Below you'll find a course outline to give you an idea of what you’ll be looking at. Each week follows the same rough model of basic skills, time to talk honestly and more theoretical but equally useful stuff such as supporting your partner, what to expect in the first year and how to look after yourself as a new dad. Courses take place in the function room at The Eagle Pub, Gloucester Road, Brighton.

What you will do on the course

Week 1 - Preparing for birth, how to hold a baby, change a nappy, clothe a baby and lots of time for chat.

Holding a baby - Err… umm… Where do I hold it from? What about it’s neck? I don’t want to break it! Holding a baby is surprisingly intimidating for someone who is unpracticed. The reality is that it’s easy, but it’s a good idea if you have an idea. We’ll show you a few ways to hold baby so you’re comfortable from the off.

Changing a nappy - Another absolute basic. The average baby will get through around 5000 nappies so you’re going to have to get used to this one. We’ll go through the basics of changing a nappy (both a re-usable and a disposable) and also take a journey into the exciting world of baby poo.

Clothing a baby - OK, you can hold them and change them, but they’re going to need some clothes at some point. We’ll look at how you clothe baby in a baby grow and other layers. Importantly we’ll also look at how many layers baby needs and how you can tell when they are cold/hot.

Plenty of time for honest talk as future dads

Thinking further...

The birth - what to expect, what you can do to make it the best possible experience for you and your partner. You'll hear my story as well as that of another dad - how it all unfolded for us, how we felt and what you can do to prepare yourself.

Week 2 - Baby development, how to bath, burp and carry a baby, what gear you'll need and lots of time for chat.

Basics

Bathing a baby - Holding a child is one thing, handling a slippery baby covered in poo is another. Handy tips to get through bathtime, with a clean and happy baby at the end.

Burping a baby - Baby is full of milk, but now, full of wind too. How to burp a baby - we’ll teach you a number of different techniques so you can mix it up if that burp just isn’t coming.

Transporting a baby - Getting baby from A to B is pretty simple, but it’s easy to be nervous about it. We’ll have a look at getting baby about.

Plenty of time for honest talk as future dads

Thinking further...

Baby development - how will your child grow in the first year? What are the milestones you can be looking for? When will they crawl/talk/eat solids/sleep more or less. What skills will you need to pick up along the way and when do you start changing things for your baby?

The gear - what do I really need and what is just marketing trying to burn through our wallets? We’ll give a quick rundown on what’s useful (and why), and what you can forget. This could save you hundreds…

Week 3 - How to deal with a crying baby, getting them to sleep, supporting your partner, working as a team, looking after yourself and lots of time for chat.

Basics

Baby sleep - The biggie. We all want sleep. How do you put a baby to bed safely? What kind of sleep should you expect from your child? What might wake them up? How can you maximise the amount of sleep your baby gets? We don’t promise miracles but some useful insights that will help along the way. 

Swaddling - Some people do it, some people don’t. We’ll give you the information on it and show you how it’s done. Then it’s your choice…

Crying baby – WAAA WAAA WAAA. Get used to it. That is going to happen a lot in the coming months. But how do you make it stop!? HOW!? Once again, there’s no hard and fast rules but we’ll take a look at what some of the key signs are, and how you can respond.

Plenty of time for honest talk as future dads

Thinking further...

Supporting your partner and working as a team - Having a baby can either bring you together or make things harder as a couple - do everything you can to make it the former. From breastfeeding to emotional support, crazy hormones to communication we’ll think about what your partner may want/need and how you can respond. We’ll also look at different strategies for getting through including strategies to maximise sleep, dealing with relatives and getting yourselves organised to parent as effectively as possible.

Looking after yourself as a dad - You can’t be a great dad unless you look after yourself - what is coming up will be one of the most exciting and amazing times of your life, but also one of the hardest. We’ll think about what a positive and healthy lifestyle looks like for a dad, how you can prepare yourself, and where you can turn in difficult moments.

Graduation and commissioning! You’ve got all the training you’re going to get, and you’re ready. 

Week 4 - Getting together after babies are born to celebrate, de-brief and look forward.

Week 4 comes later - after everyone’s baby has been born we’ll get together at a convenient time for everyone to celebrate with a drink or two. This would also be a good chance to bring your baby along and introduce him/her to the others. It’s a great opportunity for you to have some time together and give your partner a chance to catch up on sleep.

This session is relaxed and unstructured - there’s not too much set on the agenda - we’ll have time for questions and do some troubleshooting if there are specific things you have questions about. As usual we’ll make plenty of time for honest time to talk about how we’re finding it. We’ll also have a look at activities you can do with your baby now that you are a fully fledged dad.