Mother and Baby

14 thoughtful ways to make a first-time dad feel involved in your pregnancy

Section: Relationships

From swollen ankles to not recognising their own belly button, it's fair to say that mum’s to-be experience physical and emotional changes throughout their pregnancy.

Everyone is interested in you. How far along you are, if you’re having a boy or a girl and how you’re doing. However, it is important to remember your partner is going through the excitement of having a baby too and will want to be involved within the process as much as they can. You’re a team and can be involved in the journey together.

Here are 14 tips to make sure Dad-to-be is involved every step of the way!

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1) Go to appointments together

Nothing will make having a baby more real than seeing the first scan or hearing your baby’s heartbeat for the first time. This is such an incredible experience for first-time parents and will allow you both to feel more connected with the health of the baby and the pregnancy as a whole.
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2) Communicate!

Talk about your expectations and concerns together before the birth. Ask your partner's parents as well as your own what their advice is for parenting. This will give you a huge indication on how to merge your parenting styles to create a unique one for you both. Be honest with each other. This is going to be a huge first experience for both mum and dad. It’s important to be honest and talk about concerns and expectations now to be more prepared in the future.
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3) Let him know about your body changes

This one sounds impossible as your partner of course can’t experience every physical change you have. However, it’s the little things! Let your partner know when the baby is kicking. It might be a while before your baby is big enough for you to feel the kicks from the outside of the bump but as soon as you can, let your partner know so he can feel your belly move too. It will be such a special moment for you both and will make your partner feel connected with your baby.
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4) Make decorating decisions together

Involving your partner in decorating the nursery is such a creative way of making them feel connected with the baby. Shortlist decorating choices and let him make the final decision. Imagine how proud he would be telling family and friends that he designed and decorated the nursery.
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5) Share baby record book responsibilities

Baby record books are an incredible way of recording everything throughout and after your pregnancy. If you buy one, make sure you and your partner sit down and fill it all in together. You both might find out different things about each-others experiences and bond as a couple over your pregnancy. Here is a  beautiful baby record book by John Lewis for just £15.
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6) Make the announcement together

Decide on how to tell your friends and family together. There are so many creative ways to tell your nearest and dearest you’re expecting (just ask Tom and Giovanna Fletcher!). Sit down together and decide how to give everyone the big news. It will be so exciting to see everyone’s reactions to your little one.
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7) Take a parenting class 

There is no time like the present to learn about everything to expect when having a baby. The classes will teach you both about topics such as relationship skills, child health and safety, ways to help children learn and so many more valuable lessons. Go to these classes together. You are a team, remember! 
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8) Keep a diary

Take turns to write down your thoughts, fears, what makes you excited and anything else you both can think of to remember the experience to the full. Consider writing little notes or letters to your baby, tell them what you’re looking forward to and how you will prepare for their arrival. This will not only be an amazing memory for the future but is a brilliant conversation starter for you both to talk about any of the information written in the diary.
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9) Brainstorm baby names

You’re little one can’t be called, “Baby” or “Bump” forever. Talk to your partner about names you like and dislike. This is a fun and simple way to prepare for you baby to arrive. We have our very own baby name generator here at Mother and Baby if you need some inspiration.  
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10) Consider a joint baby shower

There are no rules to say that baby showers are just for the mums-to-be. Both mum and dad will be extremely excited about the upcoming birth of their baby so why not involve everyone in the celebration.
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11) Write a birthing plan together

Talk about the actual birth together. You don’t want to be about to give birth with no plan what so ever. Think about what type of labour you want, what you both would like to have, what you want to avoid, who you want in the room with you. These are all really important decisions that if made together can make Dad-to-be more involved with the pregnancy process. 
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12) Encourage him to talk to the baby

Encourage your partner to talk or even sing to your tummy. Believe it or not but your baby can actually hear you from as early as 18 weeks and will be aware that you both are there. Talking or singing to your baby will bond you together as a family and make you all feel connected as one. Your baby might even react to your voice by kicking which will be an unforgettable experience.
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13) Go on joint shopping trips

Consider your baby’s first toy and what outfit you want them to leave the hospital in. All of these choices are the things you will remember in years to come. Take a day trip out into town and have a look at all the baby things you could buy. This will leave you both feeling very excited and ready for the new chapter in your lives.
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14) Go on a babymoon

A babymoon is a relaxing holiday taken by parents-to-be before your baby is born. This is an opportunity for you both to spend some time together as a couple before your baby is due to arrive. You can enjoy each other’s company and let yourselves become excited for the future of your growing family. 

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  • Author: Sarah Wirth Sarah Wirth
  • Job Title: Sarah Wirth

Sarah is a contributing writer for Mother & Baby Online

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