Bob Sears, MD

Dr. Sears is a dad of 19-, 16-, and 10-year-old sons,  a pediatrician, and the author of The Baby Book and Father’s First Steps. Dr. Sears is spokesperson for Crosscare Ltd., the manufacturer of Colief.

What was the biggest challenge you faced as a dad, and how did you overcome it? When our first child was born, the loss of alone time for myself, quiet time with my wife, and the sharing of my wife’s time and energy with a baby all came as a big shock to me. Of course, it makes perfect sense in hindsight, but I wasn’t really prepared for the change. I was initially frustrated: “Why can’t life be the same?” “Why can’t my wife pay just as much attention to me as she used to?” I was young, immature, and a little selfish, I guess.

What helped me is to embrace my new role as a father, to grow up, become humble, and take my commitment as a husband seriously. I got connected to the new baby, and I think my wife will now say that I’m a darn good father and a pretty good husband — 19 happy years later!

What’s the one thing about being a new dad that shouldn’t be missed? Bonding, bonding, bonding. New moms usually become automatically bonded to a baby through labor and breastfeeding. Some dads do, too, but some hold back and let mom do all “the baby stuff.” I encourage dads to begin holding their baby right away, during the first hour (if you can get the baby away from Mom). I used to spend hours each day holding our babies while they slept. That was my “nursing” time. I feel that this attachment made a huge difference in how I developed as a father.

Career, marriage, kids … how does a guy stay sane? Find your “thing” — your hobby or pastime that brings you relaxation and restores your mind. For me, it happens to be reading (not medical books but just plain reading for fun). I also like mountain biking. For many dads, it might be golf, surfing, other sports, fishing, hunting, collecting stamps, whatever. Find something you can do on a routine (enough) basis that helps you “get away,” but doesn’t take up so much time that you neglect your role as a father and/or husband.

Dr. Sears’s Q&As

What causes colic and how can it be relieved?

What are your thoughts on natural or alternative medicines for my children?

Profile by Wyatt Myers