Advice for fathers with a new born baby

Becoming a father can be an exciting and overwhelming experience..Take care of yourself. Keep an eye on your lifestyle, driving and your risk-taking. Your baby needs you for a long time. Being a healthy and happy dad is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your kids.

Sleep is essential: Newborns challenge their parents’ ability to get a good night’s sleep. Sleep deprivation can quickly take a toll on new moms and dads.

The good news is that by 3 to 6 months lots of babies develop regular sleep patterns and sleep until morning.

The human body has incredible recuperative powers but this can only be ensured when you enough sleep. Reduced sleep equals less ability to deal with physical and mental stress.

Work out a night-time schedule with your partner that allows both of you to rest and care for the baby.

If your baby does not settle into a normal newborn sleep pattern you may want to consider cranial osteopathy. Pressure in the baby’s head and neck not only makes them more uncomfortable and hence unsettled, but may irritate the nervous system, making it difficult for them to wind down. This makes settling and deep, restful sleep, difficult to achieve. Cranial osteopathy is incredibly gentle and helps to release any compression or tightness from the birth. This makes the baby more comfortable and helps them to settle more easily and sleep better.

If you have a medical question about your baby, call your paediatrician or midwife.

Exercise is essential for normal function and improves mood, boosts energy, promotes better sleep. So whenever the opportunity arises try and make a plan once a week to go to the gym or participate in an outdoor activity. In addition to this get out of the house and take baby for a walk whenever the opportunity arises. Don’t be afraid to take your baby out with you. It’s easier to take them out before they become mobile. Stimulation is good for kids, and babies.

Watch your back. Don’t bend from the waist when you lift your little one because it puts your lower back under mechanical strain. The best way to lift baby is to maintain a concave curve in your lumbar spine, and squat with your back straight, keep your baby close to you, and use your leg muscles to rise. This way your strong buttock and hip muscles will take most of the load and you are less likely to strain your lower back. When your baby is crying, it is only natural to want to pick them up and comfort them immediately, but it only takes a split second to remember to adopt this helpful lifting technique. Don’t try to hold the baby and wrestle the side of a cot down at the same time. Instead, drop the cot side before you pick up your child. Don’t bend over into the car when putting your child in the car seat. Rather sit sideways on the seat with your child on your lap, then rotate to face the front and put him/her in the seat.

Be aware of your posture when you take your baby for a walk in the pram. When the handlebars of your pram are correctly adjusted, you will naturally walk more upright

Keep work surfaces at a comfortable height. Put something under the legs of the changing table, for instance, to raise it if you’re tall. Put one foot on a box or low shelf when you stand and change nappies. This causes your pelvis to tilt in a way that decreases pelvic fatigue.

When loading a pram or groceries in the car boot, rest one foot on the bumper and keep the load close to your body.

If you suffer from any existing aches or pains it would be a good idea to see an osteopath prior to your baby arriving to resolve any existing symptoms which are likely to be exacerbated by the demands of parenthood such as reduced sleep and repetitive lifting. Although often thought of as a treatment for back and neck pain, osteopathy can help a wide range of conditions, including repetitive strain injury, postural imbalances caused by driving or work strain, arthritis and minor sports injuries. For more information or to find an osteopath.

Proper nutrition will give you good fuel to burn and exercise makes your body more efficient. Eating junk food and sitting in front of the computer all day will tend to make you tired and irritable, and increase your personal and family stress levels. Resist the urge to count caffeine as a major food group or a substitute for sleep. Instead, eat a healthy diet, drink plenty of water and get some fresh air. Good habits will help you maintain the energy you need to care for your newborn.

Build a network of social support.

It’s important for men to have a support network during this time, Seek out friends and loved ones who can give you advice and encouragement as you prepare to become a father. Talk to other new fathers about your experience and theirs. When friends and loved ones offer to help, take them up on it. Suggest holding the baby, helping around the house or running a few errands — whatever would help you the most. Friends and loved ones will come to admire your newborn. Let them know which days work best and how much time you have for a visit. Insist that visitors wash their hands before holding the baby, and ask anyone who’s ill to stay home.

Time Management

Many of the stress factors in our family come from busy schedules. You have to define what is important and commit to that, and then say no to everything else.. Remember everything takes longer with a baby.

Make time to talk. So often, stress at home is the result of failed communications. So make sure you talk with your partner and your family regularly. Be extra patient, supportive, and communicative with your partner. Giving birth may be traumatic, and there a lot of physical and hormonal adjustments that your partner has been through. If there is ever a time to be understanding of your baby’s mom, and available to her, too, this is it.

Time Out

When the going gets tough, (when you haven’t slept, the baby is crying, the phone is ringing, and your partner is irritable). take a moment go outside, and take as many deep breaths as you need before refocusing at the job in hand..

on behalf of osteopathic profession