1. Sleep in the Same Room as Mother and Baby
For most families, the mother will stay home and care for the newborn, while you return to work. In this case, sleeping in a separate room while mom is constantly waking up to pacify a crying baby is tempting It’s easy to justify, since someone’s gotta pay the bills.
Don’t do it!!
Part of the experience of being a new dad is crawling bleary-eyed out of bed after being woken by your crying newborn, feeding the baby, and then gently rocking the kid to sleep. Not just once or twice a night, but several times!
This doesn’t sound temping – going into work sleep-deprived isn’t easy. But trust me – your wife will appreciate it. Remember, she’s just gone through the pain and trauma of child birth – she needs to rest and recuperate; this means sleeping uninterrupted for several hours at a time.
Relegating yourself to a separate bedroom overnight (using the excuse that you “have to go to work in the morning”) will also breed resentment from your wife. She might not immediately show it, but it’s there, bubbling under the surface, waiting to be used as a trump card after you have an argument over something completely unrelated.
You’ll also bond with your baby to a deeper degree. The act of caring for your newborn will build a stronger emotional bond that’ll subconsciously exist with your child for years to come
2. Bring Her Breakfast in Bed
You’ll earn many brownie points for this – let mom gently wake up to the smell of her favorite breakfast. It’s one thing less she has to think about, and another way you show her you care.
Also, eating well is critical to the recovery process. If she has to fend for herself, she might not eat as well, given that she’s still feeling the aches and pains of childbirth. You can help by preparing a nutritious breakfast.
If mom is breast-feeding, then she won’t want to drink coffee, so a cup of Joe is out of the question
3. Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself
Mom might be feeling snarky and short-tempered after nine months of pregnancy and a long labour. You might be a convenient verbal punch bag for her to externalize her pain and sleep deprivation. At any other time, you might be tempted to respond in kind
Don’t do it!
Your role is to help her recover, and not to exacerbate tensions that are already strained. Just be calm in the face of her emotional maelstrom
4. Welcome Her Mother into Your Home
You and your mother-in-law may not be besties, but don’t role your eyes your wife says that she wants her mom to stay for a few weeks.
You may not appreciate sharing your living space anyone for an extended time (let alone – gasp – your mother-in-law), but you have to put those (rather selfish) emotions to one side.
Your wife may need the emotional and physical support of her mom – probably the closest female relationship she’s ever had in her life.
5. Give your Partner Some Alone Time
You’ll probably have many visitors cooing and cawing over your newborn. After giving birth, all that attention can be overwhelming and emotionally draining for your partner.
She might want to chill in bed without interruptions, or while away an hour surfing the web. When you think she wants to be alone, take your baby into another part of the house, or pack a diaper bag and go out for a walk.
She’ll appreciate the room to breathe, and you get to spend quality time with your kid!