Bringing up a Baby on Your Own

OnlyDads was contacted yesterday by a man who asked us for a complete “check-list” of what it takes to raise a baby on his own.

The exact situation is this. Baby is due to be born next month. Mum and Dad are not “together” and as soon as the baby is two months old, Dad will be looking after him/her on four days a week. When the baby is 7 months old (not sure why 7 months?) Dad will take over full-time care. Mum will be moving on to begin a new life.

Dad’s request for this complete A-Z check list has left us a little stumped. There are obvious things:

At a practical level he is going to need to sort out a bedroom, childcare for when he is not around, make sure child benefit and any CSA payments are correct and coming to him…but at this stage we realise this list could go on. And on.

OnlyDads wants to provide this Dad the best advice we can. This post is not asking for comments on anything other than some direction to websites/books/organisations that may help Dad take on this enormous challenge with the best advice possible.

If you can help us signpost, that would be really appreciated. Many thanks. Bob


About onlydads

Single Dad living near Totnes in Devon. I founded in 2007 and live with my daughters Priya, 14 and Anya 11. I write about single parenting, work, overcoming trials and tribulations and sometimes not overcoming trials and tribulations.
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6 Responses to Bringing up a Baby on Your Own

  1. The What to Expect books are a great source of information and organised month by month.

    Being a parent us hard work but so rewarding. You’ll find your stride.


  2. The two most reassuring, useful guides I ever ran across were the light-hearted but thorough Hays Manual for babies (seriously – identical format to their famous car manuals) and Doctor Spock Baby and Childcare (make sure it’s the most recent edition for any book you buy, by the way – best practice evolves and the leaders in the field are constantly updated as a result)

  3. Feeding seems an obvious one. Will
    Mum b/f and express or formula feed? Dad needs to be involved at outset to help establish bond. Baby & toddler groups are a must for sanity check and learning from others about health, diet, weaning off milk, weaning onto solids, sleep patterns, routine.

    Lucky dad! All the very best to him. We’re all here if he needs practical parenting help or just a friendly ear.

  4. Leigh says:

    I was in a similar situation 12 years ago when my ex partner chose alcohol over motherhood and our relationship, and have been full time carer of our daughter since she was 6 months old.

    The next Christmas my sister bought me Toddler taming – A guide to the first 4 years, by Dr Christopher Green, it was probably the best present I ever got, very useful, passed on a well thumbed version to my cousin a few years later and she will concur.

    They are magical times, be prepared to work hard on building up your support network, enjoy every minute, lucky man!

  5. It would be good to know what part of the country this gentleman is in.

    First and foremost, don’t underestimate the level of support from the NHS. All new parents are visited for several weeks after going home with a new baby by the health visitor. If they assess more help is needed, they will probably come more often, and mention any other support out there.

    In terms of what to do, checklists etc, I would strongly recommend the book “What to Expect: The First Year”. It’s a fairly comprehensive guide and he could start reading that now.

    Finally, find out what local support groups exist – e.g. via the NCT whose members will organise local coffee morning meetups in their home etc. Most attendees will be Mums and will probably be delighted to see you, and chances are this gentleman may not be alone for very long!

    The Brighton Dad

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