I am sharing this 6 Important Things Every Man Should Know About Having A Baby from Mick O’Keeffe at HerFamily.
I wanted to share with all of you this great post from a father’s perspective. Remember my Dads Are Not Just Helping, They Are Parenting post? Well, this is a clear example of a real father experiencing the best life has to offer.
To help all the expectant first-time Dads, here are 6 important things every man should know about having a baby, and the first six months of fatherhood.
This is for all the fathers who are involved in every single aspect of their children’s life. For all dads who laugh, cry, and worry about what is best for their kids everyday. To my wonderful husband, who enjoys with me every single moment of this beautiful journey called parenthood.
6 Important Things Every Man Should Know About Having A Baby
1. The Event itself
Nothing will ever prepare you for this. The majority of babies are born in the middle of the night, so throw in a feeling of mild jet lag to the euphoria, and what you’ll come away with is even more respect for your partner, who has also carried herself and a baby around for nine months. Experts say mum and baby may have bonded during pregnancy, but for most men, the realisation that there’s actually a baby there, is when this little person arrives. And so it all begins. My advice to you, if you’re squeamish, is that this is not a place for you. Although ideally you’ll be there – smiling and saying all the right things. Another thing that nobody tells you is that the midwife is just about the only other person to be there all night and that these people deserve a medal for bravery. Bear in mind, no two births are the same and things can go wrong, but hang on in there.
Forget sleep patterns. In fact, forget sleep. There is no such thing as a routine. You will become very familiar with the darkness of the middle of the night and this time it won’t be because you are on your way home from a night out. Mums and Dads who say their baby sleeps from 7pm until 7am are embellishers, to put it mildly. Your baby will have several routines in several weeks. Expect to be introduced to: night feeds, dream feeds, sleep consultants and various books by ‘experts’ telling you how to regain your sleep. As for hangovers, they are all but a distant memory. In short, you will sleep less and wonder what you did with all your time.
If you think you and your partner had a good bit of stuff, forget it. When baby arrives, your stuff will not only grow, it will double. Bouncers, car seats, changing bags, toys, high chairs, cots and cuddly toys, lots and lots of cuddly toys. And that’s before you realise clothes become defunct after three months. Get tidy or get buried under a mountain of stuff.
There will be tears. Not many (hopefully), but the lethal cocktail of no sleep, tiredness and a cranky baby are bound to force the odd tear out. Just stay strong and stick together. It goes quickly. And don’t be afraid to say ‘yes’ when someone offers help.
Everyone has a great bit of advice for you. “Wind them this way, let them cry it out, rub their feet, you can buy gripe water in Newry,” are just a few bits. You will get loads of advice, most of it conflicting from well-meaning grannies or the mate who had a baby six months ago and is now the world expert on everything (like me now). Say ‘thanks’ and smile and don’t listen. You will find your way.
It does get better and quickly. It is all one-way traffic for the first three or four months. Things like colic, lactose intolerance and so forth only make it more challenging, but your baby will start to recognise you and start to smile and respond, and the relationship becomes more rewarding. Your baby will also start to sleep… kind of. This is when your newborn becomes a ‘real baby,’ and it’s great craic. Everything – the sleep deprivation and mountain of toys – is so worthwhile. Trust me.
Mick O’Keeffe is CEO of PSG Communications. He is also Dad to Baby Jack, who is the cutest little man alive, despite his four months of colic, lactose intolerance, constant motion and aversion to sleep. A former Dublin Gaelic footballer, Mick is a regular media analyst on topics such as business, sport, sponsorship and media. Follow him on Twitter @okmick
Hope you enjoyed reading this 6 Important Things Every Man Should Know About Having A Baby guest post. If you are interested in other parenting articles and advice, please see my latest posts.