There’s no question that being a mother is an exhausting job. The most hectic times are right off the bat, too, when a baby comes home. Especially with a first baby, even though the little baby isn’t moving around, they still require a lot of focus, attention, and patience. To boot, they make messes and loud noises, so it can be hard to manage a baby alone. While often women seek the help of their husband to help them with their problems during this new time, sometimes it seems that they simply can’t get their man to lift a finger around the house.
We think maybe this might be because men simply don’t know what they’re supposed to be doing. This article outlines a list of things that partners can expect to do when the baby comes home, from requirements to suggestions to make family’s life much easier when the new baby comes home. Knowing what to expect can make it easier to actually leap into action when the new baby comes home and can reduce conflict with the partner.
Some of these things can even start while the partner is pregnant. Using most of these with a pregnant wife can, in fact, help improve the relationship before the baby comes, making the transition easier and less jarring for the family environment. The easier the transition, the better it will be for the baby and mother, and of course, for the father as well as he’ll have an active role in keeping things happy.
15 Late-Night Checkups
Being woken up late in the night is something that most experienced parents are more than familiar with. And if the father not familiar with it now, he’ll get familiar with it rather quickly. Whether the baby shares the room at night or whether crib is set up a separate room when the baby comes home and keep a monitor on hand to check for disturbances, men will bound to be woken up late at night by a crying child. It’s advised that the husband should handle it.
A mother will usually be the one taking maternity leave from work and spend all day with the baby. In addition, her body (when the baby first comes home) will be still recovering from labor. This means that she’ll be completely exhausted. Her body and mind need all the rest they can get. If the baby wakes up in the night, expect to be handling whatever the baby needs to give the wife rest.
14 Puke Detail
This one isn’t nearly as fun as play or as easy as going to the grocery store after work. It’s gross but it’s got to be done. Babies vomit—this is not a surprise to any experienced parent. Well, we call it puke, but really it’s spit-up, a totally common thing that doesn’t reflect illness among infants. It usually happens during burping, but it can also happen while walking around or while the father is rocking with the baby.
Often, mothers will spend a good part of their day cleaning spit-up off their clothes and the furniture. Give her some help with this and clean it up for her. It’s not the most glamorous job, but that’s exactly why the father should do it. It gives her at least a break from the gross work. You’ll feel better for having done it, too.
13 Taking Charge Of Laundry Duty
One of the little things that can pile up around the house quickly is laundry. Laundry might seem like a trivial thing that the wife is asking to do out of laziness and unwillingness to do it herself, but actually, laundry involves a lot of bending and lifting that can be stressful on a pregnant person’s body. And when the newborn comes home, doing the laundry can be difficult while also watching a baby.
If a man does the laundry, then the wife can be with the baby and not have to do two things at once. This also minimizes the risk of having a baby sitting around in the laundry room around things that could possibly harm them, or fall of the dryer or washing machine. It’s a small chore that can go a long way in helping mothers with newborn children.
12 Staying On Top Of The Dishes
Another chore that might seem trivial is dishes. However, like laundry, dishes involve a long of bending and lifting and can be stressful on a pregnant person. With a newborn, it’s difficult to tend to the newborn and also take care in doing dishes to avoid dropping or breaking glasses or delicate dishware. This can be easily avoided by having the man do that instead.
This way the mother can be with the child and instead of one person trying to do two jobs, two people can get two jobs done. This will ensure stronger bonding between mother and child. In addition, it will help a relationship between spouses because helping out is always a plus in relationships. Doing the dishes is usually pretty quick and getting it done can take a lot off a mother’s shoulders when she’s worried about a million things.
11 Diaper Duty (or Doody)
Diapers are gross, no questions asked. However, a baby can’t help where and when they go to the bathroom, and at least they contain the mess. Both a mother and a father have to know how to clean a diaper in case it needs changing, and while usually, a mother ends up changing the diapers because she’s the one with the baby most of the time, the father ought to consider doing it when he can.
The reason for this is both because it’s polite and because it can help bonding with the child. Getting a diaper change is good for a baby. Often babies will cry because they want their diapers changed; it’s cleaning up. Doing this for the child is a great way to bond with them. And it keeps the mother from having to do it whenever possible—the family wins with this! It’s an easy way for fathers who have jobs to bond with their kid in short periods of time.
10 Feeding Time At The Zoo
Another quick way to bond with the baby is through feeding the baby. If the baby isn’t breastfeeding, then father be able to warm up the milk in the bottle and feed it to the infant. This is a very effective bonding tool that also take a little work off the mother’s shoulders. The father finds it rewarding and the baby, of course, will love it and love his father by association.
If the partner is breastfeeding the baby, there are still ways one can help with feeding. The father can tidy up around the house while she is breastfeeding. Or, simply can ask her if there’s anything she needs in the meantime—it can be painful to have forgotten the iPad or glass of water in the other room. It might seem like a small thing, but every time the wife is breastfeeding, ask if there’s anything which can be done to help. Chances are, she’ll tell and appreciate the help.
9 Those Gorgeous Baby Clothes
Feeding, diapers, and now clothing a baby—parenthood is truly a workout. One of the things babies need to be is clothed, and while newborn babies don’t really wear much more than a diaper, they might be wearing little jumpsuits to keep themselves warm in the winter or because it’s simply adorable. Or, they might be swaddled for warmth and comfort.
Try clothing the baby while the wife is doing something else. It gives her a few extra minutes of time in the morning to get ready and do the things she never has time to do, and it gives the chance to get to know the baby child. It’s a little task that can free up the wife’s morning just that much, and having a few extra minutes in the morning is excellent in relaxing and setting the pace for a better day.
8 Carpooling With The Gang
This doesn’t really apply to newborn babies, as they won’t be leaving the house a whole lot in their earlier weeks, but it does apply a little while into things when you might start taking the kid to daycare. Or, maybe you both work, and the father is leaving the child in a nursery during the day. Either way, offer to drive the baby these places.
Maybe in the morning on the way to work, one can drop your baby off. On the way back, pick them up. Try to incorporate help into the schedule. This way, the wife will have more time to do things for herself and her own personal health. This is especially helpful in the early stages when everything seems hectic and busy. Giving the wife extra time will make her happier in the relationship, and the father gets a few extra minutes with the child to boot.
7 Grocery Store Struggles
When a mother is at home and actively taking care of the child, it can be hard to remember to do other things. More likely, a mother knows what she needs to get done and simply can’t with all the other things there are to do. One of the things that usually needs to get done is grocery shopping. This is something that a husband can do to help out, though.
Try going to the store more often to pick up the odds and ends that the wife needs. This way she can have more time to do things at home that she might not feel she has time to do. It also gets you out of the house and gives some ‘quiet time’ to think to yourself while picking up things for the family. It’s a little more modern than hunting for food, but it’s just as helpful to the family.
6 Giving Her Tender Massages
This one isn’t a requirement by any means, and a mother will survive without it, but it’s immensely helpful. After labor, when the baby comes home, a woman’s body will be tired--tired, sore, and in pain. In fact, for a while, a woman’s body will be sore, because she’ll be constantly out and about doing things for the child. Namely, feet tend to get swollen during and after pregnancy to accommodate weight shifting.
As a husband and/or father, one thing that can be done to help relieve pain is massage. Just rubbing feet is a huge step towards feeling better. In addition, rub her shoulders to alleviate shoulder tension, which is where many people carry stress-related tension. And there will be plenty of that with a new baby in the home. Try looking up different techniques to find what works best with the wife.
5 Becoming Chef Of The House
Cooking might not seem like something that a husband should do after he goes and works a long work day. Actually, it really pays off, and can be extremely helpful. Husband don’t have to do it every single night; try trading off with your wife nights that you cook or eat leftovers to reduce stress. But having to cook a meal on top of taking care of a baby can be too much work for one person.
Try looking up easy recipes online. Chances are, the partner wife will be happy with the initiative. There are lots of recipes for people who aren’t terribly experienced with cooking that you can do to help out. There are even things like Hamburger Helper that only need to be heated up and then served. Even picking up takeout can be a huge gesture of caring and kindness in the early days of a newborn’s life at home.
4 Becoming Mr Clean
This covers all the things we didn’t talk about earlier with chores. Cleaning can include anything from scrubbing the toilets to cleaning the mirrors to washing off the counters in the kitchen. All the little odds and ends around the house can start to stack up if not attended to and a woman will be preoccupied with the baby during the first few weeks when the newborn comes home.
Take a few extra minutes of time to tidy up while the wife is breastfeeding, changing a diaper, or taking a nap. Doing a load of dishes, scrubbing out the toilets, or even just clearing off the counters can make a huge difference. It takes stress off of a mother and it creates a better environment for the baby. And it only takes a few minutes.
3 Burping (the Baby!)
The next thing that the father can do to help the wife is burping. Not kicking back on the couch and expelling gas, but burping the baby. After feeding, a baby needs to be burped to prevent intestinal problems. This process can take quite a few minutes and usually involves a little bit of spit-up—use a towel over the shoulder while burping the baby to avoid ruining the clothes.
After breastfeeding, the father can burp the baby to free up the wife’s time a little bit. You might not be able to breastfeed, but certainly, can burp the baby, and this might even help bond. It gives a solid block of time to be holding the baby, after all, and burping is something that gives a baby a lot of relief. It’s good for the baby to associate the father with that relief. This is especially true in the early stages of the baby coming home.
2 Playing With The New Kid On The Block
This one is exciting and quite a bit of fun for baby and parent. While newborns aren’t really up to a whole lot of playing and can’t laugh for a few weeks, they still need to be interacted with. Luckily, interacting with them is easy enough. Find a mobile or some small toy to shake, or just rock them and sing to them. It’s not difficult to entertain a baby, and the father will find it rewarding quickly.
Mothers spend most of their days interacting with and tending to their babies. If the father doesn't want to do chores around the house, at least you can preoccupy the baby while the mother takes care of other things around the house. A baby that’s been interacted with during the day will be easier to put to sleep as well. This can make it easier to get a good night’s sleep.
1 Mother’s Best Friend
At the end of the day, the most important thing for the father to be the best friend of the mother. Even without a baby, it’s important to communicate with her and know what’s going on in her life so that help can be offered. With a newborn, this is all the more important. Talk to your wife and know what she needs. This is the only way that a father can effectively help and not just create more problems.
Being the wife’s best friend also means listening to her complaints, sometimes about the baby. It means just listening most of the time. Having someone to talk to when things are stressful is something no one takes for granted. Be a good listener for the mother of the child and help out where it is possible. A little listening goes a long way and won’t go unnoticed.