The ultimate new dad's guide to parenting

The ultimate new dad's guide to parenting

The ultimate new dad's guide to parenting

If you’re anything like my husband, you probably think it’s crazy that there is a whole book’s worth of emotional guff, when we could just cut to the chase and tell you who to call. So here is a very short letter from my husband, Alex, plus a list of the specialists in each chapter.

 

Dear Dad,

Before my first child, my mum warned me. She said, “Your time is no longer your own after having kids,” and for once, she was right.

Learning how to cope with a newborn can be a real shock to your routine. As new parents, you will need to come to grips with the fact that your life will revolve entirely around the baby and your needs take second priority. For me, this realisation set in as soon as my wife and I left the hospital. We suddenly found ourselves alone and without ready assistance from the birthing ward nurses.

So with that and a little bit of hindsight in mind, below are my top tips to help get you home smoothly and settling in to life after birth.

Getting everyone safely home from the hospital presents the first challenge. Common options include taking a taxi, driving your own car, or using public transport. However, if you are using a car, the baby must be in an appropriate car seat. Aside from its illegality, the consequences of not restraining your child can be horrific (queue crash test videos). Make sure you get a seat that suits your budget and lifestyle, then practise installing it prior to D-day. If you need help selecting the right car seat, call my wife.

Next up: essential hardware. My first child was born at 36 weeks, which made my wife and I look fairly unprepared when we hadn’t yet bought a cot. Don’t make the same mistake and ensure you have the essentials well before il bambino arrives. You don’t need to buy expensive new items as most of this can be purchased pre-loved (except nappies and car seats) to save some coin, but as a minimum have these four areas covered:

  • wheels (stroller and car seat),
  • meals (bottles, bottle steriliser and infant formula if that’s your thing),
  • threads (nappies, burp rags, swaddle blankets and baby clothes) and
  • beds (cot or bassinet and sheets).

Sweet dreams? The best advice I can give to help you acclimatise to life after birth is to get everyone in to a good sleep routine. Newborns feed every three hours. As a result, being able to get your baby back to sleep quickly at 3am is vital. There’s tonnes of literature on sleep routines but, as a start, my wife and I followed the four steps in the sleep chapter of this book. If you end up feeding using infant formula or expressed breast milk, I would recommend mum and dad working complementary ‘shifts’ (eg mum feeds baby at 9pm then goes to sleep; dad stays up and does a 12am feed then goes to sleep; mum wakes up at 3am etc).

Finally, clear the decks. Whilst you will be tempted to show off the new baby to friends and family as soon as possible, I would suggest giving yourself time and space to get into your baby-care routine before you line up all of your visitors. Dads also need to be conscious of balancing work time and home time in the first three months after birth. I would strongly advise minimising non-essential work travel during this time unless you have surplus ‘brownie points’ to burn.

I hope that wasn’t overwhelming (there’s no going back now though). Persevere. Life will become more normal after a few months. Until then, be prepared to give up a few gym sessions and some Netflix until everyone settles in.

Alex

 

Quick Reference Directory

Obstetricians

Dr Pamela Tan: www.drpamelatan.com

Dr Paul Tseng: www.virtusfertilitycentre.com.sg

Dr TC Chang: www.doctor-chang.net

Dr Dharshini: www.drdharsh.com

Dr Siva: www.rafflesmedicalgroup.com

Dr Jazlan: www.rafflesmedicalgroup.com

Dr FM Lai: www.acompanyforwomen.com.sg

Dr EK Tan: www.drtanengkien.com

Prof Choolani: www.nuh.com.sg/nuhgynae

Prof Chong: www.nuh.com.sg/nuhgynae

Prenatal classes

Beloved Bumps: www.belovedbumps.sg

Mother and Child: www.motherandchild.com.sg

BumpWise: www.facebook.com/bumpwise

Love Based Birth: www.lovebasedbirth.com

Blooming Births: www.blooming-births.com

Inspire Mum & Baby: www.inspiremumbaby.com

Tree of Life Birth: www.treeoflifebirth.com.sg

Parentlink: www.parentlink.com.sg

Warda Yusoff: WhatsApp 9880 1417

Tessa Webb Lyman: WhatsApp 9896 0378

First Aid Tuition: www.firstaidtuition.com.sg

Birth partners

Johanna Wagner: WhatsApp 9795 7949

Doulas of Singapore: www.doulasofsingapore.com

Red Miller: www.lovebasedbirth.com

Natasha Cullen: www.belovedbumps.sg

Avigaïl Riahi: www.belovedbumps.sg

Chantel Kismet: www.blooming-births.com

Linda Tan: www.inspiremumbaby.com

Deanna Kearns: www.laboroflovesingapore.com

Emeline Hare: www.mybabyadores.com

Athina Vandevoort: WhatsApp 8225 3743

Angelyn Seet: www.treeoflifebirth.com.sg

Kiki Porter-Wolff: WhatsApp 9108 5521

Warda Yusoff: WhatsApp 9880 1417

Yoga & pilates

Laura Dobberstein Yoga: WhatsApp 8571 1794

Terra Luna Yoga: www.terralunayoga.com

Sarah Manning: WhatsApp 8161 9580

Sacred Funk Yoga: www.sacredfunk.com

Pure Movement Centre: www.puremovementcentre.sg

Inspire Mum & Baby: www.inspiremumbaby.com

Mother and Child: www.motherandchild.com.sg

Amber Sawyer: www.ambersawyer.com

Group fitness & personal training

Mom In Balance: www.mominbalance.com

Beloved Bumps: www.belovedbumps.sg

Coached Lab: www.coached.fitness

Health 2 Mama: www.health2u.sg

Photographers

Red Bus Photography: www.redbusphotography.com

Evie Grace Photography: www.eviegracephotos.com

The Studio Loft: www.thestudioloft.com.sg

Leanne Jackson Photography: WhatsApp 9851 6346

Little Me Moments: www.littlememoments.com

Baby gear

PramFox: www.pramfox.com

Baby Slings & Carriers: www.babyslingsandcarriers.com

Warabee: www.facebook.com/warabeehs

Baby Gates N Safety: www.babygatesnsafety.com

motherswork: www.motherswork.com.sg

Mothercare: www.mothercare.com.sg

Physiotherapy

Embrace Physiotherapy: www.embracephysio.sg

Physio Asia: www.physioasia.sg

Physio Down Under: www.physiodownunder.sg

Physio Core and Floor: www.physiocoreandfloor.com

City Osteopathy & Physiotherapy: www.cityosteophysio.com

Edge Healthcare Orchard: www.edgehealthcare.com.sg

Health 2 Mama: www.health2u.sg

Osteopathy

Edge Healthcare Orchard: www.edgehealthcare.com.sg

The Osteopathic Centre: www.theosteo.com.sg

Chiropractic

Organic Family Chiropractic: www.organicfamilychiropractic.com

Light Chiropractic: www.lightchiropractic.com

Naturopathy & homeopathy

Edge Healthcare Orchard: www.edgehealthcare.com.sg

Inatura: www.inatura.com.sg

Homeopathic Health Centre: www.drrukshinmaster.com

Vitanovella: www.vitanovella.com

Nutritional health

The Iron Suites Medical Centre: www.theironsuites.com

Nutritious N Delicious: www.nutritiousndelicious.com

Health 2 Mama: www.health2u.sg

Labour preparation

Life Balance: www.lifebalance.com.sg

Inspire Mum & Baby: www.inspiremumbaby.com

Podiatry

The Foot Practice: www.thefootpractice.com

Paediatricians

Dr Veronica Toh: www.rafflesmedicalgroup.com

Dr Tan Siew Pin: www.olivetreedoc.com

Dr Leo Hamilton: www.kidsclinic.sg

Dr Natalie Epton: www.sbcc.sg

Dr Belinda Murugasu-Koh: www.memc.com.sg

GPs

Dr Loo Hui Voon: www.forumclinicsg.com

Dr Mythili Pandi: www.imchealthcare.com

Dr Peter Chiu: www.imchealthcare.com

The Iron Suites Medical Centre: www.theironsuites.com

Well baby clinics

Mother and Child: www.motherandchild.com.sg

Beloved Bumps: www.belovedbumps.sg

Breastfeeding

Tessa Webb Lyman: WhatsApp 9896 0378

Mother and Child: www.motherandchild.com.sg

Alona Hodik: www.bellytobreastfeeding.com

Dr Mythili Pandi: www.imchealthcare.com

Breastfeeding Mothers’ Support Group (Singapore): www.breastfeeding.org.sg

Stillen Maternity: www.stillen.com.sg

Health 2 Mama: www.health2u.sg

Mental Health

More Mindful: www.moremindful.me

Dr Kamini: www.dr-kamini.com

Dr Amy Reale: www.arc91.com

Counsellingconnectz: www.counsellingconnectz.com

Thrive Family: www.thrivefamily.sg

Mary Barrett Global: www.marybarrett.global

Inspire Mum & Baby: www.inspiremumbaby.com

Support groups & communities

New Mothers’ Support Group: www.nmsg-singapore.com

BumpWise: www.facebook.com/bumpwise

Love Based Birth Hive: tribe.lovebasedbirth.com

Mindful Mums: www.meetup.com/moremindfulmums

Stork’s Nest Singapore: www.facebook.com/storksnestsg

New Mums Singapore: Search on Facebook

Mother and Child: www.motherandchild.com.sg

Beloved Bumps: www.belovedbumps.sg

nůmama Choir: numamasingapore@gmail.com

Breastfeeding Mothers’ Support Group (Singapore): www.breastfeeding.org.sg

Chapter Zero: www.chapterzero.org

Online resources & books

Honeykids Asia: www.honeykidsasia.com

Sassy Mama: www.sassymamasg.com

From Fear to Love: Available on Amazon

The Positive Birth Book: Available on Amazon

Elevating Child Care: Available on Amazon

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding: Available on Amazon

The Science of Parenting: Available on Amazon

The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read: Available on Amazon

The Gift of Birth: Available on Amazon

Nannies & helpers

The Newborn Nanny: www.newbornnanny.sg

Empowa: www.empowa.sg

Anisya: www.anisya.com

Massage

Nik’s Bodywork: www.nikbodywork.com

Beauty Mums & Babies: www.beautymumsbabies.com

Inspire Mum & Baby: www.inspiremumbaby.com

Health 2 Mama: www.health2u.sg

Tree of Life Birth: www.treeoflifebirth.com.sg

Sleep

S Family Wellness: www.sfamilywellness.com

Mother and Child: www.motherandchild.com.sg

Financial considerations

LynchPin: WhatsApp 8666 6242

Simply Wills: www.simplywills.com.sg

Maternity & baby clothes

Lagom Kids: www.lagomkids.com

Hunter + Boo: www.hunterandboo.com

Sagaseed: www.sagaseed.shop

Stillen Maternity: www.stillen.com.sg

Bonds: www.bonds.com.au

H&M: www.hm.com

Baby showers

Host: www.hostsingapore.com

Tim’s Fine Catering: www.timsfinecatering.com

Fika Events: www.fikacafe.com