37 Tips To Prepare for Fatherhood in 2024

Austin Please
Updated on
December 20, 2023

They say that being a dad is one of the best jobs in the world; however, there are some things that you need to know to prepare yourself for fatherhood.

Being a well-prepared new dad will ensure that everyone involved experiences less stress during the arrival of your newest family member.

Here are 37 ways soon-to-be dads can prepare for fatherhood.

1. Start planning before conception.

Starting a family is a huge decision.

To start, you and your partner need to agree on whether it's the right time in both of your lives to have kids, or if you're wanting them at all. 

This discussion should start a few months before conception. It may be intimidating to talk about at first, but this is the first step in being prepared for parenthood.

The key here is preparing yourself and your partner emotionally, physically, and mentally before you conceive a child.

2. Spend quality time with your partner.

The best way to prepare for fatherhood is to spend quality time with your partner before you start a family. Your relationship will need support if you are going through any challenges and the stresses of being a parent, so some couple activities that improve your relationship can really help you through it.

Some methods for bonding with your partner during pregnancy are taking walks in public parks or simply staying at home to watch movies. The important thing is making time and putting effort into your relationship now, as early as possible.

3. Be prepared to compromise.

Preparing for fatherhood means being able to compromise on different topic issues, don't expect everything to be equal between the both of you when it comes to raising a child.

It's a lot more than just changing diapers. There are numerous aspects that you and your partner will need to discuss so that both of you feel included when handling parenting duties.

4. Set a budget.

Setting a budget and making preparations for fatherhood earlier rather than later can help a lot.

Once the baby arrives there will be expenses that crop up unexpectedly. You'll want to have some money set aside for those things beforehand. You'll want to make sure you and your partner agree upon a budget to avoid having arguments.

5. Schedule doctor appointments in advance.

One thing that will help you prepare for fatherhood is scheduling doctor appointments in advance. 

There are some newborn checkups that are required by law so you'll want to schedule these appointments before you get pregnant or right after you find out.

6. Be willing to learn from others.

Preparing to become a dad. usually comes from learning from other people's experiences, and if you have an older friend or family member who can share some insight, so much the better. If not, reading books written by fathers is another good option.

7. Become aware of the resources around you.

Being a father means being prepared for emergencies, even before they happen. Knowing what to do or where to turn in a crisis is valuable information and will help you react more quickly when faced with a dilemma. Preparation can quell those nagging thoughts of "What if?" or "What should I do?".

8. Buy newborn items in advance.

Buying things for your baby in advance is a good idea. It lets you plan how much money you will need and know what stores have the best deals. Preparing ahead of time will also help ensure that you get enough clothes, diapers, and other essentials.

Think about buying baby items secondhand. This not only keeps you from spending too much money on something your baby will only wear for a few months but also gives you the opportunity to help out for other parents who might be preparing for parenthood.

9. Do your research before buying.

Fathers-to-be need to be prepared for a lot of research before buying critical items, like cribs or high chairs.

They'll need to make sure they're safe and durable,  and that they're compatible with other items in the house. This is important because preparing for fatherhood means preparing for your child's safety.

10. Buy a safe car seat.

There are many different kinds of car seats on the market. When purchasing a baby's car seat, you want to make sure it has an adequate safety rating that will ensure your child is safe and comfortable while traveling.

Include your partner in the decision, be sure to ask about their specific preferences. Some partners will want a simple car seat that can survive the rigors of travel with kids; some may find it more important to have luxury features like padding or extra toys.

11. Start setting up the baby room.

Whether you're looking at buying furniture secondhand or searching for the latest trends in crib designs, preparing for fatherhood and preparing the nursery should be fun.

Decorate the room ahead of time so that you can enjoy watching your child enjoy it once they're here and not worry about rushing the creative process.

12. Understand that patience is key.

Preparing for fatherhood means understanding that patience is key.

While it may be tempting to take on too much or to feel like you need to have everything figured out before your baby arrives, the best way for new dads to prepare themselves is simply by being patient with their newborn babies as they grow up and learn how we interact with the world around them.

13. Function on less sleep.

The transition into fatherhood means having to make a few adjustments, like your sleep schedule - It's no secret that you'll most likely have to cut back on your beauty sleep.

Once your child arrives, you'll grow accustomed to getting up in the middle of the night to feed, change, or simply to check on your little one.

Preparing for a baby means accepting your new role as a caregiver.

14. Choose a baby name.

Deciding on baby names is an important take to do before your little one arrives.  You'll need to decide on a first and middle name, as well as any nicknames you might want them to answer to.

It's all about making sure both parents agree on the baby's name to avoid arguments after he or she arrives.

15. Accept that you won't be perfect.

Being a soon-to-be dad means accepting that mistakes are inevitable but they should serve as reminders and help you make better decisions in the future.

Like any other parent, there will be days where things don't go according to plan- which is unavoidable, but these "bad days" will happen less and less as time goes on and you learn how to cope with them.

16. Find the right pediatrician.

Before the baby is born, research nearby pediatricians to find out about their qualifications and experience.   One of the most important things preparing for fatherhood involves is preparing for your child, and this means understanding their medical needs.

It's not only important to find a pediatrician who understands your child's specific needs (like food allergies or health-related issues), but also to create a good relationship with them. Your pediatrician will be a valuable resource for your family, so look carefully into each one before making a decision.

17. Accept that you will have doubts.

Throughout preparing for fatherhood, you'll find that preparing to be a dad means preparing yourself for doubt and uncertainty, and this is normal. Having a plan to deal with unexpected circumstances but also will help you keep your sanity.

Make sure you have someone to talk to when problems arise. Don't let your doubts get in the way of the bond with your baby.

18. Be prepared for good days and bad days.

As a new dad, you feel like you're riding this wild roller coaster of emotion. You have days where things go so easily and then other days when life feels like it's not going as planned. Mentally preparing yourself for those moments will help you know your limit and take steps to make the day easier.

19. Take care of yourself.

Preparing for dadhood is not just about managing other people’s behavior - parents need to be mindful of themselves, too. 

Be good to yourself. It's important to understand how you feel every day, so you can know what changes and adjustments you need to make in order to be the best parent possible.

20. Don't forget the critical items.

Once you know that having a child is in your future, it's important to have the right supplies on hand beforehand.

Get a baby monitor.  If you choose to use one, make sure it has the right features and capabilities to help you keep an eye on your little one even when you're in another room or outside of his or her room.

Talk to your partner about whether or not you plan to use disposable or cloth diapers. You can also have both types on hand if one type is more convenient at a specific time.

Get a stroller. Trust me; even though you don't need to bring it with you on your flight, a prepared father will have one at home before the baby arrives.

Provide yourself with ample time for preparation so you don't get caught unprepared if the baby arrives early.

21. Pack a hospital bag.

Make preparations for the big day by packing a hospital bag with things you'll need right after the baby is born such as clothes, toiletries, and mobile chargers. It's also a good idea to get some money ready in case there are unplanned expenses.

Don't forget to have plenty of snacks on hand! Hospital visits can be really tiring for adults too.

22. Embrace your emotions.

It's normal to feel a mix of emotions and anxiety before you become a dad.

Expect that you will cry, feel overwhelmed, nervous, or even angry at times. These are common feelings to experience as a new dad. Don't feel ashamed for feeling these things or think you're only supposed to be happy.

23. Trust your partner.

Trust is a solid cornerstone in every relationship, but it's essential to have when preparing for fatherhood. You'll need to understand your spouse-to-be as much as possible; this means respecting their thoughts and feelings throughout the process.

Preparing for fatherhood means preparing to be a team with your spouse. You need to support each other and understand the common goals that you share together as parents.

24. Go into this with the right attitude.

The best preparation for fatherhood is a positive attitude and an open mind.

New fathers should be willing to cooperate with their partners and have flexible expectations about parenting, as well as be open about their feelings.

With a positive attitude and some preparation, it will be a lot easier to enjoy the process of becoming a dad.

25. Learn about yourself.

Preparing for fatherhood teaches you a lot about yourself, but it also helps you work on both your strengths and weaknesses. 

It helps you see what you value, how you react in certain situations and which relationships are important to you.

It will give you time to think about who you are as a person and help you learn more about the type of role model you want to be for your kids.

26. Ask for help.

To have the best experience possible, new dads should make a support system to help them during their fatherhood. 

Ask for help from your partner, other family members, and friends.  You can also seek advice and information online to give you a good place to start preparing for fatherhood.

If you don't have a circle of friends and family that support your decision to become a parent, join an online community or Facebook group.

27. Dedicate your time.

It takes time and dedication to be the best dad you can be.

The role of fathers has changed significantly over the past few decades. Dads are now expected (and should want) to pitch in when it comes to childcare and household responsibilities, meaning that they have less time on their hands than ever before.

They also need to make sure they spend quality time with their kids every day if they want them to grow up into emotionally healthy adults who feel loved and supported.

28. See from a different perspective.

You'll earn a new perspective on life, where your focus shifts from you to your child. You think less about yourself. It’s not that you don’t care what happens to you; it just doesn’t seem as important anymore.

You will put your needs second to your child's needs but it won’t feel like a sacrifice.

29. Your social life will change.

It can be hard to resist the temptation to go out with friends when you become a new parent, but preparing for fatherhood means preparing for changes. One of those changes is that your social life will be more limited than it once was. This doesn't have to mean giving up all of your old hobbies and pastimes, just acknowledging what they are and how much time you'll need in order to spend them or do them well.

The good news is that preparing for fatherhood also means preparing yourself for the amazing experience ahead, which will likely make any sacrifices worthwhile.

30. Create a balance between family and work.

More than ever before, dads are taking on more of the responsibility at work and at home. But this often means that they're juggling jobs and kids while still trying to maintain some semblance of personal time or quality family time.

How? Try, requesting a work schedule that is more flexible so your work can be done from home occasionally or on-demand.

This may seem impossible sometimes, but preparing for fatherhood means taking responsibility for where your family's time and energy go.

31. Enjoy the process.

The process of preparing for fatherhood is an exciting one. It's a time in life where you're preparing to be the person that will shape your child into the person they become. New dad tips are everywhere and it can sometimes seem like there are too many things to learn, but you've got this!

Don't forget to enjoy the process along the way, because it goes by quickly.

32. Prepare your mental health.

It's no secret that preparing for fatherhood is a lot of work, and preparing your mental health should be on the top of your to-do list.

One way this can be done is to take care of any issues with depression or anxiety before becoming a dad, as well as seeking out therapy if you need it.

It is important not only for ourselves but also for our children that they have an emotionally healthy role model in their lives from day one.

33. Prepare your physical health.

The first few months of fatherhood can be a whirlwind, with little time to focus on your own health. You may find that you’ve gained weight and lowered your energy levels, all while preparing for the next feeding or diaper change. It’s important that new dads stay active and healthy in order to keep up with their kids.

You can do this by preparing a physical activity schedule that you follow every day. You might also consider joining a gym or seeking advice from professional fitness experts who can assist with preparing good exercise plans and healthy eating options for your new family.

34. Plan transportation from the hospital.

If your child was born at a hospital, being prepared to be a parent means preparing for the transportation.

You'll need to have the right type of car seat installed in your car and if you live far from a hospital it also means preparing accommodations that are newborn friendly.

35. It's a lifelong commitment.

In order to be the best role model for your child, preparing your mindset for a lifetime of commitment is key.

Being a parent is more than just changing diapers and feeding kids. It's also always about being available for your children when they face challenges in life, no matter how old they are.

36.  Be ready to face criticism.

Getting ready for criticism will help you handle anything people say about your parenting choices. It's not going to be easy, but it's important to consider the possibility that you might face some pressure from older generations who may feel like our generation isn't doing it right.

Being prepared for criticism will help you to be confident in your choices as well as keep an open mind if someone has a good point.

36. Be supportive during the pregnancy.

The most important thing a partner or intended parent can do is be supportive.

It's not always easy to see your wife or surrogate going through the changes that come with preparing for childbirth, but it helps if you're there to lend a hand and offer emotional support. Remember, she needs you more than ever right now, and showing that you're ready to help will make her feel more comfortable. So, be supportive.

37. Prepare your family and friends.

The first few weeks of a baby's life can be exhausting, so it's important to make sure you get the support you need by preparing friends and family ahead of time.  

If you're lucky enough to have supportive family members, preparing them in advance will help make sure that they can support you when you need it most. 

Even if your family is less than supportive, preparing them in advance can help avoid any disagreements or unnecessary drama.

Final Thoughts

Becoming a parent is an exciting and terrifying experience all at the same time. There's a sense of unease about preparing to be a dad because it's just so unknown.  It's preparing to deal with emotions, preparing to have a new perspective on life, and preparing yourself for some of the hardest work you're ever going to do.

I hope that these tips help you feel at ease when preparing for fatherhood. Trust me, this will be the most rewarding experience you'll ever go through.

You got this!

Last Updated on
December 20, 2023
Austin Please

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Austin Please
I’m a gay dad, a happy husband, and recently my own boss. But it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, i’m still striving to grow a mustache to achieve ultimate dadness.
Austin Please
I’m a gay dad, a happy husband, and recently my own boss. But it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, i’m still striving to grow a mustache to achieve ultimate dadness.
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