Dad's guide to Newborn Care

Dear Dad,

An involved dad is important to a baby’s first months and years of life.

Even when the dad lives outside the home, babies with actively involved fathers grow into healthier, happier, more successful children and adults. Babies need to form a strong bond with their parents, and that means dad, too.

Bringing home a new baby is a big change for everyone. There are many ways dads can help support mom and baby once they arrive home from the hospital.

Moms body goes through a lot of changes during the pregnancy. It may take a little while for her to feel like herself. Be gracious, patient, and supportive.



Keep people who are sick away from your baby.


Help with cooking, cleaning, and laundry.


If she is feeling depressed or anxious, encourage and support her to seek help.
Depression affects up to 25% of dads during their partner’s pregnancy or in the first year after baby is born.

If you or your baby’s mom have anxiety, are feeling depressed, or have thoughts of harming yourself or your baby, get help right away. Talk with your healthcare provider. Untreated depression is hard on your baby, your family, and you.

Call 1-800-273-8255 for free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Spend quality time with your older kids by having them help with getting a diaper, smiling at, or reading to baby.

Breastfeeding Support

Breastfeeding Support

Breastfeeding is the best way to provide nourishment to your new baby. It might not be easy at first so give mom plenty of encouragement and support.

WIC is here to support you. Call for any questions or for additional breastfeeding support.

Why Breastfeed?


Breastfed babies get sick less often.


It’s free!


It’s convenient (no bottles, no mess, and always on hand).

Two Heart

Breastfeeding moms are healthier.

3 out of 4 babies born in Oklahoma are breastfed

Spit Up – Burping – Dirty Diapers

Having breast milk or formula in your baby’s tummy is new to them. Babies spit up less and require less burping as they get older. 


Speak to your WIC Nutritionist or healthcare provider if you are concerned with the amount your baby is spitting up at each feeding.



Be a hero, change diapers!

For breastfed babies:
For formula and breastfed babies over a month:

If you have concerns about your baby’s dirty diapers, call your healthcare provider or local WIC office.

Baby’s Age Wet Poops
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
*Day 4+

*This amount lasts up to the first month or longer.

Baby’s Time with Dad

Tummy time!

Laying on their tummy helps strengthen your baby’s neck and shoulder muscles. Think of it as their daily workout as they prepare for big moves like rolling over, sitting, and crawling.

Play peekaboo.

Talk to your baby and make funny faces while changing their diaper.

Go for walks.

Keeping active—getting out of the house is good for everyone!

Spend time reading and talking to your baby.

Their brain is learning new words every day, even from the day they are born.

Keeping Your Baby Safe



Sleeping Safe

Sleeping Safe

Always put your baby to sleep on their back on a firm mattress with no blankets or pillows.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies sleep in the same room as their parents on a separate sleep surface until their first birthday.

Your child is depending on you to be healthy and stay healthy.

Fatherhood Resources

Fatherhood Resources


National Fatherhood Initiative
National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse

Check for fatherhood initiative programs at your local Head Start program or school system.


Side-Lying Hold

  1. For the right breast, lie on your right side with your baby facing you.
  2. Pull your baby close. Your baby’s mouth should be level with your nipple.
  3. In this position, you can cradle your baby’s back with your left arm and support yourself with your right arm and/or pillows.
  4. Keep loose clothing and bedding away from your baby.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:


Cross-Cradle Hold

  1. For the right breast, use your left arm to hold your baby’s head at your right breast and baby’s body toward your left side. A pillow across your lap can help support your left arm.
  2. Gently place your left hand behind your baby’s ears and neck, with your thumb and index finger behind each ear and your palm between baby’s shoulder blades. Turn your baby’s body toward yours so your tummies are touching.
  3. Hold your breast as if you are squeezing a sandwich. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Instead, bring your baby to you.
  4. As your baby’s mouth opens, push gently with your left palm on baby’s head to help them latch on. Make sure you keep your fingers out of the way.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:


Clutch or “Football” Hold

  1. For the right breast, hold your baby level, facing up, at your right side.
  2. Put your baby’s head near your right nipple and support their back and legs under your right arm.
  3. Hold the base of your baby’s head with your right palm. A pillow underneath your right arm can help support your baby’s weight.
  4. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Bring baby to you instead.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:


Cradle Hold

  1. For the right breast, cradle your baby with your right arm. Your baby will be on their left side across your lap, facing you at nipple level.
  2. Your baby’s head will rest on your right forearm with your baby’s back along your inner arm and palm.
  3. Turn your baby’s tummy toward your tummy. Your left hand is free to support your breast, if needed. Pillows can help support your arm and elbow.
  4. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Instead, bring your baby to you.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:


Laid-Back Hold

  1. Lean back on a pillow with your baby’s tummy touching yours and their head at breast level. Some moms find that sitting up nearly straight works well. Others prefer to lean back and lie almost flat.
  2. You can place your baby’s cheek near your breast, or you may want to use one hand to hold your breast near your baby. It’s up to you and what you think feels best.
  3. Your baby will naturally find your nipple, latch, and begin to suckle.

This hold is useful when: