Perhaps you are a first-time father scrambling for any advice that might be handy to make your new job easier. Or maybe you have a few kids already and just want to be a better father to your youngest. In any case, being a good father to a newborn means more than just changing a diaper now and then. Below is a guide to follow whether you are new to all of this or a father of five that has another one on the way.

Take Out a Life Insurance Policy

We don’t ever really like to think about dying. It can make for an awkward conversation with your spouse about whether you want to be cremated or buried in a coffin. However, you have to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

This involves you taking out a sizable life insurance policy on yourself just in case anything should ever happen to you. The earlier you start the life insurance policy, the less expensive it is. You can get a solid million dollar policy that will pay your family one million dollars if anything should happen to you. This should take care of them for years to come. Providing for your family whether you are here or not should be the goal of a caring father.

Spend Time with Your Newborn

Each parent waits patiently for the baby’s first words. It is no doubt a huge moment in their lives. But you will enjoy them even more as a father if the first word your child says is “daddy”. This will require you spending any free moment with your newborn.

Forming a bond with your child as early as possible should be a priority. Just because your newborn’s eyes are still closed or unfocused does not mean that they don’t know if you are around. They can be simply soothed by your voice and by your touch. If you are lucky enough, perhaps that first word will be all about you.

If you still have to work and can’t stay at home all the time, spend time with your child when you’re home. By time we mean, full undivided attention! Also, find a babysitter that will give your child the attention and care they need for the times you are not there.

Don’t Worry About Gender Roles

No longer is the mom responsible for some of the baby’s needs and the father is responsible for the others. Gender roles don’t really exist in today’s society. As a father, you can feed the baby, sing them to sleep, dress them, or even give them their baths. Figure out a bedtime routine with them that works for everyone! There is nothing that you can’t do, except probably breastfeed.

Model Behavior for Your Newborn

By chatting with your newborn often, you are actually helping form their personality early in life. If you are smiling, they will be smiling as well. If the household is chaotic, they may add to the chaos by crying and screaming. Kids are always watching their father and gauging how you act and react to things. Set a good example for them while they are young and you might not have as many difficulties as they become older.

Wearing a Baby Carrier

Holding a baby can get tiring no matter how strong your arms are. We have all done the baby juggling where we have to change the baby from one arm to the other to prevent our arms from falling off.

Investing in a wearable baby carrier will give your arms a bit of a rest. You can basically walk around wearing your baby instead of straining to carry him. It will free up your hands to do other things as well. Just make sure you purchase one so you are carrying the baby around in front of you instead of behind you. I have seen too many parents forget they have a baby backpack on and almost crush the kid when they sit down.

Be the First Out of Bed in the Middle of the Night

There will come a time when you will miss those middle of the night visits to the crib as your child gets older. Give your wife a bit of a break and volunteer to take the night shift whenever you can. She will appreciate it and it will get the kid used to you helping them out with their problems.

Find a Comfortable Recliner

You won’t mind those midnight visits with your newborn if you have a comfortable recliner to relax into while you are comforting the baby. Find one that has a suitable leg extension so you can stretch out a bit. You will figure out that you can catch some sleep as well when you are trying to calm your kid.

Pimp Out the Baby’s Room

Don’t just go with a one size fits all bedroom for your newborn. Put those glow in the dark stars and planet stickers on the ceiling. Hang up a couple posters that you think your baby would find interesting.

Paint the walls the color that you think your baby will like. Purchase a sound machine that will provide soothing sounds like rain or crickets for the kid. And lastly, put together a solid library of books for your baby. You will have to read them to the baby at first, but they will catch on as soon as they are able to start talking.

Follow this guide and be the best father possible to a newborn!

And if you’re up for doing more! Start early, read your newborn bed time stories from the library you put together in their room! Here are a few great ones if you need more!