One thing that isn’t spoken about very much is the father’s role and the significant impact that the birth of a baby has on a father’s life. From being a guy in relation to facing what it means to be a father, perhaps as well a change in the aspect of themselves as being a provider for the family. They too go through a tremendous morphological change in themselves and their self-image. Though clearly not the physiological changes just that the woman would go through but that too is tremendous stress.
LET’S FIND OUT:
- Responsibilities and roles
- Holding the baby
- How to change the diaper
- Understanding baby cries
- Bonding with baby
1. RESPONSIBILITIES AND FATHER’s ROLE
i. HOLDING THE BABY
First thing you need to know is how to hold your baby. There are many ways to hold the baby but there are some basic ways which will make the baby comfortable and your job easier.
- THE FOOTBALL HOLD – this is the classic hold with 3 points of contact just like a football. Do hold them nice and tight near your chest. Do not keep them away from your body, it takes away that sense of security from the baby.
- THE COMFORT HOLD – This is when when you are up late at night and the baby becomes a little fussy, take your second arm between the legs of the baby and take your palm to your primary elbow. And start giving the baby a little twerks of to and fro. This will calm down the baby and get her back to sleep. This hold is good for prolonged holding and you are going to save your back in this one.
- THE SNUGGLE HOLD – Flip the baby up on your shoulder and remember to keep your hand on the neck of the baby to make it still. Babies develop their neck strength after 5-6 months.
2. How to change the diaper
It is an inevitable and wonderful thing for dads to learn & the most important father’s role to fulfill. Make some platform dedicated to diaper changing which would make things easy for both you and the baby. Be ready with the wipes and rash cream if necessary.
Hike both the legs up and hold them above. Open both the tabs of the dirty diaper and pick the baby by the legs for an inch and a half, take one stroke down with the diaper to clean the groin area and remove the diaper to set aside. Take the wipe and give one god stroke at the back. Do not go from back and all the way to the front. You don’t want to bring fecal matter near the groin. Wipe everything from the top down.
Take the new diaper, check for rash or pimples. Put cream or powder whatever is necessary. Cover the area. Close the tabs and finish.
Extra tip – See that all the frills that surround the thigh are proper and out. Else next time there will be a splash zone.
3. Understanding baby cries
There are 4 basic cries you need to learn for to fulfill your father’s role.
- The one which denotes boredom. It’s like a little squeak which fades out the minute you grab their attention.
- The second one is hungry which you very soon learn to differentiate easily. Some gestures involve putting things in mouth and sucking.
- The third type is pain cry which is highly intense and loud possibly due to diaper rash or gas, etc.
- The fourth and final is the tired cry. It starts slow and the more they get tired the more they cry. It’s basically their call for sleep.
Extra tip – Sometimes the crying gets overboard and it gets frustrating. Then the best thing to do is put the baby in a safe spot like a crib and walk away. Take a break, collect your thoughts and come back. The baby most probably would have stopped crying.
4. Bonding with baby
This tip is not very much outspoken but unconsciously practiced always. The skin to skin contact between you and your baby really works. Comfort the baby on your chest and let the baby nap. It works wonders.
Take your time out for the baby to sing and bond with them. They start recognising your voice and find it comfortable.
When they are in bed or in a crib, try to spend time in front of them and then try to get out of their sight. You will see they will try to find you by looking. This is important because it develops neck control in the baby.
The most important part of your life starts when you have a baby and you call yourself a family man. It’s a new phase of life. You are going to discover a new face of yours that you never thought you would have. Only tip that can make you a better dad is to be with your child. When love pours out of heart, care automatically flows in. Once again, congratulations on being a father.
You may also read- DO’s & DON’Ts every father should know about pregnancy
Yes. Father has a lot of indirect effect on the mother which is received by the foetus. If a father is not in a healthy condition emotionally and mentally, it could reflect on the mother’s emotional condition too and that isn’t good for the baby.
There are a number of ways to bond with babies like skin to skin contact, singing, reading to them, playing with them, talking to them, etc.
What is the father’s role before the childbirth ?
The main role of the father is to comfort the mother and cater her needs. Fathers need to maintain a happy, comfortable and a loving atmosphere around the house so the mother’s health is proper.
Fathers need to ensure the proper physical and mental health of both the mother and the baby. And also maintain their regular checkups with the doctors.