By Mia Johnson
Nothing compares to having a baby – first-time parents, you know what I’m talking about. When you’re in that baby bubble, everything is an unknown and it’s bloody hard taking care of a little human. Mamas, you may find yourself overwhelmed with new obligations and surging hormones, that’s where your baby daddy needs to step up and help.
1 // Let him get up first in the morning
Come together and work out a plan. If you were the one to get up in the middle of the night for night feeds, then it’s only fair that your partner is the one who takes care of your bebe in the morning. Even 30 minutes of uninterrupted slumber goes a long way. If your hubby has a busy day ahead, he can wear bub in a sling or a carrier and make breakfast. Not only does this help you have some mama ‘me time’, it creates a special bonding time for your partner and bebe to enjoy on their own.
2 // Create new routines
The fact is, you won’t ever go back to your old ways before your baby was born, so introducing new routines can help the whole fam run like clockwork (or at least try!) Maybe your partner can be responsible for the grocery shopping and doing the laundry. It’s about letting him take ownership of some of the household chores and you need to relinquish some control!
3 // Find balance with breastfeeding
If you are breastfeeding, you’ll need time to adjust, and even though it’s you who is breastfeeding, it doesn’t mean your partner can’t be of any help. Let him observe your first few breastfeedings, he might be able to notice things you couldn’t – like seeing which position suits the baby most, and help ease the process. Also, if you need to see a lactation consultant, bring him along because he’ll be able to help you remember the advice – because, baby brain!
4 // Share your feelings
As a new mama, you will have to face a lot of challenges, including the hormonal storms. You will experience sudden changes of mood, the urge to cry, get angry or simply feel inadequate from time to time. Now is the time for your partner to recognise if you need support and comfort. Having him by your side when you need him most is how you regain your confidence. It’s also for your partner to monitor the signals of potential postnatal depression. If you continue to experience lack of sleep (outside the norms of having a newborn!), cry frequently or feel highly irritated, then he should encourage you to chat with a professional and go with you to your appointment. You will not be the one to realise you are depressed, it will be the ones closest to you.
5 // Let him prepare meals
Suggest your partner prepare meals that can be easily eaten with one hand, so you can hold your bebe if you need to, while eating. Another tip is for him to cook and freeze some meals so you have them on hand whenever they’re needed.
6 // Help him connect with your bebe
It’s important for him to get creative when he needs to soothe your baby. Making silly faces, singing relaxing songs or finding his own special technique of rocking the baby will go a long way. In time, your partner may even become a better baby whisperer than you! The point is for him to find out what works with your baby and what doesn’t. That way, he will be able to calm them down when you’re not around. In return, you will be relaxed because you’ll know your partner can handle it on his own.
First-time parents need to adapt to new routines and new ways, but you can enjoy the process. You are partners, so act like it. Be there for each other and understand that there’s no chore reserved for one of you only. You are a team!