The New Dad Experience
By Ryan Weeks, Chief Diaper Changer and COO of Movi Family
I still remember the day my oldest daughter was born. She was born with a mop of thick, black hair and her little blue eyes instantly won my heart.
While my wife was recovering in her hospital bed, I assumed the role of Chief Diaper Changer. I followed the nurse to the bassinet as she instructed me how to look for that first meconium poop. Her little bum fit in the palm of my hand. I breathed a sigh of relief at the sight of the first meconium in her newborn nappy, and in that moment my heart rose to become her Protector and Advocate.
If you’re like me, I changed my first diaper as a new dad. I didn’t have a lot of experience around newborns, and since my nipples were useless to support this new life, diaper changing and burping the baby became two helpful roles that I assumed in those postpartum months.
Becoming a father is a massive life change, and there’s no playbook, support group, or book on how to show you how to show up well - for your partner and for your child. Here’s what I learned in those early months:
- Offer to burp the baby and change diapers whenever possible. Having a practical role goes a long way to bond with your baby and take a load off of your partner.
- Look to serve your partner by asking good questions. “How can I best help you right now?” goes a long way when you don’t know what to do. “What do you need right now?” or “Can I get you a glass of water?” are great questions too.
We go into fatherhood with high hopes. Some of us had great dads. Some of us had absent dads, abusive dads, or just good dads, but all of us want to be better dads. We’re with you in the learning, the growing, and the transforming.