Man and woman as co parenting new mom and first time dad choosing clothes and assembling baby bag

Parenting is an exciting but overwhelming journey. In the early days, new moms and first time dads adjust to taking care of their baby, even if it means having sleepless nights and eating hurried meals to meet the new child’s needs. And then there are moments of joy as parents cheer when their baby achieves a milestone. A roll on their tummy, uttering a first word, or taking their initial steps are all cause for celebration.

To achieve a balance between the joys and demands of parenthood, it is important for moms and first time dads to have effective co parenting strategies. After all, the new mother needs time for her body and mind to recover for her to settle into a new routine. Hence, every first time dad needs to step up to become a reliable co parenting partner. A smooth collaboration between both parents can help the family thrive and better enjoy this special time in their lives. Let’s delve deeper into this to learn more about:

After childbirth, couples are likely to engage in numerous co-parenting discussions that they may not have had before. Sharing parenting responsibilities is essential, as taking care of a baby demands energy and planning, and both partners are needed to make it work.


Sharing Parenting Responsibilities: Balancing Roles and Responsibilities During Maternity Leave  

For optimal co parenting, finding a balance between roles and chores is crucial. But a balance does not mean both parents are doing as many chores as each other. In fact, one study1 revealed that “it did not matter who did what, but how satisfied people were with the division of labour." Partners can effectively work as a team to form a bond with their baby while mom recuperates.

First Time Dad Tips:

  • Pregnancy and postpartum recovery can be physically demanding. Discuss with your partner what tasks you can take on, such as cleaning, cooking, and grocery shopping. Expect to take up the majority of the household chores, especially in the early weeks of recovery, as your partner may be advised by their doctor to limit movement.

  • Take advantage of food delivery apps, meal prep, and nannies. Allow other willing family members to help you out as well in newborn care and household management.

  • Babies don't come with instruction manuals, so it's important to educate yourself on newborn care. Learn about changing diapers, feeding, and soothing techniques. This knowledge will help you confidently care for your baby. You may learn these essential skills by going to prenatal classes with your spouse.

  • Babies wake up frequently during the night, and sleep deprivation can be challenging. Share nighttime duties with your partner, taking turns to feed and soothe the baby. This allows both of you to get some rest and avoid feeling overwhelmed.


The Importance of the Confinement Period: Supporting Maternal Recovery and Bonding with the Baby

The postnatal confinement period is a critical time for mothers to recover from pregnancy and childbirth. It is also a chance for them to adapt to their new role as parent2.

Hence, moms need to focus on their healing and wellbeing.3 This means giving them the space to feel tired or sad after a tough day and understanding that parenting is a learning process and mistakes may occur along the way4.  

First Time Dad Tips:

  • Make your home a peaceful and loving environment for the baby and your partner. Offer help when needed, but also be understanding if she needs some space. Create a nurturing atmosphere where everyone can thrive.

  • Learn more about common issues that mothers face, such as breast engorgement, mastitis, sore nipples, and plugged ducts, and how you can help treat them. If your partner underwent a caesarean birth, check your partner's wounds for infection and learn how to change bandages, prepare medication, and apply ointments. Your wife needs rest to recover and will need assistance at this time7.    

  • Pregnancy and childbirth can be emotionally overwhelming for your partner. Just listening, being fully present, and displaying empathy can be really beneficial. But if you feel that she needs more support, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a therapist. Learn the signs of baby blues and postpartum depression, and when to seek help.7 


Creating a Support Network: Engaging Family, In-Laws, and Friends for Maternity Leave

During maternity leave, it is important for new moms and dads to include family, in-laws, and friends to establish a solid support network5. Doing so allows you to rest and bond with the baby. In addition, family and friends can support you not only in this time of recovery but throughout your entire life as parents.

First Time Dad Tips:

  • Families and friends will be excited to meet your little one. And while they are most welcome, you may choose to set boundaries. Manage the schedules and visiting hours in your home, limit mom and baby’s exposure to guests, and ensure that your family gets the rest they need.

  • You can start building a support system with family and friends even before birth. Discuss the type of support you need from them and how they can help.

  • For more practical advice and support from other first time dads, join an online parent community like the Enfamama A+ Club.


Preparing for Future Challenges and Returning to Work: Managing Logistics and Transitioning Back to the Workplace After Maternity Leave

Many moms in Singapore opt to return to work at the end of their maternity leave.4  To make a smooth transition, coordinate and collaborate with your partner to establish a new routine and determine who is in charge of what and when. Equal parenting responsibilities when it comes to chores may be impossible considering your different situations. But, remember, what is important is that you are satisfied with the division of labour1.

Together, you can run “practice days” before actually going back to work so you can “rehearse” a typical work day to get a real-time look at what was done right and what needs to be adjusted.4 This would also be a good way to test the waters and see how the baby responds to time away from mom and dad.

First Time Dad Tips:

  • While mom is on maternity leave, dads can consider availing their paternity leave, too. Talk to your company’s HR department regarding the details.   

  • The arrival of the baby will definitely affect work. Consider reflecting on your goals as partners and your shared vision for child rearing4. Would you like to consider having one parent focus on child-rearing? Would you consider bringing in a nanny or extended family to help with the daily tasks? What will the new division of parenting duties look like?

  • Finding reliable childcare is vital for times when parents cannot be with the baby. Vetting and trusting a reputable childcare service is an important co-parenting task to be undertaken together. Some of the things you need to consider when finding a childcare service are your baby’s safety, their meals, and your budget6.


Navigating co-parenting and parenthood during the first few weeks after birth and post maternity leave can be overwhelming. If you are looking for more tips, advice, or just support, join the Enfamama A+ Club. Find your community as well as explore other rewards and privileges to help you on your journey.


Frequently Asked Questions During Co-Parenting

Welcoming a baby into the world is a happy time, but it is also hard work. Learn from other parents and check out other important questions you would like answered about co-parenting.


  1. Is it too much to talk to my boss about lessening my workload as I adjust to going back to work?

    No. Postpartum moms and first time dads should be able to talk to their supervisors about available options for transitioning back to work. Be honest and open about your new role as a parent, and try to discuss expectations now that you have a baby.4 

  2. Is there such a thing as feeling “too attached” to my new baby?

    No. It might feel strange to start the process of going back to work or spending more time away from home after giving birth because this means leaving the baby more often. You may even feel guilty about returning to work.4

  3. When is it a good time to have co-parenting talks with my partner?

    As early as possible. The arrival of a baby, after all, changes your relationship, and that may lead to communication problems. Remember, no matter how close you were before the baby, your partner cannot read your mind8. As sharing housework and childcare is important, it is best to discuss it with each other as honestly and openly as possible.


Navigating co-parenting and parenthood during the first few weeks after birth can be overwhelming. If you are looking for more tips, advice, or just support, join the Enfamama A+ Club . Find your tribe of new moms and first time dads as well as other rewards and privileges to help you on your journey.

Join Enfamama A+ Club


Recommended articles:

  1. Types of Parenting Styles: Find the One That Works for You and Your Child
  2. The Ultimate Wellness Guide for New Moms
  3. Maternity Leave in Singapore: A Guide for Moms-to-Be?
  4. Pregnancy Guide Tutorial Videos


Expert Resource:
Dr. Tan Thiam Chye
Obstetrician and Gynaecologist


  1. Parents should do chores together, study says, Accessed September 9, 2023.

  2. Postnatal Confinement Period, Accessed September 9, 2023.

  3. The New Mother: Taking Care of Yourself After Birth Accessed September 9, 2023.

  4. How to Return to Work After Taking Parental Leave, Rebecca Knight, Published 2 Aug 2019, Retrieved 4 Aug 2023 from Accessed September 9, 2023.

  5. It Takes a Village: The Importance of a Support System for New Parents, Accessed September 9, 2023.

  6. Day Care 101: How to Choose the Best Day Care Facility for Your Family, Accessed September 14, 2023.

  7. Care After Delivery (Postpartum Care), Accessed September 9, 2023.

  8. Relationships after having a baby, Accessed September 9, 2023.