The journey of becoming a father is different
for everyone. Some partners are fearful,
some are excited. There is no “right” way to
Some men experience sympathetic pregnancy
symptoms, know as “Couvade Syndrome.”
The men may gain weight, crave foods, or
have mood swings.
When a woman becomes pregnant, her
partner also undergoes a wide range of
After finding out they will be a father, men
often reflect upon their own childhood to form
an idea of how they do or do not want to raise
Sometimes the mother and father-to-be are
not married or in a relationship.
The expectant father and mother must
communicate and be honest about the baby.
The father can still be active during the
pregnancy by helping plan the birth, driving
the mother to doctor's appointments, or
providing financial support.
Financial concerns are an issue for most parents-tobe.
An article in the NY Times estimated the cost of
raising an infant to the age seventeen to be
Some women do not work or have jobs allowing
maternity leave. This leaves parents with an unfair
decision to make. The mother, especially if she is
nursing, will need to stay home with the baby. While
most people agree that is what is best for the family's
emotional well-being, it can inflict serious damage in
the financial department.
After the baby is born, expenses keep popping
up. Diapers, bigger clothes, toys, bottles,
blankets, and a million other things will be
needed. That is in addition to everything
already paid, like a mortgage, utilities, car
payment, or phone service. Struggling
families are forced to make compromises.
Some parents go without a lot of seemingly
necessary items just so their child can have
Sometimes the father is active and involved
from conception. There are many things a
father can do to form a healthy, close bond
with his newborn.
The father should offer support and assistance
to the mother. Giving birth is extremely painful
and physically and mentally exhausting. The
mother will be feeling a little off because of
hormonal fluctuations. She will need a strong
Being a father means getting involved. A father should
participate in feedings and changings. Skin-to-skin contact is
optimal for creating that close bond. It is also calming for the
parent and baby. Some parents prefer the use of a sling.
This practice, called Kangaroo Care, is wonderful for
everyone. The physical and emotional development of the
newborn is supplemented by it and it is used to treat and
comfort premature babies and those born with drug addictions
As the newborn grows into an infant, the father has
more opportunities for play time.
Infants are really good copy cats and love to babble
along with what daddy is saying. A classic game of
peekaboo will elicit deep belly laughs from the baby
and entertain daddy, as well.
Fathering a toddler brings a new set of
challenges. The sweet, immobile baby from a
few months ago will now be cruising around
the house, getting into everything and
destroying it. This is a good age to begin
enforcing rules. The child's safety is at risk if
there are no limitations in the house.
The father and mother should communicate
openly about how they will discipline their
Punishments must be age and child
Discipline must be swift and consistent for the
child to understand it.
Toddlers are not only capable of creating chaos, they are
also at an age where they can begin to help. The father
can boost a child's self-esteem and create a sense of
work ethic at this young age by requesting the toddler's
assistance. Small tasks, like putting trash in the garbage
can or picking up their own toys, can teach the child
responsibilities while making the child feel very important
Praise for good behaviors and actions not only
bolsters the child's ego, but builds a trusting
relationship between child and father. The
dad will be genuinely thankful when the child
helps him out. The child will be proud and feel
like a “big kid.”
The concept of fatherhood changes many
times for each dad. A good father takes cues
from his child and is nurturing but firm, caring,
consistent, and most of all, loving. No matter
what the child does or how frustrating he
becomes as a teenager, a good father loves
his child and knows with a certainty that
everything will work out just fine.
Discipline for toddlers. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.parenting.com/article/discipline
Holding baby close. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.marchofdimes.com/baby/holding-your-baby-close-kangaroo-care.aspx
Nippoldt, T. (2014, January 15). Couvade syndrome. Retrieved from
Rock, A. (n.d.). Importance of chores. Retrieved from
Taha, N. (2012, November 13). The cost, in dollars, of raising a child. Retrieved from
Turgeon, H. (2011, February 10). How much attachment parenting. Retrieved from
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