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Pure Dads: Advice for New Dads

8 min read | 11 October 2020

In this week’s episode of Pure Parenthood, we’re joined by Billy Loizou, father of two. We discuss becoming a first-time parent from a father’s perspective. We break this into three sections: pre, during and post-birth, to provide insight to expecting fathers.

Listen to episode ten above or on Apple Podcasts or Spotify​.

Pre-birth and Pregnancy:

When you find out you are having a baby, the fear of change and not knowing what to do next may set in. You find that you’re asking yourself, “Am I ready for this mentally and financially?”

Some tools that helped Billy during this stage are:
  • Watching birth videos to gain more knowledge about the labour process and learn what to expect.

  • Billy spent a lot of nights talking to the baby to build a connection with him.

  • Ensuring that their hospital bag was packed assisted in feeling under control.

  • Creating a birth plan that what worked on together. “As most people say, things change!”, says Billy.

  • A Hypnobirthing course really assisted Billy to feel empowered as a dad. This gave him a further understanding of the birthing process.

During Labour:

“When my partner said she was going into labour, I ran around like a headless chicken as I didn’t know what to do” – Billy.

Billy’s top tips to assist during labour are:
  • Try to help in any way you can during labour. This may include giving massages, offering a glass of water, helping with positive affirmations, making a warm bath - just being there and offering help is important. 

  • Be as adaptable as you can for your partner as things may change. “We had a long drawn out labour which was tough. Our plan was to have a water birth, but there was no hypnobirthing midwife on the ward when we arrived at the hospital”.

  • Set up the birthing room to ensure you feel as calm as possible. This may include music, dimming the lights and candles or essential oils.

“The whole process was amazing, I went from a squeamish partner, to wanting to do anything I could to get this baby out safely”, says Billy.

Post Birth:

“Once we had arrived home it was very much like…so what do we do now? I had to figure out my role and this was when reality hit in.”, says Billy.

Here are some things to consider once baby is home:
  • Help your partner and get involved in any way possible, whether this be changing nappies, burping the baby or late-night feeds.

  • It’s not easy to find a work, family and life balance, and this can take a toll on your mental health. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself and figure out what works for you and your family.

  • Finding me-time. Choosing to put their baby in his own room from 6 months of age assisted Billy and his partner.

  • Find that special connection with your baby. Try talking or singing to the baby throughout the pregnancy and into post-birth.

“I wrote a story for my first baby at about 3 months of age, as I had a love for music and rapping. This eventually ended up as a song and cartoon and it was based on what I would say to my baby when I put him to bed each night. He now knows the song by heart and sings it often and loves that I made a song just for him. This has helped us both feel connected to each other and helped form an even stronger bond while sharing one of my passions in life with my first child.” - Billy

Billy’s Tips for New Dads:

1. Ultimate survival kit – a nappy bag!

Make sure your nappy bag includes:

  • a change of clothes

  • baby wipes

  • nappies

  • something musical

  • comforter and/or toys

  • a recording such as rain, wind chimes or other white noise to help baby sleep

2. Best purchases as a first-time parent
  • A baby carrier. It’s super important to get fresh air and go out and exercise. A baby carrier makes this a lot easier!

  • A practical and functional pram that is easy to set up and collapse while also fitting in your car.

3. Don’t be afraid to reach out for support
  • Open up to your partner instead of internalising. Your partner may also be experiencing similar feelings to you like “why won’t our baby sleep?”

  • Speak to other dads who are going through it – they will be able to give you real and relevant advice.

4. Helpful parenting resources
  • Dadvice

    . A series by Beyond Blue, Dadvice has some great resources and guides on becoming a dad.

  • The Wonder Weeks app – this app is great for showing your baby’s developmental milestones.

  • Seeking advice from consultants. Take what you want from their advice, then make your own decisions about what works best for you and your partner. 

5. Prepare for labour and birth to best support your partner during birth
  • Billy highly recommends taking a Hypnobirthing class.

  • Watch birth videos so you know bit more about what to expect during labour.

6 Quality over Quantity
  • Nature vs Nurture is definitely one of the biggest learnings when becoming a parent for the first time. It is so important to think about quality over quantity.

  • Have empathy for yourself and your partner.

  • Communicate as much as possible because you don’t know what you don’t know.

Men often don’t look after themselves and this can become more amplified once you become a parent, particularly over those first few months after baby is born. It is important to do things that fill your cup and make you feel good, happy and make you feel like yourself.

Download the episode transcript here.

This article was written with Billy Loizou, in conjunction with Episode 10 of Purebaby’s podcast, Pure Parenthood.

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