Are you among the dads to be? Congratulations!
Becoming a parent is one of the most amazing experiences in life. There’s always something new to learn, whether this is your first child or you’ve been there before.
To help make things a little bit easier for dads, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of everything you’ll need to take care of your baby. We don’t want you to be sleep-deprived when you should be the happiest. Keep reading to find out what items you can’t forget!
The idea of becoming a new dad is an exciting prospect, but it can also be daunting. Imagine going from being single to waking up every day and realizing you’re not just responsible for yourself anymore; your entire life changes instantly!
This dad-to-be checklist will help make those first few weeks in your family more about softly coming into terms than feeling like all hope has disappeared.
The Ultimate Dad-To-Be Checklist
Agree on Where the Newborn will be Sleeping
It’s essential to have an honest, open discussion about where the baby will sleep and what you plan on doing with their naptime routine before the due date.
The most common way other dads prepare for parenting is by researching safe sleeping practices in advance. This helps them be ready when it comes time to put together this new life skill of bedtime routines.
The best way to ensure that your new baby has the space and safety they need is by preparing for their arrival before labor and delivery.
This includes ensuring there’s a crib or bassinet in every room, as well as deciding where you’ll sleep once those lights go down at night – should it be with mommy?
With you? By themselves? It doesn’t matter what configuration works better because co-sleeping can also lead to problems.
Buy Onesies, Socks, Hats, and Seasonally Appropriate Clothes
As soon as mom gets pregnant, they are bombarded by the latest and greatest baby gadgets. But what they need most right now are some good old-fashioned cloth onesies for those naptime moments.
You’ll be changing these more than any other article of clothing, especially when your babies are messy eaters or they go potty.
Another thing dads need to prepare for is that the newborn baby will outgrow their clothes quickly and may get dirty from time to time due to crawling around on carpet or flooring surfaces. Stock up on enough clothes, but make sure not to waste money by over-purchasing them.
Decide on a Diaper System and Stock Up
Parents will be thrilled to know that switching between disposable and cloth diapers is no longer an issue. They can enjoy the convenience of locking in their system once they’ve decided which type works best for them.
Rather than having a difficult time learning how everything works while dealing with crankiness and sleep deprivation all at one time, decide on a diaper system that is the most convenient. It’s a lot easier for parents when they’re clear-headed and full of energy.
Researching what your kid will be pooping into while they go #2 is nobody’s idea of fun! And once you decide, make sure to have enough supplies on hand because two weeks’ worth isn’t always going down smoothly, even with all planning done ahead.
Prepare the Nursery Well in Advance
Preparing the nursery can be a time for parents to relax, daydream and enjoy themselves in anticipation of their new addition. For those with more than enough space, it is an important step during the nesting process, but don’t forget that there are other aspects.
Chemicals often found at nurseries include paint fumes from newly purchased paints and foam mattresses that off-gas chemicals when they’re first opened up after delivery. If you’ve had them before, make sure these items aren’t touching anything else by using transparent plastic sheets around whenever possible.
Learn How to Change the Baby's Diaper
It’s so important to have a strategy for potty training that involves both baby boys and girls. For example, you should always keep hand towels in the house to create moist heating blankets on cold days. This is helpful with little ones who are wetting themselves, especially when it’s most uncomfortable during winter.
Girls also need their private areas wiped from front to back every single time. Don’t let them spend too much time sitting around as they’ll get rashes. This could worsen later if not treated quickly enough. A diaper rash cream will always come in handy during such times.
When your baby’s dirty diaper hits the fan, you have a problem. Some people have whole systems for wrapping up and popping their babies’ accidents into an open pail. Others just wash the cloth diapers right away to avoid dealing with it before bedtime when things are messy at home.
But whatever system works best in your house, figure out how you will respond before these emergencies happen.
Buy a Month's Worth of Baby-Care Essentials
Being a parent is tough. You’re constantly on your feet, running from store to store in search of supplies that will make the day easier for your partner.
There’s no other option if you want peace of mind knowing everything has been taken care of before bedtime or playdate morning rolls around again. You should never miss essential items on your checklist: a comfortable pillow, a hospital bag, burp cloths, and a baby monitor.
Do Some Low-Level Baby-Proofing
Parenting is a big responsibility, and you can’t be prepared for every problem. There are no reasons to baby-proof your home before the arrival of children because much can wait until they get mobile, like in six months or so. It’s unnecessary to install babyproofing on every outlet and cord cover in your home.
Still, it is worth considering for the low-hanging fruit. For instance, as a new dad, you could put some electrical management plugs or covers over the sockets, so they aren’t staring down at all those cautionary tales when changing a diaper.
Build All Baby Furniture
All parents worry about their baby’s first year, but never more than when they have to make that big shift from crib sleeping and into a toddler bed.
It seems like such is an important time for them – you don’t want your child rolling around on the floor matting with wood TV stands. So much work is involved to ensure everything goes smoothly at this stage.
Buy an Infant Car Seat (and Know How to Use It)
As a parent, you want to ensure that your child is safe and sound when heading off to the hospital. That means having an infant car seat ready for them at all times. You might think this isn’t necessary because it’s so easy.
Without one of these car seats secured with straps or buckles during transport between home and the doctor’s office, there could very well be consequences later down the road. To be on the safe side, having two car seats won’t cause any harm.
Agree on Division of Labor
After a new baby arrives, resentment is often the result of feeling ignored by your partner and overworked. It may be because tasks aren’t being appropriately delegated during those first few weeks when it’s hard enough just taking care of yourself.
So, don’t be troubled if you get envious or irritated with how much attention the new mom seems willing to give their newborn while neglecting all other aspects of life.
The more involved you are in your child’s life and their daily routine when it comes to parenting, the better. Taking a paternity leave will do you some good. As part of the birth plan, parents should also agree on who will change diapers when.
Some couples might prefer that dad gets up at night for feedings (if using a bottle) while mom tackles laundry and dishes. Splitting 50/50 is fine too, but some families have creative ideas like dad does all weekend wakings/diaper changes or mom taking over for night duty from 10 pm – 6 am.
The best way to divide up the work so you can get plenty of sleep and spend quality time with your child is by having dad assist in certain tasks. For example, baby-sitting or doing laundry while mom goes off on her own adventure.
Deep Clean Everything One Last Time
The day before the baby arrives is an important one. It’s when dad and mom will want to make sure their house looks at its absolute finest. They should take some time for self-care and final cleaning about a week or two before labor and delivery.
Cleaning before the birth of the baby is a great idea. You should clean your carpet using a vacuum cleaner and wash all surfaces to get rid of any dirt or bacteria that may cause an infection.
But don’t stop there; you’ll need some extra special touches for when they visit: move furniture back into place, dust light fixtures, and fans so everything looks spic ‘n span again (and smell fresh). Don’t forget to bleach bathrooms if necessary.
Lay Down the Law with Potential Visitors
Introducing your friends and family to the new baby in our lives is always a joyous occasion. But now we have an extra special way of doing it. Introductions through Zoom gives you peace of mind knowing they will be able to come to see the new baby without having any limitations on visits during those first few months after birth.
Cook Two Weeks Worth of Freezer Meals
New parents need a lifesaver when the meal train stops running, and that’s where premade frozen casseroles come in. They say no one wants to cook after becoming accustomed to someone else cooking for them. So having these dishes around will save time during those post-baby blues days.
If you plan on taking the week leading up to your child’s delivery, eat half of each meal and freeze them for a time when cooking is more convenient. When it comes down to (or even during) those long post-baby days where food seems unappealing or difficult, just preheat an oven while setting out some Tupperware in case anyone wants something else.
Bring All Accounts Current
As part of the dad checklist, new dads should take the time to make sure all their bills are up-to-date so that they can avoid any future problems with payment.
They don’t need additional stress when it comes to utilities and other important necessities like food, shelter, or medical care for themselves and family members who depend on them financially.
We all know how it feels, to be honest. There’s nothing worse than getting dinged for a late payment while doing something as noble and important as making sure your new baby is thriving.
Connect With Friends While You Can
The arrival of a new baby can be extremely joyous and overwhelming. But for mom and dad, it’s not just about the birth. They will also likely want some time away from their baby – probably go on a date night – before being pulled into parenthood full-time.
This is why planning ahead on how you might spend time with friends who are single or without kids may help keep things smoothly during this exciting yet stressful period in life.
All in all, dads should connect with their partners, and in case of any concerns about the baby, don’t seek professional medical advice. Physical contact with your partner and connecting with friends are also essential in keeping your mental health at bay.
If you’re a first-time dad, or even if you’ve been through this before, it’s important to stock up on all the essentials before your little one arrives.
By following our dad-to-be checklist, you can make sure your home is ready for your new arrival and that you have everything you need to take care of your baby. Congratulations and happy parenting!
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