Most first time dads have never taken care of a newborn. Thankfully, you don't need experience--you need a willingness to learn.
*Start with your partner!
While she's recovering from pregnancy, birth and learning to breastfeed, someone else needs to handle all the tasks she used to do. It doesn't matter whether it's you, family, friends or a Postpartum Doula....What matters is that she isn't stressed about it! The more she can rest now, the faster she will recover.
Offer support and encouragement. Remember, it's new to her, too! Navigating the dramatic hormonal shifts and physical demands is more challenging in the first few weeks.
Anticipate her needs. Offer food, make sure she always has a drink, do everything you can to help her get as much rest as possible. If you're not sure how to help, ask her!
*Get to know your baby!
Bond with your baby: Make eye contact, talk, hold, and have as much skin to skin contact as possible. Offer your pinkie finger to suck on (newborns prefer fingers to pacifiers--and it doesn't create nipple confusion, which can complicate breastfeeding.)
Be patient. Remember that your baby is going through a huge transition and is still learning how to function outside the womb. The calmer you are, the calmer your baby will be.
Wear your baby. There are many different styles of carriers--you can find one that works for you both. Click here for babywearing basics.
The sooner you start building a relationship with your baby, the easier it is!
Have questions? Feel free to contact me--I'm happy to answer your questions.
How'd you like two free hands and a calmer, quieter baby? Wearing your baby in a sling or carrier makes life simpler. Here are the 3 most basic types of carriers and a few things to keep in mind:
*It takes practice to get the hang of it.
*You'll probably want to try more than 1 type of carrier.
*If possible, learn in-person. If you don't have any friends who wear their babies, try a moms' or breastfeeding group. If not, youTube will suffice.
1: Sling. This is the simplest design & easiest to put on. Literally, put the sling over one shoulder and put the baby in it. Great for babies 1-12 months & 6-12 pounds. (Intuitive/Right-brained types find this easier.)
2: K'Tan. This is a hybrid between a sling and a wrap. It does require a few more steps to put on, but it offers more even weight distribution, better support for preemies, and you can wear twins. (up to 10 lbs. each) Great for preemies through 18 months.
3: Structured Carrier. I love Boba & Ergo. Both allow you to wear your baby on the front, back, or hip and breastfeed. It takes about as many steps as a K'Tan, but some prefer the clips to all fabric....And honestly, for babies upwards of 15 pounds, it's much more comfortable. Ideal age 2 months (for Boba) through 3 years! (or 35 pounds.) (Linear/Left-brained types tend to prefer this style.)
There are so many babywearing options available. I reserve wraps for special requests--I love them for twins or heavy young babies that you'll wear for close to an a hour.
Jersey Shore Dar a Luz has all of these options available to try out at monthly meetings (for free). Members can borrow carriers for 2 months to really try it out and get a feel before buying.
**UPDATE** I went to a Shore Babywearers meeting, and this is simply the bests resource on the subject. Here's a link to their FB group:
Shore Babywearers These mamas could not be kinder or more helpful! They have a larger and more current library of carriers to borrow, too!
Have questions or a comment? Please leave it below or email me directly. Love to hear from you.
(Disclaimer: The contents of this blogpost are based on my experience of 12+ years wearing babies. I do not represent or sell any baby carriers--just advocate for making life with baby easier!)
Postpartum Doula, Breastfeeding Counselor, Mother of Three.