father-to-be putting together a baby crib

Seven Ways to Help Him Prepare for Fatherhood

Becoming a father is a huge thing, and it will undoubtedly change your partner’s life forever. Whether your pregnancy was a long time coming or a complete surprise, your partner is likely to have some worries about becoming a dad. You know all those little worries and insecurities that keep you awake at night? Well, he’s probably feeling the same way. Here are seven ways to help him prepare for fatherhood:

  1. Communicate – talk and listen. Tell him your expectations, and how he can help you out during pregnancy and motherhood, but also take the time to listen to his concerns and anxieties. Offer support and guidance where necessary, and be understanding towards his feelings.
  2. Help him to help you – during pregnancy and the first few weeks of parenthood, your partner will be tasked with looking after you while you take care of the baby. Make sure he knows this, and let him know how you want him to help. Cooking meals, tidying up, laundry and acting as a gatekeeper for unwanted guests are all important roles that your partner can take on to help you out during this time.
  3. Bump bonding – you spend every single second of the pregnancy with your developing baby. You feel the kicks, the hiccups, and notice when the baby is sleeping. While your partner may feel lucky to have avoided the backache, swollen ankles and hormonal rollercoaster of pregnancy, he’s also probably a little jealous. Without even trying, you’re already starting to bond with your baby. To make the transition to fatherhood easier, you should encourage your partner to do the same. Feeling the kicks, talking to the baby, and generally taking a hands-on approach to your bump can help him prepare for being a dad.
  4. Preparing the nest – while nesting is typically the domain of heavily pregnant women, there’s no reason why expectant dads can’t get in on the act too. Putting together the crib, choosing the car seat and getting the nursery ready, are all great ways to get your partner involved in preparing for the baby.
  5. Birth bonding – it’s not just mums and babies who benefit from skin to skin, it has been shown to help dads bond with their newborns, too. Make sure your partner is topless for his first cuddle with his new baby, and encourage him to spend a bit of time each day having skin to skin contact with his new baby.
  6. Baby care – get your partner involved in baby care from the very beginning. If you’re breastfeeding, your partner won’t be able to feed the baby, but he can play an active role in your breastfeeding journey by supporting you. Changing nappies, getting the baby dressed and carrying the baby in a sling are all things dads can do straight after the birth.
  7. Reassurance and confidence – the first few weeks as a parent can be terrifying, and you may feel worried that you’re doing everything wrong. Well, rest assured that your partner feels the same way. He’s just as nervous as you, though he may not always act it. Reassure your partner when he’s doing a good job, and help to build his confidence in his new role. Trust him, encourage him and appreciate him, just as he is doing with you.

Is your partner nervous about becoming a new dad? How are you helping him to prepare for fatherhood?

Written by Fiona (@Fiona_Peacock), mother, writer and lover of all things baby related.

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2017. All rights reserved.

Fiona PeacockSeven Ways to Help Him Prepare for Fatherhood

Comments 19

  1. Vicky

    We’re due with our first in 8 weeks, my partner has been amazing throughout this pregnancy and him and our little man have such a great bond already (he will wait until daddy’s home to start kicking etc) I know 110% that he is going to be an amazing daddy and he’s so excited. He’s worried because he’s never even held another baby but he knows that we are both going to be winging it for a while, and that he will pick everything up pretty quickly. Communication is key though as I find a lot of his worries are money which a chat about our options helps him stop stressing.

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  3. Beth

    Like some of the other mums, my husband is in another country right now. We were living in japan but decided it would be best to move to my home country Australia and so I left early on doctors instructions at 27 weeks. I’m now 31 weeks but my husband won’t be here for another month because of work. We talk every day at least twice but I know he’s a little disappointed that he can’t feel his son like I can. The best I can do for him is send videos of my belly moving. He also missed out on shopping for the larger items like the cot and stroller. I tried to include him as best I could be sending web links and asking for his opinion. Until he arrives, my mum is my support and has agreed to be there if our little guy decides he can’t wait for daddy.

  4. Ivanka

    My dear ladies (Mari and Heloise), unfortunately (or luckily) men are still not capable of concieving and giving birth. It is still a woman’s “job” and a priviledge. Therefore it is only logical for a woman to take care of the baby after birth. After all she has the superpower of producing milk…
    And it is quite pleasant to let the man take care of finances and go to work.
    Don’t be insulted if most people choose to follow the nature’s way…

  5. Heloisa

    I couldn’t agree more with Mari’s comment! The expressions used in this article only reinforce the traditional view that taking care of a baby is a woman’s job. Hope we get to read less and less articles like this in the future.

  6. alexandra

    I wish I had your stories. My partner broke up with me after learning that I was pregnant and married his ex 7 months into my pregnancy. I’ve just had my family to support me. All the same I am grateful to God for my little baby boy

  7. Mari

    It is really hilarious reading the advices for the partner (who is clearly assumed to be a man at all times) in this app. “Help him help you” “Let him do extra chores” ” He might be worried about finances” (I am not only referring to this blog here) Wow, sounds like the 50s!! Luckily here in tje Netherlands it’s 2016 and my male partner is as involved as I am, household chores have always been a shared responsibiliy an I am afraid I am the one sorting out finances and stuff like that. By blogs as these, which are (although probably unintentionally) rather sexist, we will never be able to overcome traditional gender roles. And don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with adhering to these roles if you’re happy with them, but they hould definitely not be assumed to be the standard, mainstream norm for everyone!

  8. Katie Mae

    We’re first time parents, due in 9 weeks, I personally am absolutely terrified, I hate the unknown, but my fiance has been wonderful in reassuring me and bonding with the baby. We’re attending an antenatal class together tomorrow night and have completed the nursery together. I know as long as he’s by me then things will always be ok!

  9. Roohi Raf

    It is my 8th week! Im happy to be a mommy! My husband is absolutely supportive. He is totally changed man now, taking every care of our unborn. Whether it be a he/she, we both are just happy as it is our first baby. Its just been 2& half months for our wedding and here is our fruit of love. I love my husband, my baby & I love being a mom! 😊

  10. Walaa

    my husband is super excited to be a dad, He likes to feel the movements of the baby, to kiss my belly and to make sure I take all my vitamins at the time..
    Pregnancy is a very sensitive stage in every woman life, she needs to feel supportive all the time..

  11. Cate

    My fiancè says he feels included with the pregnancy it’s just dealing with having him possibly earlier than expected has shocked us both, he’s supposed to be due 9th December but told could be getting induced at 37weeks has got us into a few panic stations but my fiancè is coping considerably well, can’t wait to see him in full dad mode

  12. Sophie

    I feel really lucky, my husband says he feels included in the pregnancy and is excited to finally meet him/her… It’s been a journey we have taken together and I know he will be cool, calm and supportive throughout labour!
    Roll on December! X

  13. Jasmyn

    My partner is excited as we are having a boy. I am so nervous & scared if I’ll be a good mom. I tell him my fears & worries & it seems like he doesn’t worry at all. He feels when baby kicks & talks to him occasionally, just wish he would do it more often.

  14. Dominique

    My husband has wanted to find his ‘soul mate’ and be a father since he was 6. He has had a girls name picked out since then too. It just so happens that our first together will be a little princess and his wishes have been coming true. He is so excited and talks to her every night. She stops the crazy movement whenever he puts his hand on my belly (already a daddies girl). My friend and I are painting a full ariel under sea mural on her walls and my h is so excited to furnish the entire room and surprise me with the overall final look when she finally comes home!
    9 more weeks apparently! We have a feeling she will come early.

  15. Kristine

    My Husband Is Very Much Involved With My Pregnancy Were Expecting Our First Child A Girl In 8 Weeks And From The Day I Found Out Til Now Hes Been To Every Apt. He Kisses My Belly Everyday He Talks To Her Feels Every Kick When He Can And Is Looking Foward To Being A Daddy!!!!

  16. Chi

    Hi holly, mine is almost like yours. My partner lives in England and we have been together for 11 months now, we always see each other every 2-3. Months before the baby but the last time I saw him was when I was four months pregnant, he ought to have visited in October or November but he had more excuses than a ……….. I know having a baby is special but it has changed the relationship so much, I am so upset with everything he does, I feel like he is not participating enough but he should be here for Christmas and that will settle the final straw. Am overwhelmed with everything and I think he is overwhelmed too but I need him to be strong for me but rather it’s like he’s looking at me to me strong for us…
    God help us.

  17. Holly

    My partner is very excited to be a father for the first time. I am excited to become a mother for the first time as well. The only true hard part about the pregnancy is that he is out of the country for work. He is a mercant mariner and is often out if the country for months at a time. Hems working very hard right now so he can be home for a while after our baby is born. Because he’s not here to see my growing belling and feel the baby kick we’ve been trying to do our best to make sure he is involved as much as possible. I send him information about the baby everyday and I send him pictures of my belly and when he’s off work he reads the baby books he took with him. Our situation is a little more difficult but we’re making it work.

  18. Anna-Marie

    My partner is really excited about becoming a dad for the 1st time.
    He is so supportive and calm and listens to all my needs.
    He has attended every scan and appt.
    My partner built all the baby furniture and painted the nursery.
    We are having a baby girl who is due tomorrow and so excited now.

    My partner is fantastic and there isn’t anybody else that I would want to have a baby with am so happy that we are sharing this special time together.

  19. Lacey

    My husband is truly excited about having our first child, a daughter. He reads to her, feels the kicks, talks to her, everything. So he is definitely hands on right now and will definitely be once the baby comes.