Top relationship tips for new dads

Feel like your relationship has gone through as many changes as your newborn’s nappies?  

Here’s how to find your feet, from new dads before you.

1. Let mum and baby bond:

“New dads need to be respectful of the mother–child bond in the early days. You have your thing too but in those first months, your job is to make sure the mother–child bond is strong.” Adam, dad to Jessica, three years, and Toby, six months

2. Get your pit stop down:

“It's all about the project management and teamwork. You need to be like a Formula 1 pit team just to get through until bath time.” Ian, dad to Ted, 14 months

3. Take time to acknowledge you’re both working hard:

“You really need to understand, appreciate and respect what your partner is doing. Having a paid job is hard. Bringing up a child is hard. If you're not primary caregiver – then you have no idea how hard it is. Believe me, most dads collapse after 90 minutes in a soft play.” Vin, dad to Arlo, two years

4. Prepare for a sore tongue:

“Bite your tongue. You won't agree on every aspect of parenting. Hopefully your partner will bite theirs sometimes too. It’s not easy because you’re exhausted which means shorter fuses.” Sam, dad to Ethan, one year

5. Say those kind words:

“It's not always the first thing you think about to tell your partner they're doing a great job. Try to remember that a few compliments in moments of stress work wonders.” Ben, dad to Oscar, nine months

6. Remember what you have in common:

“Remember that while your lives may have changed beyond recognition, you are still the same people deep down. Your interaction, the stuff you laugh about, the things that bring you close, the things that spark arguments will remain more or less the same.” Max, dad to Angus, four, and Rosie, 18 months

7. Know that this too will pass:

“Our daughter’s nearly four now, so I have some perspective. It does get easier. Eventually, she started to sleep for longer, we established routines, and we got our evenings back. We have new relationship challenges, like agreeing on how to approach discipline, eating, screen-time, toys etc. But it’s nowhere near as intense. Which means we have more time for each other.” Marcus, dad to Nell, three years

This page was last reviewed in December 2018.

Further information

Our support line offers practical and emotional support with feeding your baby and general enquiries for parents, members and volunteers: 0300 330 0700. W

Make friends with other parents-to-be and new parents in your local area for support and friendship by seeing what NCT activities are happening nearby. To find out when an NCT nearly new sale is happening near you, search here.

You might find attending one of NCT's Early Days groups helpful as they give you the opportunity to explore different approaches to important parenting issues with a qualified group leader and other new parents in your area.

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