Expectant Dads

What to Expect?

First off: Congratulations! You’re expecting! Now quit dancing on the ceiling and get serious. As you can see, I do like to use humor–even though when we were expecting my wife wanted me to be more serious. So let’s get serious. First up: Plan for the unexpected. By that I mean DO NOT wait until the last minute for anything and I do mean anything!

Bassinet/Co-Sleeper/Crib: Whatever method you’ve chosen for your child’s sleep should be ready to go with clean sheets (learn what Dreft is…and don’t use dryer sheets those are for your socks!).

The go bag: No this isn’t your “Vegas getaway” pack, it’s the bag that will be heading with you to the hospital. First go shopping with your wife for a new nightgown. It might get messed up, so don’t go for silk or high-priced. Just go with soft and comfy. It’ll be much better than the paper wrapper the hospital will provide. Get an extra phone charger labor is sometimes long (very long) and your iphone/blackberry will be drained quicker then you think. Bring cash (once again this isn’t for Vegas) but for food being delivered to the room. This is a special occasion. The least you can do is get eats a shade better than hospital food.

Tour the hospital: Know where you’re going…the floor…the elevator bank… the color line on the floor to follow….Your partner will be freaking out when you arrive in labor, so this is your time to shine. Stay calm and stay on track. Also the most important item to ask about on the tour is the private room…where is it? And how much does it cost? If you can swing the cash (usually 200-600 dollars per a night on top of what your insurance covers). I think it is totally worth it. Why? Think about your college roommate or your college floor-mate not the cool one but the one who was really annoying and add to that dozens of sounds, alarms, and nurses waking your wife/partner up from their first night sleep after a VERY long day–and that’s if she chooses not to sleep with the child on his/her first night.

Plan for yourself: Start with the ability to have someone go into your apartment while you’re not there (extra set of keys, name with doorman, whatever you need to do) because once that baby comes, you’re at the hospital for a good 14-18 hours for those first days and you might need stuff done in the apartment. Make sure your job knows that you’re off the grid unless the mega deal is blowing up or someone is dead. The first few hours of your child’s life are incredible and you’ll never be able to get them back (plus your wife/partner will never forget it if you weren’t there or you were on the phone). Double check your cell phone to ensure that you have all the contacts and information from the ob/gyn to the pediatrics practice that you choose. Your wife/partner already has plenty on her on their mind and being the shortstop backing up the catcher isn’t a bad thing at all!

Have a thank you gift ready: It’s been called the “push gift.” You need something that will last a lifetime to say THANK YOU. Your wife/partner just gave you an amazing gift and you should mark the occasion with something special.

Lastly, do not sleep in the hospital (the rules are your friends on this one). If you sleep in the hospital, you’ll never get a good rest. You will become cranky by the second day and once you get home and realize that you’re waking up every three (that’s correct three) hours to feed or change the baby, you’ll wish you rested. Get mentally prepared as this is a 9-10 month marathon. Emotionally and fiscally, a roller-coaster, and you’re just about to finish those snake-like lines at Disney and…become a dad. Don’t kid yourself thinking that you’ll be perfect, you are human and perfection isn’t something that comes from a book it’s experience and you’ll make mistakes. The challenge is to embrace those mistakes, kiss your wife/partner, and know that whatever it is, you’ll deal with it together.

If you’re going to read a book get Go to Guides for Guys ABCs for Expectant Dads by Todd Barrett Lieman The first ten people to become a fan of DaDa Rocks on facebook will win one Just need to leave a comment…

Best wishes on your new adventure!