Baby 101: Dads,Babies and ZZZs
I have always believed that parents need to be partners when taking care of their children. You might agree or disagree with me, but sometimes, I tend to think that husbands assume that their wives are tasked with taking care of the baby when they come back home from the hospital. That the most they can do would be to carry the baby when it cries or when it’s time to show the baby off to friends and relatives.
I’ve known several dads who would rather watch their wives change diapers or put the baby to sleep or feed the baby because they were afraid they’d do something wrong. We-ell… they won’t know until they try. Like with new mommies, taking care of a baby is going to be instinctive. Try taking “baby steps,” though, and maybe have your wife next to you to help you out. Putting the baby to sleep could be a start, unless want to clean up applesauce or change a dirty diaper for your first baby adventure. This can be just a guide, as each family has a different routine, but here are some things you can do to help your wife put your baby to sleep.
Calm the baby down before bed time
Babies who are about two to three months old start having more awake time during the day. As they develop and learn their surroundings, babies would be more curious and active. To make them ready for nap time or sleep time, cradle your baby and talk softly to them. It would be best if you are seated when you cradle them that way your body is relaxed as well. Because the baby is snuggled close to you, your relaxed heartbeat and breathing will help calm them down.
Step up when dressing up
While Mommy cleans up after bath time, help her out by offering to put the baby’s jammies on. The baby’s clothes will most certainly be ready in the nursery 5or your room if your baby co-sleeps, so it would only be a matter of putting it on. Oh, and don’t forget to put the diaper! If you aren’t comfortable rocking the baby to sleep, then at least they will be ready for bed when Mommy is done in the bathroom.
Read a book
No matter how young your child is, it is never too early to read them a bedtime story. Some parents even read to their baby during pregnancy! While waiting for Mommy to tuck baby in, grab a short book, get comfy on chair, and read softly to your child. Not only will the baby become familiar with your voice, but they will also get used to this bedtime routine which can help them be excellent readers when they are older.
Make the baby’s bottle
As I mentioned earlier, each family’s bedtime routine is different. For instance, my cousin’s wife usually gives their baby milk before going to bed, so the baby will be full, so to speak. His wife does not breastfeed, so one way that he helps her out is making sure the baby’s bottle is ready and waiting. He says it is the least he can do for her since he cannot change a diaper to save his life.
Rock the baby to sleep
If your wife wakes up at night to breastfeed or give the baby a bottle, then you could help her out by putting the baby to sleep. This way, she can get settled down for the night a tad bit earlier and get some snooze in before she has to wake up again. I remember a friend sharing that their daughter would only sleep with her husband. Whenever she would get the baby from him, their daughter would open her eyes and start crying. I have read actual blogs and parenting sites where fathers say similar things. One father said he has wider shoulders than his wife, so there’s more space for the baby to lay their head. Other times, a father would say he had bigger arms than his wife, so he believes the baby feels more cocooned.
There you have it, Daddies and Mommies. Hopefully, these suggestions will inspire daddies who are a bit hesitant to help out because they fear hurting such a small and tender human being or just do not know what to do to help out. I remember an aunt saying that she and my uncle took “shifts” when their children were babies. Since they were both in college, my uncle would go to school in the evenings and take care of the babies at night until early morning. Then it would be my aunt’s turn. Isn’t that one of the best examples of parent partnership?
Remember that whether it is feeding time, sleep time, play time, or any time in between, mothers and fathers should both be “in on the fun,” so to speak. Not only is it a bonding experience for both child and each parent, but it also strengthens the relationship between husband and wife. Have a go at parent partnership and I’m sure the whole family will have fun.