If you have a perfectionist trait, it may be good to know how to gently encourage the new dad (your husband) to get involved in baby care. Wanting to have everything according to your own idea may lead you to unknowingly send discouraging messages to your husband. When it comes to involving your partner in...
Cuddle - 0 to 12 MonthsEqual ParentingRelationshipsHow to encourage a new dad to get involved in baby care?
If you have a perfectionist trait, it may be good to know how to gently encourage the new dad (your husband) to get involved in baby care. Wanting to have everything according to your own idea may lead you to unknowingly send discouraging messages to your husband. When it comes to involving your partner in something that they are not confident with, the key to motivating them and letting them learn new skills is encouragement.
Common Mistakes that new Mothers Make
One common mistake that new mothers make is to falsely assume that their husbands can/should read their minds. The fact is that most men need to be clearly told how their partners feel or what is expected from them. Hence, instead of thinking that ‘he should know that I’m struggling and I need him right now, communicate with him how you would like to be helped or supported Do that in a calm way before emotions take over.
Role of Dad
The role of a dad is crucial. Once couples are clear on this, baby care becomes more of a joint activity and turns out to be more enjoyable. The mom feels more supported and the dad feels wanted. (Men have the psychological need to feel wanted by their dear ones). The new dad no more feels left out as life starts revolving around the little one and the mom.
Again, there is a lot of what a mom does or not does do that determines how much a dad gets involved or enjoys the baby care process. If you are a soon-to-be mom, prepare yourself and your husband to make many mistakes in the baby care process. Your patience can be as encouraging to your husband as any good words. In other words, you don’t have to always use words to encourage your husband. Simply by asking for his help in things like swaddling the baby, rocking, burping, changing diapers, and cleaning her, you can gently encourage him to get involved.
Give your husband time to be the new dad
Always correcting him is not the way to go. Giving him the time and space to get the hang of it, starting from holding your baby lets him get involved increasingly. Till he gets confident, offer him opportunities and show him that his help and involvement matter. Once he gets better at doing things, don’t forget to comment on it- “He looks so cozy in the new dad’s arms”.
Frequently jumping in and interfering saying that ‘that’s not how you do it is not encouraging and motivating for the husband. If he offers to fold clothes, let him do it his own way.
Another thing to avoid is redoing what he has done because it is not up to your standards. Frequently redoing things that your husband does sends him the message that he is not capable of doing it well enough or you are not satisfied with what he is offering. Redo things only if it is absolutely necessary, otherwise, it is better to leave them.
Giving exclusive time for dad and baby also helps in getting him more connected. This time can be used for taking care of yourself or relaxing. Plan together when this time can be and for how long. During this time, resist the temptation to check on how well the new dad is taking care of the newborn. It gives an indirect message that you don’t trust him with the baby. Men need to be trusted more than anything else, which boosts their motivation to get more and more involved.
Last but not the least
Lastly, dividing household chores and baby care activities between the two of you are important. Deciding who does what takes some discussion time and it is something that you may do before the baby’s arrival. Things may not go exactly as per this plan, yet, it is good to have a basic idea of what the husband may be doing and what you may be doing.