WHAT MOST DADS DONT KNOW
IF YOU GO NO FURTHER THAN THIS PAGE, KNOW THAT …
The first 3 years of a baby's life are the most critical … because this is when her brain is being wired. What happens to (and around her) during this time will stay with her for the rest of her life. If you give your baby your time and the loving attention she needs during her first 3 years, you give her a solid foundation.
In a happy household your baby feels protected and safe … and will become a stronger, more secure child … and a happier, more successful adult.
Angry language, abuse or violence in the house disrupts the fragile wiring that is going on in your baby's brain. Bad or frightening experiences - even if they don't happen directly to the baby - will affect your baby. If there is violence - or lots of arguing or bad feelings in the house - this can affect your baby's developing brain.
Dad-time begins right at the start. You and your baby will miss out if you wait til she's old enough to go fishing or kick the ball or ride a bike. Doing things with your tiny baby is good for you and good for baby. And the more you do it, the more you will enjoy your baby.
SMOKING AROUND YOUR BABY …
… IS AS BAD AS BABY LIGHTING UP HERSELF!
Your baby's lungs are very sensitive. They are deeply affected by what they breathe. Babies who are exposed to secondhand or 'passive' smoke:
- are more likely to have been born with a low birth weight
- are more likely to die of cot death
- have less developed lungs
- are twice as likely to get bronchitis or pneumonia
- have a higher risk of developing asthma
- are more likely to be hospitalised before they reach their 2nd birthday
- will suffer more from colds, coughs and sore throats and take longer to recover from being sick
- are more likely to suffer ear infections, fluid in the ears, 'glue ear'
- will stay home from school more often due to illness
This isn’t just about your partner. It's about you and also about the people who come into yoiur home.
It is up to you and your partner whether your baby is exposed to cigarette smoke … or other drugs.
A "SMALL BABY" DOES NOT MEAN AN EASIER BIRTH!
When some women hear that she will have a 'small baby' if she smokes or drinks while pregnant - they might think this means an easier birth. Some women take this as a green light to go on smoking and drinking through their pregnancy. These women have got it wrong!
A 'small baby' often means the birth is more likely to be premature and the baby more delicate and weaker. The labour will probably last longer be more complicated.
A low birth weight can cause health problems for the rest of baby's life. As adults they are more likely to suffer from a stroke, have high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.
Alcohol and or smoking do not mix with pregnancy. Encourage your partner to quit these things, at least while she is pregnant and while the baby is young. Consider quitting these things yourself to support your partner and baby.
STAYIN ALIVE, STAYIN ALIVE
A lot of parents find themselves freaked-out that their baby may just die in his sleep. Cot Death – or what is now referred to as Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI) is when a baby can’t arouse herself – and just stops breathing.
Not all babies are at risk or cot death … and parents have a lot of control over the things that contribute towards cot death.
Your baby is more vulnerable to cot death if he is under 6 months old and…
- his mother smoked during pregnancy
- there is smoke anywhere where the baby is, even sometimes
- he was born more than 3 weeks early
- he was small (less than 2.5kg or 5lb7oz) at birth
- you, his mother or others around are drinking or taking other drugs
- he is bottle fed
- he is unwell
The more of these things happening around your baby, the greater the risk of cot death.
WHAT A DAD CAN DO ?
Probaby the most effective thing you can do is to stop smoking and support your partner to do the same.
When putting her to down to sleep, handle her gently, and …
- see that she is on her back and tucked-up in a way that keeps her that way and unable to turn over.
- see that her face is clear and there are no pillows or other soft things in her bed that could obstruct her breathing
- see that there is NO SMOKE in the air - babies are extremely affected by smoke
- see that you and your partner are unaffected by alcoholor other recreational drugs
- remain aware of your baby … sleep within hearing distance