If you’re a new dad or are planning to start a family soon, it can be a very exciting time.

the do's and don'ts of being a dad
© DGLimages Depositphotos

It is, however, very important that you start to engage your dad mode in the months leading up to being a real daddy. No matter how many fatherhood books or dad guides you read, nobody is ever really fully prepared for what is to come with having a new baby. It is true that much of the enjoyment from parenting is learning from your mistakes, which in turn, makes you an even better parent, but this being said, there are certain things that are better off knowing before you dive head first into parenting.

Below I have listed 8 top tips regarding the “Dos and Don’ts” of being a first-time daddy:

Number one, and maybe most importantly, don’t forget to record everything in the early years. I don’t mean buy an expensive video camera and film your little one 24/7, I just mean make a permanent memory of anything that is significant to you, such as first steps, first tooth etc.

Many dads actually blog about their fatherhood experience, so if you really wanted to document everything about your baby’ first years you could think about writing it all up or video blogging. To get an idea of how it works check out Cisions top UK Daddy Blogs.

Don’t ever, and I mean ever, change a nappy without suitable protection for both the surroundings and yourself! Babies have a tendency to hold just a little bit of wee in, just to surprise you when you start to change their nappy. So unless you want to be covered in your little one’s urine, I would suggest preparing beforehand.

This being said, I would recommend taking a nappy changing bag everywhere you go, as you never really know when your little one will need to go! iCandy actually do Man Bags for dads that need something stylish and convenient to carry everything baby related around with them.

Don’t ever take your eyes off them! This may sound silly, but once they start to crawl they can disappear in a second, so you could quite easily go to make a drink and come back to the baby playing their own game of hide and seek with you.

Don’t ever wake a sleeping baby. Sleep is massively important to your baby’s development. Plus, I am sure you will realise when you become a full-time daddy that every second of their sleep is precious, due to the fact you get some peace and quiet yourself!

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Don’t turn into a panicked maniac if your little one happens to give themselves a little bump or scrape. By this I mean don’t jump around and create a huge fuss, this is likely to scare your baby even more, and thus the hour long cries begin.

It is important to remember that even trips and falls go toward a baby’s mental and physical development. I would recommend being much more gentle and trying to calmly sooth your baby and reassure them as much as possible.

Do make sure you are constantly talking to your baby. It helps them develop in terms of speech, as well as helping to create a bond between your little one and you. WebMD have a really useful article for more information about how to talk to babies and what it does for their development.

Do set up a daily routine. It is always better, in my opinion, to have a daily routine for you and your baby. It helps your baby feel more stable and secure, and makes your life a whole lot easier, especially if you develop a regular bedtime.

Do let them explore. I know that many parents are extremely protective which is completely understandable, and normal, however, children, especially at a very young age need to explore the world (maybe just your front room). It is a huge learning curve for babies and massively improves the development of the mind as well as the physical aspect. Just make sure you are keeping an eye on them wherever they happen to wander off too.

Each of these points are things that I have picked up from my own experience as a dad, however, the last thing I would recommend is finding a suitable balance that is right for yourself. You may find that certain advice doesn’t really suit you, and that is okay. As long as your own techniques are best for your little one, any parenting style is perfect.

by JAMES P