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15 Things Dads Can Do to Prepare for Fatherhood

Updated: Sep 2, 2023

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dad holding his baby after following these 15 things to prepare for fatherhood

Preparing for fatherhood is a daunting task, but breaking it into smaller steps can make the transition a little easier. Here are 15 things expecting dads should do to prepare for fatherhood:

Build the baby furniture.

This includes the crib, changing table, and dresser. Set a goal to have baby's room completed by the start of the third trimester. That way you can avoid the last-minute scrambling if baby decides to come early.

To assemble the furniture faster, buy a Hex Head drill bit set on Amazon for $10.

Buy an infant car seat and know how to use it.

You'll need to have an infant car seat in order to take your baby home from the hospital. It's a good idea to start your search by looking at the "travel system" stroller options. Picking one system makes life a lot easier when you're on the go.

Make sure you know how to install it correctly and how to strap your baby in safely. You can use a stuffed animal for practice. If you don't trust yourself, your local fire department may provide a free car seat check (and make any adjustments to get it right).

Agree on where the baby will sleep.

Will the baby sleep in their own room or in your room? This is an important decision to make before the baby arrives so you can get everything set up.

Find a developmental milestone guide to refer to.

This will help you track your baby's development and make sure they're on track. There are plenty of apps and articles for this.

I have had this guide by The Bump bookmarked and refer to it often. It helps to manage everyone's expectations.

Divide the household chore list.

Decide who will change diapers, do laundry, and take care of the baby at night. Remember that you're a team so you will both likely need to step-up and do more at times.

If you plan to breastfeed your baby, your role as dad will be more housework than snuggles. Accept that fact, support your partner, and sneak in as many snuggles as you can.

Buy seasonally-appropriate outfits, socks, hats, and swaddles.

You won't need a lot of clothes for the first few weeks, but it's important to have a few essentials on hand. Make sure the swaddles you buy are the correct "TPG" (thermal overall grade) for the temperature they will sleep in.

Pick a diaper system and load up.

Disposable or cloth diapers? There are pros and cons to each, but make sure you have plenty of diapers ready!

If your buddies like to drink, consider throwing a diaper party. Same rules as a keg party in college, except the Solo cup fee is a pack of diapers.

Stockpile the essential baby-care items.

This includes things like wipes, diaper rash cream, formula, and laundry detergent.

One note on formula: Most formula brands in the US have questionable ingredients, like corn syrup and palm oil. If you plan to introduce formula, I cannot recommend Bobbie enough. It is a women-led company and their formula does not include any of the questionable ingredients. Plus, their customer service is wonderful.

Prepare two weeks worth of freezer meals.

Having food already prepared is a godsend when you are adjusting to newborn life. It also eases the mental load for you and your partner. And you don't have to clean any pots or pans!

Do some basic baby-proofing.

This includes things like installing electrical cord covers, outlet covers and cabinet locks. The baby gate doesn't need to go up

Clean the entire house.

A fresh and clean home will make everyone feel better when you bring home your new baby. If you have a house, consider hiring someone for an air duct cleaning. You'll be amazed at how much dust comes out.

Now is also a great time to buy a Carpet Cleaner machine since you'll be using it for the next 15 years. Make sure it has a hose attachment, like this Hoover model, so you can easily clean your couch. Hiring a carpet cleaning company once is more expensive so its a no-brainer.

Setup autopay for all of your accounts.

This will allow you to enjoy spending time with your new baby instead of dealing with stress or hassles while you're adjusting to your new life.

Have a hospital bag packed and ready to go.

When it's go time, you don't want to worry about packing a bag. Throw in a few sets of clothes for everyone and your favorite snacks. It's a good idea to pack a pillow and blanket too since the hospital ones suck.

If you have an Amazon Firestick or Roku Streaming stick, pack it. Some hospital room TVs are compatible and it's much better than what the hospital offers.

Be romantic with your partner as often as possible.

This will help keep the love going strong throughout the stressful adjustment period.

Make time for yourself.

Just because you'll be a dad doesn't mean you'll stop being you! You have to take care of yourself first to be the best dad you can be. Make sure you find pockets of time to exercise, do hobbies you enjoy, and shower (most importantly).

If you're looking for a new hobby that doesn't have a huge time requirement, scroll through this list for 21 ideas.

You'll be prepared for fatherhood the moment baby is born!

You probably won't feel 100% ready after making it through all of these things, but the moment your child is born you'll be ready.

You're going to be a wonderful dad! Savor every moment, good and bad, because the journey is unlike anything you've ever done before!

Leave questions in the comments below! What else should be added to this list?

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