Taking Care of a New Baby Article
Things to Know About Babies
Basic facts that are good to know about babies include:
Five minutes to Get Comfortable
Most fathers-to-be are unsure of their ability to care for their babies. In Boot Camp for New Dads workshops, with even the most nervous guys, it takes all of about five minutes to get them comfortable holding a baby.
The first minute they are awkward and stiff, but soon they relax and that baby just melts into their arms. Babies are built to do that; they are very flexible and they totally relax when they are calm and quiet.
Of course, it takes longer if the baby is crying, or if there are women around saying "how cute" or telling you how to do it their way.
Babies Don't Break
They seem so fragile and delicate, they could break if you hold them wrong. Actually, it is their surprising strength that can get them into trouble, when they suddenly roll over near the edge of a bed or push off the changing table with their legs.
You want to be gentle, but babies are also built to be handled, they are flexible and don't easily break. Just be careful they don't fall.
Don't Expect Love at First Sight
The little guy growing inside mom is the focus of her dreams for nine months, so most moms are head-over-heels thrilled at seeing their babies for the first time. Connecting with a baby generally comes naturally for moms; dads have to work at it.
In a recent study, 70% of new fathers reported it took them weeks and months, not hours, to bond or form a strong attachment to their babies.
This is especially the case if you expect yours to look like a Gerber baby right out of the chute; newborns tend to have skinny legs, cone-shaped heads, blotchy skin, and flat noses.
All Babies are Unique
A baby can actually have "your" ears or nose at birth. And with luck, mom's disposition. Or not. A few sleep through the night within the first week, and some scream with colic for three months. Which means that much of the standard advice you hear will not apply to yours. It also means that after a couple of weeks at most, the world's expert on caring for your baby will be you.
Your Baby Will Rule Your World
Babies command a great deal of power. They wake you up and demand room service every couple of hours throughout the night for months on end. And you do it.
These days, parents are bombarded with "should do's" regarding their babies. Be careful, or you might find yourself taking up the violin so you can play Bach to boost your baby's brain while in the womb.
Take our website home with Crash Course for Dads-To-Be.
Have something you want to tell us? Let us know.
New Dad Resources
Get Free Dad Tips
Baby on the way or just arrived? Sign up for our free Dad-to-be and New Dad Basics email series and you'll receive monthly emails packed with tips.
Crash Course for Dads-To-Be, full of the advice of over 300,000 new fathers.
Get prepared for the birth of your child with a Boot Camp workshop near you.
Dads Adventure Magazine has key articles on being a dad. Get it now!
Visit our Dads Blog for posts on the issues New Dads find most important.