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Our Being a New Dad Experts

Dr. T. Berry Brazelton

Dr. T. Berry Brazelton

Founder of the Child Development Unit at Children’s Hospital...

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Armin A. Brott

Armin A. Brott

Parenting expert, author, and weekly radio show host

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Dr. Jerrold Lee Shapiro

Dr. Jerrold Lee Shapiro

Clinical psychologist and professor of counseling psychology...

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You're the Dad Now

“It can get overwhelming,” says David Nash, a father of two in Savannah, GA, who remembers how difficult his first month with his youngest daughter was. “I was working as a teacher. I had to be at school early in the morning and coach the football team after school, but my wife wanted me to be there for her and the baby, of course. At first it was hard balancing work and my home life, and it seemed like I would never have a minute to myself. By the end of the first 30 days, things seemed more routine and I was able to support my wife, bond with my child and even get a little sleep. Looking back four years later, I think we did a great job as a team and that’s probably the most important thing.”

David is a big believer in creating schedules, although he warns that adding baby stuff to a schedule is always difficult because you never know a child’s sleeping and feeding patterns.

“I would make a list of everything I had to do for the week, and I put numbers on them to show their importance,” he says. “If something had a five on it, I knew it was a task I had to get done quickly, but if it had a two or one, I could wait a week or two. Having a list was good for me because sometimes you forget what needs to be done, and this was a way to make life easier.”

Being an Outsider

Obviously when someone new comes into a household, the dynamic of the family will change. For some men, this means they may feel unwanted or jealous of the baby. These are normal feelings.

According to Diamond, an important event during the first 30 days is the way a new dad looks at how life is going to change. “Instead of being the hero of his own journey, feeling like he can do whatever it is he wants to do, suddenly he is put into the background,” he notes. “It’s a very important and active role to play, but the man is no longer the star anymore. Fathers need to allow the mother and infant to become immersed in each other, and a lot of men have difficulty with that.”

Posted: 10/3/07