“When I became a parent, I wish I had known that it's okay not to have all the answers.”

“When I became a parent, I wish I had known that it's okay not to have all the answers.”

In celebration of Father’s Day, Nanit’s community of dads are passing along some sage advice to the next generation of fathers.
10 Books To Ease the Parenting Journey Reading “When I became a parent, I wish I had known that it's okay not to have all the answers.” 6 minutes Next Yes, Dads Get Postpartum Depression, Too

In a world where fatherhood is often navigated in silence, a small group of Nanit dads decided to break the mold this Father’s Day with a series of notes they wrote to the next generation of dads and dads-to-be. While society usually entrusts women with the wisdom of parenting, a dad’s insights are equally vital, albeit less frequently communicated. 

At Nanit, we believe in the power of community, wisdom and shared support on the parenting journey. We also believe in equitable parenting, where it’s on both parents to build a bridge to future generations. By lending their stories, these dads are shifting the narrative and fostering community for the next wave of fathers, proving that the journey of fatherhood is better together.

To the involved step-dad who is about to have his first biological kid:

Hey future dad (and current stepdad!)

Remember that rush when you found out a little one was on the way? Everyone's excited, and the "real dad" comments start rolling in.

Part of you celebrates no longer having that hyphenate attached to your self-image, right? But then...a little voice whispers, "Wait, wasn't I already a parent?" Here's the thing, future you: you were absolutely a dad before your baby arrived.

Being a stepdad is a special kind of fatherhood. We build bonds, navigate tricky emotions, and rewrite family scripts. Don't let anyone diminish that journey. Your step kids are lucky to have you, and trust me, that love and commitment will translate beautifully to your other kids.

So, here's to celebrating all the dads (step, bio, bonus, whatever!): the ones who show up, love fiercely, and create their own unique fatherhood stories. This new chapter is going to be incredible, but don't forget the amazing dad you already are.

-Peter, dad to Lily (7) and 1 on the way!

Congrats on joining the Dad club! 

I still remember that mixed feeling of joy, excitement, and sheer terror. But you got it, you already know what to do! Having a child is indescribable and satisfying at the deepest level. Be patient with yourself, your partner and your baby. You'll make mistakes, but babies are tougher than you think. Knowing that all stages are temporary helps to overcome the challenging times and savor the best moments. The early years are physically demanding for both parents, so pay attention to what you need and make time for yourself and your relationship with your partner. Your child needs a harmonious home more than anything else, and you will never go wrong by prioritizing it.

-Richard, dad to Ezra (15), Jonah (13) and Gayla (11)

It’s true, everything changes when you become a father. 

The baby you bring home will light up your world in many other ways normal life could never have done before. It truly has been a deeply spiritual experience. So prepare your mind and body, say your prayers, and don’t be afraid to lean on your loved ones. With that said, I’d like to give you some advice.

One thing I wish I knew before becoming a father was how much cleaning I’d be doing. Make sure your vacuum is in working order because you’ll be following a trail of Cheerios behind a baby before you know it! Another thing, take your time and slow down your pace in which you do things. Not just because you don’t want to miss everything but because there is only so much time in a day. 

Which brings me to my last piece of advice, give yourself some grace. Grace is forgiveness when we feel we or others are undeserving of it. You will fall short sometimes, but that’s just part of the process and what makes us human. Good luck all soon to be fathers! Gird up your loins and prepare for diaper duty!

-Dylan, dad to Graham (15 months)

When I first became a parent, I wish I had known that it's okay not to have all the answers. 

Parenthood is a learning process, and each day brings new lessons. In those early, stressful days, what helped me the most was leaning on my support system and trusting my instincts. It’s crucial to remember that you’re not alone—friends, family, and communities like Nanit are here to help.

Establishing routines with your partner is key. Communication and teamwork are essential to maintaining balance. My wife and I found that dividing responsibilities based on our strengths and schedules made a huge difference. For example, I handled night wakings while she managed early mornings.

I hope the next generation of parents will have even more resources and support to make their journey smoother. 

If you could see the future, it would be filled with the joy and fulfillment from watching your child grow and thrive, despite the inevitable challenges.

As for me, I’m excited about continuing to innovate and support parents through Nanit, ensuring that every parent has the tools they need to succeed.

Wishing you all the best on this beautiful adventure.

-Tor Ivry, dad to Omri (15), Guy (13), and Shir (9)

Dear Dad-To-Be,

Congratulations! You're about to embark on the wildest, messiest, most heartwarming adventure of your life. I mean, who knew one tiny human could produce so much... everything? Diapers will become your new best friend, and you’ll develop ninja-like reflexes for dodging the unexpected.

There will be moments when you'll look at your little one and think, "How can something so small make me feel so much?" And there will be other moments when you’ll question your sanity after the third consecutive sleepless night. But remember, you're not alone—every dad goes through this.

Embrace the chaos. Yes, you'll get peed on, and yes, there will be epic meltdowns (from both of you). But there will also be those magical firsts: the first smile, the first giggle, the first time they reach out and grab your finger with a grip so strong it feels like they're holding onto your heart.

Don’t be afraid to get silly. Sing those ridiculous lullabies, make funny faces, and revel in the pure, unfiltered joy that comes from making your baby laugh. Lastly, take a deep breath and remember: you've got this. And don’t forget to pack a change of clothes.

-Evan, dad to Leo (11) and Margot (7)

Looking to connect with likeminded parents and hear more stories from our community? Follow us on social and join the Nanit Community!

Nanit is dedicated to delivering high-quality, reliable content for our readers. Our Parent Confidently articles are crafted by experienced parenting contributors and are firmly rooted in data and research. To ensure the accuracy and relevance of the content, all articles undergo a rigorous review process by our team of parenting experts. Additionally, our wellness-related content receives further scrutiny from Nanit Lab, our think tank of scientists, engineers, physicians, academic experts, and thought leaders.

Our primary objective is to furnish readers with the most current, trustworthy, and actionable information concerning a host of parenting topics. We strive to empower our readers to make informed decisions by offering comprehensive and respected insights.

In pursuit of transparency and credibility, our articles incorporate credible third-party sources, peer-reviewed studies, and abstracts. These sources are directly linked within the text or provided at the bottom of the articles to grant readers easy access to the source material.

CONTRIBUTORS

Natalie Barnett, PhD serves as VP of Clinical Research at Nanit. Natalie initiated sleep research collaborations at Nanit and in her current role, Natalie oversees collaborations with researchers at hospitals and universities around the world who use the Nanit camera to better understand pediatric sleep and leads the internal sleep and development research programs at Nanit. Natalie holds a Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of New England in Australia and a Postgraduate Certificate in Pediatric Sleep Science from the University of Western Australia. Natalie was an Assistant Professor in the Neurogenetics Unit at NYU School of Medicine prior to joining Nanit. Natalie is also the voice of Nanit's science-backed, personalized sleep tips delivered to users throughout their baby's first few years.

Kristy Ojala is Nanit’s Digital Content Director. She spends way too much time looking at maps and weather forecasts and pictures of Devon Rex cats and no-cook dinners. A former sleep champion, she strives to share trustworthy somnabulism tips with other parents—praying for that one fine day when no tiny humans wake her up while it’s still dark out. Her kids highly recommend 3 books, approximately 600 stuffies, Chopin’s “Nocturnes,” and the Nanit Sound + Light for bedtime success.

Mackenzie Sangster is on the Brand and Community team at Nanit. She supports content development and editing for Nanit’s Parent Confidently blog as well as other marketing initiatives. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her friends, cooking, being active, and using the Pro + Flex Duo to keep an eye on her fur-baby, Poppy!

Holly Hays is a contributor and writer for Nanit, channeling her years as a mama and former magazine editor to create fun, useful content for fellow busy, trying-to-do-their-best parents and caregivers. Holly has written for a wide range of brands and media outlets (Ergobaby, HGTV, Manhattan Toy Company, OXO), loves to cook and read mystery novels, and leans heavily on her two daughters to keep her up to date on all the latest slang.