13 Aug Pregnant? 6 Steps to Ensure Your Baby Has an Involved Dad
I have yet to see a successful working and married mom with a husband who doesn’t contribute. Here are six steps to guarantee that you and your husband are partners on the parenting adventure from the beginning:
1. Do the Doctor Visits Together
Sure it’s your body but it is your (collective) baby. So there is every reason he should be at all of the pre-birth doctor visits. Schedule them around both of your schedules and make sure he falls in love with the baby from the very first time he sees an ultrasound. This is your joint creation and you want him invested from the beginning.
2. Take Him Shopping
Get your husband involved in the consumer piece early on. Make a date night centered on a trip to the baby store to check out the latest and greatest baby products. I gave birth to all three kids in New York City so out of necessity; my husband became a stroller expert. He would stop other parents on the street to ask them about their favorite high tech stroller features.
3. Have High Expectations
I have heard too many pregnant women say that their husband “would never change diapers.” Huh? Real dads change diapers, do baby laundry, soothe crying babies and take part in every aspect of their baby’s life. People tend to meet the expectations you have for them. Talk as though your husband is a partner and watch him become one.
4. Plan the Sleep Overs
When you pack your hospital bag, include your husband. If it is logistically possible, have him sleep over in the hospital room with you while you are in recovery. This way he can be holding the baby from the beginning and changing diapers from birth.
5. Leave Him Alone – with Baby
Within days of returning home from the hospital, make an appointment to disappear – to meet a friend – to get a manicure – to take a walk. The point is to give your husband time alone to bond with your new baby. A four-hour stretch is enough time with a newborn to include feeding, soothing and sleeping so within the first few days, arrange for your husband to tackle a cycle solo.
6. Don’t Helicopter Your Husband
Unless Dad is endangering Baby, do not step in with an extra dab of diaper cream or to make sure the last snap is done. Behaving as a Baby Perfectionist will demotivate your husband and rightly push him to say, “Why don’t you just do it yourself?” Instead, encourage him with some praise and a high five. He is your teammate after all.
To read this article on Forbes, please click here.
Samantha Ettus is a bestselling author & corporate speaker. The Pie Life: A Guilt-Free Recipe for Success and Satisfaction will be released in September.