It doesn’t matter how much preparation you do – nothing will truly prepare you for the reality that’s about to unfold. You can, however, learn from the mistakes other new dads have made (myself included).
1. Don’t be one of those people who video the birth of your child
Labour is amazing, but unicorns and rainbows it is not; there will be blood and screaming.
By all means check out what’s going on down there. Just don’t SnapChat or live-stream it. As a general rule, you shouldn’t be looking at any major life event through a viewfinder – unless you’re a cameraman.
And a word on anaesthetics; they’re extremely important during the birth, which is quite a stressful time. I found the nitrous oxide to be hilarious. My wife opted for an epidural.
2. Don’t taste test the breastmilk
Every dad-to-be wants to taste it and once you do, you’ll wish you never did. Your baby, however, will love the stuff.
3. She’ll need you to be her rock
A lot of mums get depression to some degree and you’ll be the one copping it, simply because you’re there. It’s hell, but know that if it’s making you feel bad, it’s making mum feel worse.
If it happens, try to understand that it’s not something she can simply snap out of. It has to be worked through and you should be her biggest help – even if she hates your guts.
4. Baby poo is fascinating
Although the big joke is how dry-retchingly disgusting it is, for the first four months, baby poo doesn’t smell anywhere near as bad as yours does. Also, a colour range from jet black to light suede is perfectly normal, and somehow strangely fascinating.
The first poo (also known as meconium), however, is another story.
5. A half an inch too big and it’s game over
It’s an all too familiar tale – traumatised dad-to-be goes through hell to land the perfect pram, only to later discover he has to fold the back seat down just to fit it in the car. Every. Single. Bloody. Time.
It’s soul destroying.
For the love of God, check the pram fits easily into the boot before you buy it. And if you’re a two car family, take the smaller car with you on your pram shopping expedition.
And yes, that’s what she said.
5. Sleep is the new sex
It will be the new sex, because you won’t be getting enough of it and when you do get it, it will be awesome. Which is just like sex. Which is exactly how you got into this situation in the first place…