• Help your wife/partner develop a postpartum plan.
  • Make decisions together.
  • Consider the assistance of a postpartum doula.
  • Accompany mom and baby to all postpartum doctor visits.
  • Get involved with the shopping, cooking and meal planning.
  • Help the siblings at home adjust to the baby and their changing roles.
  • Make sure mom and baby are taken care of.
  • Support your wife/partner if she is breastfeeding.
    • Encourage her while she and baby learn to breastfeed.
    • Schedule an outpatient appointment with the breastfeeding support program.
  • Talk to your dad or another older father about what it was like when he first became a father.
  • Talk with your wife/partner about her expectations of you as a father.
  • Identify a sitter that both you and mom trust then plan regular “date nights” together.
  • Buy and read a book on child development.
  • Play with your child every day.
  • Regularly talk to your wife/partner about your child’s intellectual, physical and emotional development.
  • Sign up for an infant CPR class; educate yourself on how to detect illness and how to handle medical emergencies.
  • Remember you cannot do it all! Ask for help.

Help the family continue to communicate and work together.

  • Schedule time to just “be together” as a family or to be with individual family members.
  • Decide together what you are going to do during that time. Remember that the time together is more important than the activity.
  • Save plenty of energy for family time.
  • Take the time to notice the exciting things your baby is learning.
  • Spend quality time with your older children.
  • Teach your older children how to “gently” play with the new baby.
  • Talk to your baby early and often; this is your newest family member.

Establish a support team of family members and friends.

  • Your primary “teammate” is your wife/partner.
  • Do not be afraid to ask for help.
  • Feeling jealous and left out is normal.
  • Share your feelings with her.
  • Talk to other fathers who have been through similar experiences.

Be patient.

  • Fathering an infant involves sacrifice and requires patience.
  • Remember your wife/partner may be exhausted from giving birth and may be the least responsive she will ever be.
  • Be prepared to put some things on “hold,” especially eight hours of sleep.
  • Maintain a sense of humor.

Remember to nurture your needs.

  • Rest as needed. Taking care of yourself is the best way to have the extra energy you need to be a new dad.
  • If your job permits, take time off work after the baby is born.
  • Accept help from friends and relatives.
  • Continue to eat a healthy diet and resume your regular physical activities.

Bond with your baby often.

  • Demonstrate affection with touch.
  • Hold and kiss your baby often.
  • Talk to your baby in a soft, steady voice while showing the baby your face.
  • Pick up and hold your baby close to you.
  • Sing or hum to your baby.
  • Take your baby for a walk in a stroller.
  • A healthy bond will give your baby great security now.