The expectant father's guide to preparing for parenthood

Your partner is a great shoulder to lean on while you are waiting for baby to arrive.
Your partner is a great resource to lean on while you're waiting to become a new father.
Photo credit: Shutterstock

What you need to know:

  • Becoming a new father can seem daunting, especially the first time around. It is important to be prepared for the lifetime change to come.
  • Seek support from your partner in order to navigate this upcoming change together.
  • Clearing out old projects and seeking counsel from other men who have been there is a great way to prepare yourself mentally.

Are you an expectant father and feeling a little overwhelmed about what to do? You're not alone. Many soon-to-be fathers feel unprepared for the changes that come with becoming a parent, especially with their first child.  These tips can help you navigate through the preparation process.

Be financially prepared

Along with the joys of watching your child grow and learning how to be a parent, you also have to grapple with the financial realities of raising a child. Here are a few tips to help you get your finances in order before fatherhood:

Make a budget: Look at your income and expenses and figure out where you can cut back in order to save for your new arrival. If you're not used to budgeting, plenty of great resources online can help you get started.

Start saving: In addition to cutting back on expenses, start setting aside money each month specifically for your child's future. This could be for their education, emergencies, or fun things like vacations and toys.

Get insurance: One of the biggest financial concerns for parents is ensuring their children are adequately protected in case of an accident or illness. Make sure you have health insurance that will cover your child from the moment they're born.

Make a will: This may not be something you want to think about, but it's important to have a will in place in case something happens to you. This will ensure that your child is taken care of financially and that your belongings go to the people you want them to go to. You can have a lawyer draw up a simple will.

Ensure the house is baby proof

One of the first things you need to do when preparing for your new bundle of joy is to ensure your home is safe for a baby. This means childproofing all of the potential hazards in your house, such as electrical outlets, sharp corners, and toxic chemicals.

Other safety practices include setting up a baby crib or bassinet in your room, installing a baby monitor, and safety gates to block off stairs and other dangerous areas.

Following these tips will help create a safe environment for your child and give you peace of mind as a new father.

Finish up major projects

Whether it's that home renovation you've been meaning to complete or finally getting around to starting your own business, wrapping up loose ends now will give you one less thing to worry about once the baby arrives.

In addition, unlike the present, it is difficult to predict or plan for free time once you have a child. Not only will having fewer unfinished projects mean fewer things to stress about, but it will also free up time and energy that you can put toward fatherhood. 

Your spouse may be of great help

If you're feeling overwhelmed about becoming a father, one of the best things you can do is talk to your spouse. They may be able to provide some helpful advice and perspective , as they are likely going through many of the same emotions and changes that you are.

Additionally, your spouse can help with things like creating a birth plan, picking out baby clothes, and decorating the nursery.

Talking to the mother of your child can ease the anxiety that comes with becoming a parent. No one knows what to expect better than someone going through it themselves. As a couple, you should:

  •  Go through the pregnancy journey together
  • Attend parenting classes together
  • Talk about your fears and expectations
  • Maintain the romance
  • Get professional advice

If you're still unsure or have questions to which you can't find the answers, consider talking to a professional. This could be your doctor, a therapist, or a parenting coach. They will be able to offer you tailored advice and support that can help you feel more prepared for fatherhood.

Getting professional advice is a great way to ease your anxiety and get the answers you're looking for. It may also be helpful to talk to other fathers or join a support group. This can provide you with a community of people who are going through the same thing as you and can offer advice and support.

Take care of yourself

Lastly, one of the most important things you can do when preparing for fatherhood is to take care of yourself. This means eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep. Taking care of your physical and mental health will help you be in the best possible position to take on the challenges of fatherhood.

Additionally, it's important to make time for activities you enjoy and nurture your relationships with friends and family. These things will help you maintain your sense of self and prevent you from feeling isolated or overwhelmed.

Congratulations on your fatherhood journey!

By following these tips, you can better prepare yourself for fatherhood and ensure that you are physically, mentally, and emotionally ready for the challenges ahead. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to becoming a father, these tips can help set you on the right path.