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Boot Camp for New Dads

Becoming a father for the first time is a life changing experience. Welcoming a brand new fresh human into the world and the subsequent personal awakening to the miracle of life, often brings an intimately marked shift in our awareness and considerations as a new dad.

Many new dads describe a foundational shift of priorities and perspective relative to their new presence as a father, and with this new sense of self comes a somewhat terrifying truth that our lives have changed forever.

When we hold our newborn child for the first time, many new fathers realize that this living, breathing, gushy, soft, miniature person did not come with a service manual. What can be even more daunting is that we may come to the swift realization that nothing has truly prepared us for this moment in our lives. Well, there’s a great resource that everyone can access online or in-person called “Boot Camp for New Dads”.

On their website, Boot Camp for New Dads describes itself as “a unique father-to-father, community-based workshop that inspires and equips men of different economic levels, ages, and cultures to become confidently engaged with their infants, support their mates, and personally navigate their transformation into dads.”

This is a great description of what can be a fun, bonding, and informative workshop for a father to get the support and guidance they might need as a new or expecting dad.

BootCampforNewDads.org is a non-profit founded in 1990, and their workshop is available in at least 44 states in the U.S. and Canada, facilitated by countless trained and experienced dads.

In Tucson, we facilitate this workshop once a month at Parentaid.org and welcome all new and expecting fathers. We engage with other new dads to get some helpful pro-active tips and tricks of the trade to fatherhood, with a keen focus on empowering dads and inspiring a healthy sense of confidence and resilience around our new exciting adventure.

Of the many topics covered in this workshop, one of the most helpful is how to manage the inevitable sleep deprivation which comes with a newborn, and tips like sleeping when the baby sleeps, setting up alternating caregiver days with your co-parent, and accessing any paternity leave you might have to give your body, mind, and spirit the support it will need to adjust to an unpredictable and often deficient sleep schedule.

Another subject we cover is how to manage your self-care and taking time for yourself, while providing the emotional, physical, and material support and presence your family will need at this time. Adjusting our priorities might come naturally to many new dads, and yet, we may need to recalibrate our sense of self and identity as a father, which is another conversation that will be addressed in these gatherings for new dads, providing a sense of fellowship and manhood that might be lacking in our personal support network.

We cover other topics such as “Gate-Keeping”, prevention of SIDS, parental approach, crying babies, postpartum symptoms, and many other nuances of being a new dad. We go through diaper changes, the myriad of ways to hold your new baby, and what to include in your Dadbag…

Oh you need a Dadbag? Yep, we got you covered, as all in-person participants of Boot Camp for New Dads at Parent Aid get a cool tactical backpack, with dad-focused functionality and design for your incoming baby adventures.

Rediscover the world through your child’s eyes as you reveal the beautiful, intriguing and dynamic world of wonder to your curious new human. If you are a new or expecting dad, please check out this great workshop and sign up today!

Chod McClintock
Chod McClintock
Chod McClintock is a dad to a 7 year old daughter and serves as the Fatherhood Support Facilitator with parentaid.org. where he teaches Fathering Skills courses and hosts a weekly Dads Support group. Chod is a father’s rights advocate and recently co-presented at the annual national Child Abuse Prevention conference.

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