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New Dad Duties: 7 Ways To Help With A New Baby

Affinity Health, a leading provider of high-quality health coverage, provides seven tips for dads on how to play an active role right from the start and put their baby-care skills into action.

“Stepping into the role of a new dad is exciting, daunting, and a little terrifying all at the same time,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.

“As a new father, you play a crucial role in your child’s upbringing and in supporting your baby and partner during the early weeks. By actively caring for your new baby and providing emotional support to your partner, you contribute to a positive and nurturing environment for your growing family.

1. Share the Nighttime Duties

One of the most challenging aspects of caring for a newborn is the frequent nighttime awakenings. Both you and your partner are likely to experience sleep deprivation, making it crucial to share nighttime duties. Consider taking turns to handle nighttime feedings, nappy changes, and soothing the baby back to sleep. This helps both parents to get the rest they need, making the daytime responsibilities more manageable.

2. Be Involved in Feeding

If your partner is breastfeeding, you can still participate in the feeding process. Support your partner by preparing a comfortable feeding environment, providing water and snacks, and offering emotional support. Consider giving your baby an occasional bottle of pumped breast milk or formula to allow your partner some relief and ensure you bond with the baby during feeding times.


3. Master Nappy Changes

Changing nappies may be a messy business, but it is fundamental to caring for a newborn. Get comfortable with diaper changing by practising and learning the proper techniques. Keep a well-stocked nappy changing station with nappies, wipes, and spare clothes within easy reach. This hands-on task helps lighten your partner’s load and allows you to bond with your baby.


4. Offer Emotional Support

The postpartum period can be emotionally challenging for new moms. Hormonal changes, sleep deprivation, and the demands of caring for a newborn can contribute to feelings of anxiety and stress. As a new dad, offering emotional support is essential. Listen to your partner’s feelings and concerns, provide reassurance, and be empathetic. Simple gestures of affection, like hugs and kind words, can go a long way in comforting your partner during this time.


5. Take on Household Chores

With the arrival of a new baby, household chores can quickly pile up. To alleviate stress on your partner, take on additional home responsibilities. This includes cooking meals, doing laundry, cleaning, and grocery shopping. Sharing the household duties allows your partner more time to focus on bonding with the baby and recovering from childbirth.


6. Learn About Infant Care

Infant care can be daunting, especially for first-time parents. Educate yourself about newborn care by reading books, taking parenting classes, or seeking advice from experienced parents. Understanding infant sleep patterns, breastfeeding, and development can help you feel more confident and capable as a new dad. Additionally, attend medical appointments with your partner and baby to stay informed about their health and well-being.

7. Prioritise Self-Care

Caring for a newborn can be all-consuming, but both parents must prioritise self-care. As a new dad, caring for your physical and mental well-being is crucial for supporting your partner and baby. Find time for relaxation, engage in activities you enjoy, and maintain open communication with your partner about your needs and feelings. Remember that a well-rested and emotionally balanced dad is better equipped to handle the challenges of parenthood.

Bonus Tip: Create Quality Bonding Time

In addition to the essential parenting tasks, creating quality bonding time with your baby is vital. Engage in activities like reading books, singing lullabies, and playing gentle games with your little one. Skin-to-skin contact, where you hold your baby against your bare chest, can also promote bonding and comfort for you and your baby.

About Affinity Health

Affinity Health is South Africa’s leading health coverage provider, offering you a range of options at affordable rates, including access to the widest national provider network. We understand the importance of having medical insurance that meets your needs, budget, and lifestyle. Our healthcare products are designed to protect you and your family when it matters the most. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service. For more information, follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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