Here are three common causes of stress for new fathers and tips for handling each one.
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.
- Swaddle her. Newborns feel secure when they are bundled up securely.
- Calmly and gently shhhh her. Babies like repetitive sounds, plus it makes you feel better to say it.
- Gently rock her. Try swaying back and forth to create motion.
- Change the way you are holding her.
- Give her a pacifier.
- 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?