Paternity Leave

07/16/2012 05:03 pm ET | Updated Sep 15, 2012

It's not just mothers who are taking a leave from work once their baby arrives. Now more than ever before, fathers are taking paternity leave to spend time with their wife and their new bundle of joy. In the current economy, men and women are working hard to support their family. They're putting in longer hours at the office. But taking a break with a couple of weeks of paternity leave will do wonders for new parents, as the new father will become more in tune with the schedule at the house. This knowledge can create a lasting pattern of teamwork and keep things moving smoothly. After watching your baby being born and seeing your wife in such a fragile state, knowing you can be there to help when she gets home will make you and her feel so much better. You will feel fulfilled in your role as a new father and also become a lot more sensitive to your wife and baby's needs. Here are a few tips to help along the way.

Bonding with Your Baby: Dad can use the first week to help take care of mommy and baby. For example, serving mom breakfast is going to help her get some extra morning rest. The more she stays off her feet, the quicker she will begin to feel stronger. When she gets done feeding the baby, dad should burp his child and hold him or her upright to digest for about 15 minutes.

Getting the Routine Down: It's important for any father to know how the family routine/schedule goes so he knows how he can be of the most help. New fathers should keep a log of feedings, doctor visits, etc. This will get him even more in tune with the daily lives of his wife and baby.

Food Shopping at Night: Dad might like to go food shopping at night so that he can take his time finding items while avoiding daytime traffic. As a bonus, your wife will love if you can squeeze in cooking a meal from time to time.

Man Pride Aside: No job should be too small or beneath a new father. Dads taking the step to help their family in this time will inspire a profound appreciation in their wife or partner. Lead by example; children who are nurtured by dad are most likely to take on this sensitive side later in life.

Dads Get Tired, Too: While on a paternity leave, dads should do all they can to pace themselves so they don't get over-tired. Remember, if you do have to go back to work, you don't want to be too exhausted when you return. Balance is the key at this time for everyone.

Reminding Mom That She's Sexy: Dad, don't forget to remind your wife how beautiful she is. She will not be feeling it at this time, as she will probably be a bit insecure about her looks and weight gain. Assure her that you love her more than ever because she used her body to carry your baby and that is as loving as it gets!