At TEKDADDI we talk a lot to new dads about how to prepare for the changes in their life and take the best care of their family. And, while most of the men we talk to are becoming dads for the FIRST time, there are quite a few who come to us with questions about what to do when baby #2 is on the way. For the dads having a second baby, we have a little bit of advice today that will help navigate significant changes coming your way!
Rule #1: Get used to man-to-man parenting.
Remember how with your first child how you and your wife spent so much time together cuddling the little one, taking trips to the park and setting up a bedtime routine. With a second baby, that all changes.
Instead of sitting on the couch together gazing into the baby’s eyes one of you will be chasing a toddler while the other changes a dirty diaper. It’s not to say that you won’t have special moments with your second child, but they will be rarer. Don’t sweat it though, there will be new things to enjoy like watching your first born interact with your new baby!
Rule #2: You have to learn how to budget your time…again.
So, you feel like you have the perfect schedule…You come home from work, enjoy dinner with your family, have a little r&r, do your bedtime routine, then spend time with your wife. Once the new baby joins the crew, however, that all will change! You might have to feed the baby while your wife cooks dinner (or the other way around), or you might be put on bathtime duty instead of heading to Wednesday night trivia with the guys. But, no matter what new responsibilities you take on, they will all be worth it to see the smiles on your wife and kids’ faces!
Rule #3: Accept that every baby (child) is different.
As you have parented your first child, you’ve likely learned a lot – one of those things being your parenting style. Within that style, you have developed a routine and method of discipline that works for you and your child…your first child.
If the specific methods from your current parenting style don’t work with your second baby, don’t be alarmed. Every child is different. You might have to create a new bedtime routine or opt for time out instead of a firm “no.” And, although it might take time to develop your new style, it will all work out in the end!
The biggest thing to remember, dads is that a second baby simply takes time to get used to! Your life will be 2x as wonderful and 2x as fun…you just might have to figure a few things out along the way!