I don’t have any children, so I can’t imagine the anxiety and straight-up fear that first-time parents have…it’s gotta be wild, right?
And today we’re gonna learn about the men out there who are gonna be proud papas!
Dads on AskReddit shared tips for the fellas who are expecting a little one for the first time.
Let’s take a look.
1. Patience is key.
Every skill you want your child to master needs time to develop and space to flourish. They can’t just “copy” your way of doing things, because they won’t make sense to the child the same way they make sense to you.
Always discipline out of love, never h**e! Never forget that you’re a parent first and a cool friend last, though.”
2. Good to know!
“For a boy, wipe his lower belly with a cold wipe before taking off the diaper, most of the time it tricks him into peeing most of the time.”
3. Pro tip.
“No matter how frustrated you get, remain calm and remember they have no way of communicating how they feel or what they want.
It just takes time.
Bonus: a excellent pair of noise-cancelling headphones can be a life-saver the first 3-6 months.
Not to ignore them obviously, but if you need to walk them around to calm them down it helps A LOT.”
“The first 8 weeks are not representative of the overall experience.
Some people say the first 8 weeks are the hardest. Some people say it gets easier after the first 8 weeks….but that’s almost…an oversimplification of the transition to “parenthood”.
What in trying to say is: there will be days during the first 8 weeks that you think things are going badly, don’t despair in those sleep deprived emotional moments: you’ve got this!”
5. Let them belt it out.
“My daughter screamed at us for 6 months. I learned quickly to walk away and let her exercise her lungs.
Lack of sleep, stress over new responsibilities and other children will cause some very uncharacteristic responses if not caught beforehand and dealt with.”
6. Get moving.
“Bouncing is your BEST friend!
Many a cry has been turned around by some goofy noises and some good light bouncing.”
“Babies can’t fall off the floor. If baby just won’t stop crying and you reach your limit, but you’re worried baby might fall/harm themselves if you set them somewhere that’s not their crib, set them in the floor.
My mom taught me that when I started babysitting and it helped SO MUCH. If you place the baby on the floor in a safe location (ie a playmat or somewhere clear of items and easily seen) and step outside for 5 min with the door cracked, you’ll feel so much better.”
8. A few things…
“Don’t spend money on clothes because they’ll outgrow them in a matter of weeks, and they’ll systematically get s**t in. Get the cheapest onesies you can get and instead spend more on a good car seat that’s safe, practical and will last.
The first poop (that consists of meconium) is especially bad. It doesn’t smell, but it’s like tar, sticky and dark. It will ruin anything it touches so resist the urge to put them in cute clothes until it’s completely out, and have a pack of baby wet wipes (to clean the baby) and a roll of paper towel (to clean everything else) ready to go.
If people are going to gift you baby clothes, try to make it so that some people get you 3-6 months, others 6-9 months, others 9-12 months and so on. Otherwise you’ll have a lot of clothes that will only get used (shat in) once or twice.
Take pictures and videos. It sounds cliche but they do grow so fast…
Avoid screens completely. When they get fascinated by things like a red ball with a funny texture, a screen is like LSD to them and after that everything seems boring.
When it comes to strollers, practical beats fancy. Make sure it’s easy to fold, as flat as possible, and easy to clean (by that I mean the fabric can be taken off the frame and washed).
They’ll have a favourite toy and it won’t always be the one you expect. My kid would spend hours looking at the shiny chrome logo on the fridge.
Challenge them and stimulate their curiosity.”
“”No baby has ever d**d from crying” really put it in perspective for me.
If you’re too frazzled, it’s okay to step back for a few minutes to collect yourself and calm down.
In fact, it’s not just okay, it is what you should do.”
10. Calm down.
“As your kid becomes a toddler, you will notice that they get upset over what you assume is the littlest thing to them. Try to remember that this might actually be the worst thing that’s ever happened to them until now.
My only other piece of advice is to calm down before discipline begins. Even if they are being the biggest s**t in the whole world. You are their role model and they will mirror how you react when you are angry.”
11. Save yourself some money.
“90% of the toys and accessories ‘you must buy’ will go unused.
It’s a cliche but your kid will play with the box more than anything.
I highly recommend books as it’s good learning and bonding time.”
“Babies LOVE it when you (safely) tie a helium balloon to their foot. They’ll kick and kick and coo and have the best time and all for a $1 dollar tree balloon.
Also, once they’re old enough, frozen waffles are fantastic teething cookies. Just break off a chunk of waffle and give it to them directly from the freezer.”
13. A good idea.
“It’s a good idea to check all clothes are really soft to touch, seams aren’t rough. and don’t go nuts about cleanliness.
Keep things clean, but don’t disinfect everything, as you don’t want your baby in a totally sterile environment.”
“The first 8 weeks are the most straightforward.
They’re not easy but pretty standard across babies, for the most part.
When they start crawling and walking, then you got problems.”
15. Walk away.
“Literally the doctor that delivered one of my kids said to me.
“Don’t ever shake this child, if it won’t stop crying, put it in the crib and walk away. No child has ever cried itself to d**th”
16. Nobody’s perfect.
“I have 2 things to add about breast feeding. You can’t! But you can help.
For the middle of the night feedings, whether planned or unplanned, I would get up, get our daughter, check the diaper, and bring the baby to mom while mom does whatever to make herself comfortable. I nap while they feed. When done, I took her back to bed, checked the diaper and went back to bed where mom was asleep again. Its not much, but my wife appreciated it.
You can’t get that mother/baby feeding bond, but I took a different approach to getting that bonding moment-diaper change! It has to be done, so make it a dad/baby bonding thing. Don’t race. Its not the Daytona 500 where seconds count. Play with her/him while you clean them up. Find their feet, their nose.
Laugh when they giggle. Bond. Mommy makes the tummy better, dad makes the bottom better. Both are very important to baby. Of course I don’t mean you have to change all the diapers, just make the most of it when you do.
Have fun. Remember, you’re not going to be perfect. There’s a heck of a learning curve. Babies are tougher than they look, but still delicate.
Oh, that first morning you wake up and baby slept through the night is scary. You’ll be happy when it happens and everybody is fine, but it is scary when it happens.”
17. Remember the good times.
“Take pictures and make memories.
My wife says a lot how she takes pictures of me and the kids doing things but doesn’t have any of herself and the kids. 5 years from now you’ll look back and say “wow, it feels like we just came home from the hospital yesterday.” Its not as horrible as some people make it out to be.
Even on the sleepy days, when the baby looks at you and giggles you realize its all worth it. Ya never know, the baby might just sleep like an angel through the night. Watching them learn and become more and more independent is a joy to watch.
One day at a time, one nap at a time, and dont get so wrapped up in parenthood that you forget you have to be a husband or boyfriend as well. You got this.”
18. Deal with it.
“A baby cannot be reasoned with.
They may act illogically. Deal with it.”
19. They’re listening.
“Your child understands a lot more than they can say. Talk to them like they’re people. Explain things that are happening to them – especially things that will hurt, like vaccines.
“This is going to hurt, but it’s to stop you getting sick and feeling bad,” can actually have a six-month old baby smiling sweetly at the nurse when they get jabbed, if you’re lucky.
Don’t lie to them. They won’t have the words, but the sentiment of “f**k you old man” can kick in early.”
20. Love ’em!
“Don’t be afraid to be affectionate with your child.
There’s nothing wrong with a man kissing and hugging his children, men should be able to do the same things their wives/partners do.”
21. Books and music.
“Read to your child. Every night, no matter what. Same book over and over? Fine. Instruction manual for the dish washer? Fine. Make it a habit.
Then sing some songs.
The child will always remember that time, even if it is not clear, it will be in there.”
22. They’re durable.
“This is for a bit later. When they start walking or even crawling. If they fall, give them a second.
Chances are they are ok and will watch your reaction to figure out how they should react. If you wait a moment to see they will often get up and go on like nothing happened. If you rush over and start fussing over them, they are more likely to learn to cry every time they fall. Kids are super durable.
Obviously it also depends on severity. If they climb a chair and fall off smacking their head on the floor you need to check on them immediately, but most small falls a kid takes are minor and they will take their cues from you.”
23. Night lights.
“Get a red light for night time feeding. The red light doesn’t disrupt sleep cycles the way white/blue light does.
Constantly speak to your baby, or as often as you can.
Read to the kid even if it seems silly at first.
And remember most of all that it really does feel like the years start flying by, but time flies when you’re having fun, right?”
24. Take it all in.
“Treasure every moment regardless of how challenging they may appear.
Allow your child to make mistakes.
Learn to listen.”
Okay, now we want to hear from more dads!
In the comments, give us some more dad tips.
We can’t wait to hear from you!