On June 17th, we had an opportunity to honor fatherhood and parenting by men. Father’s Day was first celebrated in West Virginia, and was believed to be inspired by a deadly mine explosion that killed 361 men. Many of these victims were fathers. Unfortunately, it took a disaster of this magnitude to recognize the important role each of you may play in your family’s life.
As men, you sometimes have to parent your children in challenging circumstances. For example, your children may not be living with you, or your work responsibilities may keep you away from your children more than you would like.
But even from a distance, there are many ways for you to show physical and emotional support if your baby has acid reflux:
1) Understand how hard it may be for the caregiver who is with your baby each day. Whether this person is the baby’s mother or a babysitter, let that person know what an extraordinary job he or she is doing.
2) Recognize the financial costs of caring for a baby with reflux may be significantly more than the costs of caring for a healthy baby. Extra financial support may be appropriate until the baby’s health improves.
3) Be emotionally and physically close to the baby whenever you can. Babies with reflux often need to be held upright. Especially if you have a strong back, holding the baby for hours on end may be a role you can play better than the baby’s mother or grandmother.
4) Be the daring one. Take the baby on outings no one else would dare. I was always amazed and impressed at my husband’s bravery, when he would announce, “I think I am going to take Ben to the aquarium today!” Under normal circumstances, that wouldn’t seem so heroic, but our son cried and screamed about 10 hours each day when he was a baby.
As a father, the role you play may sometimes go unrecognized, but active involvement in your baby’s life, even if he or she is miserable due to reflux, is incredibly important. If you hang in there, then before you know it, your little boy or girl will be waiting on the edge of the pool, wanting to jump into your arms, “just one more time!”
Published On: June 27, 2007