ABCs of Becoming a New Dad – ‘D’

ABCs for New Dads – ‘D’

D

Dad Bod. On one hand, the good news is that while recent surveys found that nearly 70% of women found ‘Dad Bods’ attractive, we didn’t need a survey to tell you that its okay to let go of that six-pack physique and lifestyle (at least for a little while) as you transition into caring for a newborn! Waking every 2-3 hours every night for feedings and diaper changes will definitely throw a wrench into one’s rest and fitness goals. As seasons turn, you will find that babies will eventually learn to sleep through the night, and you can also begin to recapture your own sleep, and energy levels.
On the other hand, as your kids grow and become toddlers, you’ll want to pick up those fitness goals though to keep up with their energy levels! Incorporating your kids into your workout routine is the best way to keep an active healthy lifestyle. Here’s a few tips on how to workout with your kids:
– Jogging stroller. Get one and use it. Take a long walk/jog with your baby during nap times. Babies love to go for a ride and sleep in their carriers. The movement can mimic what they’re used to when they were in their prenatal days and you’ll find they’ll quickly fall asleep. Instead of taking them on a car ride, go for that jog with baby in tow!
– Baby weights! Working out with your kid as your weight resistance will give you both benefits. They’ll love being lifted (not thrown! 😉 ) in the air for shoulder presses, arm curls, chest presses or even held while doing squats! You’ll get the benefit of course in keeping that Dad Bod in check from getting out of control! (See Bonding-Baby)

Date Night. Don’t be surprised when you don’t find the urge, the ease, or the convenience of deciding on a whim to go out with your wife for a nice dinner at your fav restaurant. Going out takes planning and putting it on the calendar! You’ll need to get your parents, in-laws, or available trusted family friend to babysit your little one for a couple hours, but its worth it! (See Bonding, Partner).

Daycare. Let’s face it, not everyone has a nanny, family or friends that can help you care for your baby while you go to work! Someone has to make the donuts, and these days, many families require both mom and dad to go back to work. When maternity and paternity leave have been all used up, eventually you may need to consider daycare! You may choose Grandma and Grandpa or other close relative or family friend to watch your bundle of joy, however extending that circle of trust to others will be a process to find the right fit for you and your baby! You’ll need to start this process sooner rather than later as you anticipate your care needs. Depending on where you live, if in a rural or heavily populated urban area, you may find some daycare facilities and playschools have wait-lists for enrollment. This is actually a good thing as they likely have strict rules and regulations for the ratio of kids to caregivers. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a ratio of one care giver to three babies (up to age two).
Download the New Dad Guide to Daycare Checklist to make sure you have a match!

Debt – If you have student loans from undergrad or graduate school, along with rent or mortgage, some credit card debt and are starting a family, you’re probably freaking out a bit on how to pay for all the expenses related to raising kids. I get it, the last thing on your radar may be investing for your future when there’s looming costs from the hospital visits, the new clothes every couple weeks & months, food, diapers, childcare, Yikes! How do you not go further into debt, let alone set yourself up for having a nice nest egg for retirement?
The simple answer is you can do this. Take an honest accounting of your financial house. At the bare minimum, you need to know exactly how balanced is your income and expenses. Use the New Dad Guide to Money to learn how to get out of debt, pay for a new growing family without breaking the bank and also saving for your future!

Delegate! When family and friends offer to come over to help out in those first few weeks, be sure to send them off with money and a list to do the grocery shopping for you. Unless you absolutely need the reprieve to get out of the house, there’s nothing wrong with judiciously using your support system to help you with your errands and to do list. During those precious first weeks, spend as much time with your new bundle of joy as you can. It’s cliche to say, but they grow up so fast! And the first few weeks can be a blur, so make the most of it!

Diaper Bag Checklist– As you’ll want and need to get out of the house at some point to run some errands with baby in tow, You’ll definitely need these essentials depending on where and for how long you’ll be out of the house
– one, if not two sets of change of clothes for baby. Inevitably, your kid will either have a blowout or puke on him or herself when you’re out traveling.
– food: frozen breast milk (have you thought about how you’re going to heat that popsicle?)
– single serve formula packs & bottle
– If old enough for solids, don’t forget the snacks: teething biscuits or melt-away puffs
– diapers
– wipes
– teether or pacifier
If you’re not fond of the diaper bags on the market, a simple messenger bag or backpack will suffice, though having multiple compartments that have easy access to diapers and wipes is key! Here’s a review of a couple manly diaper bags and the ones we recommend.

Diaper Pail. Having a diaper pail with a closed lid is key in getting rid of those dirty diapers! (Hint: tape a fabric softener dryer sheet to the lid to keep odors down.) There are a number of different brands and price points. Diaper Genie,

Discipline should be age appropriate. Infants and babies do not need discipline.

Doctors, Nurses, Midwives and Doulas are the health professionals to help your partner throughout the pregnancy. You have questions; I get it, that’s why you’re here! As far as the physicians, your partner has her OB-Gyne doc who does the delivery or C-Section (Cesarean Section). If your little one arrives early (pre-term <36 weeks), a Neo-natal specialist will also be on the team to check over your pre-term baby to make sure he or she is doing OK. You will also need to make sure you have your child’s pediatrician lined up ideally before you arrive for your little one’s due date. Ask around from family and friends who their pediatrician is. Word of mouth referrals are generally the way to go in finding one. You’ll want to make sure that they’re not only taking new patients, but also that they accept your insurance. At the time of this writing, the US government is in the process of getting Trumpcare approved in the House and Senate. While there is much debate regarding these new laws taking the place of Obamacare, we can be sure that there will be a certain level of chaos and unknowns with healthcare organizations, physician practices and insurance coverage, so I’m just saying that it’s important for you to do your due diligence as a new dad.

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Let me know what you guys think! Is there another ‘D’ attribute for a new dad that you would like to add? Please leave a comment below!

Thanks!

Steve

Steve Justo, RN MSN

ABCs for New Dads – ‘C’ – ABCs for New Dads – ‘D’

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