Learning how to be a father these days is a lot different than even a generation ago. In past generations, fathers were said to be good fathers if they didn’t hit their wives or children (too much), didn’t get anyone else pregnant, and held down a job that paid the bills.
This has changed drastically. Now dads are expected to be hands on parents an emotionally involved. This benefits everyone.
Children with present involved fathers are more emotionally well-adjusted and healthier overall than children who had absent fathers or uninvolved fathers. Kids with present fathers do better in school and have more long term success.
There are some items targeted to dads that you can buy or some strategies to help make being the best father you can be easier.
Your baby recognizes your voice. He or she heard it in-utero for months- hearing your voice now is comforting to him or her, so talk to your baby. Sing, tell your baby about your day- he or she can’t understand your words but will be comforted by your voice, tone, and words.
While you may not want to use a ‘girly’ baby carrier, wearing your baby is one of the best things you can do.
They do have more ‘manly’ options- a lot of men prefer a soft structured carrier like the Ergo to wear their infants. There are a lot of options out there, surely one will fit your needs.
Another thing that a lot of dads love is the Baby Sherpa Backpack. It is the perfect combination of diaper-bag and backpack.
There are loads of compartments, insulated bottle pockets, clips and cords, and a changing mat, but it does not have the overtly feminine look of many diaper-bags.
I don’t know many men who are thrilled to be carrying a bag that even a little bit resembles a purse.
Diaper Bags for Dads
Looking for a diaper bag designed with dad in mind? Diaper Dude sells a line of awesome diaper bags for dads and other products for dudes.
Dozens of diaper bag designs to choose from, lap top bags, apparel, MLB collection, and other baby accessories for dads.
Sippy cups are a rite of passage in many homes. Skip the cutesy kid’s designs and go for your favorite athletic team logo. Get you kids in on the love of sports early!
Kids love to be outside, even as infants. Bike trailers that convert to strollers are perfect for helping dad get his exercise and little kids enjoy the outside.
Remember though that not all bike trailers/strollers are suitable for newborns they need to have some measure of head control to safely ride in them. Refer to the manual that came with the individual stroller for advice.
Gearing Dad Up For Fatherhood
It may seem at times like your baby only wants his or her mama. This is totally normal- he knows her pretty well, for a completely defenseless infant feeling safe is pretty important.
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The best way to counteract that is to let your baby get to know you. When he or she feels safe and secure he will be comfortable with you.
Dads do have a distinct disadvantage- they do not have breast milk readily available and on tap, while this is a decent disadvantage it is nothing that can’t be overcome with some creativity.
Becoming a father is a life changing event. It is great that the social expectation has changed to include dads as part of the child’s emotional development.
It is beneficial for everyone. This way the mothers do not feel they are carrying the full load, kids feel supported from more than one direction.
Keeping the serious nature and the huge responsibility is important but remember to have fun. Dads are often the parent that kids gravitate towards for rough-housing and physical play.
Science has actually proven the psychological benefits and importance of this- so go ahead- play!