New dad Shannon Mott learns everything he needs to know about caring for his daughter Kimberlee Mott.
New dad Shannon Mott learns everything he needs to know about caring for his daughter Kimberlee Mott. Max Fleet BUNDAD

New book helps first-time dads

KEEPING a baby firing on all pistons with clean oil can be an incredibly daunting exercise for new dads.

But thanks to a new booklet, help is on the way - in language the men will understand.

To help make sure dad has all the tools, the booklet, called 24 Hr Cotside Assistance, is set to be given to every new dad who comes through Bundaberg Hospital.

Funded by the Rotary Club of Bundaberg East, the booklet is written much like a car manual, comparing some of a baby's functions to a car.

"A good supply of top-grade breast milk and a happy mum are important to top performance of your model," the booklet says in the "fuel consumption" section.

It also reminds dads to pitch in on the housework.

In the section for "troubleshooting" a crying mum, dads are told to take over the household chores and encourage mum to take a nap.

For new dad Shannon Mott, of Childers, the booklet came just in time.

"I'm sure the book is going to give me new skills," he said.

"There are always more than two ways to do a job."

The first-time dad has not been shy about getting his hands dirty, giving daughter Kimberlee her first "oil change" (nappy change) and first bath.

Uniting Care Community men and relationship counsellor Alex Johnson said the booklet aimed to provide helpful tips for dads in a way they would understand.

"There is lots of research which says that for dads who are more meaningfully involved, children have better outcomes," he said.

Community Family Health early intervention parenting specialist Graeme McMillan said the manual was a great way for dads to learn.

"The Engaging Dad's working group, part of the Bundaberg Family and Baby Network, decided that the books would be a great way of keeping new dads informed and engaged," he said.

Booklet facts

24 Hr Cotside Assistance will be given to all new dads at Bundaberg Hospital

The Rotary Club of Bundaberg East donated $2000 to buy 1200 of the manuals

Produced by the Family and Baby Network