I’ve said a few times in the past that one of my sisters was a very nervous new mom, but I don’t often talk about my brother-in-law. He wasn’t as nervous as my sister and was eagerly waiting to be a new dad. When my niece was born he was her rock of support. He told her everything would be fine, she would always have help, and they were going to make it together. That was until she left him with the baby for the first time.

Before then, when he watched her, he knew that my sister was only a room away, ready to help with any unforeseen circumstances. When she went out for the first time and spent the whole day with our mom, she was bombarded with texts from my brother-in-law about what to do. Moms have to remember that new dads have just as much experience as they do, which is often just as limited as their own.

How to Tell if Your Baby Is Ill or Hurt
If you and your spouse haven’t taken any first aid classes for infants and children, you may want to look around for a class at some point. However, you don’t always need a class to tell if your baby is sick or injured. Here’s a practical guide for dads for caring for their infants.

Colds and Fevers

Dads should be able to tell just as well as moms when their baby is running a fever. For one thing, your infant will be much warmer than they should be. They may also be fussy or cranky more than normal. Ensure that your partner knows how to use a baby thermometer and if your child’s temperature is 100 or over, call your pediatrician.

Stuffy noses and coughing will make your child miserable and congestion is pretty easy to spot in infants. However, the build-up of mucus may impede your child’s ability to breathe. If your infant is coughing deep inside their chest or wheezing, call your pediatrician. If they just have a stuffy nose, your partner should know how to use the nose bulb to suck out the snot and mucus that is making your infant struggle to breathe.

 Falls and Bumps
At some point in time, your baby or toddler will fall and hurt themselves. Common injuries for babies is falling and hitting their head on coffee tables and chairs. When this happens, dads should check their child all over for injuries. If there are any, go to the hospital. If there doesn’t appear to be any injuries, watch your child for signs of head trauma. This can include lethargy, confusion, vomiting, pupils of different sizes, and crying when you touch any part of the body.

Dad's Adventure. "How to tell if your baby is not well." DadsAdventure. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2014.