Top Tips for New Dads: What You Need to Know Before the Baby Arrives
1st December 2017
Being a new dad can sometimes feel slightly daunting, but those who have been-there-done-that will probably tell you that it's perfectly normal to feel like this when you welcome a new member to the family. As handy as it would be, your child doesn't come with a manual to help you learn everything there is to know about being a father, so it's time to strap yourself in for some on-the-job training!
Fatherhood often brings with it many responsibilities, but it can also offer some of the most wonderful and magical moments in your life. Although you'll learn more about yourself and your new arrival in time, our top tips are sure to help you transition into this new way of life!
How to Balance Your Social Life with Your New Baby
Having a nice, relaxed evening with friends, going out for dinner with your partner, and enjoying your hobbies will probably continue to be part of your life, so don't worry! It might feel natural to put yourself on the backburner and spend every spare moment with your new baby. However, reaching a balance is crucial, and designating time to focus on yourself isn't selfish, its essential to being a happy and attentive dad.
It's perfectly natural to struggle with finding the perfect balance when you're a new dad, but socialising is important and should be seen as a 'must-have' part of your schedule. You can still meet up for drinks, attend social events, or watch a movie with your buddies, but ensure that you have a conversation with your partner about upcoming plans and enable them to have some time-out too.
It can be easy to become consumed with spending all your free time with your baby but, as a parent, it's important that you make time for your partner too. Organise date nights and stick to them, plan activities or hobbies together, and use opportunities with the baby as a chance to spend time together, such as going on a walk around the local park.
Speak to your Employer About Paternity Leave
While maternity leave is a common subject when discussing new parenthood, paternity leave is also important for the new dad.
In the UK, you may be entitled to 1 or 2 weeks of paternity leave. Sometimes, you may also be eligible for paternity pay, though that may not always be the case. Paternity leave is normally for a shorter period of time than maternity leave, and is intended to help dads support mum during the first few weeks and establish a relationship with the baby.
Paternity leave helps you to bond with your new baby and become more 'hands-on', so new dads may also benefit from Shared Parental Leave, in which mothers can share the rest of their maternity leave with fathers, allowing them to spend even more time with their baby.
After all, you may want to learn your baby's cues, stare into their eyes and listen to their soft cooing too, especially during those first few weeks when you're still marvelling at the beautiful being you helped bring into your family.
See the World from a New Perspective
When you become a dad, there's no denying that your life changes. You will have a whole new take on the word 'tired', you'll suddenly appreciate how hard it was for your parents, and you'll discover a new-found admiration for coffee. But most crucially of all, you will become distinctly aware that this tiny, vulnerable new creation is relying on you to provide all their basic needs.
This added sense of responsibility may mean that you consider certain safeguards when your new baby arrives, such as life insurance to help financially should a parent pass away. Our post on life insurance for new parents answers a number of questions you may have regarding this.
Keep Your Baby Entertained While You Enjoy Yourself Too
Personal time matters, but between your much-needed sleep and spending time with your child, it may feel as though your usual hobbies aren't that much of a priority anymore. However, it's important to rekindle your passion for what you love, as it can help you to unwind.
You won't be a bad dad if you schedule in time for hobbies, so treat this time as you'd treat a dentist appointment: as a necessity. If you're going to be spending time at home, here are some ways to keep both you and baby entertained!
Baby Rocker - Be it playing videos games, painting, building your very own model train or watching football on TV, you can place your baby in a baby rocker near you while you do so.
Sling - Alternatively, why not invest in a sling to carry your baby? These are great to do chores and run errands but also to have your baby with you at all times while you listen to music, or watch movies.
Play Gym - These are great options to keep your baby entertained while you indulge in a hobby or even just some down-time. From writing that novel that is still in the first chapter, to completing that DIY project that you've been meaning to do for months, you can juggle your time and find a way to do everything you love.
If you're considering life insurance as a new father, we provide the tools for you to compare life insurance quotes. Alternatively, call us on 0800 915 2926 or fill out our online form to get in touch with the Compare Cover team.