7 Things Dad Should Do Before Baby Comes
No one needs to be told that bringing baby home is a LOT of work. If Dad is starting to stress the small stuff, here are 7 things dad should do before baby comes to help put the entire family at ease. These seven easy to plan and manageable tips will keep Dad busy and help Mom, baby and siblings slide right into family life with a newborn.
7 Things Dad Should Do Before Baby Comes
1. Schedule paternity leave or vacation time to be home with mom immediately after baby comes. Even with support from friends and family during the day and night, there is no substitute for having Daddy on hand to support Mom and bond with Baby. This precious time never comes around again. Even if using personal days or vacation time to be home with baby means forgoing vacation time for leisure travel, now is the time to do it.
2. Plan a Guys Night Out. Let Dad know he's still a priority when you encourage him to plan a night out with the fellas or a weekend away (if you can spare him!). Even surprise him with a casual dinner at his favorite local haunt with the guys.
3. Knock off the Home Improvement To Do's. Don't let Dad go overboard, but encourage a bit of tackling the house to-do list that may have been languishing in the run up to baby's arrival. Certainly, prioritize any safety issues that may involve stairs, slippery floors (think safety during middle of the night feedings), bathroom improvements to keep everyone safe around hard surfaces. Also update nursery items by installing blackout shades, adding carpeting and storage solutions that may help when baby comes.
4. Learn to Cook 3 Dinners. Time to strap on an apron and channel Dad's best Julia Child to perfect three easy weeknight dinners that don't require charcoal or a gas grill. Consider an easy chicken and rice casserole, tacos and a cheesy lasagna or pasta dish that mom will love. Earn bonus points when Dad cooks up a few freezer meals that reheat beautifully in 30 minutes.
We love these recipes and time saving meals!
5. Learn a Lullaby. Some of my Dad's favorite memories are still singing us to sleep as babies. Take a page from Dad's cultural background and learn a song in another language. Choose a family favorite or make a new family tradition with something more contemporary. Baby won't care what's on the playlist, but will remember being soothed and loved when they hear Dad's favorite lullaby.
6. Plan a Push Present for Mom. If the concept of a Push Present is new to Dad, explain to him that it's a little token of love and appreciation for bringing baby or babies into the world. A beloved Push Present can be as simple as a new playlist for the car that includes her favorite pop and rock tunes plus another one that is baby and kid-friendly for coming months. Try a sweet love note thanking Mommy for her role in growing a beautiful family and if budget allows a little bauble never hurts!
7. Talk to His Parents. Ensure Dad has a frank and open conversation with his parents expressing your mutual wishes and expectations when baby does arrive. There's nothing worse than extended family stress on a brand new nuclear family. Put baby's Mommy first and set boundaries if needed and put rules in place about visits and time spent together. If appropriate and offered, do extend an invitation to help, but help everyone by being explicit on what 'help' looks like. Check out our post on 11 Things to Ask for Help with When Baby Comes.
If Dad wants some ideas on talking to his parents, here are some communication tools and ideas for opening up healthy conversations with family over sensitive topics. Believe me, I have been there!
More ideas for Daddy!
What's missing for Dad? Tell us below, we'd love to hear what you did or had Dad do to make welcoming baby home a breeze.
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