New Dad 15 – Expect Weight Gain As A First Time Dad

Most people know about the freshmen fifteen, or the common weight gain that afflicts new college students. Studies now show that new dads are in for the same type of body mass increase to their body mass index. If you are an expecting first time dad, expect weight gain in the near future.

Science Says Yes To Dad Bod

Not only must you prepare the nursery, the diaper changing station, the pantry, and play room, but now you need to be extra vigilant with your own diet and overall health. A large scale study covering 10,000 men over 20 years shows that men who didn’t become dads lost weight, while men who became dads gained weight over the same time period. These findings were published in the American Journal of Mens Health.

Notable findings include: resident dads (new dads who end up living with their new children) gained an extra 2.6% weight versus non-resident dads (new dads who don’t live with their children) who gained an extra 2.0% weight versus non-dads who lost weight. The study equated the percentage to a 6 foot tall man gaining 4.4 pounds versus 3.3 pounds versus losing 1.4 pounds.

Lead author Craig Garfield noted that the change might be attributed to lifestyle changes as a new and first time dad. “You have new responsibilities when you have your kids and may not have time to take care of yourself the way you once did in terms of exercise. Your family becomes the priority.” The extra weight gain can potentially lead to health problems down the road. “The more weight the fathers gain and the higher their BMI, the greater risk they have for developing heart disease as well as diabetes and cancer.”

Researches note that the numbers might be conservative when it comes to weight gain, and they could actually be much higher in some men. Couple this with the fact that married men are also more likely to gain weight, and the problem can compound over time and additional children.

My Experience As A First Time Dad

I agree with the study, especially the part about it being conservative. I gained around 10-15 pounds (it fluctuated) from a few months before the baby came to about 6 months after D-Day, when it kind of leveled off. I will admit, I wasn’t really paying attention to my health a whole lot over that time period. But the weight gain was definitely there. Here are a few things that really stick out about that time period:

  • Sleep deprivation – I didn’t end up getting a lot of sleep until my daughter turned one. She was a terrible sleeper, had bad acid reflux (which was pretty terrifying early on since she would spit up and choke on it if we layed her down), and was a poop machine during the night. Since my wife had to get up to nurse, this also woke me up and I tried to support her by helping with the diapers in the night so she could get some sleep. Science also shows that poor sleep habits can also contribute to weight gain, and in this case, I think this was as big a contributor as any.
  • No energy – This point is directly related to the sleep deprivation point. Because I wasn’t getting my 8 hours of shut eye, I had little energy after getting home from work (which for me is an 8 hour shift with 2 hours of commuting) to exercise. I know, exercise is supposed to energize you. Maybe it was a lack of motivation. Either way, I neither had the energy nor the gumption to get off the sack and work out with any consistency for basically that first year.
  • Poor diet – It seemed like there wasn’t even time to cook real meals. We ate a lot of pizza, frozen meals, and junk food. No time, no energy, no motivation to eat right.
  • High stress – This one is pretty self explanatory, but definitely a contributor to the weight gain. As a first time dad I thought “I am now financially responsible for a new human being.” Even though I was exhausted every day, I often found myself thinking into the night about our budget and finances. Things were pretty dicey and we were walking a fine line with our budget before having our daughter, and after there were just so many new expenses that I hadn’t considered before.
  • New lifestyle – Gone were the days of doing what we pleased. No more Netflix binge sessions, hanging out with friends late at night, and the active lifestyle that we enjoyed together (snowboarding, hiking, fishing). We pretty much stayed at home for the first year and didn’t get out hardly at all. I take that back, the Netflix binge sessions were still there, and probably actually increased.

Now that I look back on that time period, I’m surprised I didn’t gain more weight than I did – ten pounds actually looks pretty good at this point. It took pretty much that first full year to take my life back and get into a more healthy routine, and it wasn’t easy. Part of it just took time to get used to having additional responsibilities (financial, dad related) and getting into a groove with the new chores and duties. Once things settled down, the stress started to go down, which helped with the sleep deprivation. Those in turn brought back the energy and motivation to get my diet and physical self back into shape. I think the key was establishing a routine that dedicated time for taking care of my physical self every day by exercising and cooking/eating healthier.

I had no clue what I was in for as a new dad when it came to my role and duties, let alone the fact that it was going to throw my health out of whack. Had I known, it might have been easier to establish healthy goals up front. If you are a new or expecting dad, stay out in front of the “New Dad 15” or “Dad Bod” by proactively setting health goals and heading off the points outlined above. Expect that the new lifestyle changes will adversely affect your health unless you do something about it ahead of time. Good luck –

Did you experience new dad weight gain? What tips do you have for avoiding first time dad weight gain? Let us know in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!

3 Keys To Supporting Your Pregnant Spouse

Stress is probably at an all-time high in your home right now if you recently found out you will be a first time dad. You probably didn’t think you could feel so many different emotions all at once. I was scared and excited, anxious and happy all at the same time. If you are feeling all these different emotions, imagine the emotions your spouse is going through. She is already more in tune with her emotional side than you are, and now with the increased hormonal chaos, those emotions are about to roller coaster all over the place. So how do you handle this time of your life when you and your spouse are awash with emotions?

There are three important concepts that I think every first time dad should understand about this time, and they will be discussed below.

#1 – Slow Your Reaction

With stress and anxiety at all-time highs, patience will be at an all-time low. You and your spouse are experiencing something completely new, which is exciting and scary at the same time. Train yourself to slow your reaction to what confronts you. I am not talking about delaying your defensive driving reaction or evasive maneuver reaction. By slowing your reaction, I mean slowing how you respond to things your wife says or does. It is natural to jump to the defense of yourself or your actions/words. But in this heightened state of emotions, slow that reaction and think about your responses and actions carefully.

Pregnancy Hormones

For example, here is a typical scenario from my wife’s third trimester. It was hot outside, she was craving random food that we didn’t have in our pantry, I was tired from a long and particularly stressful day at work, and we were dealing with financial stresses involving getting ready for a baby and finding a tenant for a rental property that we can’t afford to pay for if it is vacant. An argument could have erupted from just about anywhere, about anything. Topics like the temperature of our house, the comfort (or lack thereof) of our bed, our pantry’s food supply, and my lack of support were frequent topics of contention.

The key is to remember to diffuse the situation. It’s all about being humble. Think to yourself that your spouse is always right, and more often than not she is anyway. Slow the reaction to be defensive. Think about your response carefully. Think about the raging hormones coursing through your spouse’s veins. Say to yourself ‘she isn’t behaving normally, and arguing with this aberration of her isn’t worth it.’ She probably knows she is being overly sensitive, overbearing, and impatient, so going along and giving in will win you some serious points, and really show that even when she behaves like a succubus, you still love her for who you know her to be.

#2 – Support With Praise

We all know that women love to hear how great/skinny/sexy/smart/funny they are on a regular basis. Even if they protest your praise, they secretly love to hear it. Fellas, this is the time to really lay it on thick. Some may argue that there is a point that it becomes too much, or even creepy. But I disagree. I tend to be in the camp that women are never satisfied with verbal praise.

Tell her regularly how she has a different ‘pregnant glow’ about her. I don’t know what it is about this ‘pregnant glow’ thing they talk about, but it is a big deal. So even if you don’t really see a ‘glow,’ tell her she has it.


Refrain from commenting on her stretch marks, cankles, or anything else that has to do with gaining weight. I mentioned above that she will be in a heightened state of sensitivity, so just don’t mention anything in this category. Even if you think it is a positive thing to mention, like the fact that her boobs keep getting bigger, just keep it to yourself. Keep everything positive, even if she bombards you with questions like ‘do I have cankles?’ or ‘are my stretch marks bad?’ Lie if you have to. She knows you’re lying, but she will appreciate your attempt to keep things positive.

#3 – Support With Action

We all hate people who say things, but don’t do things. Back up your words of support with actions that support her. Remember that this is probably the most uncomfortable time in her life. It is hard for her to be comfortable anywhere besides a swimming pool, it is probably always too hot (even in the winter), and she is always hungry for food you don’t have on hand. Early on, she might be suffering with morning sickness, so nothing sounds good to eat, and any food you cook or eat might send her heaving to the toilet.

This is an important time to step up your game gentlemen. By stepping up your game, I mean doing things for your spouse. Choose to act. Here are some great things that you can do for her during this particularly rugged time:

  • Fix meals
  • Clean the house
  • Wash the dishes
  • Go grocery shopping
  • Laundry
  • Back rubs, foot rubs, and massages

Basically, this list comprises of all the household chores that she might be doing all of, or you might be already helping out with. Just do all of the chores. Don’t wait for her to ask you or for messes to pile up or for the fridge to be empty. She will notice these acts of service and will greatly appreciate your efforts to help out.

Final Thoughts

Keep in mind that your spouse got the short end of the stick when it comes to bringing a new baby into this world. She gets stuck with carrying the baby for 9 months, dealing with the cravings, hormones, pains, and discomforts associated with carrying it, birthing the baby, and taking care of roughly 95% of its needs once it is born for at least a year. We really have nothing to contribute, which is why it is our job to support her as much as possible. Remember to slow your reaction, support her with praise and support her with actions through those trying 9 months and beyond. She will see you as a real man, which you will be if you step up and support her the best that you can. Good luck-

Literature – Your Wife’s New Obsession

If you are anxiously anticipating the arrival of your new son or daughter as a first time dad, you will probably start to notice that your wife will start to borrow/buy/steal new mom books (like the New Mom Handbook). The pile will start to grow as her obsession grows. She will start to visit and frequent a lot of online forums and blogs, like This is a normal occurrence, and is an indication that she is interested in what to expect, how to cope with different setbacks, parenting tips, etc.

Unrealistic Expectations and Contradictory Information

But we have all seen the movie Knocked Up. Maybe not all of us, but some of us. There is a scene where Kathryn Heigl’s character buys a ton of baby literature for Seth Rogen’s character to read before the baby comes. He doesn’t follow through, and she is absolutely devastated, so much so, that she decides at that moment to have the baby without him. Talk about lofty and unrealistic expectations!

Knocked Up

Here is my take on all of the baby/daddy/mommy/new parenting literature out there: it’s mostly a bunch of garbage. Except for this blog of course. Here’s the problem – there is so much contradiction between what so and so doctor says about how to put your new born to sleep and what so and so ‘expert’ says. One book will tell you that they need to sleep on their back for the first 6 months. Another says a year. Another says that your baby will die of SIDS if they sleep on their back because they could vomit and choke on it. Another says they should sleep tethered to their momma for the rest of their life to avoid sudden death and dismemberment. That last one escalated quickly, but you get the idea.

Every facet of raising your baby is questioned and contradicted by so many books and blogs and ‘experts’ and doctors that it is crazy trying to find the source of knowledge. Now, add onto that pile of rubbish all the tips and ‘help’ you will receive from friends and family members (especially your mother-in-law). Holy mother, now we’re talking about all sorts of confusion.

Sifting Through All The Noise

So who is ultimately right about how your baby can safely sleep? Or what they should eat at 8 months? Or how to sooth their cries? My wife got a little carried away with all the literature studies, like most expecting new moms. She wanted to read books with me, and she expected me to read some of it by myself, like the movie example above. But when I found contradicting information from two books, I put my foot down and told her to take it easy with all the book reading. The fact is, did our ancestors have mommy help books? Hell no! They didn’t even have basic medicine let alone a website that tracks the size of your wife’s embryo as it grows from a mustard seed to a watermelon. They managed. And so can you.

I told my wife that we can listen to tips from others, and she can read a suggestion from a book or blog, but that we can make decisions based on the merits of those ‘suggestions.’ Because that’s all any of this is. Every baby is different. If they were the same and came with an owner’s manual, I can understand following the directions. But your baby might sleep fine by itself, without any sleep aids or night time ritual or anything. My baby most certainly doesn’t. Basically, the stars have to align for mine to sleep without screaming for half of the night. My baby had bad acid reflux as a new born and the doctor told us that she needed to sleep mostly sitting up or reclining in a car seat to keep from choking on her vomit. That is quite different than what the consensus sleep knowledge of newborns these days is.

Use Your Head

There is a lot of good advice out there, I’m not knocking the good sources of information. The problem is that pretty much any Joe Shmoe can write and publish a book or an online article or blog without any expertise whatsoever. There are a lot of so-called ‘experts’ who proclaim to know what is best for your baby, when you should use your head to decide what is best for your baby. Does that expert know him or her? Nope. Not even close. Take any advice with a grain of salt and make sure to decide what to do with your wife. I will add that if you trust your baby’s pediatrician, then listen to them and trust their advice as well. They have a huge advantage over the other ‘experts’ out there because they will meet and check up on your baby regularly with you. They can be a great source of answers to your many questions. My wife always rights down questions to ask the doctor on our next visit.

In Conclusion

So when your wife gives you a stack of ‘first time dad’ books to read, what are you going to do? Chuck ‘em in the trash? Light ‘em on fire? Read them eagerly like the time you read The Notebook (don’t deny it)? My advice to you (and take it like you take all advice from a stranger) is to give an honest try to search for good information and seek out good parenting advice. I didn’t say to read them or not. You read my opinion of these books above.

What will you do about your wife’s runaway obsession about her literature studies? Light her books on fire? Cancel your internet connection? Good luck-

Just for fun, here are a couple of first time dad books you might enjoy!

Your Role As A New Dad – “What Is Expected Of Me?”

Learning that you are going to be a new dad is an exciting/terrifying time in your life, no matter your age or maturity level. A question that might be on your mind is “what is expected of me?” Let’s delve into this question by taking what your counterpart expects of you.

Watch What You Say

If you are asking yourself this question, your wife or partner is going through a lot right now. You are both probably preparing for the birth of your child, which could be 6 months away or just a few days. Stress is high, anxiety is high, and patience with each other is at an all-time low. Before the baby arrives, your significant other expects you to be more understanding and more patient and more careful with what you say. It is never a good thing to mention that she is developing ‘cankles’ at this late stage of pregnancy, or that her stretch marks resemble ‘lightning bolts from Zeus.’

With the increased sensitivity, make more than a conscious effort to watch your words. On the other hand, she expects a free pass with her emotions and outbursts and what she says to and about you. Sorry to break it to you, but that’s just the way it is. The sooner every new dad comes to grips with this reality, the better life will be. She is dealt the role of carrying the baby for 9 months and pushing it out of her, well you know. Her hormones are all sorts of jacked up, so she gets a free pass for the duration of the whole ordeal. Don’t you think that’s fair? I’ll gladly give her that rather than do what women have to do to birth an 8+ pound child, let alone carry it for 9 miserable months with messed up hormones pulsing through my body turning me schizophrenic and bi-polar all at once.

Help Out Where You Can

Once the baby arrives, you and your wife will have different roles. Obviously, the mother will feed and nurture the baby for the most part. This is especially true early on and if she decides to breast feed. During the first few months, you might feel kind of worthless. There isn’t a whole lot you can provide for your child at this point. So, step up and offer to change as many diapers as possible. Your spouse will greatly appreciate this move. Become the diaper master. I can guarantee that I change a faster diaper with less wipes used than my wife can. Booya. And while that doesn’t sound all that glamorous to become the diaper master, it shows that you are actively participating in the early stages of your child’s life.

First time dad onsie

I told my wife that I would take care of the night time, even though I work full time during the day. My wife was so exhausted at the end of each day that she would sleep through the monitor and forget to wake up and feed the baby. So I would keep the baby monitor by me and I would check on the baby during the night to change diapers and bring her to my wife whenever she was hungry.

The key is to be supportive every chance you get. Go above and beyond what you normally do. Prepare meals, give extra back or foot rubs, take care of the errands and grocery shopping, help with the cleaning and chores around the house (or just do them all), and be at her disposal for whatever she needs. If your wife is not breast feeding your baby, you can take shifts bottle feeding formula.

As your child grows, there is more and more that you can help out with. I have graduated from not just master diaper changer school, but the potty whisperer academy, and the crawl on the ground and play college. I never had the opportunity to feed my daughter except for the occasional pumped breast milk bottle, but just because your nipples don’t produce milk doesn’t mean you get out of meal time. Sometime around 6 months your baby will start eating baby food. This is another time that you can step up and help out. I am no master at feeding my daughter. Even after a year, she still mostly wants her mom to feed her. And that’s fine with me, because meal time is usually mess time, and I don’t like wearing blended up sweet potatoes. But if it works, help out as much as you can in this role.

It’s all about spending time with your family, isn’t it? You decided consciously or not to bring another life into this planet. You might as well be the best dad you can be. Be there for your wife and for your baby. Spend as much time with them as possible, even if there isn’t much for you to do. I think that pretty much sums up your over-arching role and what your wife or partner expects of you as a first time dad.

In Conclusion

Keep Calm I'm A New Dad

As new dads, it’s hard to feel like there is anything we can do to help out. But when you think about it, there are a lot of things we can do to lessen the load that is on our better half’s shoulders. The more you do, the less worthless you will feel, and the more grateful she will be. Support her needs, and spend as much time with them as possible. Good luck!

So You Found Out You Will Be A First Time Dad – Now What?

Even if you are expecting to see a ‘positive’ on a pregnancy test from your significant other for the first time, it can still come with quite a shock that might not sink in right away. If you’re not expecting it . . . well, good luck! No seriously, it can be a happy day for both of you, especially if it has taken a long time, cost a lot of money with fertility treatments, doctor visits, etc. etc. You now know you are going to be a first time dad. Now what?

As the great Craig Bollerjack, color TV analyst for the Utah Jazz, often says during crunch time of a big game –

Buckle up.

It’s going to be a wild 9ish months. And it’s only gonna get wilder from there.


This isn’t a blog about women, women’s problems, women’s feelings, women’s emotions. It is definitely not a blog about connecting with your woman in an even deeper way. It is a survival guide to the next stage of your life, or at least the next couple years. I am a first time dad of 1 year as of 8/2013. I have waded through the tribulations we first time dads face, and I have done just about everything wrong. Some things right. Few things. But mostly I wasn’t prepared for what comes after the question above – so you found out you’re going to be a first time dad. Now what?

First Trimester = Trimester of Hell

Understand that every woman is different when it comes to being pregnant. It would be nice if there was a step-by-step guide on what we as men and future dads do for each situation. The first trimester was pretty terrible for my wife, and by association, me. It was basically 3 months of vomiting. At all hours of the day and night. I’d never known anyone that just threw up for no reason so unpredictably, so I didn’t know how to handle that.

I asked, as my wife bluntly mentioned, ‘insensitive’ questions like “can you think of anything you might want to eat and be able keep down?” and “is there anything I can get you to help your nausea symptoms?” Which brings me to my first point –

It doesn’t matter how nice you put a question, it will be insensitive, and will be taken the wrong way.

Sorry, that’s just the way pregnant women are. They are raging with hormones, can’t keep ginger ale and soda crackers down, and basically feel like garbage all day and night. How would you react if that’s how you felt all the time? I’d be a pretty surly person, especially since I am generally a grouch all the time anyway. So just be ready for your questions, looks, actions, inactions, lack of words, lack of anything to be taken the wrong way, because it will become your new reality.

Now your wife might get lucky and not have to deal with the nausea like most women have to. Some women love being pregnant, like they don’t have any problems and just emanate this angelic glow for 9 months and are basically in heaven. If that is her, congratulations! You get to pass go and collect $200, you rat bastard! For most of us poor SOBs, we get the opposite.


As the months go by, your wife will go through various stages of nesting. This means that she will build a nest in your house to put your baby in. And that nest will be your nursery. This brings me to point number 2 –

It’s all about compromise.

Even though she is raging with hormones and is irrational as anybody could possibly be, she will still react well to compromise. During her nesting phase, she will want to paint the nursery really terrible colors that a rational woman would think tacky. Rather than flat out reject her ideas, which will get you sleeping on the couch in a hurry, offer reasonable compromises. This goes for not just the color palette that she chooses, but for everything else she wants to do with the nursery and all the baby stuff you will need to buy. Compromise, compromise, compromise. This means you won’t get your way often. But it also means that irrational, hormone-filled-crazy-woman won’t either. That is basically a win. So if she wants to turn part of your man cave into a playroom with pink Unicorns and rainbows and pixie dust, maybe give in on the space but not the color. Baby crap can easily be thrown in the closet so that is a win for everyone!

Third Trimester = The Most Uncomfortable 3 Months Of My Life

Yes, the third trimester was the most uncomfortable I have ever been. And that is directly related to the fact that my wife was the most uncomfortable she had ever been in her life. Let me paint it for you:  It was the middle of the summer. She was getting bigger by the day. Imagine wearing a fat suit when it is triple digits outside for like an hour. Yeah, that’s pretty bad. That is what your wife is going through if she happens to be in her last trimester during the hottest part of the year, which for me is June, July, and August. She was hot all the time – at night, during the day, while taking a cold shower, in the pool, it didn’t matter. Our air conditioning bill was outrageous for those months, and she was still hot! On the other hand, I was always cold, since our house was a crisp 62 all the time. I had to wear a jacket around the house, and whenever I would go outside, it was like I was stepping from a freezer into a furnace. Just awful.

Aside from the temperature, there is also the fact that she is carrying an extra 20+ pounds of heft off her belly. This is the time when she started waddling, and don’t call it waddling to her face. She was never comfortable. Ever. Sitting, standing, sleeping, walking. Never. Except for standing in the pool, which she said took all the weight off her back for a little while. Our bed became a pillow mountain where she would constantly shift and maneuver all night trying to find the just-out-of-reach comfortable spot. And pillow mountain grew to the point where I had about 6 inches of the entire queen mattress to myself. There I was, for three months in a constant nighttime asleep-awake state worried I would fall off my 6 inches of bed. Once again, just awful. I should have invested in a king.

This brings me to my last point –

Her misery is your misery

Be ready to be miserable together. When she is hot, you will be cold. When she is uncomfortable, you will be uncomfortable. Somewhere some wise-ass is saying that the misery you share together will bring you closer together. That is literally true, especially in the case of the bed situation.

All kidding aside, there are definitely things you can do to help her to become more comfortable during this last stage of pregnancy. Give her back and foot rubs. Chip in and do more or all of the household chores. Buy her one of those backyard white-trash pools to sit in. Help her construct her pillow mountain, and concede your personal space to her. You’re in it together, make it the best you can. Because just around the corner, you will be a new dad. And the love of your life will be a new mom. With tons of new challenges and joys that you could never even begin to imagine.

In Conclusion

It may seem like the 9 months is an eternity long, but the closer it gets to D-day, the faster it becomes, especially if you feel unprepared. Don’t worry. You turned out alright, right? What could possibly go wrong? Good luck –

What have your experiences been like since finding out that you will be a new dad? Let us know in the comment section below. Thanks for reading and contributing.