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10 Ways to Get Dad Involved in Baby Care

The Best Ways Your Partner Can Help Out

Moms get a lot of the credit when it comes to babies. After all, they have the tough job of carrying them for nine months and enduring the labor and delivery process. But as soon as that baby takes his or her first breath, dads are able to step in and start getting some hands-on parenting experience in a way they couldn't throughout the pregnancy. Some dads begin parenthood with no baby experience at all--and that newborn can be a bit intimidating. But dads learn quickly on the job, especially when they know what they can do to help.

Chris Mancini, comedian and the author of Pacify Me: A Handbook for the Freaked Out New Dad says that it took two people to make the baby, so both makers should feel involved with baby care. "It's not the 50s and 60s any more," he says. "Unless you're watching Mad Men, both parents should work on balancing work and childcare equally. While this is not always possible, it's a good goal to have in mind as the other extreme can cause resentment too--when one parent is doing too much. Just do your best to be involved in your child's life, from conception to college."

Dads shouldn't be too intimidated by the little bundle of joy. Mancini says the biggest mistake new dads make is thinking that they don't know anything. "Guess what: You don't. And neither does your wife," he says. "But neither one of you wants to admit it, so it's like you're in an Old West standoff. It's OK to admit that you don't know what the heck you're doing. Books and classes can only prepare you up to a point--even my book, which is extremely helpful. It's on-the-job training, but don't worry, you're not going to get fired. Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty and get in there."

To celebrate Father's Day, we're sharing 10 ways dads can get involved in taking care of that little bundle of joy.

10 Ways to Get Dad Involved in Baby Care
1. Be the brain. When my daughter was first born, my brain felt like a bowl of mush a la Goodnight Moon. I got little sleep for almost a week because of all of the crazy hormones, and I couldn't make even the simplest of decisions. Bringing a baby into the world is a huge life change for both parents, but dads have the distinct advantage of being physically unscathed and a little less tired. Dads can step up and make decisions when mom is just too tired, from what's for dinner to deciding on visiting hours.
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About The Author

Erin Whitehead
Erin Whitehead co-founded the fitness and health website after getting her start writing in the construction industry. Since having her daughter in August 2010, she writes about healthy pregnancy and parenting at She lives in New Jersey with her husband, daughter and pug.

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