How many days off for a new Daddy?

I am going to be a dad for the 1st time around December 15 of this year. (yay me - and Ms. crasher…!)

I work for a very small company that has no official policy regarding time off for this sort of thing. What do you feel is the appropriate amount to request, assuming all things go well with the delivery and the baby is healthy (God willing)?

I would like to take a week off. Is this in line with norms at other companies?


I would certainly think so. Matt Lauer just took a week off from the Today show for the birth of his daughter.

I would think a week is at the low end of normal.

I took 3, but my wife had an emergency C-section and was thus off her feet for the first week or so.

2 weeks seems about the norm from peopla I’ve talked to.

My company gives three paid days off for a vaginal birth, five for a C-section (above and beyond normal vacation & personal time).

My infant son spend 11 days in NICU and my boss was very understanding, giving me extra time “working from home”. I did keep up with email but he understood that I wasn’t 100% on the job.

I came back to work before my son left the hospital but visited daily during lunch for two hours or so and in the evenings.

My husband worked for a small company when our daughter was born. They had no official leave policy either. He took a week off total, but broke it up over several weeks.

Often relatives and friends drop by during those first few weeks, to help out mom and count the baby’s fingers and toes. :wink: If my husband knew my mom or his mom or a girlfriend was going to be at our house for a good bit of the day, he’d go to work. Then he’d take a day off when no one was scheduled to drop by.

Bonding is very imortant, and that would be an argument for taking a week of right away in the beginning, but my husband isn’t any less bonded to our daughter because he wasn’t with her 24/7 her first week. Of course he’s a stay-at-home dad now, so they’ve had plenty-much time to get to know each other.


I just had a baby on 7/31 and my husband took a week off. I had an emergency c-section, so my parents came for a second week, mainly just to spend time with the baby, though. It worked out really well because I couldn’t drive, so they were there in case of an emergency.

I think if I had had a normal vaginal delivery, though, 1 week would have been fine. I actually looked forward to when it was just me and the baby during the third week because I was ready to get a routine going.

Do you have vacation time to use? Or are you asking for additional time off, and if so paid or unpaid? Another thing to consider is whether the end of the year is a slow time or busy time for your company.

It sounds like your company is too small to be covered by the Federal FMLA, but your state might have a law regarding your right to leave time in this situation.

It sounds like you’re more concerned with being reasonable in your request than your absolute legal entitlement, which is a good attitude. These are just some things to consider to help you have a productive conversation with your manager or HR.

I don’t think there is a standard, there is a lot of variation among companies.

Congratulations on the upcoming birth of your first child. Been through it twice within the past 6 years.

My advice: initially 10 working days (especially if your wife has C-section), then work 3-4 days per week over the next 3 weeks, and then ramp up to 4 days per week over the following month. I would then allocate enough time over the next year to enjoy your baby. They change fast and you don’t want to miss anything.

My husband took off 2 weeks. One of those weeks was his paid vacation he had coming, the other week was unpaid.

A week at least. More if you can get it - and breaking it up during the second week is a good idea.

Congratulations on the baby. It’ll change your life in an instant.

Also, rest up. Get plenty of sleep. You’ll get very little after the great event.

I actually quit my job the day my little girl was born. I already had something else lined up and told them I’d start a few weeks after the baby was born.

So call it a little over two weeks.

I took just over four weeks: About two of vacation, and two of FMLA (unpaid leave).

I recommend, if at all possible, to take as much time as you can - vacation, unpaid, work from home, part time, whatever. Those first days with your new family are some of the most precious you will ever know.

Working for a large company has some advantages. I just returned back to work after 2 months parental leave.

One week should be the absolute minimum.

Ah, an issue close to my heart as my first little one is due 12/03. I’m planning on taking a week initially, then ramping back to full speed by working three or four days a week for a while. I get one day for the birth of the kid (3 if it is a c-section) all the other days are vacation days that I have banked in anticipation. I plan on taking another two weeks once my wife’s maternity leave ends so when she goes back to work I’ll be at home for a while.

If I worked for my wife’s company, I’d get one month paternity leave! What a novel idea. I think it is fantastic. It gives new parents some time together to figure out how things work.

In Quebec you’re allowed up to 18 weeks unpaid leave, and that can go to either the mother or the father. They’d better not change that before I get around to having kids!

What size company do you work for?

Depending on the size of the firm, you may be entitled to up to 12 weeks of unpaid Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave.

If you have been with the company for 1 year, and have worked 1250 hours in the past 12 months, and they meet the size requirement, they are required to offer you FMLA leave to care for a newborn child and gaurentee you an equivalent position with equivalent pay and benefits when you return. They also may not cancel your benefits while you are gone.

However, they may require you to pay the premium for your benefits while out.

Check out this link

or this link for a listing of your rights under the FMLA.

HR Doper

Oh, forgot to add:

Your company may require you to take any accrued vacation time prior to using your FMLA leave.

Also, if you and your wife work for the same company, they may require you to take a combined total of 12 weeks, rather than 12 weeks apiece.

The operative term with FMLA leave though is [i[UNPAID*, so make sure you have all of your ducks in a row before asking off.