Dear 100 Hour Board,
I'll be having my first child, it seems, and it's not that I'm not excited, but I'm definitely more nervous than I am excited about the prospect at the moment. I'm a youngest child, so part of it comes from a lack of children around me growing up. Anyway, do any of you have advice for how to become more excited about this process?
-Do I have to start incorporating pooping into all my conversations?
Dear Dad to Be,
Congratulations on your little one! I am also the youngest, so I understand what you mean about being nervous. And yes, it's super normal that you're feeling this way! One of the biggest things that I can recommend you doing in getting excited is getting involved! Get involved in the baby registry and researching the type of items that you want. What kind of toys do you want to get your little one? Just trying to imagine your child playing with those things made me really excited. If COVID permits, going to the ultrasound appointments or being on video chat so you can see your child move on the screen can get you excited.
Another thing that made me nervous was not having the knowledge to take care of my son. So if that's the same case with you, try to learn as much as you can! Communicate with your wife and tell her some of the things you're anxious about. Who knows, she may be just as nervous as you are. You can learn together or teach each other what you've learned after you research certain subjects.
One of the biggest things that I can recommend (if possible) is going to the newborn/prenatal classes that your hospital may offer in person or virtually. I delivered in Salt Lake City and there was a variety of classes that I could have chosen from. Spoiler alert: I did NOT do them and I very much regret this decision.
The newborn class that they offered goes through these things:
- Basic newborn care
- Bath demonstration
- Hospital routines
- Infant safety and security
- CPR demonstration
- Tips on when to call the doctor
I found a Youtube Channel called Dad's University that has an entire First Time Dad Tips playlist that may help you. Since I'm a mom and not a dad, I didn't have the same nerves as you. Maybe some things that he says will resonate with you.
Here are some articles that I found (some may overlap)
- 17 Tips For Beating First Time Dad Anxiety (By Dads For Dads)
- The Fears of Dads-To-Be and How to Address Them
- 15 Ways Dads Get Real Excited About Parenthood (this was written by a woman)
- Preparing for Fatherhood: 16 Ways to Get Ready to Become a Dad
I also found the Instagram account Balanced.Birth.Couple. They are a couple that talks a lot about labor, breastfeeding, pregnancy, etc. I'm not entirely sure what you're nervous about, but maybe you'll learn some new things from them that can ease some of your concerns.
Carl told me he didn't really get excited when it came to me being pregnant. He was more nervous about labor and wanted to make sure I was going to be well taken cared of. He got most excited when he saw the ultrasounds and when he got to feel Carl Jr. kick. He was the most excited when he got to meet the little guy after he was born. :)
Remember, no first-time parent is perfect in the very beginning. Carl and I made lots of mistakes even though we tried our best. The nice thing about newborns is that they're not going to remember the mistakes that you made! Making mistakes doesn't mean you're a bad parent.
Also no, you don't have to talk about poop in every conversation, but don't be surprised if your wife asks you to tell her if the color and consistency is off when you change it, it tells you a lot about the health of your baby.
If you (or any other readers like you) have any more parent-related questions, I'm more than happy to answer them on here or in my inbox at email@example.com.