New Baby Quick Guide
Written by Stephen Shepherd
Whether you are the natural, a separated or a step father, most if not all dads will experience the same amount of time with their children as they grow older. As such, any time with your children should be spent wisely, don’t burden them with your problems as at their age, they are the centre of your universe, but at the same time you must not spoil them as this will lead to a lack of discipline as they grow older.
However, when you arrive at having a child, adopted, a stepchild or your own flesh and blood, they all have the same needs. They may have different problems as they grow older, but from a father’s point of view the same tips will apply to any child.
When your own child is born, especially your first, you will feel very protective and at the same time worry about their future. Although once your child is home, your worries will become more completely focused on their immediate needs. But you should still plan ahead for their future as this will make your life and theirs easier as they grow up.
Don’t forget that their mother will need your help as she will be exhausted. Don’t be lazy, as the first few months of a newborn’s life will be your most stressful time. Any accident could have serious consequences for your child and your relationship with your partner. Remember their mother will still be recovering for the first few months after childbirth. They will be irritable, sleepless and in a lot of discomfort for nine months. You will be getting up at least once a night to feed your baby for several months and although you might be at work the following day, their mother has to be with the baby all day. Try and spend a week at home in sole charge of a baby and you’ll soon be screaming to go back to work!
Make the area your baby will be playing and sleeping ‘child friendly’ with soft toys anything sharp like scissors away from temptation. All pretty much common sense. A baby will always put things in their mouth to explore their new world for the first few months. Remember this world is all new to them, they may recognise your voice but everything else is a new sensation to them.
Do remain calm. Sudden shouting or panic will frighten any baby as they won’t know what’s wrong and will cry. Don’t neglect your child, leaving them to play alone all day is bad for their development and you may have serious problems. Sure we all want time to ourselves, but as a father you have chosen the responsibility that goes with it and any time with your child will be best spent with your child, thus forming a strong fatherly bond which will in turn make any discipline as they grow older easier to enforce.
Don’t lose your temper with your child, if you feel you’re getting stressed, try to step away for five to ten minutes, just to calm yourself and think about why you are getting angry with them. Losing your temper with often lead to a smack. This is a last resort and doing so, could lead to it having no effect and maybe losing your child to social care and this can be legally seen as abuse.
No child is born being naughty, everything they do they copy from what they see and hear around them as they are naturally inquisitive and want to fit in with people they see, this is a survival instinct and to an extent this behaviour won’t change until their twenties so bear this in mind.
Do look at what your child is seeing, if your child is doing something wrong, don’t just say ‘Don’t do that, it’s naughty’, rephrase it and say ‘No that’s wrong, you should be doing…’ They won’t learn unless you help them to understand. Explain to them why this works. A ‘Just because’ isn’t an answer. Give them a full answer and if you can’t, find out and tell them later, but make sure you keep to this.
Do watch what they do and help them as needed, but sometimes just a prompt is all they want to help them along the way. They want to be self sufficient but they also want to play with you and have fun.
For more information visit:
We have a course to raise awareness and the importance of Positive Parenting and strategies on how to enhance your relationship with your child throughout key life stages.
We have an Increasing Wellbeing and Inclusion in Early Years Settings course.