3 Things Every New Dad Should Know

3 Things every New Dad Should Know
3 Months In

I cannot even begin to tell you how incredible the last few months have been!

Seeing Judah develop right before my and Bri’s eyes has been an unbelievable experience. For us, It’s been particularly fascinating to see him make developmental leaps seemingly overnight.

It feels like from one day to the next, he went from being this sleepy little newborn, to now this smiling, energetic, chunky little guy.

We’re absolutely obsessed with him – especially his big gummy smile.

3 for 3

Right now Judah is 3 months old; and while I know Bri and I both have a lot of unchartered parental territories left to explore, there have been a few things that have come up that I wish I knew about beforehand.

So here is my 3 for 3 – three things I was not aware of before becoming a dad, for every month I’ve had the joy of loving on my baby boy.

1.) Get Ready to “Not Know”

Confession time – I’m not a huge fan of uncertainties. Lucky for me, parenting is full of them.

I think I’ve said “I don’t know” more times in the last three months, than I did in all of 2018.

There are times when Bri and I simply can’t figure out why Judah is upset. We’ll sift through the general baby “check list” (i.e – is his diaper dirty, does he need to be burped, did he drop his pacifier, is he hungry, etc.) and still have a fussy Judah. There comes a point when you just start shooting in the dark in hopes that something works.

I remember one night in particular Judah was angry as all get-out. Bri and I had just finished bathing him, and were in the process of putting him down for bed. Now normally after a bath, Judah is happy as a clam – but that night he wouldn’t stop crying. We rocked him, bounced him, fed him, changed him, sang to him, and nothing – he wasn’t having it. After about an hour of having no idea what was upsetting him so much, it occurred to me to take off his socks.

No sooner do the socks come off – Judah falls right to sleep. Who would’ve thought?

So my advice to new Dads: get comfortable with not having answers, because “I don’t know” pretty much becomes your default auto response to a lot of situations.

2.) The Paranoia is REAL

I’m sure this is a personality thing – but if you’re like me, you’ll come to realize that you don’t know paranoia until you have a baby.

My mind already has the annoying tendency of going 0 to 100 (real quick) as it is, but with Judah it’s even worse. I feel like in the last three months I have thought up some of the most off the wall and irrational things ever.

“Why is he so tired, he’s been sleeping an awful lot, is everything ok??” 

“What if while we’re bathing him he gets water stuck in his ear and he gets an ear infection!?”

“Oh my gosh am I rocking him too hard??”

“Let me go to his room (for the 15th time) just to make sure…you know…he’s still breathing”

Crazy – I know.

Fortunately, God has blessed me with an amazing wife that knows how to talk me down.

The truth is, a lot of these fears and anxieties are baseless. That’s not to say we can be careless with our babies, it just means that these paranoias are normally exaggerated delusions that steal away from moments that ought to be exciting and joyous.

Again, this isn’t an excuse for negligence. If something seems abnormal then by all means contact your pediatrician. I’m just saying (from one nervous Dad to the other) – take it easy. Relax. Enjoy yourself. Tell yourself to bring it down a few notches – God knows I’m telling myself that.

3.) You’ll Love Like You’ve Never Loved Before

Bri and I are just touching the tip of the iceberg in terms of our time as parents, but we’ve already come to experience new levels of love.

Growing up, anytime I gave my parents a hard time because I thought they were being overprotective, or “helicopter parents”, they would always tell me “deja que tu tengas un hijo”, which means, “wait till you have your own son”.

I used to hate it when they would say that. Now I get it.

It’s kind of like a light switch. The minute you lay eyes on your newborn, something goes off inside of you. You unlock a new realm of emotion that can only be experienced – never explained.

You’ll love like you’ve never loved before.

Brace yourself, because it’s amazing.

All in All

Being a Parent has been nothing short of remarkable – tiresome, but remarkable. Sure there are a ton of uncertaintites, and moments of great anxiety and paranoia. But it’s those moments when you smile at your baby, and they smile right back at you that make any difficulties seem insignificant.

Fatherhood is a blessing. So from one Dad to the next, let’s cherish it.

Every second of it.

Psalm 127:3 (NLT) – Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him.

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