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08 February 2016

DadPad - support for new dads

DadPad logo and picture of dad and baby

With a lack of sleep and a whole new way of life to adjust to, the DadPad is perfect for dads looking for some help and guidance.

Keith Humphries

A new easy to access information tool is now available to help provide support to first-time dads.

Research shows that fathers have an important role to play in the early days of their babies' lives, both in supporting their partner and beginning to bond with their child. However less is known about fathers' needs and experiences during this time. 

 Over the past year Wiltshire Council has worked with the National Social Marketing Centre to better understand these needs. Fathers reported feeling unable to support their partners as well as they would like due to a lack of confidence, knowledge and emotional and practical skills.

 The DadPad, is an online resource and has been designed by new fathers and health professionals to better equip them through the transition to parenthood

This includes practical information, in bite size chunks, on things like feeding, communicating and bonding with their baby, how babies like to be held and help to cope with less sleep. This means dads can dip in and out when they need to and get the information they need quickly and easily.

 The DadPad is an online resource which can be accessed online and will be promoted by maternity and health visiting services and Children's Centres.

Wiltshire Council corporate director Maggie Rae said: "We've spoken to some first-time dads who felt they would like more tailored information to help settle into parenthood and help them support their partner and baby.

 "We think the DadPad will really help them it's user-friendly and is full of hints and tips to help new dads truly enjoy the experience of fatherhood, particularly in those early weeks and months, and give them a bit of support and re-assurance."

Wiltshire Council cabinet member for public health, Keith Humphries said: "Becoming a parent for the first time is a fantastic experience but can be a daunting prospect.

"With a lack of sleep and a whole new way of life to adjust to, the DadPad is perfect for dads looking for some help and guidance."

New dad, 31 year old Craig Bain told us: "Throughout my wife's pregnancy, apart from taking part inworkshops and classes, its difficult to know what to expect when you become adad, So much of the focus is about preparing for birth. At times it can leaveyou feeling a little useless, and wondering where you'll fit in when the babyarrives. Knowing how to support my wife, and how to bond with my daughterhave been the biggest challenges.

"It's difficult to try and find a one stop point of referencefor help, there are many contradicting pieces of information on the internet.To have some practical tips on what you can do, and having those all singleplace would be a huge help".

DadPad can be found on our website.

Wiltshire Council would also like to hear from any dad who has used the DadPad to find out what they thought of it. If anyone is interested in providing feedback by taking part in an online survey.

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