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What to do on paternity leave: 6 tips for new dads

What should a new dad expect on paternity leave? From mastering the art of changing diapers, to developing that inseparable bond, the early days of fatherhood are challenging, life-changing and full of surprises. But one of the best ways to know what to do on paternity leave is to listen to the men who have experienced it. Here’s what six dads want every new father to know.

  • 1

    Make the most of paternity leave for new fathers

    “Take as many days of paternity leave as you can afford. And switch off your ‘work brain’.” – Andy, father of three

  • 2

    What should a new dad expect? The unexpected

    “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.” – Jason, father of two

  • 3

    Support + care for your partner

    “Work as a team with your partner and do some research in the lead up to the birth – there’s a lot to learn.” – Gareth, dad to a seven-month-old son

  • 4

    Don’t get any big ideas about what to do during paternity leave

     “Before taking paternity leave, I wish I knew 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 tidy up the house.” – Johnny, father of two

  • 5

    Get ready to care for your little one every day

    “Know that you are no longer at the forefront of decisions made – your child will always come first.” – Carnell, dad to an 11-year-old son

  • 6

    But don’t forget to care for yourself too

    “Avoid overplanning. One activity a day with your child is plenty, then plan time for yourself.” – Jason, father of two


There’s lots to learn in time for your new arrival and lots of reasons why dads should take paid paternity leave, but take it from these dads ­– those amazing, life-changing moments make it all worth it. To help all men care from day one, sign the paternity pledge today so every father can experience the benefits of paternity leave.

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