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Dads are an integral part of parenting and there are plenty of ways that dads can help new moms. We discuss 10 ways dads can help with new baby that will truly help mom, and the family as a whole.
Parenting is no joke. Everyone thinks it’s going to be easy until the day that a baby is placed in their arms and then things get real. You realize that someone is entrusting you with a whole actual life and there’s no manual. It’s all up to you and no matter how many classes you took or books you read, that all goes out the window. For many decades, the main parenting roles have been left to mom. However, as we move into a new era, dads are helping more. For many, they simply don’t know how to help because they were never shown. Luckily, there’s dozens of ways dads can help with new baby whether it’s baby number 1 or number 10.
The most important thing for dads to remember is that moms need their help more than ever during the first 6-8 weeks after childbirth. If a mother had a vaginal birth it’s a minimum of 6 weeks. If she had a c-section, it’s a minimum of 8 weeks. However, beyond that the first 6 months, especially after the first child, are a transition period that all mothers can use as much help as possible. Mothers are known for being strong, so it’s important that you save this list and try to help as much as you can, even if she says she doesn’t need the help.
10 Ways Dads Can Help with New Baby
This list is great for whether this is the first baby or baby number seven. If there is a new baby in the house, these are ways dads can help a new mom.
1. Know what postpartum depression and anxiety are and how it differs from postpartum blues.
Baby blues are a period of a few days up to two weeks after baby is born that mom may be sad, scared, or feeling overwhelmed. Often times, mothers cry because of these feelings. Learn more about how to distinguish between the postpartum blues and more serious diagnosis of postpartum depression so that you know when you need to reach out to her medical care provider for assistance. Never judge her for feeling this way.
2. Listen to her
When someone has a baby, their hormones are shifted all over the place. There are lots of emotions that come along with this, including anxiousness, fear, and guilt. Being able to open up and have someone by your side is critical during the first few weeks. You can really help by just offering to listen to how she feels.
3. Tell people that want to visit that they need to bring a meal or do a chore
Lots of people want to come over, but rarely do they want to do anything but hold the new baby. Speak up and ask for help from anyone that asks to come over, especially if someone asks if you need anything. “We would love if you could help with dinner tonight” or “I could really use some help with the dishes or laundry”. Most people are willing to assist and it takes a load (pun intended) off of the new parents.
4. Do the household chores and errands
The more you do, the less she’ll feel stressed. If you remember only this line, it will help everything so much. Remember she just birthed a baby. Yes, you are learning the ropes too, but your organs aren’t shifting back into place after being moved for the past 9 months approximately. Things you can do are the dishes, laundry, dusting, sweeping, mopping, and more inside the house. Outside errands include going grocery store, grabbing household necessities like toiletries and cleaning supplies, more diapers, or dropping things off at the post office if needed. Any way that you can reduce the amount she has to do will help.
5. Make the meals (breakfast, lunch, and/or but especially dinner)
By the end of the day, the last thing a new mom wants to do is prep dinner. If you do nothing else, helping to make dinner every night for the first few weeks will be a huge help. Ask family to help by bringing or having dinner delivered, make easy meals like bbq sliders or pasta salad.
6. Set up some type of home self care appointment.
Self-care is a thing most moms fail at. Moms constantly feel like they have to take care of everyone else, which leaves no time to take care of her. After having a new baby, self-care is critical because mom needs to feel like she still is somewhat of the same her that she’s always been, even though she’ll forever be different. This is especially true after the first baby.
Some ideas would be to set up a postpartum massage, hair appointment or mani/pedi but with someone that comes to your house. Local Facebook groups are great for finding someone like this. Make sure to get references and/or reviews of people. Another option would be to ask her if she’d prefer to get out of the house to do this. Sometimes if moms have postpartum depression, being away from her baby terrifies her so having this in home will help. However, some moms would love to have an hour or two out of the house and this is the perfect way. Offer to drive her if she’s still under the driving restriction.
7. Try to soothe the baby yourself
Mothers are known to naturally have maternal instincts. Women are raised to play with dolls, be babysitters, and natural nurture. So it’s only natural. However, that doesn’t mean dad can’t. Not only do dads need to learn to do this so they can bond with babies themselves; but, soothing a baby helps a mom’s stress levels. If mom is the only one who can care for a baby’s cries, it becomes exhausting and overwhelming. Offer to try to help.
8. Let mom have some me time
Whether mom wants to take a shower alone or take a walk outside, let her. Don’t ask her how long or rush her when she’s doing what she’s decided on. You can and will successfully be able to take care of a baby. If you need help, call another woman figure in your life whether your own mothers or another friend that is a parent you know, but let mom have a little peace of her own.
9. Bring her snacks
You may think that as soon as she stops eating for 2 people that she won’t be as hungry but that’s not true. Having a newborn is demanding, especially if she is breastfeeding and/or has more than one child to attend too. Here’s over 100 postpartum snack ideas for you to make and bring her when she’s hungry.
10. Keep her water bottle or glass filled up
Moms need to stay hydrated! This is especially important if mom is breastfeeding. You can easily keep her water bottle filled up with a Primo® First Steps Bottom-Loading Water Dispenser. It allows for the perfect temperature of cold water that is always readily available. You can even set it up right in your room so you never have to worry about make long treks down stairs or hallways in the middle of the night. It seems simple, but mothers are usually parched and need to make sure they are getting enough liquid. Primo water has a purification process that removes the presence of chlorine, bacteria, parasites, heavy metals, and travel levels of pharmaceuticals which means mom is drinking healthier and safer water for her.
About the Primo First Steps Bottom-Loading Water Dispenser (link)
- If you are formula feeding, this water dispenser actually has a warm water option automatically dispenses water at 98.6-104oF, that is specially designed for mixing formula bottles. No more worrying about heating it over the stove at 2am…one touch of a button and it’s the perfect temperature for your baby bottle, every time, which if you’re a parent, you know babies are not patient when they’re hungry. The dispenser even has a LED night light to keep you out of the dark during late night feedings!
- There is a child resistant safety feature for the hot water, so no worries if you have other children.
- There’s a self-sanitizing function to ensure quality.
- Set up took less than 15 minutes without tools or having to hook up to plumbing, and the 5-gallon water bottles easily slide in with the bottom-loading design. This makes it easy for you to move it from the bedroom to the kitchen once your baby has gotten older!
- The dispenser takes pre-filled or refillable 3 or 5-gallon water bottles (sold separately) and it was so convenient to find it at a retail location near me!
Whether you are on baby number one or you are a seasoned expert, these are all ways that you can help. If you have older children, the Primo water dispenser makes it easy for everyone to help mom in the smallest of ways all while keeping everyone healthy. Learn more and see your closest Primo location for pickup today! (link)