Whether the event was planned or a happy accident, preparing for your first child can be a daunting experience.
After realising that men are getting the short straw when it comes to preparing for this monumental life stage, Natural Baby Shower, a leading retailer of eco and ethical baby brands, decided it was time for a change.
Owners Clifton and Victoria said: “We had a bit of a look around online and found that most preparation material and online guides are written for mums. The posts we did find about dads and their biggest worries were usually still written for women, angled at giving them insight into their partner or husband’s thoughts and feelings.
“We think dads are really special, and we wanted to hear their stories, and share these with other dads out there.”
“That’s why we undertook research into what 1000 expecting UK dads thought, felt and did before their baby was born, and asked some new dads for their personal experiences along the way.”
The surveyed dads were asked 4 key questions:
- How they feel before the birth
- What they worry about the most before the birth
- What they expect to miss the most about their child-free life, and
- How they prepare for their baby’s arrival
Here’s what they discovered:
How do dads feel before the birth?
Rather than being bundles of nerves, over 50% of dads reported feeling happy or excited about their impending arrival and these were the most common emotions felt by dads across every part of the UK!
What do dads worry about the most before the birth?
For a third of dads around the UK, their biggest worry was whether the delivery would go smoothly.
Regionally, this was the most pressing concern with Scottish dads, who were more worried about how the baby’s arrival would affect their relationship and social life.
Father of one, Dr Rodrigo Perez-Vega, from the South East, commented: “My flexible work situation’s also meant I have been able to be very involved in everything that has happened since Arturo was born. But having a flexible use of my time for work comes with some stressful moments too.
“We hear very little about this internal struggle of men (or the parents that leave home to work) trying to juggle professional and parental life. And more actions could be done at an organisational and policy-making level to allow a more equilibrated work-life balance for parents in the UK.”
What do dads expect to miss the most about their child-free life?
Unsurprisingly, the most popular response from expecting dads was “getting regular amounts of sleep.” But responses ranged from getting enough “me time”, to missing date nights with their partner and having less time to socialise with friends.
Eric Brantner, an entrepreneur and professional blogger, shared his story of LAB (life after baby!):
“Our baby finally came home with us, and I had to try to adjust back to a full-time work schedule; it’s been challenging and I’ve learned a lot.
“The main thing with all of this though is to get organised. Before you have kids, you’re basically able to do what you want when you want. Now, we have to schedule out date nights and guy or girl nights in advance. We use Google Calendar and send each other invites to make sure we’re all on the same page and all have our social needs met.”
How do dads prepare for their baby’s arrival?
While nothing can fully prepare you for living with a tiny human, expectant dads in the UK have a variety of method to help them get up to speed.
Surprisingly, despite the huge developments in technology over the last decade, reading baby books is still the most common way for fathers to prepare, even among the 18-24 age group.
The most popular method in the South East is to ask family for their hints and tips!
So, what about you?
New or expecting dad with a story to share? You leave a comment below, or join the conversation on Twitter or Instagram using the #NBSdads tag.