Not all safety measures need to be placed until the baby is six months old. When your little guy or girl crosses his or her first milestone, it’s time to keep all sharp-edged items out of reach. Install kitchen cabinet locks, a toilet seat lock, and doorknob safety cover for the bathroom.
- Learn about the different developmental stages in a child’s life, so you can provide the best upbringing your baby deserves.
Make Your Own Dad-To-Be Checklist
Do everything you can to care for your newborn and support the new mother during the postpartum period. She needs you the most at this time. Support her with your presence, respond to her needs, look after the baby so she can take an extra 30-minute nap, and bring the new mother some snacks or fruits while she feeds the little one.
Try to use the time to know your baby. An important part of the dad-to-be cheat sheet is to learn how to change nappies and bathe your little one. Another part of the learning process is to sterilize the bottles and feed the baby.
Lastly, be prepared to spend some sleepless nights when the baby comes home. This is the time when both the new mom and dad are going to be extremely busy. But one thing is sure that you both will enjoy every minute of being a parent. This dad-to-be guide will surely make things easier for you.
Ravneet also blogs at www.wellnessguide.com