Maximize Your Paternity Leave
When my daughter came out, it was the best day ever. I made sure I made the most out of the paternity leave I spent with her. Here are some helpful daddy tips on how you can have a worry-free, productive, and pleasant time spent with your little angel during your paternity leave.
Before the Stork Arrives
- Before anything else, file for your paternity leave. Just inform your office’s Human Resources department that around the time of the due date, you will be an on-call daddy-to-be. Make sure they know you’re actually on paternity leave on the big day by sending a text or making a call.
- Have an emergency go-bag or suitcase ready 2 weeks before the expected day. Keep it inside the car or near a spot near the exit. Make sure you and your wife have all the necessary things inside it, from documents to diapers. Several checklists for pregnancy go-bags can be found online.
- For you to have a hassle-free paternity leave, practice how to properly clean a baby’s privates, change a diaper, and replace a soiled one.
- Know that there’s a difference between the ways one cleans up a boy and a girl. For girls, it’s a more delicate job. Find that out, so you won’t be clueless when baby does either a 1 or 2. Trust me; they do that a lot, especially if they’re voracious milk drinkers!
- Read up on books or magazines about baby care—how to carry, put to sleep, and wrap baby in a swaddle.
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During the Big Day
- If your wife’s water broke or if she’s scheduled for a C-section, you have to be more prepared than a boy scout on the first big day of your paternity leave. Know the fastest way to get to your wife (if you’re at work) and learn the quickest path to the hospital. It helps if you have a traffic app in your phone.
- Make sure your cameras and cell phones are charged. Even before your paternity leave, have spare batteries or chargers in the go-bag. You won’t want to miss documenting this special occasion. If daddy is there during delivery, don’t hesitate to take pictures. Aside from relieving mommy’s stress, you’re the official photographer!
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It’s a Bouncing Baby!
- When baby’s out, introduce yourself. The best way to communicate is through the senses of touch and hearing. Your little one knows your hand and the sound of your voice because you’ve spoken to and touched your baby through your wife’s swelling belly. Even skin-to-skin contact with daddy is most appreciated by baby. Make her lie on your shirtless torso, and calmly whisper how much you love your child.
- Know that usually a newborn baby cries because of hunger, sleepiness, room temperature, general discomfort, or a wet nappy. So check all the 5 common signs before you push the button for a nurse to come.
- Depending on the health of mother and child, you might spend a couple more days in the hospital, so during that time, make the most out of your paternity leave.
- List down questions you have during idle times so that when the nurses, pedia, or OB comes, you could fire away. It’s going to be a roller coaster ride with your new baby, but reliable information and perfect planning for your paternity leave takes away most of the stress.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: JUSTIN POSADAS
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