Going to be a first-time dad? You may still be in shock from the news or perhaps you’re feeling ecstatic because you’ve been waiting years for this.
Regardless of what you are feeling, it’s important to know that having mixed feelings is normal, from outright terror to pure joy.
If we are being honest, it’s difficult to feel prepared to become a father. However, we have prepared a checklist that will help you feel a bit more confident while you await the birth of your baby.
1. Baby furniture
You might think that this is an obvious one, but the truth is that many parents procrastinate on putting together baby furniture. The truth is that when the baby is finally at home and you are sleep-deprived, you don’t want to build a crib or a changing table. This task is difficult enough after a night of blissful sleep. It will be no less than torture doing this after dealing with a crying baby.
2. Infant car seat
You will need a car seat to bring the baby from the hospital. In fact, nurses won’t let you leave until they see you putting the baby in an appropriate infant car seat.
Also, buying a car seat is not enough. You have to practice strapping a stuffed animal or a baby doll into the car. This will ensure that you are not stressed about bringing the baby back home the first time.
3. Decide on where the baby will be sleeping
The decision about where the baby is supposed to sleep will also influence the decision about sleep training. You need to do your research and decide what makes the most sense for your family.
Will baby sleep in the nursery or in your room? In a crib, bassinet, or playpen?
Be prepared to adjust if your first option doesn’t seem to be the best fit.
4. Prepare the nursery
If you have an extra room for a nursery, you should get on it as early as you can. Once you are done with it, you will have more time relaxing and thinking about the big change coming into your life.
5. Decide on the division of labor
The first few weeks after your baby is born can be a breeding ground for arguments and resentment, especially if you haven’t divided the tasks appropriately. This is why it is one of the most important items on this checklist.
Before the baby arrives, you should agree on who will be changing the diapers and when, who will stay up for feedings, and who will handle the dishes and laundry. Both parents have to split the duties and ensure that they get enough baby time and sleep.
6. Purchase the clothes
You might be thinking about all the things you want to buy for your baby. But, for the first few weeks, you don’t need any fancy toys or cute accessories.
What you will need is a robust supply of onesies. Newborn babies might have to change their onesie more than six times a day. You will also need baby socks and other seasonally-appropriate clothing.
7. Stock up on cloth or disposable diapers
Before the baby is born, you have to decide whether you want to use cloth or disposable diapers. Whichever one you decide on, stock up. You can do a cost/benefit analysis of both options and decide which system works best for you.
8. Buy baby-care essentials
As a new parent, you wouldn’t want to run out to get some onesies, wipes, formula, diaper rash cream, or lotion. What you need is a supply cabinet with enough essentials to last a month. It will help take some pressure off. You will also have more time to bond with your child and relax.
9. Prepare meals for two weeks
Premade meals can be a lifesaver. When your baby is home, you might have help from your parents and friends. But a time will come when that meal train will end. So, it is better that you double up on meals. Make more and freeze the leftovers.
10. Do baby-proofing
Your baby won’t be mobile for at least the first six months. So, you can take care of most stuff after the baby is born. However, this doesn’t mean that you leave everything for later. For example, you can take care of plugs and electrical cords before the baby is born to get it out of the way and reduce your burden.
11. Deep clean everything
About two weeks before the due date, take some time to deep clean your house. Move the furniture, clean the carpets, bleach the bathrooms, organize your cabinets, and dust the light and fans. This way, you won’t be worrying about your place being messy.
12. Make all accounts current
If your bill payment is not automatic, take some time to make all the accounts current, regardless of when they are due.
As a new parent, you will be stressed enough. You don’t need the additional stress of worrying about bills and utilities.
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Preparing to Be a Father
As an expectant father, you’ll also want to find out what your paternity leave benefits are. Some employers offer paid paternity leave, for some it’s unpaid paternity leave, and for others it may just be time you need to take out of your sick pay or paid time off.
Paternity leave varies widely from company to company and state to state. Be sure to reach out to your Human Resources department to find out your options so you and your partner can plan appropriately for when baby is born.
Also ask your HR department if your benefits program offers childbirth preparation courses or parenting classes. It’s often mothers that are expected to figure out what classes to go to, but fathers shouldn’t stand on the sidelines.
It will be a benefit to you, your partner, and your baby if you’re actively participating in the preparation process and learning what fatherhood all entails.
Apart from this, before your baby is born, don’t forget to connect with your family, friends, and your partner. Taking care of a newborn baby can be stressful and you might not have enough time for them.
With the above-mentioned checklist and tips, you can be better prepared for fatherhood.
Life Insurance for New Parents
As you’ll soon discover first hand, raising a child is not cheap.
Term life insurance is affordable financial protection for your loved ones. Both fathers and mothers need life insurance.
» Learn more: Life Insurance for Families
If you were to die unexpectedly, how would your family suffer? The emotional suffering is hard enough, but what about the financial suffering? With no financial back-up, how does your surviving partner continue to pay bills?
The death benefit from a life insurance policy can afford the surviving parent to take time off work to grieve and emotionally support their children without worrying about how bills are going to be paid. The death benefit can help to ensure the children can stay in their home and neighborhood, not change schools, and maintain the standard of living they know.
At Quotacy, we understand the impact your life has on your family. Life insurance is essential to keep your family’s life in balance and save them from having to leave behind the future you’re helping them shape today.
Ready to see what you’d pay for life insurance? Start with a free life insurance quote today.
About the writer
Quotacy is the country’s leading broker for buying life insurance online. We are obsessed with making it easy for everyone who has loved ones who depend upon them to have life insurance.