Checklist For First Time Dads: Preparing For Fatherhood

If you’re planning on becoming a dad, or already have a baby on the way, we’ve got some tips and advice from those who have gone before you.

Your partner is likely inundated with do’s and don’ts on everything from eating to sleeping, but there are a few things you can also do to get ready for becoming a dad.

Research fatherhood

Research dadhood

You’re going to be the first man your child loves and this is a fantastic opportunity for you to decide what sort of dad you want to be. There’s heaps of information available, so choose the stuff that adds value to you – not that makes you feel guilty or inadequate. You will never get everything right – that’s the number one rule of parenthood! Talk with other dads you admire about how they are dealing with parenthood.

If you are concerned about how you will cope or manage some emotions or ingrained behaviours, do seek help. You deserve to enter this phase confident and supported.

Build your relationship with your partner

As you head into the unknown of parenthood, communication and a strong relationship with your partner have never been so important. Get involved in what your partner is going through, and support them as best you can. If your relationship has some stress points, consider getting some counselling to help you determine the best way to manage this. Consider booking a babymoon so you can both enjoy some relaxing time together without the pressures of work and other commitments.

Look after your health

Now is a great time to make those changes you’ve been meaning to make. Eat a well-balanced and nutritious diet, develop a habit of regular exercise and try and break any smoking, recreational drugs and excessive alcohol habits. Again, if you need to seek help with this, do it! There’s no shame in asking for a helping hand.

Book a general health check with your doctor.

Review your financial health

Having a baby is an expensive exercise so prepare a budget to ensure you and your partner know what money is available. If you don’t already have life insurance, definitely look into this and also consider income protection insurance for the main income earner in your partnership. Check your parental leave, Best Start, and Working For Families entitlements.

Already expecting?

If your partner is already pregnant, it’s time to swing into action and get some key stuff done around the house.

Get practical

If your vehicle(s) are due for servicing or warranting soon after the due date, consider getting this done early. Take the pets for their annual check-up and immunisations. Make a list and check off all those wee jobs you have been meaning to get done, eg tidying the garage and fixing that dripping tap or cupboard door that doesn’t close properly. Get the garden tamed, the windows cleaned, and the gutters flowing, and the squeaky door oiled.

If you can, stock up on essentials – nappies, toilet paper, dish and clothes wash detergent, cleaning products, pantry basics, and pet food.

Baby prep

Making a kitset cot

If your baby is going to be welcomed home to a newly painted nursery complete with bassinette, cot, drawers, shelves etc, it’s likely there are a number of jobs associated with this on your to-do list such as making up kit set furniture, painting, and moving heavy items.

Plan your time so that you can get these jobs done before your partner goes into labour – and give yourself a bit of leeway in case baby decides to come early!

Check in with your partner regularly about what else can be on your list of jobs – as you both learn more about what lies ahead, your earlier plans might change.

Checklist summary

  • Research parenthood

  • Put in place healthy living changes

  • Review your finances

  • Get vehicles warranted and serviced

  • Get pets annual checkup

  • Make and complete a list of all the jobs that need doing around the house

  • Stock up on non-perishable essentials

  • Make and complete checklist of nursery jobs

author robynWritten by Robyn

Robyn creates content on Kidspot NZ. Her hobbies include buying cleaning products and wondering why things don’t then clean themselves, eating cheese scones with her friends, and taking her kids to appointments. 

Favourite motto to live by: “This too will pass.”

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