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From nappies to changing mats, breast pumps to baby burps, there’s a lot to get to grips with as a new dad. There are so many books, online articles and antenatal classes that will help you prepare before you bring your new baby home.

However, no matter how much information you gather beforehand, there are a lot of things that might take you by surprise once your new baby arrives. But, don’t fret! You’re not alone in the way you’re feeling.

Here are some thoughts, feelings and facts we found that dads may experience when they first become parents.

1. The world suddenly seems fraught with danger!

From being concerned about whether your newborn will start choking on a toy, to panicking when your little one has their first hiccups: it’s easy to feel overly worried about the safety and wellbeing of your baby! But, it’s okay. That’s very common for a lot of new parents.

Remember: don’t ever feel silly for being worried about your baby’s safety. Newborns seem so tiny and vulnerable.

The key is to follow your gut. If something really doesn’t feel right, contact your health visitor, midwife or GP to check. Or, if you’re not 100% sure whether it’s cause for concern, contact 111 (the non-emergency NHS number that will help give you information when needed).

2. Fun fact: as a new dad, you forget what sleep is

This might be a typical trope that you see in every TV show and every film, but it doesn’t make it any less true! In the early days of parenthood, it’s very likely that you catch a lot less of your Z’s at night.

Grab any rest you can and know that it DOES get easier (honest!)

3. It isn’t just your partner who is up late feeding the baby

It’s a turn-based system for a lot of folks. If your partner is breastfeeding then perhaps you can help by changing your baby’s nappy after a feed and settling them back to sleep. If you’re bottle-feeding it’s easier to take turns and divvy up the night shift.

Sharing the responsibility can help the feeling of being a unit with your partner while also helping to experience that quality bonding time with your baby.

4. New dads, New friends

There’s a lot of talk about the importance of mum friends and how great they can be in the duration of early parenthood.

However, there’s a certain group that are just as important: dad friends!

Finding your tribe is just as important for dads as it is for mums. Shout out to the dads who make us laugh when everything feels like it’s on fire, or who don’t judge us when we are truly struggling. You guys are the best!

Two dad friends laughing together

(Read our blog on why mum (and dad) friends are so brilliant!)

5. Expect the unexpected

Despite any preparations you make in advance; no matter how many stories you hear from other dads, the unexpected will likely happen!

This will be new and unfamiliar territory, so don’t panic if something occurs that wasn’t in the books!

Just take a deep breath, relax, and follow your gut.

6. Your home will be invaded by the baby-pocalypse!

Before you had a baby, you probably didn’t realise that diaper decor was a thing, did you?

Well with the new abundance of toys scattered across the floor, baby gates in every doorway, and a spattering of new stains and smells around the house, you’re bound to know exactly what it is now!

The arrival of a baby truly does change the dynamic of a home as much as it does a family. But, if that thought worries you, don’t worry! The home you loved and decorated before is still there. It’s just a little bit buried at the moment. If you feel like you and your partner need an escape from the baby-pocalypse, perhaps it would be good to keep a room in your house that is baby-free.

Get out your “No baby toys or nappies allowed past this point!” sign and nail it firmly to the door. You and your partner need your own space. Don’t be afraid to keep hold of it.

7. If you are a new dad, you can experience PND

A lot of people may think that PND is something that can primarily affect women following the birth of their babies. However, it’s definitely something that can affect men too!

According to PANDA’s, 1 in 20 men experience depression during their partner’s pregnancy, and up to 1 in 10 men struggle with PND following the birth of their baby. That figure is a shocking one, that possibly a lot of men don’t know about. So remember, try to take care of yourself. If you notice that you are feeling uncharacteristically low or irritable, perhaps it’s time to reach out for help?

If you feel that you yourself may be struggling or dealing with PND, reach out to your local GP or contact charities like PANDAS. (Find out more at our support page here)

A new dad kissing their newborn baby

8. You will start thinking about your own mortality more and more

Up until this point, we all feel like we’re pretty invincible. You don’t often think about the dangerous side of your actions or the potential risks that may occur. But now that you have a tiny human in your care, it’s very likely that you’ll start to consider these things more and more.

It’s a good thing to consider the activities in your life that do cause risk to your being. However, it should be said that you should avoid giving up any hobbies that make you the person you are. You have a baby in your care, and they will shape the person you are a lot more. But don’t throw away all the other things you love.

9. New dad: it’s okay to feel blue sometimes – even if you don’t know why

When your partner has a lot on her plate, or the people around you seem chaotically stressed out, you sometimes push your own feelings down and put them as a “low priority”. You will continue to take on more responsibilities and might pretend that everything is fine.

But, everyone feels a little blue sometimes. Including you! You may not even truly understand why it is you feel blue or run-down. But if at all possible, you should try and be open about the way you’re feeling with others. Maybe talking about it out loud will help you identify the problem?

10. It’s okay to accept help from others

It can be difficult to accept help sometimes. We all want to feel like we can do it ourselves. But, when it comes to having a new baby in the house, there’s just so much that needs to be done!

If someone offers to watch the baby for a day while you do some self-maintenance, or perhaps sends you a meal they’ve prepared or other supplies – take it! People are more than happy to help, and it will possibly feel refreshing to have an extra pair of hands nearby.

11. Regardless of how stressful and tired you both may be, you and your partner still support and care for one another

Who was it that said having a baby is like chucking a grenade into a marriage? The beginning period of parenthood can be a busy and tiring time. Both you and your partner may be stressed beyond any limit that you thought either of you could reach before.

However, despite any standoffish or stressful situations that the two of you may encounter, you both are in this together! You are a team, and remember that you both still love and care for one another. The two of you just produced a tiny little human together! You’re both miracle workers, and should reassure each other of that if and when you can.

A new dad and new mum embracing their newborn baby

12. New Dad: you need a support system too

A lot of women are told to keep a support system in place during parenthood. This might be a friendship group, or a “tribe” that they have met at baby or toddler group.

However, you need that too! Perhaps it’s time that you go out and try to find your tribe! Why not take your little one to a baby class? Don’t worry, regardless of how they may market towards women, they are all more than welcoming towards dads too!

Find a baby group to join today!

13. Finances could be on your mind a lot more now

This one is probably one you started to realise during the pregnancy period, but babies are expensive! Suddenly you’re picking up the cheaper brand in the supermarket, and deciding whether or not to cancel that Netflix subscription.

Whilst it’s a very good idea to try and find some new money-saving hacks, you definitely shouldn’t stop putting money into things that make you happy or help you relax.

There’s a lot of good places you can find money-saving advice, watching programmes by financial journalists like Martin Lewis, or even booking an appointment with a financial consultant if you really need it. There are answers and advice out there – try not to let it occupy your mind too much!

14. Don’t feel bad for needing time away from your baby as a new dad

It’s only human to need some space every once in a while. With the arrival of a new baby, it sometimes might simultaneously feel like you’re never alone but also, surprisingly, isolated. We need other adults in our life.

Don’t feel bad though. It’s incredibly likely that your partner feels the same way themselves! Maybe try deciding a few times and days where you can take it in turns to look after your baby while the other goes to see some other adults. It’s easy to feel guilty, but sometimes we need some time away from our little ones to be the best parents we can be.

15. You didn’t realise how much you could love another human until you had a baby

During the prenatal period, it’s very easy to get swept up in the rush and the frantic chaos of pregnancy. You have got used to “The Bump”. And, perhaps, you haven’t yet been able to fully recognise “The Bump” as another human yet.

But, there’s a special moment that a lot of parents experience once the baby has arrived. You see their face, their very little body that you feel like you have to be extra careful approaching. You hold your hand out towards them, and then their tiny little hand takes hold of what seems like a titanic finger in comparison. Their hand grips onto it so tightly that it catches your breath.

It’s in that moment that you realise that in front of you is possibly the most perfect little human that you’ve ever seen. And you never want them to let go.

A baby's hand is gripping hold of a new dad's forefinger.

Well, these are the new dad facts, thoughts and feelings that we found out about! Did you relate to any of them?

What have we missed in our list? What unexpected thoughts and feelings did you go through when you first became a new dad?

If you liked this post, you might also like:

Mum friends (And 6 reasons why they’re so brilliant!)

Be More Toddler! How it could make us happier

9 Brilliant Benefits of Baby and Toddler Classes

You’re busy looking after your baby. You’re coping with sleep deprivation. You just don’t have time to think about how to lose any weight you put on in pregnancy. You should always love your body – it just grew a tiny human after all! But what are some easy bite-size weight loss tips for busy mums? It’s all about learning to walk before you can run!

The dreaded D word bringing out the toddler in you!

When it comes to trying to lose weight and the dreaded ‘D’ word, does your brain have a particular reaction that can be frustrating, torrential, aggravating and usually end up with you sitting on the naughty step with a tub of ice cream in your lap as you have a little bit of a cry?

First of all, let us reassure you, you are not alone! Most of us have heard the word ‘diet’ so many times that it immediately sends us into a fight or flight frenzy! We are all in the same boat when it comes to that ‘D’ word.

But, sadly, here comes the bad news: quick-fix diets rarely work!

A bit of a difficult pill to swallow for a lot of people. But speaking for the sake of mums here: we don’t have time to think about how to lose weight. We are tired, and so the mere sight of a salad makes us want an extra bit of cake. Our reactions mimic our toddlers, and suddenly not wanting to share is kind of understandable.

So, should we just give up because we are busy? Definitely not. If you’re feeling a bit down about your new mum tum then here are some easy ways to approach it all.

Weight loss tip for busy mums: “Learning to walk”

When a baby is taking its first magical steps, it doesn’t happen automatically. Our baba’s don’t suddenly kick their heels together in the air and start galloping through the wind, doing star jumps and flips.

First, they learn the basics. They learn how to sit up, they learn how to stand, and they learn how to balance. Then, and only then, have they got some base work and can learn to walk.

The same logic can be applied to when we want to try and get healthy. It’s near impossible to jump straight into the lifestyle of the fit and healthy. We shouldn’t hold such high expectations of ourselves of being able to do it all straight away! If we want to be able to run, we first need to learn to walk

And if we want to learn to walk, we need to focus on the base work.

Step one: sitting up (yup, we’re still talking weight loss tips)

This is the first big step and the beginning of your journey. For a lot of us, this is the most difficult. Mainly because we have decided we want to do something to change our lifestyle. It’s okay to feel nervous! But, we should not inflate this step into being our end goal. We all have a finish line to reach, and it’s not going to be at the starting pole.

Our first hurdle is this: do just one thing that will begin to improve your mental or physical health.

Not something as vague as “start a diet” however. This one thing should be specific. Think of what you are going to do in more detail.

A couple of weight loss tips/ideas that we had for mums:

  • Do one activity a week that involves physical exercise. That might be as simple as walking your little one to the park when you would normally drive. Or signing up for a baby/toddler class that involves more physical activity. We have plenty of classes listed (Latino Bambino, Sweaty Mama, Buggyfit to list just a few) on Happity that might help with this.
  • Learn more about Nutrition: This step may not involve making any changes to your eating habits yet. This step is more just about finding out what nutrition is. And how eating well can make you feel better. One of the easiest ways you can slide these little tidbits into your day is by following a few nutrition/body positivity pages on social media! Some influencers on Instagram include NicsNutrition or Rhirition for nutrition information, and Alexlight_ldn for body positivity. Have a look around to see who appeals to you!
Faceless figure sitting at a table and researching - weight loss tips for mums

A change is a change, no matter how small or simple it might sound at first. Once doing one of these feels second nature to you, and is firmly in your routine, then move to the next step.

Step two: standing up

The next step isn’t too tricky to wrap your head around: add one more thing to your routine that will help your mental or physical health.

A few more weight loss tips for mums!:

  • Eating at regular meal times: This one can often be the downfall for a lot of mamas. But, why not try eating at the same time that your child is eating. Or just before/after if it’s impossible to eat and feed! Try not to forget about yourself when you are feeding others. And if eating all of your meals regularly still sounds too hard, then try at least getting your breakfast at a regular time every morning.
  • Getting enough sleep: Studies have shown that getting good quality sleep is equally as important as diet and exercise in regulating our weight. Again, this is a tricky one for mums. But, there’s a few things you can try doing to squeeze in a few extra hours of sleep. Napping at the same time your child for example. Or going to bed an hour earlier than normal. It can be tempting to want to stay awake for as much as your “alone time” as possible. But if you catch your extra Z’s, you’ll feel a lot of mental benefits too like an improved mood and reduced levels of stress.

It’s a good thing to note that if you try one of these weight loss tips for mums, and you just can’t do it right now or it’s not working, then change it! Give something else a go and dip your toe in the different waters.

Managed to squeeze one of these into your routine too? Great! Onto the next step.

Step three: finding your balance

You’re getting the idea. Add another thing to your routine that will help your mental or physical health. You’ve done it twice already now, you can do it a third!

More weight loss tips for mums? Don’t mind if we do!:

  • Meal prepping: Time to raid the tupperware cupboard! Meal prepping is a great way to have your breakfast, lunch and/or dinners ready to go within a moments notice. Give yourself a regular day where you know you’ll have a bit of free time (and when you’re not mentally exhausted!) to prep up some healthy and ready to go meals. There’s a few good ideas over on Tasty, but there’s also plenty of videos on YouTube to give you some ideas too!
  • Resist eating up your kid’s leftovers: One of our pitfalls! our child leaves behind food on their plate and we are tired and hungry and pooch it off. Make it your mantra to avoid eating what they leave on their plates!
  • Reduce cakes, biscuits and sweets: This one is the bane of us all! An important thing to note: you should not tell yourself that you are cutting it out altogether! If you really and dearly want that slice of cake, then you deserve it! Go for it, and don’t tell yourself “no”. All you should consider doing is reducing the amount of that thing you are having gradually. No sudden changes, no quick decisions. Take your time with it. Because life is too short to not have that tesco jam doughnut every once in a while!
A mother and daughter -weight loss tips for mums

How are you doing? Mastered this one? Okay, next step!

Step four: Walking

So, this is what it’s been leading up to. This is what the base work has been for. This is where we get on the road and figure out how to lose weight.

And, here’s a surprise, you’re already doing it. You’ve walked three steps already, and you’ve done them at your own pace.

By this point, you will have taught yourself the ways in which you personally find your body is able to change. You can find the ideal ways to convince your body to do little changes without cutting out anything that you don’t want to.

Understandably, this is a long haul approach, and the weight will not fly off. But remember, this weight didn’t arrive overnight, it won’t leave overnight either.

Keep on keeping on with new weight loss tips

From here, it’s as simple as carrying on! Keep on introducing new things into your lifestyle that will help you and your health. Gradually, you’ll be a completely different person to the one you once were. But, patience is key! Do not try to rush your health.

The NHS have listed a few more ways you can improve your healthy eating here (if you are looking for more ideas).

Oh, and we have just one more extra point to say to those who want to lose weight.

Remember: try to love your body

This world is made up of so many different people, and the wobbly bits that make us different make us wonderful! The world can offer all sorts of tips on how to get healthier. But, that’s exactly it. You should think about wanting to be healthy, mentally and physically. Being healthy doesn’t necessarily mean researching how to lose weight. Being healthier may mean for you to figure out how to love yourself.

So we want to say this: big shout out to the mum bods, the mum tums and your wobbly bits.

If you are reading this as a new mum, remember that it took nine months for your body to grow and change so it makes sense that it will take at least nine months to change back. The human body is miraculous. You did just grow a tiny human in there, remember? Do not punish or hate your body for achieving that amazing feat! Give it the extra love it needs.

And If you are reading this as a dad, well you have been carrying the stresses and the weight of supporting your partners through all this too! Do not feel bad for gaining a little weight in the process. This weight was gained through love and care for your family. Give it a little bit of love too!

Child like finger painting relating to weight loss tips for mums

Disclaimer: We are not health or medical professionals and you should always seek medical advice if you are worried about your health. If you are severely concerned about your own or a loved one’s weight/health, then you should contact your GP to seek out help.

We keep hearing that we should restrict technology/screen time for children to X hours/minutes a day but what should they do instead?

All you have done is made technology/screen time this highly craved experience that’s sought after daily, binged at every opportunity until taken from their grasp.

They become obsessed.

What if you could allow your child to have technology/screen time but choose themselves when they have had enough and pursue a more worthwhile, beneficial activity?

The Self Motivated Kid” points towards offering alternatives to your child and allowing them to choose which activity to pursue without force.

Here is an example I was able to put into practice:

It was a rainy Saturday and both my children Anna (aged 5) and Harry (aged 3) were sitting on the couch playing on their tablets. While trying to communicate with them several times and receiving nothing back I decided to put the concept from “The Self Motivated Kid” into practice.

I took some sports equipment (cones, agility ladder and hurdles) and placed it on the floor in a structured fashion. I then started to jump over the hurdles, stepping through the ladder and weaving in and out of the cones.

Anna peered over the top of her tablet curiously asking “what are you doing?”, quickly followed by “can I have a turn?”

She immediately starting tackling the obstacles and asking how to navigate the course. Harry quickly followed suit and the tablets laid on the couch without a second thought (a good opportunity to charge them up)!

We spent two hours playing different games, having lots of fun and getting exercise at the same time, some real bonding time together. Not only that they soon got their imaginations into gear thinking up all types of elaborate, fun games to play. This normally consisted of them collecting cones until the music stopped and the crocodile (played by the parent/carer obviously) trying to eat them!

So now the children will ask for exercises, obstacles, games as well as their technology/tv time depending on how they are feeling!

Technology is here to stay and kids will need to master it, however opening up their minds to other alternatives and letting them choose when and how long to devote to each is probably the winning formula.

The “Self Motivated Kid” compares different parenting approaches mainly the tiger parent who has a very rigid/structured timetable for their children to a dolphin parent who allows a bit more choice/freedom for their children within their schedule.

We would definitely recommend reading this book for some top parenting tips!