Father and dog looking at sleeping baby.
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new dad survival guide: how to deal with becoming a dad for the first time

2 minutes

Becoming a dad for the first time is a huge life change, so if you’re starting to get nervous, rest assured - you’re definitely not alone.

To help put your mind at rest, we asked some dads what kind of things they worried about pre-fatherhood, and how they managed to overcome them:

How will I deal with sleep deprivation with a baby?

‘It’s tough but is amazing what the body can deal with,’ says Philip, father to Thomas, 3. ‘Be really kind to yourself, don’t try and fit too much in and get to bed as soon as possible. Seriously, me and my wife were often in bed by 9pm.’

What if I can’t give my baby what it needs?

‘The first time my wife went out for the evening, my son went ballistic and I just couldn’t comfort him,’ says Andy, father to Ethan, 1. ‘My wife had to cut her evening short and I felt so inadequate. But there will be times when your baby just wants one parent, for whatever reason, and my tip would be really don’t take it personally.’

What impact will parenthood have on my relationship?

‘Rob and I had a really rough first year,’ says Paul, dad to Theo, 4. ‘In hindsight, I think we became a bit jealous of each other - he sometimes wished he’d gone back to work, I wanted his bond with Theo. My advice would be - talk to each other a lot, be aware of how much sleep deprivation may be impacting your moods and 100% use babysitters for nights out together!’

Will I ever have a social life again?

‘My tip would be, take it slow,’ says James, dad to Beau, 2. ‘Just be there for each other at first, and when a social invite comes up, test the waters - will your partner be ok without you? Sometimes the stay-at-home parent is counting the minutes until you’ve finished work, so to be back an hour later makes a big difference.’

One last tip from us - your concerns are just as valid as a mother’s, so don’t be afraid to speak up about how you’re feeling, to your partner, friends or healthcare professional.

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