There are a lot of insecurities that come with being a first-time father. But with that, there’s also a lot of room for growth that you can only learn from caring for your newborn baby.
Life as a new father...
There’s no one perfect way to be a good mom or dad—ask any parent out there. Just like what all the blogs and pro parents will tell you, becoming a dad will be the most rewarding, albeit, tiring and intense experience of your life.
As an expecting parent, you’re going to have a huge impact on your newborn. Becoming a father can be a steep learning curve, but you’ll be amazed when you find out what you can be capable of and you’ll truly appreciate the lessons you’ll go through on your journey to fatherhood.
1. You’ll learn that it’s okay to not know everything.
No matter how many parenting books you’ll read, how many doctors you’ll speak to, or how many experienced parents you’ll confide in, not all newborn babies are the same. Your little one is going to have some different things about him and that’s what’s going to make your baby uniquely yours.
Though many parenting practices are popular and effective, we are all profoundly different and those techniques don’t necessarily work the same for each baby. Some newborns prefer a tighter swaddle than others; some newborns will be comfortable sleeping alone, others won’t be able to rest without the presence of another human being.
It’s okay to panic a little when your baby cries, and you feel like you’ve tried everything but nothing seems to work. It’s okay and totally normal to admit at times that you don’t know what you’re doing.
Taking care of ourselves is already a difficult task, but taking care of a tiny human? At times it will seem impossible, but you learn along the way.
2. You’ll learn to have this weird kind of love for another human being.
Many expect to have this profound movie-like moment of just overwhelming love when they first see their baby in person. While that may be true for some, it’s not uncommon for parents to feel a bit of disconnect from their newborn at first, and it’s nothing to feel guilty about either.
Emotionally, your relationship with your baby is pretty much one-way. They have no idea who you are, and you yourself barely know this human who was just the size of an avocado the other month.
The best way to describe the kind of love you’ll feel for your baby would be, you don’t really know your baby or how your baby is going to turn out, but you would definitely die for them and you would definitely try to murder anyone who tries to hurt them.
Whether your family consists of you, your partner, and your baby or even if it’s just you and your baby, you’ll learn to work in harmony with another person. Even when at times taking care of your baby will feel like such a one-way relationship, you’ll be so content with the little things they do.
A stare from your little newborn can be enough to send shivers down your spine. A single smile can warm your heart and be enough to get you through the day. An adorable laugh from the tiny baby you’ll love more than anything can make you cry with joy.
3. You’ll learn to stay calm under pressure.
Newborns will cry. A lot. Like, a LOT. Even if you’ve got your baby’s routine down to a T (play, eat, sleep, repeat), you can still get panicky from the sound of the first wail. You’ll learn to keep your calm and not lose your cool because, hello, there’s a newborn baby relying on you! You eventually learn as well that babies are a lot sturdier and stronger than they look.
4. You’ll learn and value how important it is to always be prepared.
Packing is always a tough, time-consuming job. It’s hard enough to pack a bag for yourself, good thing packing a bag for your baby won’t be as tough (mmm, maybe). The key is just to always stay prepared, and have a checklist to go through before you leave.
A few essentials to add to your checklist should be diapers, baby wipes, at least one change of baby clothes, at least two baby muslin washcloths, a few bottles of formula and water or milk, an extra pacifier, changing pad, any ointments or lotions your baby’s sensitive skin needs, baby toys and/or books, plus hand sanitizer and a clean shirt for each parent. If you’re using cloth diapers, make sure to have a small bag as well to keep your dirty diapers in.
5. You’ll learn not to settle for anything less.
When choosing products for your baby, make sure you’re getting the kinds that are safe for their sensitive, fragile skin. It also doesn’t hurt to purchase something that won’t harm the environment your baby’s going to grow up in.
Bamboo muslin washcloths are a great eco-friendly alternative to wipes and cotton bibs and are super convenient and versatile. You can use them to clean up your baby’s burps, spit, you can use them for wiping and drying off your baby as well after bath time.
When choosing a washcloth, make sure to get ones that are soft on your baby’s skin. Choose a washcloth that is 100% natural, hypoallergenic, chemical and pesticide free. Once you find the perfect ones, you’re never going to want for any other washcloth. Babies have such sensitive skin, so you will definitely learn to only want the best for them.