Boot Camp for New Dads

Hollywood loves to portray new dads as clueless when it comes to babies.

These movie characters mean well but don’t seem to know, well, anything about infants. They gag at the sight of poop, put diapers on backwards and hold babies like they would carry a football. As a father, I know this is an unfair stereotype. So I was thankful for the opportunity to become an instructor for Boot Camp for New Dads, a workshop I wish had been offered in Huntsville when I became a father.

“Boot Camp for New Dads” is a national nonprofit program that has stood the test of time. More than 325,000 men have attended the workshops since 1990, making it the nation’s largest program for new fathers.

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Many dads prefer to learn about their baby using a hands-on approach instead of reading books. That’s why this class has been so successful in other communities such as Denver.

Because the workshops are for men only, soon-to-be-dads can pick the brains of guys who recently became fathers without a wife, girlfriend or mother-in-law looking over their shoulder. We try to keep things casual and relaxed. There are no stupid questions.

The workshops are designed to be fun, pairing expectant fathers with veteran dads to practice diaper changes and ways to soothe a crying baby. But we also tackle a few serious topics like Shaken Baby Syndrome and recognizing postpartum depression in new moms.

Boot Camp for New Dads Classes

Location: Huntsville Hospital (map)
Dates: Get the current schedule | all classes on Saturdays from 9AM – Noon
Cost: $25 per dad; includes the book Crash Course for Dads-To-Be
Phone: 256-265-7296 | Register Online

New Dad Boot CampABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mike Carson, pictured with his son, is a “Boot Camp for New Dads” instructor. He is also a pediatric physical therapist at Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children.