An entertaining activity handbook presents a collection of seventy-five safe, easy-to-follow exercis....
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Susan Fox, a licensed pediatric neurodevelopmental therapist, is director of the Pediatric Therapy Clinic in Seattle. Her guide for fathers of babies in their first year, Rookie Dad, is available from Pocket Books. Fox teaches workshops on child development at Microsoft, and trains early childhood educators, therapists, nurses, and physicians.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
Chapter One: The Pregame Show
They're two of the most thrilling and frightening words in the English language, and your heart probably did a triple flip the first time you heard them. Odds are you still feel a little breathless when you think about the joy and excitement of having your first child, and about the huge responsibility of caring for the new human being who'll soon be calling you Dad.
Pregnancy is a joyous time, full of anticipation and wonderment. It's also a giant step into uncharted waters, so don't be surprised if you frequently wake up in the middle of the night with your mind full of classic dad-to-be worries: How will our life change when it's "we three" instead of "we two"? How will I support my child from diapers through college? Will my baby -- and my partner -- be healthy? Will I be a great dad, or a total jerk? Will I gross out when my partner's water breaks? Lose the car keys? Faint in the delivery room? If you talk with other expectant dads you'll find that such sleepless nights and anxious moments are almost universal.
Another phenomenon that's almost universal is mood swings -- and I'm not just talking about your significant other's. Granted, her hormones are doing somersaults, and she's laughing one minute and weepy or homicidal the next. But surprisingly, your hormones also change when your partner is pregnant: a recent study found that expectant fathers' levels of testosterone surge just before their babies arrive, and their levels of estrogen -- a female hormone, normally scant in men -- also skyrocket. And here's an even more remarkable fact: men whose partners are about to give birth also have elevated levels of prolactin, a hormone that plays a key role in breast-feeding. In addition, it's common for men to experience sympathetic pregnancy symptoms, ranging from nausea to weight gain -- so you're not just kidding when you tell your friends, "We're pregnant!"
Let Everyone Know: It's Your Baby, Too
Even though you're an important player on the pregnancy team, you'll sometimes feel a little like a second-string benchwarmer. That's because right now, your partner is the center of attention. Her friends cluster around, asking how she feels, telling her she's radiant, throwing showers, bringing her little booties and teddy bears, and carting her off to shop for maternity clothes and baby gadgets. And every once in a while they remember to glance your way and ask -- "You do know the route to the hospital, don't you?"
But don't let your friends and family convince you that you're little more than a sperm donor and a labor-day taxi driver. In the next chapter, I'll talk about studies showing just how important your job as Dad will be after your child arrives. Even before your baby is born, however, you're an equal partner in the parenting process -- and you don't need to wear one of those pregnancy bellies to prove it. Your multiple roles during your partner's pregnancy include breadwinner, birthing coach, crib assembler, sympathetic shoulder, caretaker, swollen-foot massager, morale booster, and -- frequently -- saint. You're the one who has to reassure your partner that she's still beautiful, even as you're secretly wondering if those weird blue veins under her boobs will ever go away. You've probably been put in charge of everything from buying the car seat to setting up the college fund to painting the nursery. And, of course, you're the one making those late-night runs to the store for oysters, pickles, choco-brickle-ripple ice cream, and all the other foods your suddenly voracious partner craves at odd hours. Ever wonder what happened to the woman who used to say "I'm stuffed" after eating six pieces of popcorn?
In short, you'll play just as important a role in the pregnancy as your partner -- and because you're sharing the work, it's important to share the joys as well. Take time to savor the traditional thrills of imminent fatherhood, including feeling your baby kicking and picking out fun toys. If you crave a more hands-on experience, take a few hours off work to visit the obstetrician with your partner, so you can hear your baby's heartbeat for the first time, or see Junior's first ultrasound picture. Take funny pictures of your partner's big belly; she'll be more cooperative if you tell her she looks just like Demi Moore. Order your favorite childhood books from Amazon and start your own kid library with all the classics. And check out the expectant dads' groups on the Internet; they're full of advice and entertaining stories about the trials and joys of pregnancy, as seen from a man's point of view.
Many dads tell me the prospect of being a dad gave them an opportunity to review their own lives, and their relationships with their own parents. One expectant father spent several months compiling a book of his family's traditions, and he now shares the book with his child on holidays and special occasions. Another used a computer graphics program to create an illustrated book of favorite family stories, and still another -- a genealogy buff -- put together a book of family photos going back several generations.
The most important step you can take before your baby's birth, however, is to make sure you're knowledgeable about your new arrival. I know that many men's eyes glaze over at the sight of books about the birth process, but you'll feel more comfortable -- and gain more respect from both your partner and her doctor -- if you know what to expect as the pregnancy progresses. So pick up one of your partner's baby books and read a few pages each week about your baby's development. As you learn about what your little one is up to -- sucking a thumb at twelve weeks, kicking and turning at sixteen weeks, dreaming at thirty-two weeks -- you'll begin to feel a little like you're buddies already.
It's a must, too, to take a childbirth class with your partner. These classes take only a few evenings, and once you graduate, you'll be prepared for everything from the first labor pain to the first diaper. If possible, tour your hospital's obstetrics unit before your baby arrives, so you'll know your way around when D day arrives. And, of course, do one or two dry runs of the trip to the hospital, to make sure you know how long it takes to get there and the best route to take.
Still feeling a little nervous about how you'll do as a dad? Get some real-life experience by offering to baby-sit for a couple of hours for a friend who has a baby or young child. If you're nervous about the idea of being alone with a baby, then visit with other dads and play with their babies while the dads are on hand to offer pointers. Try changing a diaper and giving a bottle under their supervision, too.
Last but not least, take the time to get to know your baby, even before he or she is born. Remarkably, research shows that babies can hear and remember even when they're in the womb. In one study, researchers played the same music tapes or read the same stories to unborn babies for ten minutes every day. After the babies' birth, the researchers measured their sucking response to both the stories and music they'd heard before birth, and unfamiliar music and stories. Eighty-two percent of the babies were able to identify the music and stories they'd heard before they were born!
The moral of this research is that it's never too early to introduce yourself to your new son or daughter. The activities that follow will help you do just that, and enjoy a cuddle with your partner at the same time.
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Book Description Gallery Books. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0743410343 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # WFB-VFAU-H287
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Book Description SIMON SCHUSTER, United States, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Original ed.. 208 x 132 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Get in the game of fatherhood! All new dads want to bond with their babies -- but how? With seventy-two safe, simple exercises, each illustrated with a fun photograph, Rookie Dad helps busy fathers make a real connection with their little ones -- and have a ball doing it! * Shake Hands with Dad promotes motor coordination * Eyes on the Ball boosts eye-tracking skills * Flashlight Tag is fun at lights-out time * Crunch Time helps baby learn balance while tightening Daddy s abs * Box Score is a fantastic tool for bedtime,helping babies enjoy snug spaces These and other age-appropriate activities, designed for the newborn to the twelve-month-old, help develop fundamental skills needed for sitting, crawling, walking, and more. They also plant the seeds for a lifelong love of sports and physical fitness. But all Baby knows is Dad is really fun to be with! Be a champion to the MVP in your life -- by sharing the joyful and unique approach to quality time illustrated in Rookie Dad. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780743410342
Book Description SIMON SCHUSTER, United States, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Original ed.. 208 x 132 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Get in the game of fatherhood! All new dads want to bond with their babies -- but how? With seventy-two safe, simple exercises, each illustrated with a fun photograph, Rookie Dad helps busy fathers make a real connection with their little ones -- and have a ball doing it! * Shake Hands with Dad promotes motor coordination * Eyes on the Ball boosts eye-tracking skills * Flashlight Tag is fun at lights-out time * Crunch Time helps baby learn balance while tightening Daddy s abs * Box Score is a fantastic tool for bedtime,helping babies enjoy snug spaces These and other age-appropriate activities, designed for the newborn to the twelve-month-old, help develop fundamental skills needed for sitting, crawling, walking, and more. They also plant the seeds for a lifelong love of sports and physical fitness. But all Baby knows is Dad is really fun to be with! Be a champion to the MVP in your life -- by sharing the joyful and unique approach to quality time illustrated in Rookie Dad. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780743410342
Book Description Gallery Books, 2017. Paperback. Book Condition: New. This item is printed on demand. Bookseller Inventory # 0743410343