People say you can never be fully by prepared for fatherhood, but you can be as prepared as possible. Here are 5 essential things you can do so you are not completely overwhelmed for when your baby arrives.
- Plan for the Baby
If you are working for someone or have your own business, you will need to make some adjustments. You should check with your supervisor regarding the corporate policies for paternity leave and if there is compensation for additional support like babysitting. If you are working from home, it may be worthwhile hiring help or asking your family members to help out. It is not practical to work from home and watch your child especially during the first few months. Additionally, you will have to get your home prepped for your child. You will need to at least baby proof the house and make room for your baby’s things like the crib and changing table.
- Read and Research
The more you read, the more you will feel better prepared. You might feel like there may not be as many resources as expecting mothers, but don’t worry, paternity resources have come along way. Many have recommended to read well written blogs, like the one you are reading today, or good books like the Expectant Father. By reading and researching you will be prepared for the basics. If your baby is hungry, know what to feed them. If he or she is bored, have some toys or games ready to go. If your baby is upset, know some calming techniques to use like the cradling method.
- Get Healthy
It is important for you to be in good health before your baby comes. Once the baby arrives, working out will be the least of your priorities. Thus, if you are not in shape, you should try and get into a routine. As a dad, it’s important to stay in shape so you can help your family physically, whether it be taking your baby out for a walk or protecting them from harm. It is important to not be a burden to your family as you would add additional unneeded stress. You might also want to learn how to cook if you haven’t done so. It will definitely help out your partner as well as save some money.
- Make a Family Budget
Unfortunately, your family budget will have to change. It is estimated that your child will cost one million dollars up until they finish college. Your budget will have to add essentials such as diapers, wipes, creams, baby clothes and a crib. Also, don’t forget about the expensive hospital bills and doctor visits that will come!
- Serve your family
This is probably the most important advice, and the one that you should take home with you. You and your partner should share the responsibilities. This means going to the appointments, speaking up and asking questions, and doing your best to help out when you can. This will be an overwhelming time filled with new emotions and responsibilities. If you don’t have a partner, you can lean on your family for help. It might be wise to keep them close or move closer to them if necessary.
Remember you don’t have to know everything about being a father, but you must be willing to help and take the initiative.