The role of the father is extremely important in the care of the newborn. There is no reason why the father cannot do all that the mother does for the baby, thus contributing towards the growth and development of the baby. Once they become mentally adapted to the role of child-care, they feel very satisfied that they are contributing their share towards the rearing of the baby and also feel proud in the fact that they are good fathers.
Initially what happens is that the father, just like the mother, is not ready for the responsibility and so may adopt the attitude that he will wait till the baby is bigger and more like a human being. Mothers, on the other hand, can’t postpone it. They have to start immediately and learn quickly as the onus of baby care, culturally and socially, lies primarily with her. An understanding husband at this stage is required. He should understand that the mother has just delivered a baby and she also is not an expert in childcare.
In fact she is as much a novice as he is. So if both take it as a combined duty, reassure each other and talk out their fears and anxieties, not only will they be able to better cope with the child-care, but the wife will also much appreciate the husband’s maturity and understanding. However, this benefit is lost if the husband does this work as a favour towards his wife rather than considering it as a part of his duty, since then it implies that it is not really his work, but he is doing it as a generosity towards his wife.
The husband should not feel ashamed or shy in taking care of his baby. Because the men, right from childhood, are not ingrained with the idea of baby care, they find it awkward, embarrassing and difficult to accept (particularly things like changing the soiled diapers or cleaning the stools of the child). I can understand this feeling of men, and the best way to lessen the intensity of such a feeling is by thinking:
i) Many fathers, both in Indian and western society are participating actively in the baby care and take pride in it, so why not you too?Experts in newborn care nowadays stress on an active role of the father in baby care so as to make it wholesome and complete.
ii) The most important point is that theyare doing it for their own baby, and so what is wrong or embarrassing about it? Infact theyshould feel satisfied and proud for it.