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Baby’s First Week At Home: Invaluable Tips For New Dads

By Serge Bielanko |

Me and Violet and that first week magic.

The week we brought my daughter, Violet, home from the hospital was the probably one the craziest/best of my life.

For first time fathers, everything you have ever known up until then had been so different.

Up until that moment you walk through the front door of wherever you call home with a baby in your possession, your entire life has been mostly about you and your personal needs and choices.

You have, in essence, marched to the beat of your own drum, singing your own song along the way.

But no more.

Babies obviously require around-the-clock attention and care, so there’s that.

But even beyond the needs of your child, fathers experiencing the first week at home with a new family member are also apt to find out quickly that they are no longer the central character in their own play. That kid has stormed the stage, you see, and he or she is going to demand so much spotlight that if a new dad isn’t somewhat prepared for it (we can NEVER be fully prepare!), then he may quickly find himself in a doghouse of the magnitude he never knew even existed.

Now, my object here isn’t to scare any new pops. Not at all.

In fact, my aim is to help you by telling you some things that I learned during the week we first came home from the hospital with our daughter.

So come on, what have you got to lose??!!

I have been down that road.

And I’m here to tell you, that with a few tips and a whole lot of new-found focus, the greatest part of your life is about to kick off with one hell of a memorable week.

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First Week Survival Tips For New Dads

Be There

It seems pretty obvious to say this, but guys, if there is any chance in hell that you can get a week or two off of work when your newborn comes home, DO IT. I say this not just because your presence will help your wife/baby's mom quite a bit, but also because this will be one of the best times in your life. I guarantee it. And, I know that some fellows just can't get the vacation time they want and all, but if you can beg /borrow/steal the time from work, you will never ever regret it for as long as you live.


You can also find Serge on his personal blog, Thunder Pie.

And on Facebook and Twitter.

Keep up with on Facebook.

More from Serge:

Kids And Race And Equality: On Raising a Loving Child

The Heart Of A Gun: Bad Guys, Bullets, and the Batman Movie Massacre

The Ways Of Love: 20 Things My Kids Have Taught Me About Living

R-E-S-P-E-C-T: A Married Father’s Salute To Solo Parents

25 Things About My Son, Henry


25 things NOT to do with your baby
22 inspiring “first photos” of dads with their new babies
The most bizarre and inappropriate baby gear EVER
25 totally ridiculous vintage ads featuring babies
8 “must-have” baby products you don’t really need

More on Babble

About Serge Bielanko


Serge Bielanko

Serge Bielanko writes about fatherhood for Babble Dad and about marriage stuff for Babble Voices at He Said/She Said. His writing has appeared in Esquire and The Huffington Post, as well as on his personal blog, Thunder Pie. He lives with his wife and two kids in central Pennsylvania. Read bio and latest posts → Read Serge's latest posts →

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14 thoughts on “Baby’s First Week At Home: Invaluable Tips For New Dads

  1. K says:

    Dude. This is the list to top ALL LISTS. I’m the mom of a 15 month-old, but those bleary-eyed newborn days and nights are not too long from my memory. Buying your sweetie a gossip mag when you’re out is an AWESOME idea. It’s small, but ever-so-thoughtful. Well done, sir.

  2. Hanni says:

    What a wonderful, thoughtful post, Serge. It’s amazing to me how much I’ve forgotten about those early days already, and my daughter is only five. How tiny and precious they are and how totally dependent on us during those early days. My daughter is so independent now and can do so much on her own; I often find myself wishing I could go back four or five years, just for a day or two, to experience that newborn/baby awesomeness again.

  3. Saffron G says:

    Maybe you should make your keepsake box metal instead of plastic or wood!
    My husband has always been a great dad to our kids, he learnt from his dads mistakes (and boy did his dad make a lot of mistakes). Today, he is struggling, our 18 year old is of to uni in a couple of weeks and its breaking his heart, so the only other thing I would of added to both mothers and fathers, is make the most of the time you have with your kids because someday they are going to be looking forward to getting away from you!

    1. sergebielanko says:

      Saffron, that isn’t a bad idea about the metal box. Right now, I have a plastic one, but I’m keeping it in the garage. I like your idea better. Thanks.

  4. jeanni says:

    What a great, down to earth list. May I just add: do all this in a genuine way without expectation of reward or even acknowledgement. You’re a team now and you have to back up each other’s weak spots. Congratulations on yourbeautiful little girl.

    1. sergebielanko says:

      jeanni, I really agree with your point. Becoming a dad, or just a parent, is the grand prize of a lifetime. Thanks.

  5. angie says:

    Thank you for this article. I LOVE it. I am an exercise advocate for pregnant women, so come into contact with lots of pregnant mamas. I think any help we can give for new moms during that first week is vital. Your tips are awesome, and I wish all partners could be as supportive as you were! I’ve included your tips on my blog, and in my weekly newsletter I send out. Thanks! Angie

    1. sergebielanko says:

      Thanks Angie!

  6. StrawBerry says:

    Love the tips. May I also add it wouldn’t hurt to start some of these before the baby comes. Practice makes perfect right?

    1. sergebielanko says:

      You’re very right, StrawBerry. Thanks!

  7. Angela says:

    Our daughter turned 1 today… I just got done reading this and now have tears in my eyes, such a beautiful piece, your family is so lucky to have you.

    1. sergebielanko says:

      Thanks a lot, Angela. I appreciate that.

  8. Chad says:

    Dude, this is so awesome. My girlfriend is 20 weeks pregnant with our first child. Though unexpected and not exactly the best time in either of our lives, I believe it is a huge blessing in disguise. I have read hundreds of articles and blogs because I have so many questions and this is by far the best. You’re the man.

  9. i was so glad to read your post Serge. i am a father too and i am as supportive to my wife as you described. it gives me such a good feeling of pleasure that i take care of my child and my wife the same way. enjoyed reading your post, thanks for sharing buddy :)

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