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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

Ed went through all sorts of needless worry. “Some of my fears were ‘Is my child getting enough to eat?’ ‘Are the baby's movements and sounds normal?’ ‘Is my child breathing correctly?’ ‘Is my child having normal bowel movements?’ One more concern was SIDS [Sudden Infant Death Syndrome] precautions. I was afraid my baby might roll over onto his stomach and suffocate.”

All of these fears are the result of the love new fathers feel for their children. The emotions they feel often cannot be put into words, but are manifested in these worries. “The amount of love a new father feels for his baby is just a knockout,” notes Diamond. “Men will find themselves feeling engrossed with their infants and wanting to be around them and kiss them and smell them and hold them and everything. It’s a feeling of love that they’ve never experienced before in the same way. It’s a different kind of love than he will feel for his partner. There’s no real way to prepare, but they shouldn’t be surprised by it.”

New dads should expect to make mistakes and not be afraid of trying things and jumping in on the process. You also have to remember that you’re not alone, and your partner is going through many of the same things you are. The key is to pay attention to mom and offer help whenever possible.

In 2007, Steven Thornton became a dad for the first time, and a few practical ideas helped him get through the first month with his wife and new baby.

“One thing I think helped us that not many people think about is that we prepared—and froze—about 20 meals so we didn’t waste time cooking, time most people probably don’t have anyway,” Steven says. “Each night I would take out a meal and heat it up, and my wife was so grateful that she didn’t have to worry about cooking. I think I learned that anything I could do to help my wife have less work was a big help for our relationship.”

David says it best when he’s describing his wife during the first month of his daughter’s life. “She was more beautiful as a mother than I had ever seen her before, and she made me want to be a better father for her and our baby.”

Posted: 10/3/07