The Baby Hero Team asked the fathers in our lives what advice they would give to someone becoming a father for the first time. Their sweet, funny and poignant responses remind us why we love them all so!
from Hong Kong, Father to 3 adult child (including Creative Director, Joyce) and grandfather to 2
As a first time father, you'll be excited and nervous about everything that will happen when baby arrives. It is important to stay calm, since you will have to take care of both your wife and the new born, especially after the "shocking" scene in the delivery room. There is so much to worry about, the experience is overwhelming but it is worth it."
from L.A., Father to 2 Kids under 5 (and Creative Director, Joyce's husband)
"Sleep! Sleep! And...Sleep!
Although as a new father, you don't need to breastfeed, don't need to pump, it doesn't mean you will get to sleep! If baby cries, you wake up! If your wife cries, you wake up! If both of them scream, you wake up!
It is also important to communicate with your wife. It is ok not to know things, it is okay to figure things out along the way with your partner. It is a brand new and unique experience that no one can really prepare for. Just go with the flow, and enjoy every moment of it."
From Connecticut, Father to 3 Kids under 5 (and Co-Founder, Allie's husband)
"You're about to experience much higher highs and far lower lows than you have thus far. Don't forget to keep smiling and enjoy the ride!"
From Pakistan, Father to 1 adult child (Co-Founder, Samar) and grandfather to 3
"The birth of our daughter (our first and only child) changed me profoundly. First, it connected me irrevocably to another human being, something, which had been tentative up to then. Secondly, it gave me a new and surprisingly strong and assured confidence to do the best I could for her - to give her all the love I was capable of; to arouse in her an interest to deeply observe her surroundings - both the inner and the outer; and to encourage her to develop strong bonds to her family, both nuclear and extended. Her birth made me much more conscious of my own limitations and neurosis and that awareness allowed me some leeway, I like to believe, to modify or soften its effect on her. It was only later, when I was somewhat wiser, that I learnt two contradictory lessons, first, that one should be comfortable in the knowledge that one's children will most likely inherit their parents neurosis, and second, that despite that, they were quite unique, much more than a summation of their parents. Above all as a father, I very much wanted to impart to my daughter, what I had inherited from my parents, particularly, my own father: a joie de vivre, an exultation of spirit. I was not afraid to act as a buffoon, both to amuse her and myself and to impart a sense of fun and irreverence. I was not afraid (mostly, I think) for her to see me as I was: warts and all so she will not 'idealize' her father but see him simply as the human being he was. From the very moment of her birth, I knew my priorities: she and our family life came first, before my career or my own ambitions. And that was no sacrifice on my part, just something I knew was right for all of us. Lastly, none of this would have been possible without the love and support of my wife, my daughter's mother."
From Ireland, Father to 3 Kids under 5 (and co-founder, Samar's husband)
"Ultimately, you can't make another person do what you want them to do, even a person you helped create. You can only hope to make them want to do those things. So if you want your toddler to go to college, teach him the wonder of learning about the world. If you want her to play sport, teach her the satisfaction of competing to your best. If you want them stay close to their family, teach them the joy of strong relationships. And if there's something you really don't want them to do, pretend you think it's really cool. Good luck!"
From South Africa, Father to 2 kids under 10 (and team member, Bianca’s brother)
"Becoming a dad is both daunting and exciting. This miracle brings parents closer in the sense that the experience is something unique - it is the result of two beings coming together to form another. It extends our understanding and experience of love. For the first time I understood what it means to love unconditionally and it enhanced my existing relationships. The birth of each child is as special and different as the little persons they become! Some advice:
From Hong Kong, Father to 2 boys under 10 (and husband to Communications Director, Aquin)
"A father’s role is to compliment the mother, not to mirror her. Do what’s best for the baby and the mom and don’t feel guilty about not having boobs! Don’t view time with the baby as a chore. Find ways to have fun with your li’l ones – make it the highlight of your week!"
From America, Father to a 10 year old (and brother to Communications Director, Aquin)
"Yes, you will be overwhelmed, but so is the mother. Learn to burp, diaper, swaddle but also start an education fund! Hold your child as much as you can. At first your child just looks into your eyes, but there comes a moment when they recognise you as their dad. That’s when you begin to see the purpose and beauty of fatherhood."