22 truths every new dad should know

From pregnancy sex to the dad bod, guys will wise up to their new parenting gig with our concise guide.

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Unlike mothers, dads can’t rely on maternal instincts nor nourish their newborn by breastfeeding. Nor does it help that guys typically lean towards playing the role of the breadwinner rather than main caregiver. But you don’t need to settle for that fate. You can step up ― be the mate and dad your wife wants you to be by being on top of these pointers!

Pregnancy Advice

1) Chill out, she’s not that fragile.
As men, you’re naturally protective of your wife and knowing that she’s carrying your mini-me might just make you skittish. Show her what a hero can do by insisting on carrying all her shopping to and from the car. But it’s downright cruel to stop her from satisfying her cravings ― unless her doc has put the kibosh on that. Nor would she forgive you for it. Remember, she’s the same rational person who drew you in the first place.

2) She is right...and you know it.
This is especially true when her pregnancy hormones are in charge of her moods. She might be the same sweet person you fell hard for one moment and Ms Bossy Pants the next. Instead of walking around on eggshells, go with her choices ― remember, a stressed-out pregnant woman won’t do the baby any good.

3) She’s tired. Not lazy.
Don’t whine that you’re the one taking the trash out or doing the laundry again. Bearing a child is way tougher than just tossing the trash. Nor is a baby bump a beer gut. She’s actually growing a tiny human beneath her heart, so it’s tiring to carry all that additional weight. Again, remember a stressed out pregnant mum is bad for baby’s health! Just. Do. It.

Because you won’t need to worry about birth control or ovulation, pregnancy intercourse is the most stress-free sex you can both enjoy.

4) Sex is not totally out of the question ― it’s all about timing.
During the first trimester, cut your wife some slack if she’s not quite enthusiastic about having sex with you. She’s got a lot on her mind with morning sickness and the demands of her changing body. Also, second trimester sex is actually much safer than you think. Because you won’t need to worry about birth control or ovulation, pregnancy intercourse is the most stress-free sex you can both enjoy. Try different positions that she’s comfortable with.

What three words should you never say in the delivery room? Find out…

 

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5) Never mention these three words Are you sure? ― to her during delivery
If she needs painkillers during labour, just get the doctor to give it to her ― stat! Now’s not the time to second guess why.

Childraising Advice

6) You’ll never look at your wife the same way again.
Not just because you have seen her scream and shout and let it all out in the delivery room, but because you salute her grit in toughing out her pregnancy journey! That’s nine months of strange cravings, morning sickness, body aches, swollen ankles, plus balancing work with ob-gyn appointments! Nor do those priorities end with delivery. She’s going to have to deal with — countless ― days and nights of feeding, diaper changes and lost sleep. Yes, she’s indeed a warrior! Now, go tell her about it.

7) Barely coping with little sleep? She has it worse.
Sleep is something you’ll crave desperately, especially if baby’s a light sleeper. But chances are, you’ll still be clocking more hours of shuteye than your wife. She’s the one with the mini-feeding machine strapped to her chest. So, even if you haven’t slept well last night, keep it to yourself.

8) Offer to change the diapers. Often.
When baby wails in the middle of the night, don’t make your post-partum wife beg or shove you out of bed. Take the initiative to change your offspring’s soiled diapers. And do it the way your wife’s directed you to.

9) It’s not creepy to stare at or sniff your sleeping baby.
You’ll find all ways and means to catch a whiff of that addictive new-baby scent — kinda like caffeine, only better. will also want to stare at them while they drift peacefully off to la-la land with their thumbs in their mouths. It’s not at all creepy. Just don’t tell your co-workers about it.

You’ll find all ways and means to catch a whiff of that addictive new-baby scent — kinda like caffeine, only better.

10) Be silly. Your baby will thank you for it.
Nothing’s more rewarding than seeing your baby break into a fit of giggles. Pulling funny faces, playing peekaboo, warbling off-key, dancing crazily is especially endearing when daddy’s doing it.

11) Learn to share the attention.
You’re a father now, so it’s less about you and more about the kids. And your wife hasn’t forgotten all about you, she just has her hands full with junior. So, help your wife by seeing to your kid’s needs now and then. The sooner you put them to bed, the sooner you’ll get to enjoy couple- or me-time.

12) With baby around, there’s no such thing as packing light.
If you think the amount of stuff your wife carries in her handbag is ridiculous, her post pregnancy tote — also called a diaper bag — will be worse (Read: much worse). Pampers, wet wipes, milk bottle, milk powder, breast pump, extra set of baby clothes, mittens, socks, blanket, water tumblers with warm water; just to name a few. That’s before you factor in the stroller and the car seat.

13) Finally, your wish for more leave has been granted.
As of 2015, the biological father of a Singaporean child gets up to one week of government-paid paternity leave. These can be taken as a two-week block within 16 weeks of your child’s birth, or flexibly within 12 months of his date of birth. That number will double in 2017 to two weeks of mandatory paid leave. More information will be available soon .

14) Stuff you thought would make you sick, except it won’t.
Get used to the sight — and smell — of pee, poop and puke. You’ll have to change their diapers anyway. Have a crisp white shirt hanging in your wardrobe? Don’t wear it any time soon ― and not until baby has better bladder control.

What’s the ugly (dad) cry? Click to find out!

 

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Fatherhood Advice

15) Treasure the time you spend with bubba.
Getting too caught up with your tech toys or work duties will cost you dearly. And don’t use work commitments as your way of providing for your kid’s future. They treasure your presence more than the things your money could buy.

16) You will break into the ugly (dad) cry.
Even the toughest man will cry on first laying eyes on his little darling. You’ll also will cry on the day you’re about to walk your little girl down the aisle. Hey, you don’t need to feel ashamed of the waterworks.

17) Parenting is all about worrying.
You will worry about your wife during pregnancy, worry that your kids’ studies, worry about your daughter’s boyfriends and worry about the family’s finances. And quite often, you can’t do anything except not let these concerns rule your behaviour or your emotions.

The best thing you can do is tell them that you will always be there for them. And then actually be there for them.

18) The dad bod is something you should SERIOUSLY care about.
Your metabolism will slow, your gut will start resembling the your wife’s baby bump and your muscles will ache more than before. The gym will seem less inviting, too, thanks to the young 20-something who can lift more than you. But don’t let that stop you from working out. In fact, ditch the gym and explore the outdoors with your kids. Not just great for family bonding, it works a treat on those love handles AND blood pressure!

19) Your kids are never going to tell you everything.
Remember that time when you copied a friend’s homework and got away with it? Your kids will do the same. They will do things without telling you, and they will have thoughts they’ll not want to share with you. Ever. The best thing you can do is tell them that you will always be there for them. And then actually be there for them.

20) You might envy your single friends. They envy you, too!
Your singleton pals are going places, career-wise, and may seem to enjoy a better and more carefree life compared to you. But the truth is, they are just as envious of your life as you are of theirs. You have a family ― a loving wife and respectful kids ― they can only dream of having.

21) This is your second chance at fostering better habits
Your child is going to grow up to be just like you ― he’s also going to parrot you in every way imaginable. Is it any surprise when he is the genetic equivalent of you and your wife? Note to self: Embracing your new dad role also means cultivating better habits.

22) Stop beating yourself up.
As a parent, you’re doing the best that you can. One day, your kiddo will appreciate all that you’ve done.

Photos: iStock

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