New-Father Fears

Worry #3

"I don't know how to care for my baby."

New moms have a clear advantage over dads: You live with a little creature inside you for nine months and, thanks to nursing, often spend more time getting to know him in the early days. Feeding, bathing, diapering, and soothing are usually uncharted territory for us.

Help Dad Deal: Give your husband a pep talk. Let him know that you're learning on the job, too, and that he'll do fine as long as he makes the effort. "Tell him to jump right in and not worry about screwing up," suggests Armin Brott, author of The New Father. Offer a tutorial on, say, bathtime, if he needs one, then have him take over while you catch a nap or meet a friend. Even if he grumbles, this trial by fire will boost your guy's confidence. I speak from personal experience. When MJ and her best friend, Alicia, left me in charge of Alicia's 8-week-old baby so they could grab some girl time, I was scared stiff. But during that hour, I changed him, fed him, and rocked him to sleep. And here I am today, daring to repeat the experience again and again with a baby of my own.

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