Helpful Tips for First Time DadsLast updated: December 11th, 2020 Published on: June 11, 2019
Becoming a dad can be a steep learning curve, especially if it’s your first time. From learning how to change a diaper, rocking a baby to sleep, preparing the milk bottles, all while going to work and trying to keep up your social life, there’s a lot to juggle!
That’s why we’ve teamed up with a few dad bloggers to gather their best tips and advice on how prepare yourself for this new chapter in your life.
Work Out A Fairly Strict Routine
“When you become a father for the first time it’s a mind-blowing moment. Everything that you considered normal in your life goes out the window. This is change on a totally different level. So here is my tip for new dads. Routine is vital not only for your baby but also your partner and yourself. Don’t just make up the routine on an hourly basis. Work out a fairly strict routine and stick to it. Babies love routine. It can be a bit boring but believe me, play the long game. I did, and we are reaping the rewards now, by which I mean that I am getting the right amount of rest and me time to face another day of being a dad because being a dad is hard work.”
Nigel Higgins, dad blogger at diydaddyblog.com
Share Night Time Feeds Out Between You & Your Partner
“I have to admit, I wasn’t mentally prepared for the lack of sleep when bringing a baby into the world for the first time! Although, I’m not sure anyone is mentally prepared to be honest! One thing that will help though, is sharing the night time feeds out between you and your other half.
One night my wife would go to sleep whilst I stay up and do the last feed, usually about 11pm. My wife would then wake up to do the next feed, which was generally between 2-3am in the morning. This gave me a chance to get a good block of sleep in till the morning. The next night, we would swap and I’d go to bed early. It worked really well and as a result we weren’t too tired in the grand scheme of things!”
Tom, dad blogger at workingdaddy.co.uk
Find Out What Works Best For You
“Realise that every child is different, so when people tell you yours should be doing something by now, or do it in a certain way, it’s not true. Your child will find their own routine, and you will find out what works best for you and yours. Not what the text book says.”
Adam Hickmott, dad blogger at storiesofadad.co.uk
Making mistakes makes you a better parent
“One of the first life lessons parenting taught me was that it’s more than okay to make mistakes. We’re only human after all and, when you’re sleep deprived and learning a whole new world of skills as you go, you’re more prone to error than usual. But that’s fine. I’ve made loads of mistakes as a dad but have owned them and learned from them – and continue to do so almost nine years in!
On a related note, there’s no point in striving for perfection. Why? Because there’s no such thing as a perfect parent. I’ve been both winging it and loving being a dad since day one. Yes, I’ve made mistakes along the way, but they’ve made me a better parent.”
Tom Briggs, dad blogger at diaryofthedad.co.uk
Give them your full attention
“Always be present with your kids. No matter what kind of day that you had, or what happened at work, your kids don’t care and are just glad to be with their dad. So when you are with them, take full advantage of the time, let your worries go, and when you are present with them, be fully present!”
Beau Coffron, dad blogger at lunchboxdad.com
Make Time For Each Other: Plan At Least One or Two Date Nights Each Month
“I’d also advise that you make time for your relationship because a baby takes up a lot of time. A lot of relationships are put under immense pressure and in some cases it doesn’t work out which is upsetting. But this can be avoided as long as you strive to make time for each other. We made sure we had at least one or two date nights/days each month. Our family were great with helping out so I’d really urge you to reach out to your family and friends for help, I’m sure they won’t mind!”
Tom, dad blogger at workingdaddy.co.uk
‘A failure to plan is a plan to fail’ – just ignore this phrase!
“I don’t know how, but becoming a parent has a habit of destroying the best laid plans. I learned this very quickly. Our first child was two weeks early, which meant the Tens machine had only just arrived, and I hadn’t tested it yet. We bought a bunch of baby clothes, but our son was too small for them – turns out “0-3 months” isn’t really the smallest size. He arrived on a Friday night, the day before I planned to stop drinking in case I had to do the hospital drive. We had a list of baby names, but chose one that came to us in the operating room. The list goes on – all the best laid plans! Thankfully, none of it really mattered – people have been having babies for hundreds of thousands of years, so I guess you can do it in even the most difficult circumstances. Just relax, enjoy the ride and support mum the best you can.”
Henry Ellis, dad blogger at themediocredad.com
Packed with refreshingly real topics and some truly unique insights into parenting, you can also find some helpful articles, and testimonials from dad bloggers from countless sources. Find our selection of dad communities here.
Also, if you are struggling to adjust to your new role, further help and information is available for you. So stay informed and reach out to prevent any risk of Mental Health Illness. If you need further professional help and advice, please contact mental health professional support such as: your GP, Mind Charity, or your local Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs).