There’s no doubt that preparing for baby is overwhelming. From purchasing the furniture to deciding disposable over cloth diapers, there are so many choices and discussions to have. A lot of attention is placed on the mommy-to-be and oftentimes we forgot there are two people about to undergo a big change. My husband was my rock during our pregnancy, and I asked him for a few tips to pass on to all the daddies-to-be out there!
Preparing for Baby: A Dad’s To-Do List
1. Find out if your job has paternity leave. It may sound crazy, but lots of jobs now offer paternity leave for dads. The first couple weeks after baby is born are often the most hectic and special, so if you can, take off from work to stay home with your new bundle of joy!
2. Start a savings account. Someday, the baby will need something like a bar mitzvah party or a car (or college!). Make it a goal to save a few extra dollars out of each paycheck for the baby. As s/he gets older, you will be surprised how much money builds up slowly but surely.
3. Wake up. Every baby wakes up throughout the night. Period. I suggest getting out of bed even if your wife is breastfeeding; it is very helpful. Even something as simple as changing the baby before a feeding can be super helpful to a tired mom. Even though you can’t feed the baby, you can provide your wife the support she needs.
4. Plan a realistic budget. As your baby gets older, s/he will eat lots more. (Almost as much as you!) To curb sticker shock, increase your weekly grocery budget so there is enough food to go around.
5. Trust your instincts. It is very important to have confidence in yourself as a parent. Too often we rely on our wives and/or mothers and ask them before acting. We as dads must trust our instincts, and remember that WE are the ones in charge (unless mommy’s around!). Just like in most things, your first instinct is usually right!
What tips would you give other dads who have babies on the way? —Jennifer