First Time Dad: Essential Tips And 10 Things To Prepare For

Father holding his baby daughter

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If you’re a first time dad, then please accept my heartfelt congratulations and let me welcome you to the club!

And, don’t worry, because I’ve made a list of everything you need to know about the role of a new dad: so buckle up because it’s going to be a fun and bumpy ride!

Becoming a father for the first time can be both an amazingly joyful and stressful experience because as a new parent, you have no idea what to expect or how to behave and your life suddenly enters a whole new dimension before you know it (or before you’re even/officially ready for it). 

Or maybe you do have an idea because you’ve heard lots of things from your friends and other people who have gone through the “first time father” process, but you still don’t really know how to prepare for it both mentally and physically. 

All you know is that you want to be a damn good dad to your new baby, and you want to avoid casualties, preserve your mental health, and minimize all the potentially stressful situations. 

No worries!

If you’re becoming a dad for the first time, this new dad survival guide will be your best friend and companion – your bible! 

1.  Toddling around and crying will be the new quiet, but don’t forget to enjoy the little, precious moments

baby and dad on bed

Having your first child means entering a new chapter of your life as a new father where things are drastically different.

Before you know it, toddling around and crying will fill your rooms with energy (sometimes a little bit too much), but it will be your new normal. 

You won’t worry that much about their poop, your smudgy T-shirts from their bodily fluids, or how to install a car seat because your biggest concern (and joy) will be a sudden silence. 

Whenever your baby is silent (especially at the toddling around period) you’ll think that something’s wrong with them, that something has happened to them, or that your child’s life is in danger. 

father quotes

And then, when you’ve convinced yourself that everything’s just fine, you’ll embrace that precious moment and cuddle with your little one, continue reading that book on how to be a dad, or take a power nap. 

RELATED: The 7 Best Books For New Dads Every Expectant Father Must Read

Quiet moments like this will be rare, but it won’t be a big deal because their cry will become music to your ears and proof that your first baby is doing what she ought to!

2. Your new dad survival kit will consist of a baby cam, plenty of wet wipes (and coffee)

father and baby sitting in front of laptop drinking coffee

One of the most important things for a first time dad is a dad survival kit!

New daddies need to prepare for the vast amount of bodily fluids, poop, using diaper bags, burping, and lots and lots of “crying symphonies”.

A dad survival kit should contain the following things: a diaper changing kit, a baby cam (that will remind you to change nappies in the middle of the night), lots of coffee, plenty of wet wipes, a selfie-stick (to capture special moments), comfy slippers (because you’ll be multi-tasking A LOT), baby books, toys and music. 

father quotes

Wherever you go, you’ll have to take at least half of the things mentioned above with you, so you’ll also need a big bag to carry all the toys, nappies, baby bottles, and other baby gear

Also, it’s advisable to get a Netflix subscription so that you can enjoy watching your favorite TV shows and movies in your free time (which will be rare) because your wife’s boobs will be off-limits due to over-sensitivity and hormonal changes caused by pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding.

3. Baby symphonies on repeat are the only music you’ll be listening to for a while

baby girl in yellow dress dancing

Lullabies for babies, calming songs for babies, baby music for playtime, baby sleep music, baby poop music (just kidding).

I like to call them baby symphonies: in fact there is actually a symphony called Mozart for babies, yup. 

So, brace yourself and prepare for all kinds of playlists for every possible mood because babies LOVE music!

Listening to calming music soothes them, helps them fall asleep, and keeps them entertained. 

father quotes

After some time, these baby symphonies will follow you pretty much everywhere you go.

You’ll find yourself humming the melodies while driving in your car to work and shopping for groceries. 

And no matter how annoyed you might be by this, you’ll still thank God for this wonderful gift called baby music because it will be your everyday saviour. 

Also, your headphones will become your best friend when you want to recharge and listen to something other than Baby Shark.

4. Occasionally touching poop will become your routine (and the least of your concerns)

father man changing diapers

Being a first time dad means dealing with things you haven’t dealt with before.

One of those things is changing diapers and occasionally touching poop, which is often a new dad’s biggest nightmare.

Well, that’s what one of my friends thought when he was about to become a father.

He was really scared of changing diapers and everything that goes with it – not to mention accidentally touching poop with his bare hands. 

But, once he finally became a father, touching poop became routine and something totally natural.

father quotes

As a matter of fact, occasionally touching poop has become the least of his concerns because now there are other more important things he needs to pay attention to and poop is definitely not one of them.

He needs to figure out how to multitask when he’s alone with the baby, how to get his baby to sleep and then leave the room like a real life ninja (when needed), how to change diapers like a pro, what the best temperature for baby’s food is, where to find a perfect baby swing, and so much more besides. 

So, yes, occasionally touching poop will become your routine and definitely the least of your concerns. 

5. Your biggest enemy will be the doorbell

man ringing the doorbell

We’ve established that occasionally touching poop will not be a big deal, so the question is what will be your biggest “enemy”?

And as you may assume, the answer is the doorbell. 

Just picture this. Your baby has been crying for half of the day and you’ve literally tried everything to soothe him/her but nothing has worked so far. 

You’ve tried giving them their favorite teether, you’ve played with them, you’ve tried one of the baby symphonies, you’ve even tried going for a ride in the car in the hope that they would stop crying and preferably fall asleep.

Nothing has worked though, so you’ve gotten back home, put your baby in a baby swing or a bassinet and now you’re repeating the process.

You’ve given them their favorite toy, played with them, carried them around the house and still nothing. 

father quotes

And then, all of a sudden, they somehow magically fall asleep.

You can’t believe your eyes (let alone ears), your happiness is flourishing and you think to yourself: “Finally, time for a power nap.”

You’ve put your baby in their crib – ninja style – and you’ve lied down on the couch (or bed) looking forward to a power nap.

You’ve closed your eyes and are enjoying the sound of silence in your house. Gradually you enter the power nap phase thinking no one and nothing will ruin this for you.

And then you hear: Ding-dong!

After a few seconds of your power nap, you realize there’s someone at the door ringing the doorbell. 

At the same moment the doorbell rings, your baby starts crying again and you conclude that while a few minutes of power nap could be the best dad gift to you the doorbell will ruin it every. single. time. 

6. Your house will be no longer yours, but a legit family house

dad and baby playing with toys

Days will pass until you finally realize that the house you’re living in is no longer yours, but it’s become a legit family house.

You will no longer wake up to the sound of your wife initiating sex with sweet words and hot moves, but your sleeping patterns will be synchronized with your baby’s sleeping patterns.

In summary, you’ll wake up whenever your baby wants you to.

Sometimes you’ll be slightly annoyed and you’ll want your old life back, but the moment you see your baby’s angelic face, you’ll thank God that they woke you up so that you can kiss them, hug them, and watch them every second because you don’t want to miss a thing. 

father quotes

You’ll also realize that you’re living in a legit family house the moment you turn around and notice the following: toys all over the place, stained carpet, all the breakable things hidden (or already broken), wet wipes and diapers in abundant quantities, and other baby gear.

Also, you’ll realize that you’re living in a legit family house when you start celebrating Father’s Day. 

7. You’ll seriously consider getting a minivan

family in a minivan

How many times have you said to yourself that you won’t be like the rest of the human race and drive a minivan once you become a family man?

I think you’ll find the others said that too, and then changed their mind. 

Let’s not fool ourselves.

Minivans are not sexy and driving one might make you feel like grandpa and accelerate a midlife crisis.

And it’s not just about the car, right?

It’s about giving up your masculinity, which is your birthright and about becoming mainstream, which is not fun.

I bet this is what’s going through your head now or what went through your head before, but once you become a dad, you’ll seriously consider getting a minivan no matter what you said before.

father quotes

Why?

Because you will no longer give a damn about all that masculinity, sexy bullshit.

The only thing you’ll worry about will be comfort and having enough space to transport all those toys (that have accumulated since the baby shower) and baby gear. 

You will no longer give a damn about becoming mainstream, but you’ll praise the Lord for the miracle that is the minivan!

8. You’ll become the king of the power nap, household chores, and multi-tasking

father feeding baby

Every successful power nap will bring you closer to becoming the king of sleeping like a ninja, moving like a ninja, and even breathing like a ninja.

Before you know it, you’ll have become a true king of the power nap (and not only that).

You’ll also become a master at doing household chores because helping your wife will be of the utmost importance (especially in the first few weeks).

If you’ve never vacuumed or washed dishes before, you’ll learn to do it efficiently and with minimum effort.

Also, you’ll learn to do things in multi-tasking mode.

As a matter of fact, this mode will be your only mode for the first few weeks (or a year) so the sooner you excel at it, the better.

You’ll learn how to wash the dishes with one hand and leaf through the baby book or a recipe  book with the other. 

You’ll also learn how to rock your baby to sleep with one leg while holding a gaming controller or folding clothes with your hands.

You’ll become absolutely unstoppable!

9. New dad activities will boost your creativity

dad giving milk in bottle to baby

New dad activities include inventing new games all the time, figuring out creative ways for how to deal with baby’s incessant crying, multi-tasking (as already mentioned above), pretending that you’re a human with superpowers, singing, and drawing.

Being a dad will boost your creativity levels and memory levels, and it will bring you plenty of fun.

To your baby you’ll be the best dad ever as long as you give them your time which is exactly what you will have to do (if you don’t want them to cry, right?).

10. Prepare for the joy of witnessing plenty of mini baby milestones

baby sleeping on fathers chest This is my favorite one and the one that outweighs all of the above. Everything your baby does, you get to see them doing it for the first time.

The first time they cry, the first time they poop, the first time they hold your hand, the first time they eat…

I wasn’t even aware of this baby milestone thing until I recently created a meme out of my friend’s baby picture.

When he saw it, he laughed his ass off and he told me: OMG This is her first meme! 

And then I realized the real magic of these moments – first moments.

There’s a first time for everything and when you’ve just started living, you’re bound to make plenty of mini milestones and growth spurts within a short timespan.

So, grab the camera and prepare for the joy of witnessing and capturing the pure sweetness of a new life!

And remember:

No matter how tough it gets, it will always be worth it!

Happy Parenting

There will be times when you will feel like giving up on all this parenting thing and you might start questioning your first time dad skills, but trust me, your effort and love for your child is always 100% worth it.

No matter what happens, their sweet, innocent smile and their angelic presence will always remind you of the fact that you would never have felt so fulfilled if you hadn’t become a father!

Stay strong and enjoy every second of parenthood (and always keep plenty of wet wipes near you)!

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Written by Ivana Davies

Hey there mamas! I'm Ivana, a millenial mom of two wonderful kids. I was a teacher, but now I'm a stay-at-home mom running this blog with the goal of uniting all moms into a supportive community and providing insight into the everyday battle of motherhood.