Post # 1
DH told me last night that he feels under-qualified to be a dad. He’s never held a baby before, changed a diaper, etc, and he’s afraid that he’s going to be terrible at it. We’re the first of our close friends to have a kid, so there’s nobody I can send him to for practice. He was fine when we talked about TTC, but I think now that we’re closing in on third tremester he’s getting nervous as it gets more “real” for him.
Has anybody else gone through this with their DH/SO? I just don’t know what to say or do to make him feel better. 🙁
Post # 3
i think it is normal for all first time dads. Its scary for them too. Once the baby arrives you will both learn together and he will become so good at it you will not know where your husband went. If he would be up for reading books that would help. Read up as much as you can and just pass the information to him so he knows what to expect. It really doesnt hit them until they hear that baby cry, so tell him not to worry.
Post # 4
are there any courses in your area? a lot of them are based on preparing for childbirth, breast feeding but there’s also infant care in some places
infant first aid is not a bad idea either
Post # 5
I think most Dads and Moms feel this way at times! I remember leaving the hospital with our first and thinking “OMG. We are responsible for a human life!”
Post # 6
@bunnymama: My uncle was like this!!! He was terrified of babies. Seriously, when my other uncles had babies he would never hold them. He would almost get anxiety attacks about it when they got close. When his DD was born, he was like a brand new man. Holding her in his arms he knew he would never want to let her go. Your DH I bet will be the same way(: When it’s their own kid they tend to know what to do.
Post # 7
@newname_99: There are parent support groups in my area for parents/babies up to 6 months, but they don’t accept registration until after the baby is born and they run in the morning on weekdays, so I wouldn;t be able to take him to it. :/
Post # 8
I have a feeling this will be my DH – he really hasn’t ever been around babies. Luckily, he’s getting some practice with young kids with my nephews, and he’s really good with them, but I think he’s still never held a baby, changed a diaper, etc. I think all new parents are overwhelmed, and you learn with practice. Like others have said, all you can do is get as much info as you can (from books, online, classes) and realize that it’s mostly a “learning on the job” sort of thing.
Post # 9
Thank you, ladies! I’m glad to hear that this is pretty normal. It just breaks my heart to see him so worried about not being good enough, because I know he’s going to be a good dad. I’ll try to find him some good books/videos and hopefully put his mind at ease until our LO gets here.
Post # 10
@bunnymama: oh that’s a pity. I’ve got to be honest, im not in a better position than him. I don’t know anyone with babies (none in my family, my friend’s don’t have any) and i’m clueless how to do loads of stuff
the internet is my friend hahaha. ive seen videos about everything – breastfeeding, swaddling, diaper changing. There’s a lot of info out there and there are a ton of books too. I’d get him into research so he is feeling more comfortable
Post # 11
@bunnymama: The hospital I’m delivering at has a “Daddy Training” class that’s only for men and it’s taught by fathers. You may want to look into it. I suggested it to my DH, but he has lots of experience with younger counsins and siblings, so he didn’t think it was necessary.
I, on the other hand, have no experience with babies, and I’m feeling a lot like your DH. i signed up for a newborn parenting class and luckily, I have my mother and my MIL nearby for emergency support when I have no clue 🙂
Post # 12
my husband says this and we havent started trying yet. He has no idea how to change a diaper or anything and he says he always feels awkward and nervous if he holds a baby. I just tell him he’ll feel different when its OURS and he’ll learn. I have 8 neices and nephews so i’ve got enough experience for the both of us.
Post # 13
My FI and I have almost no experience with babies. Neither of us has ever changed a diaper and we’ve only sort of held babies before. It’s different when it’s your own, though.
Post # 14
Most definately normal. My DH felt the same way and he has held all his nieces and nephews when they were baby. But it is completely different when it is your own. It is a learning process.
Even myself, I worked in daycare but having your own child is different and definately learning curve.
Post # 15
I’d point out that he has already shown he’ll be a good dad. He wanted a child, he planned for a child, and now he’s trying to make sure that he’s as ready as can be to be a good dad. the steps that he’s already taken show that he’s trying to be responsible and caring – two of the biggest necessary Dad characteristics. I also made sure to tell my husband that I wouldn’t have picked him as the father of DD (and any other future kids), if I wasn’t convinced that he’d be great dad. He trusted my judgment, so then he trusted himself, if that makes sense.
Post # 16
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@bunnymama: Totally normal thoughts and feelings. What does he respond best to? Would he read a book geared towards new dads? If so grab his a book like Be Prepared by Gary Greenberg. Does he feel comfortable learning in a group? Take a parenting class together, you might even find one specifically for new dads.
Also, make sure you are encouraging him and letting him know how great of a dad he will be. Encourage him to play with other people’s children so he can see how easy it can be. When the new baby arrives encourage him to change diapers, bottlefeed, and dress the baby. Make sure to praise him no matter how much you want to correct him because if you only complain he will give up and leave you with all of the work. (Caveat: it’s okay to say something when what they are doing is actually dangerous but then make sure to say “do it like this” rather than “you’re doing it wrong!”) Make sure he knows there are other things he can do for you to make it easier when you are breastfeeding or you need a break and let him know that helping you is helping the baby and being a good dad too.