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Tips and Skills for new dad

For dads.

There’s no need for anyone to tell you that your life will forever change once you attain fatherhood. However, if there’s no one to tell you how to be a father, fret not as is here to give some tips on this!

Giving your baby Skin-to-skin contact

It won’t come as a surprise that studies have shown that holding your baby skin-to-skin will help to calm and comfort them – stabilizing their heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, maintaining a good body temperature, and best of all, decrease or even stop crying! So, don’t be afraid to spend some time with your newborn with your shirt off, holding them just in their diapers Research shows that a dad’s touch has an equally positive effect on a baby’s health, well-being and development. Fathers who learn to soothe their babies see their own stress levels drops, experience increased self-esteem as parents and establish warm, positive relationships with their newborns that continue through childhood.

Holding your baby

Before even getting some skin-to-skin contact with your baby, you will need to know the right way to hold your newborn. As picture speaks a thousand words, do take a look a try out these different holding positions!

how to hold a baby five ways diagram illustration

If you are comfortable holding your baby, you may want to try massaging him. The therapeutic touch of massage may do even more, possibly strengthening the immune system, improving muscle development, stimulating growth, easing colic, teething pain and tummy troubles.  In general, babies prefer a gentle touch -- but not so light that it is ticklish.  Take cues from baby as he will tell you when to keep rubbing and when it is time to end the massage session.

Changing Diapers

Next comes the biggest chore, changing of diapers. As babies are poop and pee machine, do expect to clean up every two hours. First signs of the much needed change would be smell. When something smells funky, get ready a clean diaper and a few baby wipes. Place your baby on a flat surface and undo the dirty diapers. Lift your baby up and use the clean part of the dirty diaper to wipe off any excess poo. With your baby’s butt lifted up, grab a baby wipe and start wiping from front to back (this motion reduces the chance of spreading bacteria into their privates, which can cause a urinary tract infection, especially important for girls!). Remove and dispose the soiled diaper, along with the used baby wipes. To avoid diaper rash, pat dry the bottoms of your baby before putting on a new set of diaper.

Burping your baby

You may refer to our “Burping Basics” article.

Calming your baby

This may just be one of the most important skills to have as a Dad. There are many reasons on why your child is crying. From being hungry, to being lonely. Do try and think of any possible reasons on why he or she is crying. Perhaps it has been hours since they are being fed. Or it could be that you forgot to burp your baby after their meal. In some serious case, it may be due to your child running a temperature. But when you have gone through every possible reason and your baby is still crying, it may just be due to undiagnosed crankiness. For this case, there are some possible soothers. The pacifier is an amazing tool to  soothe a wailing baby. Putting the baby in a motorised swing may help too. Or you could just take off your shirt and have some skin-to-skin contact.

Supporting your partner

During the nine months of pregnancy, the direct care of your baby was pretty much out of your hands -- not by choice. Now that the cord has been cut, the rules of the game have changed. All you need to be a partner in parenting is enthusiasm, a good sense of humor, certain amount of stamina and dogged dedication.  Due to hormonal changes, your partner is prone to baby blues or postnatal depression (PSD)  during the postpartum period. Lighten her load by sharing equally in all aspects of baby care, brighten her day -- and night, and make time for just the two of you. All these will help to make the new parenthood journey much more pleasant and memorable one.

Make more time for your baby, even it means taking time from other important activities in your life. You can also make time for your baby by including him, whenever feasible, in your other activities. If you have got a few errands to run, strap him in  a baby carrier and take him along.  And if you have got some chores to do or some catch up work, prop him securely in a baby seat or tuck him into a baby sling and let him watch as you provide description of what you are doing.


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