Surviving the first weeks

Preparing older children

A dad's survival guide

Here's some things you can do to prepare

  • Think back to how you were raised, will you do things the same or differently.
  • Talk about things before baby arrives so you have time to think things through. Where will baby sleep? How will we cope money wise? What about the crying and the tiredness?
  • Find out what you’re entitled to – parental leave, family benefits or allowances.
  • Try not to stress – babies don’t need lots of stuff and you can borrow or get most of it second-hand.

Don’t be shy about asking visitors to help out – hang the washing out, cook a meal or take the other kids out for a while.

Every baby is different. No baby is naughty!

Like adults every baby is different. Your baby may be easygoing and calm, or wakeful and active. They may settle quickly into a regular routine or be more unpredictable.

If they cry a lot, it doesn’t mean they’re being naughty or annoying you on purpose. Crying is their way of communicating – and although it can be hard to cope with (especially when you are tired too) this stage won’t last forever.

Whatever your baby’s personality, you can get your relationship off to a great start by:

  • Giving them lots of attention - you can’t spoil a baby with too much love.
  • Responding quickly to their crying -it makes them feel more safe and settled.
  • Singing, talking and cuddling – it all helps their brain to grow and builds a stronger bond with mum and dad
  • Smiling at them lots – eventually they’ll smile back!

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