Tuesday, January 27, 2009

How to Be More Than A Sperm Donor: Top 10 Things New Dads Need to Know

1. I doubt you were a great lover your first time out, so why would you expect to know how to be a great dad without any practice? You may not know it yet, but fatherhood can be a lot more fulfilling than donating sperm! Relax, give yourself some time to learn, and have some fun along the way.

2. Diaper duty earns big points. So does feeding, rocking, and bathing your baby. Any hands-on fathering will be a big help to your partner and your baby.

3. You have undoubtedly discovered that your wife isn't much fun right now. She may be weepy, stressed, and a bit less groomed than she used to be. This is normal. The good news is that she will return to something like her old self again once your little family has navigated the gauntlet of new parenthood.

4. Your wife still needs you. Stay nearby and be patient. You may not recognize the woman you partnered up with 9 or 10 months ago, but she is still in there.

5. Your sex life may have taken a nose dive, but you will be able to engage in some adult fun (with your wife!), soon.

6. Nobody deserves postpartum mood disorders, and nobody causes them either. Don't blame each other when the going gets tough. Know that many symptoms will pass on their own in a couple of weeks, and all are treatable.

7. Sleep heals. Mothers typically take the brunt of sleepless nights, but you're probably not getting as much as you need either. Whoever came up with the phrase "sleeping like a baby" didn't know babies wake up a lot! One proven way to help both of you feel better is to support each other in getting sleep whenever possible.

8. Trust your instincts. Different "experts", including the guy in line at the grocery store, will tell you to handle your baby a different way. Trust yourself, your wife and your baby to tell you what you need to know.

9. Your baby needs to play with you. Here is a case where having fun is exactly the right thing. Playing stimulates your baby's mind and body to develop in healthy ways. You may feel more playful right now than your wife, so go for it.

10. Learn when to ask for help. Life can be stressful with a new baby. It should get easier with time. If things get worse, or simply don't improve, it is time to ask for help. Check out www.mommy-muse.com for a wealth of information and great resources.

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