During this time there’s pretty much nothing you can do but wait and avoid falling into some pre-birth traps.
I decided to give a bit of advice based on what I’ve done to keep from thinking about it 24/7. You can take it or leave it, or leave your own advice for others. This is just one guy’s mental checklist, along with some prep tips.
Mental tips for fathers on waiting for your baby
- You’ve done all your prep, stop. You can’t get ahead mentally by flogging yourself to prepare more. No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy.
- Do not read up on how to induce labor naturally if you’re overdue. The only natural way that actually has a scientifically provable effect involves weeks of consuming dates, and even that doesn’t induce labor, just makes it easier. Anything else is just horse hockey. They’re not going to help her at 40 weeks. Don’t induce diarrhea, cramps, and dehydration in an attempt to pop out your baby.
- Do not look up horror stories. They can do no good. The worst things in the world have happened, dwelling on these will not make you less likely for them to happen.
- Understand that worrying doesn’t accomplish anything. Worry causes you to expend energy you might use taking care of your significant other or newborn when it’s here. It’s not a character flaw to not worry. It is a flaw to not prepare. It’s a flaw to not care.
- No amount of mental angst, love, fear, or will will motivate a baby to come out, turn, live or die. If you believe in a higher power, accept that sometimes there are things you cannot change. If you don’t, realize you don’t possess telepathy, telekinesis, world-altering powers, or anything more than any random human on the planet has.
- Remember that after your baby is born, if you forgot to pick something up, other people will most likely volunteer to pick up things for you. If you have no friends, realize that you can most likely schedule yourself or your loved one to run to the corner store and pick up something.
- Don’t plan your baby’s life. As stated before, no battle plan survives first contact with the enemy.
- Don’t sit with bated breath waiting for the due date. A due date is like a contractor telling you they’ll be there on Monday. The only difference is if you’re past your due date by two weeks something will get done. It’s a very low percentage of babies that are born when we think they’re supposed to.
Things you can do while waiting (prep)
- Learn how the baby seat operates. You’ll need to know this information before you can check your baby out of a hospital. Get a small watermelon, strap it in, seat it properly. You’ll be a pro at it in a couple of tries and hey! watermelon!
Look for a sign to put up announcing your baby’s birth.One of the worst pieces of advice I’ve ever read involved looking for a sign to plop in your front yard to announce to the neighbors, burglars, etc that you have a newborn in the house, which means you most likely have a load of unused or barely used baby products, and a fresh kidnappable baby. No!
- Grab yourself a portable charger, keep it in the car or handy. Your phone will drain absurdly quickly if you don’t turn it off and are in the bowels of a hospital.
- Write down some phone numbers for when you realize your phone has died because you didn’t carry a portable charger or left it at home. Leave these numbers in your wallet.
- Make a baby bug-out bag. If you have multiple vehicles, make a couple. You’ll want some snacks for daddy (you’d be surprised the lack of food for dads,) movies, cell phone chargers, changes of clothing, movies and something to play them on.
- Keep in mind on movie selection, if she ended up getting a C-section you will need to not watch Ted. Giggles hurt.
Things to note
- You’re probably a lot more emotional than normal. Men have lowered testosterone assuming they’re with their partners during last stages of pregnancy.
- Sleep pattern changes are normal. Grab a nap when you can. While they say you can’t bank sleep, you can grab a nap and be less miserable and more able to be with your partner in an hour or so.
- Weight gain is normal as a result of either stress, hormones, Couvade Syndrome, lack of activity, or a fully-stocked kitchen. You can deal with it after your baby is born. Stress leads to sleeplessness, sleep deprivation leads to snacking, snacking leads to weight gain, weight gain leads to stress.
- You need to be there when your baby is. Burning the candle at both ends beforehand worrying most likely won’t do your kiddo any good.