There may not be a better companion to the parenting arsenal than the search power of Google. As soon as that baby pops out of the oven and full time fatherhood sets in, it’s a lifelong journey to ensure that what you are doing is gonna keep your mini me from breaking.
This is especially true for first time dads who are neurotic and clueless. So, it’s off to Google to search … and search … and search. Everything from what color should poop look like to how often should your baby eat to how in the world to get this lil carbon copy to actually sleep through the night.
Here’s the rub: there is no instruction manual that explains all of the inner workings of how your child will take on the world. Similar to how you are this unique snowflake of a person, your child is just as different. No one rule applies to all babies.
We just gotta figure this shit out on our own.
Now, that said. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t look to our fellow fathers for some tips that will apply to just about every occasion and situation. We’re a brotherhood now; bonded by that dedication to raising a son or daughter to having an awesome life. All while trying to make sure we don’t kill ourselves (or our spouses) throughout the process.
Which is why we’ve done the hard work for you. DaddyMindTricks polled some of the best daddy and even mommy bloggers on the Interwebs to form like Voltron and come up with the best tips, tricks and advice a new papa bear could ask for as he begins this pursuit of daddy prosperity.
10 Tips (+1 Extra) for New Dads
1. Make sure you make a decent playlist of tunes. In the middle of the night when the world is sleeping having something nice to listen to to help keep you awake will be a godsend.
– Dan Flanagan – Don’t Believe The Hype
2. Get your leg and butt muscles ready! Babies love bobbing up and down. When they get fussy, hold the baby in your arms and do some squats. That should relax them pretty quickly. If that gets too tiring, an exercise ball works wonders.
– Tae Kwon – Tae Kwon
3. Make sure that you build your own support group that you can go to in times of need. Mom will have her hands full and when you don’t have the answer, are looking for advice or to vent frustrations it is this group that will help you without stressing out mom.
– Wade Keller – First Time Dad Club
4. Always make sure your child knows they are heard. I’ve stopped a lot of fits just by letting her know that I hear her. I state back what it is she wants or needs, then explain my answer. It’s hard to explain to your child to be a good listener when we can’t be good listeners ourselves.
– Gerad Haupt – Spartan Daddy
5. My tip to new dads is not to listen to what everybody has to say and how to do things follow your own instinct,because you will always be right your baby and your decision will be the right one and finally always be there for your child,and of course support your wife.
– Nigel Higgins – Diydaddy
6. Pack some things for you in the hospital bag like a flask of coffee and some snacks
– Al Ferguson – The Dad Network
In addition to this collection of insights from the best of the best, we’ve put together a complete guide to surviving the first few months of fatherhood. It includes our rules for achieving success as a father and a partner; quick and easy recipes so you don’t have to spend money on takeout; the only gadgets and gear that you’ll actually need; and even some quick and effective workouts to avoid that ridiculous dadbod. Best of all, this is absolutely free. Yes. FREE. Because we are kind and because you are awesome.
7. Your child is a part of your family, a part of your life and lifestyle, not the leader or dictator of the family. The sooner you incorporate them into YOUR existing life, the less you have to change and remove from it.
– Nick Houser – Poppa Houser
8. Those first few months are hard. There is no getting around it. The only way to survive is to work as a team. The easier you can make the transition for each other the happier everyone will be. Life has changed dramatically for everyone concerned. There is no longer any place in your lives for selfishness. Take time for yourself and as a couple. It does get easier and it’s worth the effort.
– Jeremy Barnes – Thirsty Daddy
9. First – Master the art of power naps, and use as often as needed. If you’re brave enough, encourage your partner to do the same. Sleep deprivation is probably your biggest challenge in those first few months! Second – Overnaps/Pilchers – unless you love doing mountains of washing of baby clothes, these things will be a lifesaver. Third – You’re probably going to be carrying a lot more things around with you, including a baby, which can take a toll on your back – and your partner is probably not going to want to be your personal masseuse during this period. Invest in a foam roller and take care of all those knots in your back from carrying the kitchen sink around with you!
– Ben Tafau – 1 Player Dad
10. Keep your calm. Keep your patience. There are going to be so many things that test your patience. Your wife, your kids, your family, your co-workers. My wife and I have always been told we are patient with our kids. So when kids and babies are screaming their heads off, running around in circles, making huge messes, just SMILE and accept the fact that this is a stage in your life right now. That stage will constantly change and you will grow along with your kids. My last tip…crying has never killed anyone. If our child’s needs are met we do not coddle them or over soothe them. my wife and I support self soothing. So we will put our kids to bed and let them cry a little … letting them sleep with you, always having to rock them, and so forth only create bad habits…especially when you start traveling with them. Best of luck and remember each child is a HUGE blessing!
– Preston Witt – Lean and Extreme
11. Your wife WILL return to normal (after a few weeks of extreme emotional swings), and even though it is hard to keep your perspective in the moment, have faith. It gets easier, and it happens pretty quickly. Soon the hard parts will be a distant memory, and the joyful moments will be what stays with you.
– Akhila Skiftenes – The Akhila Project
A huge shout out to all involved who got in on the act to be a part of this post and our eBook. Now it’s your turn: what tips do YOU have for first-time dads? Comment below and help a few first-time fathers out.
And again, to access this absolutely FREE eBook with tips, recipes, workouts and guides to daddy gadgets, enter your info below.