2. Be the brawn. From baby swings to cribs to changing tables, there is a lot of assembly required when it comes to baby gear! Big pregnant bellies and postpartum aches and pains don't make it easy to do a lot of heavy lifting or following of instruction manuals (see No. 1). Dads can take charge, get friendly with the Allen wrench and get all the nursery gear assembled.
3. Feeding support. Whether your baby is formula feeding or breastfeeding, newborn meals take up a major chunk of time. Dads can be an extra hand-fetching nursing pillows, glasses of water and snacks for mom if she's nursing. And if formula's involved, dads can easily take over a feeding or two to let mom catch up on a needed snooze. Dads are also champion burpers.
4. Outfit changes. Your husband may not have ever cared about his own messy clothes, but this is the opportunity to get him involved in the baby's fashion choices. Babies can go through an inordinate amount of clothing a day-pee, poop and spit-up make multiple outfit changes a necessity most days. Put dad in charge of this task and marvel at the adorable and sometimes mismatched outfits that ensue. (Put dad in charge of some laundry duty, too!)
5. Diaper duty. In the early days, diaper changes are nonstop. Once dad learns the basics, he'll be a diapering pro in no time. Just call him Diaper Daddy!
6. Bath time. Bath time is a super-fun way for parents to bond with a little one. Early bedtimes mean that some parents only get an hour or so with the baby after work and before bedtime, so bath time is a fun way to spend quality time together. Enjoy splashing around and playing with bath toys before sudsing up and heading to bed.
7. Stroller. In your pre-baby days, you may have enjoyed long walks on the beach. Now you can enjoy long walks around the block with baby in tow. Babies tend to love the soothing vibrations of a stroller, and dads love to pop wheelies over curbs and navigate around cracked sidewalks.
8. Playtime. Sometimes I feel like my daughter and I do the same play activities day in and day out. Give dad some control of playtime and your baby is guaranteed to have a different experience. Dads tend to roughhouse more, and there will be more imitating robots and superheroes than when mom's in charge of playtime. "As the kids get older you can make up your own games, which your kids will always find more fun than anything store-bought," Mancini says.