If you are a new dad, or have been one for some time now, Happy Father’s Day to you! Becoming a father is one of the most exciting and cherishable experiences of life, and today is a day dedicated to all the fathers and father figures who nurture and bring up their children and frame their personality in a huge way.
For new fathers, while it is an exciting time, it is also a tad daunting, for taking care of a baby is not something they may have done before. Which is why experts say that fatherhood begins even before a baby’s arrival. You will have to prepare yourself on how you plan to go about raising your baby, long before they have arrived.
According to Nishant Gupta, the founder of Gurugram-based Medharbour Hospital — who has nearly 11 years of experience in healthcare, including the handling of maternity and infertility hospitals — the foremost responsibility for a father-to-be is to provide psychological support to their wife. “Make sure she gets the right nutritious diet during the course of pregnancy, as it is essential for both mother and child. Prior to the delivery, the father should definitely take a first-hand account of where the newborn would arrive and ensure there is cleanliness, neonatal ICU support and emergency handling capacity with the hospital.”
Gupta says once the baby arrives, it is the fathers who will need to be psychologically and physically ready. “Get acquainted with changing diapers, making baby food, sterilizing utensils, while also managing time at home despite workload. Most importantly, understand all the needs of the baby and the mother.”
Dr Himanshu Gandhi, the co-founder and CEO of Indian baby and mom care brand Mother Sparsh says, “While all the focus is directed towards new moms in the post-pregnancy phase, a significant and proactive role needs to be played by new dads to ensure the well-being of their little one. They should ensure any baby product they use does not contain harmful chemicals or ingredients that can cause harm to the delicate skin.”
He adds that only those kinds of wipes should be used which are water-based, so as to avoid rashes. “Use only those creams or oils that comprise natural ingredients or Ayurvedic herbs. New fathers should spend as much time with the child and the mom as possible, for their presence itself means a lot.”
Sandeep Sinha, a Delhi-based father of a two-year-old shares his experience of how the first challenge that came his way was holding the infant. “As a new dad, the first problem was how to handle the baby as I had no idea about holding a newborn. I guess it came naturally later, with a lot of challenges. Especially in our generation, which thrives on nuclear families, many men have a first-time experience of nurturing a baby. I read a lot of informative blogs, articles to equip myself with adequate knowledge and perform the duties of being a father.”