Jump to content

Advice for new father
How to be. Good husband.


  • Please log in to reply
78 replies to this topic

#1 Btexpress

Posted 16 February 2013 - 05:17 PM

Howdy
My wife is due with our first baby in 4 weeks. Awesome times! My wife has been absolutely amazing throughout the whole thing and it's all good. What I'm wanting is some advice on what I can do as a husband for my wife when she has the baby. I feel like I know what to do for the baby but I really, really want to do what I can to help/take pressure off and make a smooth transition for my wife.
Ive read stuff like do the washing, do some cooking and those kinda things. Cool and I get that but I would appreciate if the Mums out there could offer some suggestions to help me be the good, supportive husband as I know it's important for us as a family. Even little simple things, I would like to know.
Keep in mind that despite posting on this forum, I'm the very typical bloke that usually does bugger all around the house, dont really cook and act like every other useless man out there but I'm very keen to do anything and everything I can for my beautiful wife to help her along.
Thanks in advance, I appreciate the help!Julian

#2 Ange remplie

Posted 16 February 2013 - 05:26 PM

The most important thing for me in the early months was sleep.  Sleep deprivation is appalling.  Anything you can do to let your wife get some extra sleep will be worth its weight in gold.

#3 greenthumbs

Posted 16 February 2013 - 05:30 PM

Sounds like you know what to do biggrin.gif

Also, I found it nice to have it acknowledged that he thought I was doing a great job. I was breastfeeding, so still had to do the night wake ups, but my other half sometimes took over if bubs just wanted cuddles and settling so I could sleep. He also did the bathing for bubs so he had some alone time with our son. After most feeds when he was home he would take over and do the burping and nappy changes.

Admittedly he felt quite left out until our son was older, but is having a fantastic time now that bub is 18months so can play and run and scream etc happy.gif

Also, he would take over if he could see my patience levels reaching their limit! This was/is great, makes me feel like we're more of a team in this parenthood thing.

Good luck! We loved the early days, it was such a loved up time in our house!

There is a dads section in this forum - right down the bottom I think in the forum list original.gif

#4 noonehere

Posted 16 February 2013 - 05:30 PM

sleep!
we had a deal where i would go to bed at 7pm and he would wake me up for a feed if i didnt express before hand. he would care for bub till midnight then i would take over.

we found we both got enough sleep to just function lol

#5 Lickety Split

Posted 16 February 2013 - 05:32 PM

Agree about the sleep. My husband would take our newborn daughter for long drives (she would pretty much only sleep in the car) after a feed so I could get 30-60mins of sleep. It was wonderful and pretty much the only sleep I got in the first few weeks.

#6 ~Supernova~

Posted 16 February 2013 - 05:32 PM

QUOTE (Ange Vert @ 16/02/2013, 05:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The most important thing for me in the early months was sleep.  Sleep deprivation is appalling.  Anything you can do to let your wife get some extra sleep will be worth its weight in gold.


Yep, that. The housework can be forgotten for a while. Meals will mostly be super quick and easy for sometime. But sleep is the golden ticket. DH has always helped with sleep and settling, even with a very physically demanding job. God love him.

#7 cinnabubble

Posted 16 February 2013 - 05:35 PM

QUOTE
Keep in mind that despite posting on this forum, I'm the very typical bloke that usually does bugger all around the house, dont really cook and act like every other useless man out there but I'm very keen to do anything and everything I can for my beautiful wife to help her along.

If you're serious about helping her, the above has to stop right now for the rest of your life. This is vital. You are responsible for another person. You can't go around pretending you can't do stuff so somebody else will do it because your wife will come to hate you for it.

Secondly, Your life has changed irreversibly. There is no "going back to normal". Normal is gone. You are living in the new normal. There is no point in imagining anything different.

Thirdly, looking after your own child isn't "babysitting". Ever.

Fourth, just because your wife is at home with the baby, you can't come and go at will. You may be her only contact with the outside world for the first couple of months. Don't roll in from the pub three hours late and reeking of beer. It will not go well for you if you do.

Finally, learn to manage the baby. You may not be able to feed it for a few months, but change the nappies, bathe the baby, mop up the vomit etc. Your wife isn't responsible for all of theses things by virtue of having gestated and given birth to the baby. She is not possessed of superpowers that mean she will always know what to do and you can't do anything. Muck in and be a parent. It's important.

#8 ZCE

Posted 16 February 2013 - 05:44 PM

One of the best things my husband and I did was split the nights into shifts. From 6pm until midnight the baby was his (I was expressing so he would bottle feed her). If she cried, woke up etc she was his responsibility. This allowed me to catch up on the days chores, shove in some dinner, usually have that shower i hadn't gotten to and then get a few hours uninterrupted sleep before i was back on duty again. This allowed us to both get a good block of sleep.

We worked out that system after my husband found me one morning after 38 hours without any sleep hanging over the bassinet crying saying 'why won't you sleep'. He got straight up and sent me to bed. Called in sick and looked after her for the whole day. Be compassionate and empathetic when dealing with her. She'll be tired, emotional and not really her best self.

Tell her she's doing an awesome job even if the baby is screaming for hours straight. Because that's probably the moment she'll think she's failing and will need that encouragement.

#9 mollybot

Posted 16 February 2013 - 05:46 PM

Get a Jamie Oliver cook book and START PRACTICING.

Also, hire a cleaner for the first three months or so, while you learn how to do it. When your wife surfaces for a few minutes here and there, she'll feel SO much better if she can have a shower and wash her hair, rather than having to do the washing up or laundry because "You're useless". You SO don't want her thinking this about you !!

Lastly - take your Paternity leave AFTER she comes out of the hospital. If she has a normal birth she'll be out in a couple of days, but if she has a Caesar you don't want to lose three or four days (or more !) of your paternity leave while she's in hospital.


Please tell me you're taking Paternity leave ?!

Ooh and my best advice for all new parents - get one of those A4 Vanessa Day Diaries. In hospital they get you to write down when you fed the baby, and for how long, which breast, when you changed them, when they slept etc.

Keep this up when you go home - that way you can easily track your baby's rhythms and routines and at the same time, when one of you takes over from the other, you can see at a glance that the baby was fed 30 minutes ago, but hasn't had a nappy change - so you can take over from one another  and can immediately see where you're at in the routine.

Edited by mollybot, 16 February 2013 - 05:50 PM.


#10 Madnesscraves

Posted 16 February 2013 - 05:48 PM

I agree with the sharing 'night duties' my husband and I alternates on who got up for the baby if the other wa asleep. We even alternate sleep ins on the weekends.

#11 Manicmum

Posted 16 February 2013 - 05:48 PM

Don't view it as helping her but rather being a partner in raising your child and keeping your home functioning and you won't go too far wrong.

Also don't always try to fix things with a quick solution, sometimes a cuddle and thrashing about ideas is more helpful.

Best wishes!

#12 mandala

Posted 16 February 2013 - 05:52 PM

Come home on time. When you're counting the seconds until you can have someone else deal with the screaming, having your husband home late is devastating.

Keep track of all the stuff to do. One of the hardest things I find is the thought load of remembering when DS last fed, last slept, do we have enough clothes clean in his size that are appropriate for the weather tomorrow, are we going to run out of milk unless I drag myself out of the house this afternoon... Just having someone else keep track of these things as well and be proactive about it is wonderful.

Sleep - but specifically sleep before midnight. I struggled to nap, and I found sleep after midnight wasn't as refreshing even when I got a fair bit of it. That's what made being home on time so important. It meant I could eat, shower, and get a couple of hours sleep before doing all the night feeds.

Remember that you have known your baby for just as long as your wife has... which means you've had just as much experience in how to change nappies, burp, dress, bathe etc etc. So be confident that you can do those things without 'supervision' and demonstrate it. It's much easier to relax and sleep and recharge if you know you're not going to get questions every two minutes about where the nappies are etc!

#13 whale-woman

Posted 16 February 2013 - 05:54 PM

Thing I appreciate most are: bringing me water/tv remote/a tissue etc when I 'm stuck immobile feeding bub for hours on end.(usually its water as you get very thirstyBFing)
Getting me food so I'm not left starving till I get a minute when bub is settled so I can eat. (so not disappearing to eat breaky leaving partner feeding bub - bring her food on a tray and then eat youself)
Holding bub so I can have a shower.
Doing bubs baths/nappy changes as Dads can do these things where Mums are stuck with the endless hours of feeding that they have to do if BFing. (This includes changing bub at night too)
Not getting offended with your partners emotional instability/crying jags/irrationality in the 1st few days after the birth. (not that all woman are like this but I certainly lose the plot with 'baby blues.')
Taking some time off work to support your partner esp when they come home from hospital. My DP only took 2 days off work;whilst I was in hospital and I was severly p*ssed about it.

#14 H3X

Posted 16 February 2013 - 05:59 PM

I like cinnabubbles advice :-) Especially about wanting things to go back to normal - this is the new normal and there's no changing it now! The adjustment is hard for many people (mums and dads) but it only makes things harder to complain about how you wish you still had the life you had pre-baby.

I think it is important to remember that you are both new to this and she won't automatically know what to do with the baby any more than you will. Don't leave things to her because you've never done them before - she's never done it before too! You can do everything with the baby she can do except breastfeed - so make sure you do it!

But having the concern to ask shows you're going to do great!

ETA: When you come home from work and the house is a tip and there's no dinner ready and your wife is sitting on the couch with the baby - DO NOT ask what she's been doing all day. She may crack it!

Also, if your wife has been up in the night feeding/tending the baby and you've been woken by the baby but not had to actually get out of bed it's not a good idea to complain about how tired you are. And lack of sleep generally isn't a competition between you and your wife, so try not to let it become one.

Edited by Hunca Munca, 16 February 2013 - 06:07 PM.


#15 MacFeral

Posted 16 February 2013 - 05:59 PM

Water and food for your wife, especially if she is breastfeeding. For me, since I was breastfeeding anyway, there wasn't much my hubby could do to help with sleep since I had to get up anyway but I always forgot to eat and drink when I was caught up with the baby.

#16 Mianta

Posted 16 February 2013 - 06:04 PM

Sleep, housework and affection.

Just knowing she is absolutely adored and appreciated by you plus you being ready and willing to take on the workload of the house hold, while she focuses on your baby, will mean a lot to her.

You sound like an amazing husband!

#17 Btexpress

Posted 17 February 2013 - 06:30 AM

Thanks so much for all the input muchly appreciated. Really great advice there. Very good times ahead!!

#18 dimensionk

Posted 17 February 2013 - 06:48 AM

Good luck, you sound lovely! original.gif

As a female, I really enjoyed reading this, gave me more of an idea of what I'm in for and how DH can help. Love the idea of shifts.

#19 Freddie'sMum

Posted 17 February 2013 - 06:59 AM

Firstly OP - good on you for asking.

There has been loads of great advice in this thread already - here's my 2 cents worth:

Apart from breastfeeding - a new Daddy can do absolutely everything else with / for the baby.  You can change the nappies / wash / settle / pat / cuddle / rock / just hold and walk around the house with the little one.

Your wife - regardless of how she gives birth - is going to be an exhausted, hormonal mess - don't take it personally.  She has just been thru the most incredibly experience of her life.

Sleep is a must.  I don't care how you do it - but she will need - NEED - to have some sleep.  If she breastfeeds, at the end of the breastfeed, TAKE THE BABY, change the nappy, settle, rock, pat the baby and just let her get some sleep.

Best wishes.

Edited for spelling.

Edited by Freddie'sMum, 17 February 2013 - 07:01 AM.


#20 Kay1

Posted 17 February 2013 - 07:16 AM

QUOTE
Thirdly, looking after your own child isn't "babysitting". Ever.

Fourth, just because your wife is at home with the baby, you can't come and go at will. You may be her only contact with the outside world for the first couple of months. Don't roll in from the pub three hours late and reeking of beer. It will not go well for you if you do.

Finally, learn to manage the baby. You may not be able to feed it for a few months, but change the nappies, bathe the baby, mop up the vomit etc. Your wife isn't responsible for all of theses things by virtue of having gestated and given birth to the baby. She is not possessed of superpowers that mean she will always know what to do and you can't do anything. Muck in and be a parent. It's important.


So true! And remember it is not forever, things really do get easier after those first few months. When things are tough keep telling her how well she is doing and that it will get easier in time (without discounting how crap it is at that moment!).

Wow, reading this thread has made me wish I'd printed it out and given it to DH three babies ago!!! Great question OP and all the best for arrival of your baby. I think you are going to do just fine. original.gif

#21 Kay1

Posted 17 February 2013 - 07:17 AM

Oh one more thing. If you wife is BFing and you don't wake at night when the baby cries ALWAYS and I mean ALWAYS!!!! ask her how the night was in the morning. ALWAYS!!!

#22 Mpjp is feral

Posted 17 February 2013 - 07:25 AM

The best thing dh did for me was to make me feel great, special, important and loved!!!  He did lots of little things to remind me there was still an 'us' and that he thought what I was doing was fantastic/ that I looked great etc etc. He'd also share us feelings about the baby which I loved bc he's a pretty blokey bloke!!

Not that all the practical stuff went astray either!!!

The worst thing he did? Wanted to invite useless fil to stay. So he could 'help'! If you have useless family members...don't invite them to stay w you!!!

#23 Jenflea

Posted 17 February 2013 - 07:32 AM

Don't expect your sex life to be 'normal' as soon as she hits the magic 6 week mark. Sex is the last thing on her mind for MONTHS, so do NOT hassle her for sex, do NOT make her need to cater to you as well as a baby who is attached to her for what feels like 20 hours out of every 24.

Intervene with family members if need be. Stop interfering inlaws or family if they nag your wife and tell her she should be doing XYor Z with the baby. It's your child and your family now, you TWO make the decisions, not anyone else.  

And basically, what Cinabubble said!

#24 greenthumbs

Posted 17 February 2013 - 07:44 AM

Cinabubble - I love you.

Hope you don't mind, but even though our DS is 18mths old now, I'm going to print your post and put it on the fridge, in really big writing! It still applies this far down the track!

#25 ScarfaceClaw

Posted 17 February 2013 - 07:51 AM

My hubby did a lot of the night parenting when he could, and always took ds so I could have a nap.He also did things like pop to the supermarket before work so there was milk and bread etc for lunch so that if I couldn't leave the house I could at least have a piece of toast.He cooked and cleaned and cried with me when I was a mess and laughed with me when something silly happened.
He never badgered me to do anything round the house and was appreciative when I had to the time and energy to actually do something.
I agree with most others tho, sleep is the business.


Edited by lucky 2, 17 February 2013 - 10:02 AM.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

'I will defend my son's right to wear a tutu'

Three-year-old boy Roo likes to wear tutus and, until now, it hasn't been a problem.

Chinese sign up toddlers for chief executive classes

CHILDREN as young as three are being enrolled in "chief executive courses" in China as pushy parents become obsessed with giving their offspring an advantage over their young peers.

Free ticket offer

Pinky Mckay joins us again at the Essential Baby & Toddler Show presented by Blackmores with her expert baby settling advice. Register now for your free ticket.

The 'best little baby' and the police officer who rescued him

"And just in my head, I'm a father myself, and I couldn't sit there and let him ... I couldn't let him sit in that."

Olympian sells medal to pay for child's cancer treatment

An Olympian has sold his medal to help fund cancer treatment for a 3-year-old boy.

Family of mum who took her own life speak out about PND

From the outside it looked like Allison Goldstein was blissfully happy. She had a new baby, a loving husband, and was part of a close knit-family.

For the festival lover in all of us

Pre-book & Save 50%. Get your tickets now for Kidtopia Festival. 7-9 October 2016 Parramatta Park, Sydney.

BuggyCart solves the dilemma of shopping with a pram

Ducking to the shops for some groceries is a whole other ballgame once you have a baby.

Viral photo shows powerful moment before second baby's arrival

While our second baby was very much wanted, I wondered if I could love another baby as much as I loved my first.

What does a baby with whooping cough sound like? Sometimes like this

It's a heartbreaking video that's difficult to watch, but that's just what Sydney mum of two Sandra wants people to do.

Cheers! Why we're all happy to be bad mothers now

A new generation of mums is resisting the pressure to be "perfect" - and revelling in their naughty side?

Dealing with mealtime fussiness: mums share their tips

It can be frustrating, worrying, and turn into a battle of wills - but it doesn't have to be like that

Why having a puppy is like parenting a child

Despite being a dog owner and a parent, I've never been able to relate to the idea that the two have many similarities – until now.

Baby Joey is sleeping star in adorable photos

When photographer mum Laura Izumikawa puts her baby daughter down to sleep, the last thing on her mind is rest.

The necessity of 'Do not disturb' signs for napping babies

Needless to say, the last thing any mum wants is for someone to loudly knock on the door and wake their sleeping cherub.

Mum's brutal truth about c-section: 'This is not the easy way out'

A new mum has shared photos of her caesarean section scar to prove she did not "take the easy way out" when giving birth to her son.

Twins give birth in same hospital just hours apart

Leanne went into labour on July 28, and remarkably, her twin sister Natalie soon followed.

Goki Ride-On cars for toddlers

Toddlers just love to ride on anything with wheels but will often reject the pram once they can walk.

Letting your health slide as you look after the kids? Here's how to get out of the trap

It's time to start prioritising our own health, as well as the health of our children, to avoid longer lasting health challenges.

How to child-proof every room in your house

A guide to making your home a safer place for little ones.

Portable pool safety reminder after toddler's death

The drowning of a Hobart toddler has prompted a coroner to remind the community that even inflatable and portable pools must be fenced.

I have a clingy toddler - help!

"Nothing stops the clinginess - he cries when I put him down, no matter how long I hold him."

Woman sues after botched termination leads to motherhood

A 23-year-old mother is suing her GP and the public health system for thousands of dollars to support her son after her termination went wrong.

 
Advertisement
 

Top 5 Articles

Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

For the festival lover in all of us

Pre-book & Save 50%. Get your tickets now for Kidtopia Festival. 7-9 October 2016 Parramatta Park, Sydney.

Ex-Perth model stuck with 12kg leg after limb doubles in size during pregnancy

"I often have strangers coming over to me when I'm out asking bluntly what's wrong with my leg. I often just laugh now and tell them I've been attacked by a shark and walk off, it definitely stumps people."

Same sex couple 'blessed' with triplets via surrogacy

They feared they would never get to be parents, but a same sex couple is now adjusting to life with newborn triplets.

Should children be given antibiotics in their first year?

Here are the the pros and cons of giving antibiotics to young babies.

Baby born on mum AND dad's birthday

The birth of a baby is always a special occasion, but one couple who welcomed their first child earlier this week had more reason to celebrate than most.

The joys (and benefits) of show and tell

Show and tell has been around for donkey's years. Well, at least since I was a kid, and according to my own children, I'm pretty old.

Loyal dog dies saving baby's life during fire

A baby was rescued from a house fire after her family's loyal dog used his body to shield the little girl from the flames.

How having a young baby or toddler changes your home decor

What to expect when living with an older baby or toddler - and how to manage the chaos.

I'm trying to keep my child-free friends in my life, but it's tough

I tried to prove to my single friends that I was the same I'd always been. But marriage did change me - and motherhood has, too

'There's a giant picture of BOOBS but I can not feed my child'

A mum was ushered out of an US department store's underwear section after discreetly breastfeeding her baby.

How baby Evelie was saved after being born without a heartbeat

Bethanie Millar didn't believe in miracles - until baby Evelie was born, that is.

How an Aldi staff member made one exhausted mum's day

It was a simple act of kindness, but one that made an exhausted mother's day.

OvuSense: the new internal monitor helping predict ovulation

When a couple is trying to conceive it is easy for a woman to become obsessed about when she ovulates.

Mum-to-be surprises husband with big news in joy-filled photoshoot

When Bri Dow learnt that she was expecting, she immediately knew she wanted to break the news to her husband Brandon in a special way.

How a homemade wheelchair is giving baby Evelyn freedom

Like all one-year-olds, Evelyn Moore is keen to get moving and explore the world around her. But a battle with aggressive cancer left the little girl paralysed from the waist down.

Adorable: App captures special moments of pregnancy and motherhood

There's something about motherhood that turns even the most reluctant photographer into a keen shutterbug as they strive to capture all the best moments of life with a baby.

Dad shares horror tale after Roomba's run-in with dog poop

It's the poop story that's been shared hundreds of thousands of times around the world.

What I miss about commuting

A recent long commute for a job reminded me there are some potential positives to the experience.

 

SYDNEY SHOW - 23-25 Sept

Essential Baby & Toddler Show - Sydney

The Essential Baby & Toddler Show, presented by Blackmores, will be held in Sydney on 23-25 September. Register for your free ticket now to save $20!

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.