The newborn phase can be the most frustratingly beautiful aspects within the fatherhood experience. For all the ups, downs, joys, pains, laughs and tears the newborn phase is the most intense trial by fire birthing of your life as a father. As beautiful as the sweet cuddles and gurgles may be, the frustrations from lack of sleep or being locked in an echo chamber of cries and screams is enough to crack anyone. I know I may have cracked a few times myself, a normal occurrence for those new it. Fortunately, there are workarounds and ways to make the process easier. To keep more of our sanity so that we can enjoy and appreciate those joyous moments even more. As such the following are some top ways curated for your daddy sanity needs.
- The Big Three: Hungry, Dirty, Sleepy: In these early stages with you kid, most big cries stem from one of three basic stages your little one resides in. Hungry, dirty, or sleepy and as these are your child biggest concerns, it’s also what they make some of the biggest fuss over. Until you learn to decode your baby’s secret code of different sounds and cries, your best bet is to use logic to determine which of these three may be the culprit.
- No Muss, No Fuss : Once you’ve addressed the big three and your kid is still fussing, things get a little more tricky. Often it comes down to gas and the kid needing to burp, or your newborn being awake and wanting more of someone’s attention.
- Other options :Eliminating some of the major causes, this boil down to the silly and simple. Your kid may be fussing because of a dropped bottle/pacifier, discomfort, or their own personal struggles, like trying to get comfortable.
- Don’t sweat the technique: There are lots of ways to address your kid’s needs. You’ll hear lots of stories of awesome dads, and their trademark sure-fire technique that is guaranteed to work. Until, they don’t, and you’re stuck there on your own, at your wits end, willing to try anything. As effective as the approaches of others may be, there is no guarantee any of them will work, at any given time. However, what works best from the experiences of many fathers, is connecting with your child and making your own techniques. Something interesting happens when you start to take them in more and more… even at such an early stage, you start to develop a relationship with them. Start to see their preferences and through your interactions you discover things that then become the best tools for dealing with them.
- Connect and do what works: For me, I discovered my son loved Daddy hugs, he loved when I would just pick him up, hold him close and whisper to him about anything… stories, the basketball game…. pleads for my own sanity. I didn’t matter just me holding him and talking to him always soothed him down. Enough so that I started using that approach to get him down to sleep for the night. Such insights only occur through that time spent with your little one.
- Listen and learn: Over time you’ll learn the nuances and differences between the kids cries and be more in control of the level of reaction you give to it. This occurs at different times for different parents, but if you know what to look for now, you can pick up these helpful cues sooner rather than later. Indicators like the volume and intensity of you child’s cries are valuable tools in understanding how urgent the kid’s situation is. Everything may just sound like ‘kid crying’ to you now, but with a little more attention you’ll start to figure out how to avoid the never-ending state of panic that tries to takes over with every fuss.
These are just a few things to keep in mind when trying to sooth the munchkin. While the myriad of tools and ways you grow throughout this experience called fatherhood, never ceases, the true value lies with which we take those lessons and practically apply them to our everyday life. These soothing insights are just some of the ways many of us father are practically applying them to our lives. Hopefully the benefit of our collective process will help those still adjusting.
Trust and know my friends, you got this!