I’m off being a VIP Blogger at the BabyExpo Event in Brighton today, so I’m leaving you in the very capable hands of my Other Half, Nick! He’s sharing his “top tips” for expectant first time dads. Enjoy!
The theme of today’s guest post is tips for expectant Dads. Although I suspect a lot of them equally apply to expectant Mums out there too:
1. Go out for dinner, just the two of you. As much as possible. If you’re both free now, stop reading and go out for a dinner/lunch/breakfast/brunch now. Seriously. Or have dinner in together, no telly, just the two of you. In the first few months following the arrival of our daughter, I think Hannah and I had maybe two meals together without one of us holding Munchkin or having to pick her up when she started crying. I love my daughter very much, but being able to just go out for dinner whenever we wanted (finances permitting) is the thing I miss most from our pre-baby lives.
2. Get fit. Especially upper body strength. You will be holding a tiny person a lot in the weeks following the birth. And although they start out small and light they get heavy quickly. See any of the recent photos of my gloriously chubby daughter as proof. Work on leg strength too though, especially if you live somewhere hilly (like Lewes or Brighton, to pick two examples off the top of my head) as pushing prams full of baby and shopping require quads of steel.
3. Have a quick practice with all the baby paraphernalia. In particular the car seat. Make sure you know how to fit it safely in the back of the car blindfolded. The first time you will have to do this ‘for real’ you will probably be exhausted, an emotional wreck and absolutely terrified of driving with your new baby in the back of the car. The same advice goes for the pram, carrier and nappies. Find a suitable surrogate to practice on, such as the ever obliging Fozzy Bear.
4. Get yourself a baby book. But no more than one. It’s easy to scare yourself with too much information (it all works out fine in the end – I promise) but it’s good to have a heads up on some things. Like the emotional crash your partner will go through on or around day 3 when her milk comes in. Forewarned is forearmed.
5. Prepare yourself emotionally for the labour. I knew that labour was going to be pretty horrific for Hannah. But I hadn’t expected how crap it can be for the man. You essentially are going to have a few hours of watching the person you love crying out in pain when there’s nothing you can really do but hold her hand and say “There, there”. It is not a huge barrel of laughs for anybody involved. However, you do get to finally meet your little baby for the first time at the end of it all, and that really is one of the most fabulous moments of your life.
6. Catch up with your friends. Go out for a few beers, catch a film or watch the game. It’s not that you won’t see them after baby is born but for the months following the birth, people will want to come see the baby and not you.
7. Sleep. As much as you possibly can. For as long as you possibly can. Have long lie-ins, enjoy hot cups of morning tea in bed, and enjoy as many eight hour stretches of uninterrupted sleep as you possibly can before baby arrives.
All in all just enjoy the rest of time you and your partner have together. Having a baby is really wonderful. He or she will make you experience emotions you’ve never felt before, and the connection you will feel with your little family is amazing. But it is a big change to your life, and one that takes some getting used to! Fabulous times are ahead for you though, and I wish you many years of happiness with your new arrival.