He wants to be involved but is not quite sure how to go about it. He's concerned about what his new responsibilities as a father will involve, worried about how life will change, about whether he can live up to his own expectations of what a present dad should be and do.
Fear not, Matthew! There's lots of helpful advice available for new dads like you. While it's true that you'll become an expert through practice, a heads-up never hurt anyone, so here's a handy list of life-saving tips for first-time dads!
One of the best things you can do as a first-time dad is to attend antenatal classes with your partner. Not only will this give you an opportunity to learn more about the pregnancy process, but it will also help you feel more involved in the journey. Plus, you'll get to meet other first-time parents who are going through the same experience as you. Your presence will be much-appreciated by your partner when it comes to any medical visits, and grab any chance you get to ask any questions to the professionals - it will help you understand the process better, be in touch with what your partner is experiencing, and make your growing baby feel more 'real'.
Yes, changing nappies might not be the most glamorous job, but it's an essential part of being a new dad. The earlier you get stuck in with the nappies, the more confident you'll feel when it comes to looking after your baby and understanding his or her needs. So roll up your sleeves, grab the wipes and changing mat, and get stuck in!
There's no sugar-coating it – the first few weeks (or rather, months) of your baby's life will likely involve some sleepless nights. Fear not, you'll soon get used to the new *caffeine-fuelled* routine and learn how to survive on less hours of sleep. In the meantime, try to take turns with your partner when it comes to night feeds and nappy changes, so you can both get some rest (trust us, resentment can get ugly).
Being a new parent is tough, and it's okay to admit that you might need various degrees of support from others. Don't be afraid to ask friends and family to pitch in, whether by helping out with chores around the house, running errands or simply providing a listening ear. The MyMama team of midwives offer postpartum home visits to help you troubleshoot any issues, and once you're brave enough to leave the house with your little one, you can join the MyMama Parent and Baby CLUB - a support group for new parents (and that includes new dads), where you can meet others in the same boat as you.
Finally, remember to savour every experience, including the WTF moments! Yes, being a new dad can be overwhelming at times, but it's also a life-changing journey. Take the time to bond with your baby, and don't forget to take care of yourself too. From that heart-melting first smile, baby's first steps to that first 'dada', being a dad is a journey full of exciting milestones – so sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.
Join MyMama's Daddy Cool crash-course for dads-to-be - we brought together a *seriously AMAZING* team of experts and experienced dads who will spell out all that you should expect from the moment your partner' goes into labour to the first days at home with your newborn. Get all your weird-and-wonderful questions answered by our counsellor, midwife squad and real-life dads with plenty of hands-on daddyhood experience under their belt.