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Go ahead, lean on Daddy

Things that might come most naturally to you may not be second nature to Dad. Here's a checklist that might help you think and work as a team.
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Help him help you

From grocery shopping to cleaning duties to laundry cycles to menu planning, everything that used to fall on you is now going to require a big chunk of support from the big guy.

Every new mom needs to know that this "backup" is going to be there. When you are confident that all the little details are being taken care of, your every-other-hour feedings of a newborn with a voracious appetite will be a little less draining. Here's a checklist of things to implement sooner rather than later in your household:

  • Stave off hunger

Baby will be fed, but what about the two of you? If you do the majority (OK, all) of the meal preparation in your household, your hubby may end up standing in line for some breast milk. Put together a grocery list of must-haves and, if you have the energy, try to organize the list aisle by aisle (you know you have that store memorized) so he can find everything quickly and easily. Details are good — less room for error and he'll feel like a hero.

  • Back to basics

This is the ideal time for your electronics guru of a husband to learn Appliances 101. Let him put a load of towels through the washer and dryer, heat up his own leftovers in the microwave or run the dishwasher (though you may end up with some melted Tupperware if you neglect to point out what doesn't belong on the bottom rack). And don't forget to point out the importance of finishing a job — making the wash happen is great, but the task isn't complete until he unloads, folds and puts things away.

Money, money, money: Do you handle all of the household finances? If so, your bills might not get paid when you're fuzzy from sleep deprivation. Better to start prepping for this one far ahead of your last trimester so he can get in the habit of reviewing the bills and balancing the checkbook. If you don't already pay your bills online, set up as many accounts as you can this way so that it's merely a matter of visiting a website, entering some numbers and hitting "pay."

  • Teamwork

It's not just about what dad needs to do. Just because you're breastfeeding, that doesn't mean the proud papa can't help with feedings. Consider pumping and letting him take a few middle-of-the-night shifts so you can get some much-needed rest. It's a good opportunity for him to bond with baby and he'll feel like he's contributing to the greater good by giving you a break.

  • Showing your appreciation

The thing to remember is this — guys like figuring things out for themselves, but deep down they appreciate your suggestions. So try not to turn into Little Miss Bossy when you deliver your instructions. Schedule a time to chat so he can express what might be concerning him and you can tell him what you're hoping he'll manage for you and the house while you're settling into your all-encompassing new role.

Remember, you both might be rookies in these mom and dad roles, but you're always on the same team. Show him that you appreciate him and his efforts — even if he mucks it up a little bit when the time comes — and accept that he is doing the best he can, just like you always do.

And you never know — he might like some of these jobs so much that you'll never have to do them again!

A girl can dream, can't she?

By: Elizabeth Weiss McGolerick

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  • Rated 0 out of 5 by 10reviewers.
    Rated 0 out of 5 by Thanks for the information i was kindof wondering about buying a nursing bra but was told that sports bras work just as fine this is my first baby so i wouldnt know. I didnt know about the olive oil thing all i knew was to used non scented body washes and things that could dry your skin out. October 31, 2012
    Rated 0 out of 5 by Know that it takes time, it's not always easy, but it will get better if you keep it up. I know some moms and babies that took right to breastfeeding, never had an issue and loved the experience. I can't say the same for me- it has been difficult with both of my children- soreness, thrush, infection, not to mention I don't really care for it, but I do it because it is so great for my baby! I've found other mothers who feel the same way, which made me feel so much better that I wasn't the only one! December 9, 2011
    Rated 0 out of 5 by I'm going on my fourth child and this is my first time ever trying to breastfeed. This article gave me some good tips, especially about the olive oil. October 20, 2011
    Rated 0 out of 5 by Great article! Try to prep before baby gets here. My husband and I went to the grocery store and bought easy to make meals or premade meals that he could easily make for him and I. Also I made detailed lists of how to do things in case he forgot or didn't know (which luckily I married a guy who could cook and clean and do laundry!) to help him with everything. Also try not to stress. You have a new baby to take care of and you both are going on lack of sleep. So the house will not look perfect and laundry may fall behind but that is ok. Everyone will understand! October 19, 2011
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