Perfect Dad’s Handbook

It is in this phase that the new father has the task of defending the new mother, her need for rest and intimacy with the child. It is he who supports her, who does not question her ability to care for the baby in the best possible way, who acts as a filter for visits by relatives and friends, according to when agreed together.

But taking care of the mother also means offering her practical support in the management of daily tasks (from household chores to preparing meals and shopping) and in caring for the newborn baby. The first times after childbirth are in fact the most challenging for the woman, between physical fatigue, hormone structure of the postpartum and her new role as a mother. If the professional situation allows it, the ideal would be to remain at the side of the new mother as much as possible: to avoid that she feels alone, to give her the opportunity to recover the sleep lost during the night, but also to share with her the excitement of the first days of life of the child.

Taking care of your child

Touch your own baby. Hold him in your arms, massage him, change him, wash him. To “do” the father you learn by practice: not hesitating to take care of the child, creating a personal language to communicate with him. And so, by participating in the care of the baby, you offer valuable support to the new mother and get familiar with the newborn, thus laying the foundations of the relationship daddy-child.

For this relationship to be established, the mother must leave room for the father. It is possible that the man is not as skilled as the mother in changing the diaper or bathing. And it’s easy for the mother to be tempted to say “I’ll do it”, but it’s important that, instead, she leaves her dad the chance to practice. Comments, glances and observations that may discourage him and compromise the happy – and unfortunately brief – moments of contact between him and the baby should therefore be avoided.

Understanding and custom are important for the father, but also for the child, who only in this way has the opportunity to learn a language different from the motherly one. The relationship with the mother is similar to that of the nine months, in which the child is contained, reassured and nourished by his body. A touch, a hug and a different parental style represent an exceptional opportunity for the child: through the father, knowledge of the other opens up in his life, encouraging openness towards the outside world.

Among other things, the fact that there are two “operational” parents is decisive in critical moments. An example? The “no” evenings in which the child appears inconsolable and, despite all the attempts of the mother, there is no way that he calms down: often a change of arms is sufficient for the baby falls asleep on the chest of the father.

A competent dad

In the past, the new mother could count on the support of all the women of the family and everything related to the baby was considered strictly feminine competence.

Today, in most cases, the family is summarized in the couple and the woman is often engaged professionally as the man. In this context, the father is required to have a series of skills that allow him to take care of the child at 360 degrees. This means that he must know the rhythms and needs of the baby, be able to take care of him, prepare his food, wash him, dress him, give him medicine if necessary. Everything that the mother knows how to do, the father must also know how to do it.

If the tasks are the same, the style will be different, because roles and parental figures must always remain distinct. Children need capable and present fathers, who take care of them with their own approach: paternal, in fact.

Useful links:

Profession Dad, portal of the homonymous association. Among the topics covered: the male experience in pregnancy and after the birth of the child, the parental style, the role of the new fathers.