The first thing that happens when a baby is born is mom reaches out, grabs the baby and holds on tight. Dads tend to stand aside and let the mom take control from day one, but unfortunately that means that moms tend to get to do most or all of the baby tasks as well, unless they come up with a few “tricks” or should I say, strategies to get dad to pitch in.
We’ve all been told to “communicate better” and ask your man to help out, but we know that sometimes that’s not enough. So ladies…here are a few good tricks to use that will make it much easier for a man to slip into “helpful daddy mode” throughout the day.
#1: Get a Manly Diaper Bag Just for Him
So many women tend to choose a beautiful, feminine diaper bag, but if you want your guy to partake in baby care I’d recommend finding a Daddy diaper bag like the Stokke Xplory Diaper Changing Bag in Dark Navy. Then make sure this bag is stocked with every type of baby item needed when you’re out on the town. This diaper bag is perfect because it already comes with a changing mat and pacifier holder, lots of storage space and can be easily thrown over a shoulder or attached to a stroller. Make sure that you add some bottles, formula, diapers, wipes, change of clothes and socks for baby, burp cloths, baby toy, small blanket, pacifier and any other baby item your husband will need when he’s out with your little guy or girl. This way dad has no excuse not to carry that baby bag once in a while.
#2: Get a Co-sleeper to Make Middle of the Night Baby Time Easy
Moms tend to wake up when they hear baby make even the quietest peep and somehow, dads can sleep through even the loudest baby cries. To ensure that Dad hears baby in the middle of the night and has no excuse not to get up when it’s his turn, consider getting a co-sleeper, so you can put your baby right next to dad’s side of the bed, so when baby cries he can just reach over and grab your little cutie.
#3: Play Yards Can Go Anywhere Dad Can
If your man likes to sneak away into the basement or head out to the back porch to get out of his daddy duties a play yard is what you need. This is a light weight, portable play and sleep space for a baby that keeps a little one safe and comfy in any room. So, next time your hubby heads to the basement to hide out, set the play yard up right next to him and let baby hang out with daddy for a while, so you can have that much needed break.
#4: Choose a Big, Comfy, Man-size Glider so Dad Wants to Sit There
Instead of getting a small nursery glider, choose a big, comfy one with an ottoman like the Storkcraft Tuscany Glider and Ottoman that has a high back, fluffy arm rests and smooth gliding, soft ottoman for your guy’s feet. When the big, manly glider arrives encourage your man to sit down and put his feet up after a long day. Once he looks super comfy, plop baby in his arms and tell him how happy you feel seeing dad with baby all comfy and cozy in that chair. Then suggest that he does it every day to relax and get a little peace and quiet, cuddle time each day. How could he resist?
#5: Get a Maxed-out Stroller that Dad will want to Push
If you get a dainty, girly looking stroller dad might not want to push it, but if you get a masculine, decked-out stroller dad won’t have any excuses. I’d suggest getting one like the Dream on Me Single Stroller that comes with a cup holder for dad’s coffee or soda and a storage bag below where dad can keep his daddy diaper bag or other dad or baby items. This stroller is also light weight and can open and fold up with ease, so dad won’t have to make much effort to take baby for a walk or out shopping.
A Few Extra Tips
It’s important to remember that women are natural multi-taskers, but we can even get quite overwhelmed when we are taking care of our baby and everything else. Since men aren’t as skilled in multi-tasking as we are it’s important to ease them into this new daddy, multi-task with baby mode. If you don’t you’ll both get quite frustrated quickly. Also remember, this could be the first time or one of the few times your husband has even held a small baby, so he might feel a little uneasy about that as well.
So if you want your man to be able to watch TV and feed Baby at the same time you have to get him used to it slowly. Start by putting baby in his arms while he’s watching one of his less important TV shows at night. This way he’ll be sure to pay attention to your baby more than the show. Then when he gets comfortable, hand him the bottle and let him give it a shot. Remember to praise, praise, praise him for the great job he’s doing! I know this sounds so unfair because moms don’t get praise for doing mommy things, but if you want Dad to do more without having to nag him, this is a foolproof way to get it to happen where everyone ends up happy. Dad will feel important, he’ll see how nice it is to spend time with his baby throughout the day and mom…you’ll get a break and everyone will end the day with a smile.