Essential new guide for Somerset dads – because babies don’t come with a set of instructions

Somerset dads and dads-to-be now have a new practical guide to help them gain the confidence and skills they need to care for their baby and partner, and to be the best dad they can be.

Developed with the NHS by Inspire Cornwall CIC – a Cornish-based community interest company – the DadPad gives new dads and dads-to-be the knowledge and practical skills necessary to support themselves and their partner so that babies get the best possible start in life.

The DadPad is an easy-to-use resource for new dads and dads-to-be, packed with relevant information. It aims to provide new fathers or partners with guidance on how to develop the mindset, confidence and practical skills needed to meet their baby’s physical and emotional needs. 

Building a strong attachment will not only enable dads or partners to better enjoy their new role but also contribute towards positive long-term social, health and educational outcomes for their babies. Crucially, the DadPad also provides dads with guidance on how to support, and seek help for, their partners and themselves as they adjust to their new roles, and cope with the physical and emotional strains that this can place on individuals and relationships.

The DadPad covers topics such as:

  • Feeding, holding, changing and cleaning your baby
  • Surviving without sleep and coping with crying
  • Getting to know your baby
  • First aid
  • Looking after yourself and supporting your partner

Julian Bose, Director of Inspire Cornwall CIC, said: “The DadPad was created because babies don’t come with a set of instructions, and dads told us that there was important information that they wanted to be given on what to expect and how to care for their baby. We listened to what dads, their partners and health professionals asked for and combined it all in the DadPad.

“We are excited to be launching the DadPad and a brand new, bespoke DadPad app for dads-to-be and new dads in Somerset.  We are also looking forward to continuing working with Somerset’s maternity services team to embed this support for new dads across the county.”

Steve, a dad and regular at the Dads Breakfast Club where the Somerset launch of the DadPad took place, said: “This is a great resource for new dads to help them understand the essential information and support available and ensure dads are included from day one. The important role dads play in supporting their children and mums is often overlooked, so it’s great to see tools and resources which address this issue and encourage positive parenting.”

Donna Butland, Chair of Somerset Maternity Voices Partnership, said: “New dads or partners often feel left out when a baby arrives, even if they don’t live with the mum; they can feel like a ‘spare part’ and find it difficult to ask for help. They may not have had the support and information offered to new mums by maternity services, but DadPad can give them the knowledge and confidence to help them play a more active role in raising their child and advice on how to develop an important strong bond with their baby.”

Becky Applewood, Deputy Director of Women’s and Children’s Health with Somerset CCG said:  “Becoming a parent can be an anxious time and dads can often feel overwhelmed and unsure because they don’t know what to do. As well as giving clear and practical advice on feeding, changing and bathing new babies, the DadPad helps new parents to learn how they can take care of themselves and their own mental health and emotional wellbeing which is so important for everyone in the family. It also provides information on how to get support when they need it – which many of us do at some stage.

“All in all this is a super guide – and it’s not just useful for dads …”