Devon Uttley, Graduate
Devon Uttley, 34, a web designer from Englewood who took the parenting class for dads and taught by dads at Swedish Medical Center before the birth of his first child, shares some of what he learned:
Q: What were your biggest fears as a new-dad-to-be?
A: Just learning how to take care of such a fragile little creature and thinking: What if I do this wrong? What if I don't hold her right? How am I going to teach her to read or tie her shoes? I kind of came to the reality that I was having a baby in the class. It really hadn't sunk in yet.
Q: What did you learn that really surprised you?
A: How important a father figure is in a little girl's life. I knew we were having a daughter, and it really made me think a little more. And the realization of the lack of sleep that you are going to get at first but that you can deal with it.
Q: What helped you the most once your baby was born?
A: Honestly, it sounds really basic, but how to change a diaper. I had never changed a diaper before and had never even really seen it done.
Q: What else?
A: The reasons why a baby cries. I always thought that it was just either that they were tired, hungry or needed changing. I learned that there are a variety of reasons a newborn will cry (i.e. gas, anxiety). And this is really important: We also talked about how we could get frustrated when the baby won't stop crying and how the best thing to do at that point is to put the baby down in the crib and go out and take five or 10 minutes. Let them cry. It's not going to hurt them, but it's going to do you a lot of good.
Q: Would you recommend the class to all new dads?
A: Absolutely. It alleviated a lot of the fear of the unknown, and you learned a lot about how to take care of and be there for your little baby and mom.
Register now for the Boot Camp for New Dads or call 866-7SWEDISH.