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Dove Men+Care 6 paternity leave tips

6 paternity leave tips for new dads

Becoming a confident dad doesn’t happen overnight – it takes time to get used to your new responsibilities as a father. From mastering the art of changing those messy diapers to developing a close father-child bond, the early days of parenting can be challenging and full of surprises.

One of the best ways to prepare for paternity leave is listening to parenting advice from guys who have already been there. We asked dads who took paid family leave to reflect back on their experiences, tell us what they learned, and share their tips for new dads.

  • 1

    Andy, father of three

    “Take as much paternity leave as you can afford. And switch off your ‘work brain’.”

  • 2

    Jason, father of two 

    “Have diapers and a change of clothes within arm’s reach at all times: there will be a poop explosion. It will happen, so don’t get caught unprepared.”

  • 3

    Gareth, dad to a 7-month-old-son

    “Work as a team with your partner and do some research in the lead up to the birth – there’s a lot to learn.” 

  • 4

    Johnny, father of two

    “I wish I knew, before taking paternity leave, how little you’re realistically going to achieve. You might imagine doing something big with all that time off – a week’s holiday in the sun with the family, maybe – and while I’m sure that’s possible, most days it’s a triumph if you’ve managed to make it to the store, or tidied up the house.”

  • 5

    Jaron, father of two

    “Avoid over-planning – one activity a day with your child is plenty, then plan time for yourself.”

  • 6

    Carnell, dad to an 11-year old son

    “Know that you are no longer at the forefront of decisions made – your child will always come first.”

There’s lots to learn in time for your new arrival, but – take it from these dads – the end result makes it all worth it.