New Dad Survival Guide: The Skillset You Need to be Successful

New dads need to learn skills that have traditionally been considered feminine, and can sometimes be difficult to do. This survival guide will teach you all the necessary skillset for being a successful new dad.

The “best books for first-time dads 2020” is a list of the best books that new dads can read to help them be successful. The list includes fiction and non-fiction books.

New dad survival guide how to hold baby illustration.

When my daughter Scout turned three months old, I was thinking about how easy it had been to integrate her into our family. Every new baby adds a certain amount of upheaval into your life, but adding baby #2 has been surprisingly easy.

Man dad with newborn baby girl swaddled.

Scouter Scouter Scouter Scouter Scouter Scouter Scouter Scouter Scouter Scouter Scouter Scout

Baby #1, on the other hand, was a whole different experience! When Gus came, he flipped our previously childless existence on its head. The experience of having your first child, according to Charlie at How to Be a Dad, is akin to being deployed in Vietnam and falling out of a helicopter into “a forest bristling with booby traps of dung-encrusted bamboo stakes.” That pretty about covers it up.

According to an Esquire Magazine poll, more than a third of males spend about the same amount of time caring for their children as their wives. That’s the way things are in the McKay family, and I wouldn’t have it any other way; I like being a very engaged, hands-on father. According to the same Esquire poll, males aged 18-29 are significantly more likely to spend as much, if not more, time with their children than their wives. However, desire does not necessarily equate to capability.

Life may be very crazy for a few months after you deliver your first kid. You may have never cared for a kid before, have no clue what you’re doing, and are quite anxious. You want to do the right thing for your child, but you’re afraid you’ll murder him in the process.

There’s a lot to learning about fathering via trial and error. However, preparing your mind and abilities before your child comes might make the transition to becoming a new father go more easily. So today we’ll speak about how-tos, and tomorrow we’ll talk about how to keep your sanity.

In the birth room, they don’t give out an instruction manual, but if they did, these two articles would cover what it should say.

The Skillset of a New Dad’s Survival Guide

Don’t be concerned about injuring your infant if you follow the baby-handling instructions listed here. They aren’t as delicate as you may believe. They’re extremely tough little buggers.

Giving your baby skin-to-skin contact is a great way to start.

Newborn baby girl on dad's chest skin to skin contact.

For newborns, leaving the womb and suddenly finding themselves untethered in the big wide world may be a distressing experience. Holding your baby skin-to-skin helps relax and comfort him, according to research, by regulating his heart rate, respiration rate, and blood pressure, maintaining his body temperature, and reducing his crying. It also aids in the bonding process between you and your child. These advantages occur regardless of whether the mother or the father engages in skin-to-skin contact. Spend some time with your shirt off, holding your kid merely in his diaper, soon after he is born and throughout the following several weeks.

How to Care for a Baby

How to hold a baby five ways diagram illustration.

The most crucial thing is to support your baby’s neck, bottom, and small of the back, regardless of the hold you employ.



What Is the Best Way to Change a Diaper?

“With you at bat, spread the diaper in the position of the [baseball] diamond.” Fold second base to home plate, then place the baby on the pitcher’s mound. Assemble first and third bases, then raise home plate and pin the three together. Of course, if it rains, you have to call the game and restart from the beginning.” —MLB center fielder Jimmy Piersall on how to diaper a baby

A new infant produces a lot of excrement and urine. You’ll be surprised at how much rubbish a little person can generate. You may anticipate to change a diaper every two hours with a baby. In a single 24-hour day, that’s a total of twelve alterations! Wowza! The changings will become less frequent as the baby grows older, but you’ll still go through a lot of diapers. Unfortunately, science has yet to develop a self-cleaning kid, so you and your wife will be responsible for keeping your young one clean and their waste-producing faculties in good working order.

1. Determine the extent of the damage. You know you need to change your tiny turd machine’s diaper if you smell anything unpleasant. Be ready for anything when you go to inspect the damage. You may have a little nugget waiting for you, or you could be dealing with a messy, hazardous waste explosion that has escaped the diaper’s limits. If the latter is the case, you should bring the infant close to the bath so you may completely clean her.

2. Gather your supplies. If it’s a #2, get a clean diaper and four or five baby wipes. Set them over to the side.

3. Put on your gas mask and get into position. If your infant is on formula, be prepared for a strong odor. The stench isn’t as terrible if your infant is breastfed. If you have a son, juke to the side to avoid being baptized into the Church of the Yellow Stream by his tiny sprinkler.

4. Lift up your baby’s butt and undo the filthy diaper. By grasping your baby’s ankles and gently lifting her feet into the air, you may lift her tuckus. Wipe any extra poo from her rear using a clean section of the soiled diaper.

5. Wipe the surface. Grab a baby wipe and start wiping front to back with your baby’s small butt elevated off the ground. The front to back motion decreases the risk of germs moving into their privates, which might lead to a urinary tract infection (especially important for girls). Make certain you don’t miss any opportunities. On top of the dirty diaper, place the used wipes. Remove the dirty diaper while your baby’s feet are still dangling in the air.

6. Dispose of the soiled diaper by closing it. With the hazardous waste and used wipes still inside, fold the diaper on itself. Make a tight bundle using the adhesive tabs. Place the bundle into a plastic bag, knot it up, and hook shoot it into the diaper bin.


7. Allow to air dry. Make sure your baby’s bottom is dry if you want to prevent diaper rashes. If her butt is red or inflamed, use A&D or Desitin.

8. Place the fresh diaper on your child. A diaper must be put on correctly in order to operate properly. The adhesive tabs are on the back of the diaper. Place your baby on this section.

9. Pull the front of the diaper up and secure the tabs. It should be snug enough to prevent it from slipping off, but not so tight that it cuts off circulation to your baby’s legs. Around the leg of most disposable diapers are little ruffles. If they aren’t poking out, you’ll have some leakage issues.

10. Give a high five to your child.

What is the Best Way to Burp a Baby?

How to burp a baby three ways diagram illustration.

Give your kid gentle pats or tiny, circular massages to get the burp out using any of these ways.

Sucking in air when feeding causes gas in babies. They may get rid of these air bubbles by burping. Burp a baby after every 2-3 ounces she drinks and at the conclusion of her meal if you’re feeding her with a bottle. Burp more often throughout the meal if she’s fussy or spits up a lot.

How to Calm a Screaming Child

The ability to quiet your baby when she screams is the most vital talent to have as a new parent (if you want to save your sanity).

Whether your kid screams a lot or a little will have a big impact on whether your new dad experience is easier or tougher than you expected. Unfortunately, whether you get a happy baby or a grumpy caterwauler is a bit of a guessing game. Here’s how to calm them down, no matter which straw you choose.

What is the source of my baby’s crying?

It may seem like your infant is sobbing as part of a sinister plan to melt your mind. But there’s generally a cause; remember, she doesn’t have any other method of communicating except wailing when anything bothers her. As a result, while you’re attempting to calm down your screaming machine, it’s a good idea to go through a mental checklist of what could be bothering her:

  • Do you have a soiled diaper? It doesn’t have to be completely full with #2. They may also be moved to tears by a huge, wet, soggy diaper.
  • Is there a need to burp? To get the burp out, try the various positions listed above.
  • Gas? Try placing your baby on her back and then cycling a bicycle with her legs and hips up and down. Alternatively, softly rub her stomach in a circular. Over-the-counter therapies like as simethicone and “gripe water” are available, but they haven’t been proved to help, and we had no luck with them with either of our children. I feel that if individuals believe they work, the gas would have dissipated on its own.
  • Do you have any physical pain? Is it too hot or too chilly for the baby? Is there anything excessively tight or scratchy on her? I once had a particularly irritable Scout on my hands who refused to settle down no matter what I did. When I noticed the few strands of hair that had adhered to me after having a haircut that morning were now all over her, I became irritated with her. I gave her a bath and had a happy baby on my hands once again.
  • Lonely? For your newborn, the world is a large, strange place. If she wakes up and no one is present, she may scream for attention and just want to be carried.
  • Overstimulated? Because the womb was a very dull place to be, too many new stimuli at once might overwhelm your kid. Take her someplace peaceful where she can relax.
  • Hungry? Give her a bottle of breast juice or give her over to her mother.
  • Tired? It’s time to take a sleep.
  • Fever? When you have a baby, you’ll need an easy-to-use forehead thermometer. You may give her acetaminophen if the temperature reading indicates she has a fever. Make sure you get the proper dose from your doctor.

Remedies for Crying


If none of the suggestions on your checklist stop your baby from crying, you may have an untreated case of crankiness. It happens to everyone. Here are a few possible soothers:

  • Put a cork pacifier in there. Not all newborns like pacifiers, and there are benefits and drawbacks to using one, but they may certainly help calm a rowdy baby.
  • Put the infant on a swing that has a motor. The ubiquitous baby swing was never a favorite of ours, but it works wonders for others.
  • Swaddle. Babies like being wrapped closely because it reminds them of being in the womb. Swaddling a baby with a blanket is easy enough, but we love these Velcro swaddlers for making the procedure even easier.
  • Start the vacuum cleaner. Because the womb was a very noisy environment, simulating that type of white noise may help your infant relax. It’s almost as if a hypnotist flicks his fingers and says, “Sleep!” when you run your vacuum next to them.
  • Take them out for a spin. If everything else fails, strap the baby into her car seat and drive her about. Highly effective in calming down a baby — and your wife will be eternally thankful to you for getting rid of the scream-machine.

What if my infant is suffering from colic?

Your baby gets colic if none of the following solutions work and she cries for three hours a day for more than three days a week for three weeks. Colic has no recognized cause, and it may have a negative impact on your mental health and your relationship with your wife. My only piece of advise is to stick it out and attempt the “5 Ss” (Swaddle, Stomach/Side position, Shush, Swing, Suck) as suggested in The Happiest Baby on the Block. Colic usually goes away after around 4-6 months.

Try to have a calm demeanor while you’re sobbing (and walk away if you need to)

Whether your baby suffers colic or is merely fussy on occasion, their screams may really mess with your balance. Because newborns can’t help themselves, their screams are programmed by nature to attract your attention, burrowing into your brain and refusing to let go until you help them. Their screams trigger a physiological response: you begin to sweat, your pulse rate increases, and cortisol, the stress hormone, is released.

Deal with physiological arousal in the same manner you would any other stressor. It helps me to focus on distancing myself from the cries — I convince myself that it’s alright, that it’s just a noise. In addition, I work on my tactical breathing.

Abuseful parents have a larger physiological reaction to sobbing, according to studies, which causes them to lose control. It’s critical to learn to relax oneself while attempting to quiet your kid. Before you have a child, you can’t help but giggle everytime you watch a commercial about not shaking your baby and say to yourself, “What sort of Grade A fool has to be instructed not to shake a baby?” After that, when you have a child and it’s 3 a.m. and you’re holding a screaming tomato who won’t stop wailing, you think to yourself, “Oh yes, this is why people end up shaking their babies.” You won’t believe how enraged you can become at a little, helpless child – and how tempted you are to kick them out the window!


If you’ve done everything above and your brain is beginning to short-circuit, there’s no harm in placing your baby in a secure location like her crib, locking the door, walking into another room where you can’t hear her screams (you may need to turn on the faucet and the vent), and taking five. Really, your kid will be OK. It’s much better to let her grieve alone for a time than to lose control.

With practice, the items listed above will become second nature. They’re the simple things. Maintaining a good attitude and perspective on the overall new dad experience is more crucial, and more challenging. That’s where we’ll be heading tomorrow.

As a new father, what skills did you have to learn? Any suggestions for making these a little easier?



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Being a new dad is hard. It can be especially hard if you have no experience with children, and it’s not just about being able to take care of them. There are many skills that you need to learn in order to be successful as a dad, and these skills will help you do the best job possible for your family. Reference: being a new dad is hard.

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