4 Ways to Make Dad Feel Great

Smiling happy older asian father with stylish short beard touching daughter's hand on shoulder looking and talking together with love and care. Family relationship with bond and care concept.

Do you like adventure? Want to travel to places unknown? Congratulations! Along with the birth of your baby comes the beginning of a lifelong adventure in learning for you and your partner – about yourselves, each other, and your child.

Put this positive frame around the additional responsibilities of caring for the person who has entered your lives. Let your partner know that you are excited about exploring this new territory together, on smooth trails and bumpy roads, and that you need his love and support.

1. Help him learn baby basics

Your partner may feel less confident than you do in caring for the baby’s daily needs. He may want to watch you diaper, bathe or feed the baby before he tries to do these tasks on his own. Or you might end up learning these baby basics together. Either way, compliment his efforts, and see them as one more reason to give him a hug and one more moment when you can share the miracle of your infant.

2. Express your love

Comments such as “He has your eyes!” or “Wow! I can tell he has your sweet smile!” help your baby’s father appreciate how much you love about him. In front of your partner, share the good news with your friends about the “family affair” that you and he have begun, a true partnership in parenthood. Doing so will send him a message that you need and love him – a sure way to help him feel great.

3. Express your needs

Put yourself in his shoes: You’ve been given so much of the attention during pregnancy; now it’s time for that attention to shift to how “we” are doing as a new mom and dad. Let your partner know what you’d like him to do and accept his telling you his needs too. This is new territory – although he may know which salad you like at a restaurant you always go to, he may not know how important it is to you that he give the baby a bath.

4. Share the wonder of your baby

Intimacy means different things to different people. But one way to boost your emotional satisfaction as a couple for the rest of your lives together is to marvel at the miracle that is your child. Set the stage now: Share your feelings about the baby as you bathe, diaper and hold her together; then never let those feelings go as your baby grows.