It seems like grown men are literally scared to hold tiny little baby humans. The general excuse is that they don’t want to break them.
My grandpa waited until Xander was 6 months old and roughly 20 lbs. before he held his great grandson for the first time.
This man was a US marine in his prime. Trained to fight wars for our country. Yet he could not hold this tiny, non-threatening, adorable, alien-like baby.
His excuse, he did not want to break him.
Now I can’t really hold him at fault. Upon meeting my son for the first time, I, like my grandfather, was afraid to hold this tiny, non-threatening, adorable, alien-like baby I call my son.
However, I was way too excited about becoming a dad to let that stop me.
Here’s the first picture Xander and I took together on the day I finally met him.
Let’s talk about the excuses dads use and why they’re easy to overcome.
Excuse 1: I don’t want to break the baby.
Come on, guys. You’re not going to break your child. You’re all very strong and manly, but you’re not so strong that you will instantly break a child the moment you lay your hands on them.
It doesn’t work that way.
Babies are a lot tougher than you give them credit for. Observe how the nurses handle your child while checking up on them.
They’re flipping rough!
Honestly, their rough tactics with my son were slightly unsettling at first. However, I quickly learned that babies can take the heat.
Don’t be afraid to get rough out there dads. Get used to it now. Sooner or later you’re going to be wrestling your children to get literally everything out of their mouths.
Excuse 2: I don’t know what I’m doing.
Well, yea. Of course you don’t know what you’re doing if this is your first child. But that’s ok!
Have you played football before? If you have, then you already know how to hold a baby. If you haven’t, then we need to talk.
You can literally hold your child like a running back holds a football.
Seriously, If you’re about to run through the D-line, you wrap that baby up. One hand under for support, one hand over for control.
If you’re going down field, tuck that baby against your hip with one hand underneath. Instead of throwing stiff arms, use that free hand to get that swaddle ready for your future football star.
Just pretend you’re Adrian Peterson. Once given the football, you have to protect it with your life while trying to get them to the end zone.
It’s the same with children, and you will score that touchdown with them.
And don’t forget to celebrate afterward.
Excuse 3: What if he cries?
Get used to it. You’re going to be hearing that sound a lot.
You’ll be much better off figuring out how to make that seemingly never-ending sound stop now.
I was very lucky. I found out how to make that crying stop within the first few days with Xander.
My tactic was to hold my son and pat him on the back while I lightly bounced with him.
However, every child is vastly different from the next. It will probably take some trial and error to figure out what works for your children.
Excuse 4: I don’t want to drop him/her.
Chances are, you won’t.
First off, changes occurred within your body once you became a dad. You developed an extra reflex called “The Dad Reflex”.
As fathers, we are able to make the most improbable saves with this newfound reflex.
Seriously, just check out r/DadReflexes on reddit.
But really though, you won’t drop your child.
Think about it, how often do you actually drop regular everyday items? As long as your hands aren’t made of butter, then it’s probably almost never.
Let’s look at the football example again. How often do fumbles actually happen? Maybe once or twice a game? That’s pretty good considering there are roughly eleven 200+ lb. muscles attempting to decapitate whomever is holding the ball.
So as long as you don’t have eleven 200+ lb. men trying to take you out, then the odds are definitely in your favor.
If you do have eleven 200+ lb. men chasing you while trying to parent, then you need to re-evaluate your life choices.
Today’s lesson: Hold your children! It’s easier than you think, and it is incredibly rewarding for both your child and yourself.
Stay awesome dads.