5 Tools For First-Time Fathers


5 Tools For First-Time Fathers



Tool #1: Flexibility

If you're one of those guys who likes a routine, then you may have to step out of your comfort zone for a while. Babies, especially the really young, don't really give a hoot about your schedule. You have to change your patterns — your baby's too young to adjust hers.
 
"Stay flexible," advises Kelly. "As your baby's physical and sensory development accelerates, her natural schedule will change. You will have to adjust (and sometime revamp) the routine. This is normal and healthy, even if maddening. Roll with it."
 
Tool #2: Good hands
Your newborn isn't breakable, but he is delicate. Finding a comfortable "hold" will soothe and relax both you and the baby.
 
"Try the 'football hold,'" suggests Kelly. "Place the baby's head in the crook of your elbow, hold him close to your body and support his butt and upper legs with your hand." It's a great way for you and your child to make face-to-face contact.
 
Tool #3: Food
Think about how cranky you get when you're hungry. Your baby doesn't like the feeling either, so do your part to make sure she's fed.
 
"Even if Mum breast-feeds, take your turn to bottle feed," says Kelly. "Your baby needs the experience of being nourished — physically and emotionally — by both Mum and Dad."
 
Tool #4: Resilience
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. You're learning right along with your baby, and you will face parenting challenges. Do what works for you — no matter what the books or anyone else may say.
 
"Your baby can't learn to walk without tumbling, and you and Mum learn effective parenting by trial and error, too," says Kelly. "If you find something that works, then do it. Don't listen to those who say you're doing it wrong just because it's different. Kids benefit from difference!"
 
Tool #5: Fortitude
"Remember that baby isn't out to get you," explains Kelly. "She's working from the most basic instincts, like the need for warmth, food, sleep and clean nappies. She has no free will yet, so she's not acting this way to annoy you.
 
"You can’t spoil a baby — or discipline one, either. Work on that stuff next year, when the baby is developmentally ready." There is an entirely new set of tools for each of your child's stages of life!
 
By Mary Fetzer at http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/970575/new-dads-toolbox-what-you-really-need
 

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