Every dad has doubts, and while we may try to hide them, they exist.
Having a baby doesn’t start when the baby enters the world; it starts the second you find out that you and your partner are pregnant. That moment is when thoughts start racing through your head about the dad you’ll be.
But then reality sets in.
You start to think about what happens when the baby won’t stop crying or when he bumps his head, and you spend all night worrying about him. You might start to have anxiety over what kind of dad you’ll be.
The fact that you are here, reading this article says a lot about you. You’re concerned, and you want to be the best dad possible. I want you to know that you’re not alone, all dads worry about parenting.
Here are ten perfectly normal questions to ask yourself before and after the baby is born.
1. What if I don’t know what to do when my baby cries?
Many dads worry about handling their baby when they’re crying. I will tell you that I had a colicky baby, and he tested my patience to the absolute limit. There were days where my wife and I cried off and on for hours because we felt so bad that we couldn’t help him.
But you know what, we got through it. Together, we were able to get through it, and now that crying baby is a perfectly happy preschooler who excels in everything he does.
Babies cry, and some more than others. The biggest mistake you can ever make is comparing your situation to other parents.
I made that mistake.
I saw other parents that could take their baby out to dinner and to get-togethers with friends; we didn’t have that luxury. We had to stay home because we knew it was where our son was least likely to scream his head off.
You’ll learn what to do when your baby cries; stay calm and realize that it’s all temporary.
2. When should I start “baby-proofing” my home?
The short answer is, as soon as possible. Of course when you bring baby home they won’t be able to get into much but that will quickly change once they start scooting and eventually crawling. I would suggest starting with things like power outlets and sharp corners of tables.
You may also want to remove any low picture frames, pet food, and lock up cabinets to stay ahead of the game.
3. How can I help comfort my partner during labor/delivery and after?
This question is a huge one for dads and something that doesn’t have a clear answer. Your presence is the most important thing you can do for your partner. You might not be able to understand what she’s going through (don’t ever say that you do!), but you can certainly involve yourself.
Get her water if she needs it; cold towels if she asks, let her squeeze your hand, and be at her side at all times.
One significant area I can remember from the birth of our son was, my wife didn’t want people rushing into the room; the second the baby was born, of course, it was like fending off a pack of wild animals, but I had to do it because that was her request.
The nurse gave me a high five too!
4. What if my feelings for my partner change a little?
You might worry that your feelings will change about your significant other. I can say they will. You’ll look at this person in a way you never have before. They are no longer your wife or girlfriend; they are the mother of your child.
5. Am I giving my baby enough attention?
Many dads worry that their baby is not getting enough attention, but chances are, if you’re worried about it you’re doing fine. Babies will let you know when they want you to hold them and they’ll let you know when they don’t.
6. Am I giving my wife enough attention?
Date night doesn’t disappear after the baby is born (It did for me). If you have to take your baby with you, go for it. Do whatever you have to do to spend time together and take advantage of little opportunities.
7. How will I balance work and supporting my new family?
Not every dad has the luxury of spending an extended period of time at home with his family and you need to work to make money for your little family. I’ve always believed in the power of quality over quantity when it comes to spending time with my family.
I would much prefer a few hours a week of seriously involved quality time instead of many hours of glancing between my phone and my baby and wife.
8. Is it okay to feel scared?
You should feel scared, it’s perfectly normal. Your life is changing dramatically, and things are less about you and more about baby and mom. The main thing to remember is that time is short, so don’t let fear interrupt your life.
9. How can I get baby to sleep longer or better?
Once the baby has been home for a while, you might be experiencing some challenging sleeping pattern issues. Baby might want to sleep all day when you’re at work, and when you get home, your wife needs to sleep, but now you have to stay up.
There is no short answer to developing sleeping habits with your baby, and there are many different strategies. I would recommend listening to your pediatrician if babies sleeping is becoming a significant issue in your life.
Some will suggest letting the baby cry for a little, and others will recommend holding them for a little and putting them back down.
10. What if I feel like I’m not good enough?
The unfortunate truth is, you’ll never feel good enough. You’ll always feel like you could do a little more, spend a bit more time with them, make a bit more money for them, and so on. The bottom line is, you’re here because you care and that is the most important thing.