A Guy's Guide to Having a Baby

So you are having a baby? Awesome! When you tell someone “my wife is pregnant,” you will usually get congratulations all around. If you are having a first baby, the advice will likely be readily offered. Of course, your single friends might raise their eyebrows and wonder what you were thinking when you decided that having a baby is a good idea, but never mind them – you are having a baby, and again, that’s awesome! Congrats!

But what do you need to know about babies (especially having first baby)? What should you do during the pregnancy?

What Should You Know About Being a Father and Having a Baby?

1.      You Will Be Happy – and Worried

The only thing that matches the joy of having a child is the anxiety about how to care for it. You might be worried about everything from finances to how to properly change a diaper. The good news is that this is natural, and your anxiety will get better as the pregnancy progresses.

2.      You Need to Watch, Read and Learn

Remember that taking care of a baby doesn’t come naturally to most people, no matter how easy they make it look. Learn as much as you can. Watch videos of infants being cared for, read everything you can get your hands on, and ask questions of those who have done it all before you.

3.      Your Wife Is the Boss

When your wife tells you something about the pregnancy, pay attention. When she gives you advice on what to do with the baby, listen to her. She knows that of which she speaks. Rely on her to help you through the things you don’t know, and if both of you are stumped, it’s a good chance to find things out together.

4.      Become Mr Fix It

Your baby is crying? Soon you will know just what to do! Nothing makes you feel like a superhero nearly as much as a baby who is crying for Daddy. Once you pick up that child and the crying stops, you feel like you could move mountains. Embrace that fix-it attitude and enjoy every minute of soothing your little one.

5.      You Might Feel Broke

You might feel as though all the cash in the bank account is draining away, going toward car seats and strollers, cribs and more. The fact is that you might have to tighten your belt a bit when the kids get here, but you won’t miss the extra money as much as you thought you might.

6.      Get Ready for No Sleep

Sleep plenty now during the pregnancy, because you won’t sleep much when the baby is born! Stories of sleep deprivation are definitely true. But take heart – within a few months, the baby will be in a routine and you will all be able to catch on up on the sleep you missed.

What You Need to Know About Different Trimesters and Labor

1.    The First Trimester

“My wife is pregnant” often translates to “my wife is sleeping all the time, throwing up all the time, and generally miserable.” The first trimester is notoriously rough on a woman as her body adjusts to all the hormones that are surging through her. You can be supportive by learning all you can about what she is going through.

2.    The Second Trimester

This is often a great time for both of you, because the fatigue and the sickness are going away, but her belly isn’t big enough yet to get in the way. This is when you should plan out that trip you have wanted to take together, or start preparing the nursery for the little one. Now is also the time to think about childbirth classes.

3.    The Third Trimester

This is the home stretch, and your wife is likely going to be feeling awful again. Having a baby means that people will be offering you plenty of gifts, so take them up on the offer. Be prepared for labor by helping your wife pack a go-bag for the hospital. And pay attention to what she says. If she is feeling back pain or contractions, be ready.

4.    Labor and delivery

No matter what you might think, you are not ready for this. No father is ready for this. You will see your wife in pain, which is terrible. You will also see your baby being born, which is nothing short of miraculous. The emotional rollercoaster will be insane. The best thing you can do is soak it all in and help your wife as much as possible – when she asks for something, do it! Here is a complete list of things for you to know about before, during and after child birth.

5.    Speak Up for Her

When your wife is in labor, she needs your support. She also needs you to be her advocate. If the medical staff wants her to do something that she explicitly opposes, make her wishes known, loud and clear. Most of her wishes and plans can be accommodated.

6.    Protect Your New Family from Visitors

Of course everyone wants to see the baby, but right now you need time as a family. Limit visitors to only a chosen few, such as grandparents, and run them out of the room after only a brief visit. Your wife needs to get her strength back, and you both need time alone to bond with your precious new life.

Last But Not Least: It Will Be Awesome!

No matter what your worries or concerns are, having a baby – especially having first baby – is going to be one of the best experiences of your life. You will get through all three trimester, the worry, the delivery, the sleep deprivation, and you will find that having a baby is so wonderful that you might want to go through it all over again.

Dad looks after newborn baby for the first time. Parenting & baby advice:

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