Now, just to get it over with.
Dads have it easier than moms. We really do.
Moms job scope: bleed for years, then when conceived and finally the bleeding stops, end up with a bump to carry, and gain 15 – 20 kilos and suffer morning, evening and night sicknesses, bouts of vomit and incessant craving for food (which is not too bad). Then after a delivery (natural or cesarean, both are generally accompanied with anxiety and obvious pain, go through the struggles of nursing, breast feeding, waking up in the middle of the night to feed, breast engorgement and what not.
Guys? We just do the deed and we’re done.
Modern day father’s however has seen this scope expanded and now not only are we expected to be present to witness and record the birth of our kids, whether it comes naturally and through a host of bloody incisions in Cesarean.
Fathers of today needs to have some basic skills down pat, because we generally are pretty useless if you think about it. So there are a few skills to make ourselves relevant to the mom-child bonding that is now happening. The most basic one of these:
This might sound like the easiest thing in the world, but it generally strikes fear into a lot of rookie Dad’s heart, including myself. The fear is that you would suddenly lose balance of the baby and drop it like a rugby ball. It’s the same fear that haunts you when you carry a trayload of Coke and Burgers in MacDonald’s and weave through the busy MacDonald’s to your seat.
Believe it or not, it’s easier for us to carry the kid because we have bigger hands, and (hopefully) stronger than our wives — unless your wife is Serena Williams.
For the new born, there’s basically two simple rules, fearless fathers: Support the neck, and support the neck. Before you know it, you’ll be like this expert:
The most straightforward way to pick up the kid is sliding your big hands under the nape of his neck and with your other hands slide it under his butt. So, for instance, your right hand will be the “neck hand” and your left hand is your “butt hand”. Then lift. The kid should theoretically be in a swaddle that limits his hands, but even if not, this should be a fairly simple manueveur. So now, you have the kid facing you, and theoretically you can just carry him like this around, but you’ll really look awkward, like you’re carrying a pile of manure. What you need to to is to draw his butt nearer to your chest (if you are holding the butt with your left arm, tuck in your elbows). Then, you can slide your butt hand upwards along his spine so your butt hand is cradling the baby’s body and the butt hand is now supporting his neck. Now your “neck hand” is free of encumbrences and you can sidle to the classic form, where the baby’s head is now resting on the crook of your right elbow.
Transfering the baby to another person is best done in the neck/butt hand position, not the cradle position.
There you have it, your first rookie dad lesson.