New dads, is your new baby a boon or bane?

There was a thread here recently about how soon did SDMB mothers bond with their babies.

I would like to give air to the thoughts of dads in a similar situation. All of a sudden your life and position in the family has changed. Did you seamlessly slide into protective papa mode? Did you have conflicts with your partner with rearing? Was it all good from day one? If not, what were the big issues and how did you resolve them?

Uh, no problem so far. Had her for 3 weeks yesterday and have not had any problems bonding or accepting the change in our family.

Not a Daddy, but I can tell you that my brother was so happy he could barely contain himself. Even when he looked like he hadn’t slept in three days, with both kids, he would grin like a fool talking of them.

Insanely awesome, but man those first few weeks were stressful. I remember talking to my mom a few days after we for out of the hospital when she, trying to be encouraging, said it’s really just the first month that’s so tough. As I say, she meant it robe encouraging, but all I cod think was “I have to survive another three weeks of this???”


My brother’s baby is 2 months old and so far it’s been good for him. He’s been very precious talking about how the baby is growing every day.

Their family dynamic seems to have changed a bit in that before he was sort of a big pushover with the wife. He’s very easy going and sort of let her do whatever (not that she was abusive or anything). Now, he’s starting to stand his ground a bit more when it comes to family decisions. Before it was “whatever you want, dear.” Now it’s more “no, this is what’s right for the baby.”

He really seems to have bonded with her, lickety split. He did a lot of talking with friends and reading about being a dad before she got here, and continues to do so.

I have an almost 3 month old, and so far everything’s been smooth sailing. I do have a few late night moments of “Why won’t you go back to sleep!” but it’s not like I resent the kid. The only conflicts with my wife are just a result of crabbiness from not getting enough sleep.

I never would have guessed that nine months of interrupted sleep would be something I was glad of.

Yes, the first few weeks were a strain, but (especially after the second month) everything else overshadows the inconvenient bits.

Things were smoother with the couple from the smart; little irritations don’t seem worth crabbing about. Always something to do, now. Goals are much more clearly defined.

I’m not a new dad, but it hasn’t been too ago to have forgotten.

We were out today with some friends. One of the women is 4 1/2 months along and she and her husband were asking advice and what to expect, so I was thinking back about when Beta-chan was brand new.

I jumped right in and did my share – I was in charge of walking her around the block in the evening when that was the only thing that would keep her quiet at 2 months.

I’m really glad I did, though. The other family today have baby about the same age, and they said that when she really cries, that she needs to have her mommy. I would outlast Beta-chan’s crying spell and she got used to how her father would comfort her, so she didn’t ever develop a need to just have mommy.

We didn’t run into many issues, which could be surprising considering an Amercian and a Taiwanese are raising a 13-month-old girl in Tokyo.

Both my sister and I are less “protective” of our kids than the average. My wife and my BIL want to bundle everyone up in layers of clothes, for example, while my sister and I let the rug rats play with objects which our spouses wouldn’t, but it all works out.

One of my friends commented the other day on how well my wife and I pass Beta-chan back and forth at the restaurant to let each other eat, and I think that is just one of many ways that we cooperate really well with each other.

You do forget about the tough times and those little smiles make it all worth while.

It was hard, in the sense that we were sleep deprived and tired, and breast feeding is hard for the Mom to learn (no matter what anyone tells you) but it was fun, too. We didn’t have any conflicts; it was, if anything, the one matter on which we are most agreed.



Yes, a wonderful time.

With apologies to Wakinyan, I can’t quite believe that this can ever truly be the case. Babies can be - and indeed more or less regularly are - a foul nuisance. It would be a strange person who can honestly say he fully enjoys poop, pee and vomit (all of which babies reliably produce and distribute) or sleepless nights, or all the considerable expenses and life derangement inherent in a new, highly dependent person around the house.

But babies are amazingly interesting critters, programmed by nature to be deeply charming and engaging. In most cases, parents are overwhelmed by this aspect, which makes all the myriad nuisances easily worthwhile.

Well, I think Wakiyan was just assuming to be understood the point you yourself make; that the positives vastly outweight the drawbacks.

New babies ARE a chore. I don’t really understand why people get so worked up about diapers - they’re an easy part of the process. But they are a minor hassle, and there are even bigger hassles. The really hard part is the crying and sleep deprivation, and (for women) the frustration of learning to breast feed.

But hell, everything worth having is some kind of trouble. If you asked me if owning my own house was worth it I’d say with absolute honestly that it’s wonderful and I don’t regret it for a second, but of course it’s a pain in the ass to move in, mow the lawn, paint walls, fix things and pay a mortgage. It’s just that all that is easily worth it to have a house.

My father could sleep through both sons crying at the same time, so no sleepless nights for him. Actually, since they were toddlers, they would come wake me up, rather than Mom (but yes, I realize that’s later than what you’re talking about). Both myself and the youngest have cast-iron stomachs; the middle one had 8 years during which he vomited every time we got on the car, but it started when he ate a Lego piece at age 3 (which my parents refused to believe until he finally managed to puke it back at 11). So no vomit to deal with, as babies. The poop was mostly dealt with by Mom, most Dad had to do was “hold this” while she slapped the next nappy on and that required me to be busy elsewhere.

Clearly your mother needed a sharp fork (or possibly a cattle prod) on her bedside table. Today’s mothers tend to be rather good about sharing the sleepless nights.

He kept a Lego piece in his stomach for 8 years??

We had a baby a week ago Friday and my husband is just over the moon about her, even though he can’t have had more than two hours of sleep at a stretch since then. He’s very protective of her and loves holding her. We have family coming tomorrow and I’ll be surprised if he lets them hold her for very long. My mom has been here to help us with our firstborn and he’s hardly let her hold our baby.

Proud dad of twin 18-month-old toddlers here. When my boys were born I remember looking at them lying in there crib in the hospital room and literally crying like a baby myself. There’s no question that despite all of the hassles that have been mentioned above, they’re the best thing that ever happened to me.
The bond was pretty instantaneous with both of them. With two infants to juggle, my wife and I have spent lots of time with each of them since they were born. It takes both of us, even with her doing the stay at home mom thing, to keep things running with some semblance of order. Both are equally likely to seek out me or my wife for comfort or just some one on one play time. We do our best to share as much of the load as possible. Even diaper changes are just another chance to spend time with one of them, act a little goofy and get a smile or a laugh.
As RickJay said so well above, nothing worth having comes without hard work, but it’s all worth it and all the hassles are far outweighed by the joy and wonder they’ve brought to my life.

I can’t speak to puke yet (thankfully) but pee is totally inoffensive, and I was surprised at how quickly I got used to (and even look forward to) the poop. “Please, let there be lots of poop today! And I hope it’s nice and soft!”

The sleep interruptions aren’t much of an issue for me. Left to my own devices, I sleep about five hours a night. I adapted to my wife’s schedule shortly after meeting her. (A cursory check of my posting history will confirm this - the daily board maintenance at 2:00am used to vex me sorely, but after 2006 there ain’t nuthin’ after 9:00pm.) Getting up a couple times for the baby just puts me back in the realm of “normal.” :smiley:

ETA: The first couple months (when it seemed she didn’t sleep at all) - these made me wish that there was more paternity leave available.

I only now just realised that “vomit” probably refers to “spit-up,” the usual baby regurgitation. This is also as inoffensive as bechamel sauce, as near as I can make out. Hell, I knew I was a dad the first time I wound up with some of that stuff on my shirt getting ready for work, and wiped it off rather than changing. :smiley:

Ah, but wait 'til your bundle of joy has his or her first stomach bug. They always seek you for comfort, which is good because that means they trust you, but bad when a kid tries to fall back to sleep on your shoulder after having hurled all over you. When my son got a virus, it took me a good two days to get the smell of vomit out of my hair. In those situations, I’ve found that the best solution is to sit in the bathtub with them until they’re done so you can just stand up and turn on the shower if you have one or simply dump your clothing there, find some new and change.

2x4 size, yes. It took almost 30 more years for my mother (Dad was dead by then) to apologize for the 8 years of calling me a liar. My mother doesn’t see any reason why people in positions of authority should respect those they have authority over; as you can imagine, calling that “a source of friction” is akin to saying that “water may make you wet”.