We’re in a new era of dad involvement, where men are happily staying at home while their wives work. But if your partner is feeling a little unsteady or unsure of how to handle his role as soon-to-be or new dad, here are five ways you can help him get involved from pregnancy on:
1. Give your pregnancy announcement together. According to MSN.com, you should “Skype together when you break the news to your parents, tag him on Facebook when you share (your pregnancy) with cyberspace or schedule a photo shoot of you two together for a printed ‘We’re expecting!’ card.”
2. Invite him to medical appointments. MSN suggests, “The easiest way to get your man feeling like he matters is by getting him to hear that heartbeat and see that sonogram. Since some appointments are bigger than others (like your first ultrasound and the midpregnancy ultrasound, when the gender is usually revealed), make sure to schedule those for when he can make it.”
3. Have a co-ed shower. MSN suggests a “dadchelor party,” i.e. a pre-baby, “man-centric event,” but I say just have a co-ed shower and enjoy the love of all of your friends and family combined.
4. After the baby is born, tell him what you need help with. MSN notes, “Some first-time dads feel a little unsure of what exactly their new role is supposed to be. So, if you want him to change more diapers, tell him. If you’re dying for him to take over the cooking tonight, hand him the mixing spoon. Who cares if you’re not crazy about his meatloaf?”
5. Avoid hovering. Give a new dad the space to learn how to feed, soothe, change, and bathe the baby his own way. MSN says, “We know you’re cringing every time your guy holds, feeds, burps or bathes baby differently than you would. But as long as he’s not doing anything that could be dangerous, keep quiet. He won’t ever get the chance to figure out how he’s comfortable caring for baby if you never give him the opportunity to try things out. Congratulate and help him along — don’t coach.” Agreed.
For more ideas on how to help a new dad feel involved from pregnancy on, visit MSN Living.