'Boot Camp for New Dads' workshops available for expectant dads

First time offering of unique 'Boot Camp for new Dads" workshop to be provided at Lawrence Memorial Hospital. Uploaded

First time offering of unique 'Boot Camp for new Dads" workshop to be provided at Lawrence Memorial Hospital. Uploaded by Charlie Bryan

Boot Camp for New Dads, a unique program for expectant dads, is being offered for the first time at Lawrence Memorial Hospital through a partnership with Dads of Douglas County.

Lawrence resident Vince Romero, 43, volunteers with Dads of Douglas County as a 'Boot Camp for New Dads' coach at Lawrence Memorial Hospital. With a family of five children, Romero describes the Boot Camp workshop as unique and a huge confidence builder for expectant dads.

“Men should be more confident and comfortable as they become fathers," said Romero. "When a dad-to-be sees a new dad caring for, playing with, and enjoying his baby, it has a huge impact on how he sees his own impending fatherhood. There's just no replacing the confidence this instills.”

The three-hour workshop pairs new fathers who have an infant with expectant fathers. The goal is to give the expectant dads the knowledge and tools to use to become confident and engaged dads. The new fathers will talk about topics such as bonding, work hours, forming a parenting team, safety, preventing child abuse, dealing with relatives, and recognizing the symptoms and differences between baby blues and post-partum depression.

“It’s an awesome program where the veteran dads come in and bring their babies and talk candidly about what to expect,” Romero said. “It’s fun to watch these macho-looking guys hold a baby for the first time and then just see their hearts melt.”

Registration for the Boot Camp workshop, which costs $10, is available at the Lawrence Memorial website, lmh.org, for the following dates and times:

Saturday, June 18, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. (14 openings available; registration closes June 14)

Saturday, Oct. 15, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

How does Boot Camp work?

• Men typically attend the workshop 1-2 months before their first baby arrives.

• Dads-to-be ask questions, express concerns and get hands-on time holding, changing or feeding babies.

• Veteran dads answer questions, share their experiences and demonstrate burping, changing, swaddling, and troubleshooting a crying baby.

• Coaches educate about parenting topics and facilitate discussion.

Real men, real babies, real-world advice.

This combination – dads, dads-to-be and babies – in a room for three hours makes for great chemistry. The dads-to-be are all eyes and ears as they watch the veteran dads feed, burp, change and care for their babies while hearing their experiences and advice. A strong sense of solidarity quickly develops between these men and peaks when the dads give their babies to the dads-to-be for hands-on training. There are few other opportunities for new dads to obtain the insights of other men on the challenges of becoming a father.

Boot Camp for New Dads is the nation’s largest program for expectant fathers, operating in 260 communities across 45 states. More than 300,000 men have graduated from the program. Lawrence Memorial Hospital and Dads of Douglas County partnered to provide the program to get new dads connected and positively involved so they remain a strong and constructive force throughout their children’s lives.

For more information about the Boot Camp for New Dads program please contact Dads of Douglas County at info@dadsofdouglascounty.org or (785) 813-1846.


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