Healthy living

Being the best dad you can be

Being the best dad you can be doesn’t mean being ‘perfect’ – there’s no such thing. Aim to be ‘good enough’, and go easy on yourself. Sometimes you’ll make mistakes, but you’re learning on the job and you’ll get more confident with practice.

Here’s some ways you can help yourself out:

  • Remember the basics: eat healthy food, exercise, stay in touch with family and friends.
  • Talk with other dads if you can. You’re probably facing the same issues.
  • Live around your baby’s routine – it’s much easier when you go with the flow.
  • Avoid big changes during pregnancy or after the birth whenever you can. Moving house or changing jobs can bring added stress that you really don’t need.
  • If you’re not getting much sleep, let your employer and workmates know. They’ve probably been through it too.
  • You don’t have to be a hero. Let your mates and family help, or ask for help if you need it.
  • Go to appointments with your partner whenever you can. It’ll help you understand your baby, and your partner will appreciate the support.
  • Talk to your baby (even during pregnancy). Cuddle, play with, and read to your baby.
  • Spend time with your partner every day – even if it’s only 10 minutes talking after the baby’s (finally) asleep. Your relationship needs attention too.
  • Talk with your partner about how you’re coping. Ask how she feels. Sometimes she just wants you to listen, and you don’t have to fix anything.
  • If you don’t feel the best, talk to your GP. Tell your doctor you’re a dad with a new baby and ask for some strategies to get you feeling more like yourself again.
  • Read more tips about how to care for yourself with a little TLC.

Where to get help

  • See your doctor
  • See a child health nurse


  • Phone 9368 9379 or free call 1800 111 546 (free from land line only).

Women and Newborns Health Service

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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