Becoming a dad for the first time is a little bit like stepping off a spaceship into alien territory.
The terrain is unfamiliar, you have no clue where you are or what you’re doing, and somebody has crapped their pants.
After years of coasting through life as a big kid, you’re suddenly expected to do some serious adulting.
10 Things New Dads Want To Hear
There are nappies to change, night feeds to help out with and postpartum hormonal rows to be carefully avoided.
And, in typical male style, you’re expected to do all of this without showing any weakness.
To make things a little easier on the new dad in your life, make sure you say at least a few of the following things during your next chat.
These are 10 things all new dads want to hear, whether they’ll admit it openly or not:
#1: You’re A Natural
There is nothing more terrifying than being handed a new baby and then left in charge.
You go from non-parent to parent in a millisecond and, all of a sudden, you’re supposed to know what you’re doing.
Help a new dad out by complimenting him on his parenting skills. Tell him he’s a natural, that he looks like a great dad, or that he seems to have a strong bond with his newborn. It doesn’t really matter what you say, just as long as he hears that he’s doing a good job.
#2: I Won’t Stay Long
By all means, drop in when you’re invited to meet the baby. Take a look at the adorable human, listen to the parents wax lyrical about their latest creation and then, this is important, dip out before you’ve outstayed your welcome.
Those brand new parents are exhausted, they haven’t slept properly in a long time (and won’t be doing anytime soon) and they need their rest. They also need time to bond. Pop in, meet the baby, then leave. They’ll love you for it.
#3: I’ve Brought You…
It doesn’t matter what it is. A beer, a frozen casserole that can be heated later, a book about fatherhood – bring whatever you like. It doesn’t have to cost much, it’s just a token to show you’ve been thinking of the family.
Food will always go down well, something they can snack on when they’re busy taking care of their newborn instead of themselves.
#4: Do You Need Anything From The Shop?
Perhaps unsurprisingly, new dads are usually charged with supermarket trips and any other errands. The new mama is home, resting or feeding the baby, so it’s dad who gets sent out to buy toilet paper and thank you cards.
While he might enjoy the distraction, he may also be feeling sad to be missing out on time with his new family. Help him out by offering to call by the shop for him on your way to the house.
If you can tick a few errands off his to-do list, that will free up time for him to spend with his beautiful new baby.
#5: Your Baby Is The Cutest
Well, who doesn’t want to hear this one? Don’t be shy, admire the baby. New parents never tire of hearing how amazingly beautiful, smart, advanced and strong their baby is.
It’s the ultimate conversation filler to use when you’re hanging out with new parents. Go on, compliment that gorgeous little newborn.
#6: How Are You Finding It?
You know what sucks about being a man? Not being able to talk about how you feel. Well you can, but society tends to back away from doing it, so having friends who will listen is important. That’s where you come in.
Make sure you take the time to ask him how he’s finding fatherhood. And, if he’s finding it overwhelming or scary, make sure you’re there to listen to his concerns.
Sometimes it helps to just talk about things, especially if you’re feeling worried or anxious. Make sure he knows you have a good pair of ears, should he ever need them.
#7: How Was The Birth?
Birth can be a beautiful and empowering thing. It can also be, erm, not that. Don’t assume it’s just women who want to talk about childbirth, he might have some things to get off his chest as well.
Some men struggle with their emotions after the birth, particularly if the lives of their partner or baby were at risk at any point during the birth.
Don’t assume birth talk is out of bounds just because he’s a bloke. In fact, he might be grateful for the opportunity to talk through what happened.
#8: Do You Fancy…
All expectant parents worry about whether they’ll still have a social life once the baby arrives. Will they be able to keep up with their friends and make the most of nights out and parties while balancing the demands of family life?
Don’t assume that he can’t make it just because he’s a dad now, but be prepared that he might not be able to. Invite him anyway, but be understanding if he declines. It’s always nice to be invited, even if you can’t make it right now.
#9: Your Partner Is Amazing
Nothing makes you fall in love with your partner quite like seeing them give birth. Oh, except caring for your newborn baby, of course.
As she takes her first tentative steps of motherhood, your friend is probably in complete and utter awe of his partner. You’ll see it when you visit, it would be impossible not to, so make sure you comment on it.
#10: Let Me Take A Family Photo
Parents of the modern era are experts at taking family selfies. Arms stretched out, chins in, duck lips out, and cheeeese. But, you know what’s even better than a family selfie? An actual family photo that’s taken by somebody else.
Help out by taking a photo. It doesn’t matter that they haven’t done their hair or the house is a mess, they will one day look back on the photo and treasure it regardless.