If you are a new dad, your probably freaking out right about now. That cute little baby seems so calm and serene right up until the point of the late night wails that awaken you out of your deep slumber. Not only does your wife become more frazzled but, you feel virtually inept and helpless as to how you can assist your breastfeeding wife and this little bundle of joy. You need guidance, without having to feel like less of a man by asking others for advice. So here are some tips as to how to care for your new baby:
1. First, you must realize that the first couple of months may make you feel second in line. Only the mother can breastfeed, and her maternal instincts are kicking into overdrive by trying to care for the baby's every need. However, new dad, you may not be able to breastfeed the baby, but you can still feel important by changing the diapers, rocking the baby to sleep, caring for a crying baby, and etc... Do not let yourself feel second in line. Not only will you feel better about your parenting skills, your wife will greatly appreciate the help.
2. Since the baby's routine in the first couple of weeks is to eat, sleep, cry, and poop every couple of hours, alternate caring for the baby with your wife. You both will benefit greatly from this tagged team effort. You will not only get more sleep, you both will be less irritable and happier loving parents. If you work during the day, when you get home, watch the baby so she can sleep for a couple of hours. At night, let her care for the baby for a couple of hours so your refreshed for work. Make sure you offer this to your wife! This is a no lose situation. (Just remember, from here on out you will get less sleep than you ever had before the baby!)
3. This next one is very important. Not only has your wife's body changed in many ways, she may be suffering from the postpartum blues as her emotions act like a roller coaster. Simple things like telling your wife how beautiful she is, and how proud you are of her being such a great mother will make her feel happier, and lessen the brunt of insults that may fly your way. And if your caught in the cross hairs of these emotions, let the emotion-filled words slide right off your back and continue to show your love to her. This is the true test of being a good husband, dad, and a man.
4. Finally, no manual in the world can tell you how to raise the perfect child. You may learn what the best food to feed your baby is, or the latest safest toys, but parenting comes from first-hand experience. Everyone makes mistakes and no one is perfect. Not your wife, your mother, father, or even you. Stop trying to live up to these idealistic fantasies of how to be the perfect dad. He does not exist. What you can do, is make a conscious decision to love your child endlessly no matter what, and to support him or her through thick and thin. Just try your best and at the end of the day hopefully you can learn from your mistakes.