When New Daddies Get Stressed by Brian Dembowczyk

Dad's Turn
source: abennett96

Here are three common causes of stress for new fathers and tips for handling each one.

Sleep deprivation

No one gets much sleep with a newborn in the house. Without the rest you need, you will find yourself running on fumes and easily prone to being stressed and irritable. Be creative to find time for you and your wife to rest. Consider taking turns during nighttime feedings (if your wife is nursing, she can pump milk into a bottle for one of the late night feedings), allowing one of you to get at least a few hours of sleep. Take naps, or at least rest, when your baby is sleeping during the day.

A crying baby

This is perhaps the greatest cause of stress for fathers. Not only can a newborn’s cry be draining, men tend to be problem-solvers and fixers and sometimes it is quite difficult to soothe a crying baby. Here are six tips for soothing your crying baby.

  1. Swaddle her. Newborns feel secure when they are bundled up securely.
  2. Calmly and gently shhhh her. Babies like repetitive sounds, plus it makes you feel better to say it.
  3. Gently rock her. Try swaying back and forth to create motion.
  4. Change the way you are holding her.
  5. Give her a pacifier.
  6. If all else fails and you feel your blood pressure rising, walk away and pray. Crying never hurt a baby.

A crowded schedule

Life instantly gets hectic with a baby in the home which often leads to stress. Learn the art of prioritizing and clear as much off your calendar as possible. Allow the house to be a little messier than usual. Don’t worry about mowing the lawn as frequently. Prepare simpler meals. Forgo your hobby for a little while. Don’t make any commitments or appointments unless absolutely necessary.

What suggestions do you have for dads with newborns?

Do You Know the Cost of a Baby?

Have you seen these statistics?

A middle-income family who had a baby in 2008 will spend about $221,190 to raise the baby through childhood, adolescence, and to her 18th birthday. In fact, it will cost $291,570 when you adjust for expected inflation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates. The costs include food, shelter, and other necessities.

78_newborn-baby.jpgThe report puts the average annual cost for a child these days in two-parent family between $11,610 and $13,480, depending on age. Figures in the report, which the USDA has issued annually since 1960, are used to set child-support and foster care payments.

Families that earn less than $56,000 a year will spend about $160,000 through the high school years. Higher income families tend to spend more. Housing costs are the biggest expense, averaging $69,660 or 32 percent of the total cost over 17 years. Food and child care or education each averaged 16 percent of the total expenditure.

College educations are not included in the figures. The USDA plans to update its online calculator of the cost of raising a child, which can be individualized with factors such as being a single parent or where you live.

Are you surprised by these statistics? Do you think these numbers impact families and how many children they decide to have?