July 3, 2009

Dads prepare for new baby in boot camp

New dads say they face many challenges and a U.S. boot camp for new daddies helps them meet these challenges and prepare for the new baby.

When dad-to-be Ivan Weiskott of Durham, N.C., asked other men about parenting, he heard a lot about changing diapers, but also about sleep deprivation, supporting the mom emotionally, how to sooth a crying baby and doing the right thing for the family -- sometimes all at once.

I just hoped I would have the physical and emotion strength to handle those things, Weiskott says in a statement.

He is putting what he has learned as a new father to use as an instructor in the Boot Camp for New Dads -- offered by the Women's Health Information Center at the North Carolina Women's Hospital at University of North Carolina Hospitals in Chapel Hill.

The popular program -- open to men only -- helps future fathers ask questions, address their fears and get advice as well as interact with other new dads and their newborns.

It's nice to learn what other folks' experiences were, to be exposed to different attitudes and perspectives, Dilip Barman, a resident of Durham and a recent graduate of the program says. Boot Camp helped me understand there are very few 'right' answers, and that 'your mileage may vary.'