Muhammed Nitoto sums up the answer to that new dad question “what is there for me to do” in five digestible points
Nothing in the world prepares you for that overnight transformation of becoming a parent, which can be truly terrifying. It’s pretty common for expectant moms to join online support groups or local mom groups, get advice from everyone they know (and even total strangers) to gather the information and support they need that will help with those first few weeks postpartum. Unfortunately, expectant dads don’t exactly have the same abundance of resources, leaving many of them at a loss with what to expect. Especially when it comes to the topic of breastfeeding.
Muhammed Nitoto, a California biological father of two and stepfather of three, started chronicling his journey as a father on social media for this very reason. Inspired by Breastfeeding Awareness Month, Muhammed decided to “drop some knowledge” on all the dads out there, offering five tips to his fellow fathers about breastfeeding. His post has gone viral and it is helpful to the point that every expectant and new father needs to read it, like, yesterday.
“Here’s what it looks like for the first few weeks or months after your child is born,” he wrote, along with a photo of his wife nursing their new baby. “Yup if mom breastfeeds they pretty much are tucked like this and at times you’ll wonder what is there for me to do?” Luckily, this brilliant father comes to the rescue.
He starts his five-point tutorial with night feedings. “When mom wakes up in the middle of the night. You get up and ask if she needs any help or water. The truth is most of the time she will say no but just the fact that you offered will go far,” he wrote. Yep.
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Daddy Chronicles I could put them in their beds. I mean that's what the books will tell you. They say you have to teach them to sleep on their own but here's some truth for you. You children will out grow moments like this soon and you'll wish you held on longer. Now do i put them in their own bed? Yes! But sometimes they sleep like this and i don't move them. I just hold them close so i can smell them just like when they were new borns, then i get comfortable and fall asleep with them. They will always be my babies but they will only be this small for a little while. No need to rush them to grow up. #theblackmancan #daddydaughter #daddiesgirls #thechroniclesofdaddy #lifestyle #love #daddygang #nitotogirls #twoundertwo #daddysgirls #afrofitness #blackgirlmagic #blackdads #blackfamily #blackfathers #frobabies #blackexcellence #smile #dontforgetdads #wivesandmothers #thedadgang #blackmomsblog #luvblacklove #bestfriendgoals #daddiesdothistoo #lifeofadad #strongblackfathers
His next tip is to ask the mother if she can pump and then pick one feeding that he can take care of with a bottle. “Mom will take on almost everything and will burn herself out if you let her. At times you may have to force her to rest without worrying about the baby,” he writes. “This is an easy way to do that without a fight.”
While the next tip seems obvious, clearly it isn’t to some dads: Don’t put a time limit on how long mom breastfeed the baby. “It’s not just about feeding your child it’s about them bonding as well,” he explains. “I know everyone has a different [sic] length of time they will breastfeed and as a Dad it’s hard to fully understand. Do not I repeat DO NOT try and rush this process it’s not our place and it’s not safe. You will open yourself up to a fight you can’t win.” So, not only is Muhammed helping all y’all dads out there with how to help out, but also keeping you from getting into it with a sleep deprived woman with sore boobs going on very little sleep. Listen to him, guys. He’s onto something here.
He also touches upon the fact that the newborn stage can be emotionally difficult for dads, because babies are so attached to mom the first few weeks. “Be patient,” he advises. “I know as a Dad the first few weeks we are equally excited and yet not as important yet. Your time will come faster than you know. Babies grow fast and the stronger bigger they get the more Daddy Time will be coming your way.” Muhammed is not only a brilliant man, but a sensitive one at that.
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Daddy Chronicles Took this pic like last week or so. Can't remember cuz we wasn't cool at the time. I came from the living room (that's where I go when I need my space) and peeked in on her while she was resting and just watched her sleep a little while. Couldn't let her know cuz of course when you mad at someone you gotta act like you don't care. Lol but anyways my ninja was sleep and I thought "ugh she just gonna sleep while I'm mad at her ass. I should make some noise that wake her up so she can be super mad." Lol petty I know don't judge me. But I didn't instead I just watch her sleep because as petty as I wanted to be I wanted her to rest more. I don't always like her, hell she don't always like me either but that's normal in any relationship. There are countless attractive people in the world and when things are good you can literally deal with anyone. But when disagreements, arguments and just shit comes up you'll find if the person your with is just fun or really someone you want to be with. So that's why I don't care to post a #wcw cuz sometimes on Wednesday I don't like her ass but Monday through Sunday I fucks with this woman. Happy or Mad, Irritated or Pissed I love her. Would literally snatch the teeth out a shark's mouth for her. But id also leave the toliet seat up on purpose if she makes me mad. It's love balance lol Tag your partner you love even when they on your nerves. #theblackmancan #daddydaughter #daddiesgirls #thechroniclesofdaddy #lifestyle #love #daddygang #nitotogirls #twoundertwo #daddysgirls #afrofitness #blackgirlmagic #blackdads #blackfamily #blackfathers #frobabies #blackexcellence #smile #dontforgetdads #wivesandmothers #thedadgang #blackmomsblog #luvblacklove #bestfriendgoals #daddiesdothistoo #lifeofadad #strongblackfathers
Lastly, but certainly not the least important, he suggests that if dads are given the opportunity, they should take paternity leave. “The early stages of a childs [sic] life are not just for moms to enjoy,” he writes. “I know as men making the money especially after having a baby but trust me. You can always make money but there are no instant replays in life. It doesn’t make you more of a man to not take the leave. It’s equally as important that you as a Dad get to be a part of the early development of your child.”
Nitoto tells Scary Mommy that he started blogging about fatherhood to keep his family, who lived in other cities, updated on what was going on. However, he also felt like other dads needed more resources. “Honestly, we as men don’t have a lot of things we can pull from that really tells us what to expect,” he explains. “I became a Dad and was seriously thrown into the fire. Expected to learn on the job. I wanted to share with other men what I’ve learned.”
He is truly overwhelmed by the response and plans on continuing to drop his knowledge about fatherhood on his social media channels. You can follow Muhammed’s fatherhood journey and tap into his advice on Instagram.