first off, congratulations!!!! This is a wonderful time. But it can also be very overwhelming for the mother. Take part in this. Allow her to sleep some during the night(take turns getting up with her, if bottle feeding), Volunteer to change diapers, make bottles(if bottle feeding), Let her go take a long bath or shower while you tend to her. Tell her how good she looks(even if she doesnt) tell her how proud you are of her, how great of a job she is doing, tell her she's an awesome mom, Give her attention too and not just that beautiful baby. Shes gonna be upset with her body probably. tell her how well she's shaping up. theres just so much you can do, I could never list it all. You will only have this day ONE time, please enjoy it, dont take it for granted. It may seem sooo long, but you'll look back one day and wonder where all the time went. Have NO regrets!!! and Good Luck. If you ever have any questions these people on here are here for you. Just ask. They are more then willing to help. They have helped me with so much.
When I 1st wrote this I thought I was writing to a woman. So I guess you could just pass these words along.
Like magic said, take turns in the night getting the baby. Pump milk if you're nursing so that your hubby can help with some feedings and you can get much needed sleep. We would take 4 hour shifts at night. That way the other person knew they could get atleast 4 straight hours of sleep. It's not a lot, but it's better than nothing.
Remember that you are human and it is normal to get upset with the little one. If you feel yourself getting stressed out and ready to snap, put the baby in the crib and walk away for a minute. It may sound scary, but it's most likely to happen (no sleep, screaming child, everything different than it used to be, it can be very rough at times) Your baby will be fine if they are crying for a few minutes. I always remember that no baby every exploded from crying for a few minutes (though it seems like they might )
Get out of the house EVERY DAY without the baby. I know this is very hard in the beginning, but you really need to do it. Even if it's just a walk around the block or a quick trip to the store. It doesn't mean you don't love your baby to feel the need to get out and away. It's really important for your mental health.
Ask for help! Don't try to do everything yourself. Take any help that is offered. And don't worry about your house being messy for a while. Make friends with other new moms, thery won't mind your house being messy
The most important thing is taking care of you and the baby. Everything else can wait for a while.
And like the other poster said, savor the quiet times when you are rocking in the chair feeding your little baby. They do not stay little for very long.
"Go slowly, breathe and smile" Thich Nhat Hanh
You may already have done this, but I bought my wife a gift each time she had a baby. Something useful - such as body lotions, massage appointments - would probably be appreciated. But I'm sure she'd also like jewelry.
The other posters had great advice, so I back up what they say about participating. Some of my happiest memories of my two boys being babies are of those middle of the night times when my wife was sleeping and I was with our infants. With our first boy, I remember those 2 a.m. bottle feedings that sometimes lasted 45 minutes while he slowly sucked down 4 ounces of milk. He'd fall asleep sometimes in the middle, but always woke up again to finish. I'd listen to music softly and hold him close. It's hard to believe that was six years ago.
My second one liked to sleep on me. We'd lie on the den couch together late at night while my wife and our older boy slept upstairs. I'd usually try to stay awake, because my wife was scared he'd fall off the couch if I wasn't careful. But one time, I woke up with him sleeping peacefully on my stomach and was shocked to see 4 hours had gone by!
It only gets more fun (and challenging) as they grow, so enjoy the early times as much as you can. The more you put in, the more you'll get out of fatherhood. My two boys and I are as close as can be (and they're just as close to me as to my wife), and I really think all the time I spent giving them baths, feeding them and holding them when they were little babies contributes to this.
thanks for the thoughts all are vey good. i have been the one getting up for the past few nights and boefore that we do it together. i am really enjoyinh it but lookin forwar to it ending. next stage please. thanks again