Your dream of becoming a dad has finally been realized. There is lots of talk about all the great parts of parenting. But seldom does anyone talk about what being a new father is like in the early days and weeks. Sometimes it feels like bliss, but sometimes it feels like a three-ring circus. So, keep reading to get some sensible solutions to the three common problems new fathers face.
Problem 1: You Can’t Get Your Baby to Sleep
Solution: Put Your Baby to Bed When They are Still Awake
Despite the cuddles, a warm bottle and soft music playing on the mobile above the crib, your child has decided that sleep is not a priority. Every time you put them down, they scream. Yet, you know they are tired. You are at your wit’s end because this is now your fifth day in a row of fewer than three hours of sleep.
But who says you have to make sure a baby is asleep before putting them to bed? After all, you are still awake when you crawl into bed, right? So, the baby cries, screams, wales at the top of their lungs. Walk away. Let them learn how to soothe themselves.
However, if the crying lasts longer than five or 10 minutes, go in to check on them, but only for a minute. By doing this, you are teaching independence instead of co-dependence. Also, make sure they are dry, fed and comfortable to be sure your baby is not crying out of need.
Problem 2: Your Baby Won’t Stop Crying
Solution: Just Breathe
Here’s the common scenario: there is not more than 30 minutes in a day of peace in your house. You can’t sleep, and nothing you do seems to be working. You are not enjoying being a new father, and you feel guilty. There is nothing as isolating as feeling like you are the only one who is not enjoying parenthood.
But it is difficult to feel the joy of parenting when your baby is crying all the time and you are sleep deprived. So, remember to breathe. Parenting is hard work, and you are not alone. This stage will not last forever. These are the most common problems new fathers face.
Problem 3: Your Baby’s Day is Unpredictable
Solution: Create a Flexible Schedule
Babies don’t come into this world knowing when they should eat, sleep, or play. So why allow your schedule to revolve around them? Setting a schedule for your baby to eat, sleep and play times will help you to feel more in control. Soon, you’ll be able to discern a hungry cry from a restless or uncomfortable cry.
Knowing what activity your baby will be doing at what time will help you to feel that you have control over what your day looks like. However, don’t set it in stone. To deal with the problems new fathers face, you have to learn about your baby and their needs. So, be as flexible with your schedule as possible.
Parenting is wonderful, but it is also hard. But the problems new fathers face are common, so talk to other dads. You can share tips, learn and support each other. Being honest about your struggles will help other dads feel safe opening up, as well.