The Father Factor

Give this One Thing to New Dads to Bring Them in Right from the Start

Posted by Melissa Byers

Most Recent Fatherhood Posts

Jan 19, 2022

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Oh, the joys of being a new dad. There are all of immediate things parents must learn like feeding, changing, and caring for a baby. It’s almost trial by fire, some say, as new parents navigate the ins and outs of caring for a newborn. They often get tips from doctors, family, and friends, but sometimes they wing it and just do the best they can.

But what happens next?

Most of us didn't grow up learning about child development. How children grow, when we can expect them to be able to do this thing or that thing, or how we can interact with children based on their age range.

That’s why we created this oh so important resource for new dads.

It’s called the Help Me Grow Guide: The First Year. (We also have two follow-on guides: The Toddler and Pre-School Years and The Elementary School Years.)

It’s a roadmap of sorts for new dads of what to expect around child development and how they can interact with their new baby! Imagine how helpful this can be for new dads, especially if they weren’t around younger siblings growing up.

The first thing dads see when he opens The Guide to The First Year is a welcome note and a description of what’s inside: charts to learn about the physical, mental/emotional, and social changes his child will go through during their first year of life. The charts help dads know what to expect and not to expect in terms of their baby’s growth. The guide also includes age-appropriate things that dad can do to help their child grow. There are many simple and easy ways that dad can be involved in his baby’s growth right from the start!

For example, “Things to Know” about baby’s months 1 & 2 include:

  • Gains about 1/4 to 1/2 pound of weight each week for the first 6 months.
  • Not able to hold head up in first month.
  • Can turn head from side to side when lying on back. Lifts head by second month.
  • In first month will keep hands closed tightly. By second month will often open hands and grasp.
  • Closely watches parents’ face when they play with him/her.
  • By second month can mimic parent’s face (e.g. smiling and sticking out tongue)

“Things to Know” is always followed by “Ways to Grow,” the best part of the guide (in my opinion!), that gives dads concrete ways to participate and be involved! For months 1 & 2, it includes tips like:

  • Hold, cuddle, rock, talk, sing, hug, and kiss your baby often to make him/her feel safe.
  • Try to console and comfort your baby even though your baby might not always calm down.
  • If you can’t spend a lot of time with your baby, play, talk, and sing during his alert stages (dressing, bathing, feeding, walking, driving) because it is more fun for you both.
  • Create routines and habits when you wash, feed, and put your baby to bed. Your baby will learn to rely on you and sleep better at night.

If there is just ONE THING you have on hand to give to new dads, I encourage you to have the Help Me Grow Guide: The First Year. It’s an easy way to bring dads into the wonderful life of their child and encourage their participation right from the start.

Help Me Grow Guides are available in 5-packs or in a bundle (one 5-pack of each age range).

Download samples and purchase each version of The Help Me Grow Guides at their respective product pages here.

he Benefits of Fatherhood Programs in Community-Based Organizations

Topics: child well-being, fatherhood work, child development, Featured, General Fatherhood Program Resources, NFI-Specific Programs & Resources, New Dads & Hospitals

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