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Boot Camp for New Dads®

A father-to-father, community-based workshop for new dads in the US, Canada and the UK

Photo of Kate Rushton

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I want to highlight these boot camps available for new dads as a way to both inform new dads but also to provide a support network for them. 

'Boot Camp for New Dads is a pioneer in the movement to strengthen the institution of fatherhood in America.

Boot Camp workshops feature veteran dads talking frankly about their experiences as they became dads and the issues they found to be most important. Each new group of veterans adds their own insights, which keeps the course content fresh and focused on the real needs of new fathers.

Boot Camp prepares men to be dads in all respects, starting with holding and comforting a real baby.  Veteran dads demonstrate burping, changing, swaddling, the "trouble shooter’s guide" to crying babies, etc., and deal with a broad set of issues including bonding, work hours, forming a parenting team, safety, preventing child abuse, dealing with relatives, etc. The experiences of thousands of Boot Camp veterans provide the course content and they place the strongest emphasis on the tremendous support new moms need from dads.

Source: Boot Camp for New Dads

Are there other groups or workshops for new dads that you are aware of? Do you have experiences of support groups for new dads? Would you share your experiences?

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

How might we provide support services and products to expectant and new dads to help them on the journey of fatherhood?

How does this research relate to our use cases and personas?

This relates to 'The Unusual Suspect', the expecting father

Tell us about yourself:

I am a Community Manager for this challenge

Are you currently an employee of Sutter Health or UCB Pharmaceuticals?

  • No

10 comments

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Photo of Neesha

This would be a great add on to my post on how we expect dads to be moms! Love the idea of a dad boot camp!

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Photo of Kate Rushton

Who else could there be boot camps for?

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Photo of Drake Van Egdom

There could be boot camps for mothers as well. The mothers bootcamp could focus on work-life balance and encouraging each other. The mom and dad boot camps could become a support group after they have had their babies.

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Photo of Bettina Fliegel

How about bootcamps for grandparents?
Thinking about the post and article linked below might bootcamps for grandparents provide a way to brainstorm on ways to support new moms positively?

Also, might it be a way to share new products, services, approaches to child rearing in a way that supports grandparents wisdom but also exposes them to new things and brings new ideas to the conversation so that they might feel up to date and empowered too? (Several posts here spoke about the gap between old ways and new ways of child rearing and pressure that new parents feel as they embark on their individual journeys.)

I wonder if grandparents might find it fun and social too?
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- https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/new-life/research/pregnant-women-and-new-mothers-feel-watched-and-judged

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/07/well/family/most-mothers-feel-judged-with-families-often-the-worst-critics.html?rref=collection%2Fbyline%2Fperri-klass&action=click&contentCollection=undefined&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=collection&mtrref=undefined&gwh=FA303259E39186B1C1D60586BAD90C45&gwt=pay

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Photo of Kate Rushton

I think we have a few ideas for the ideas phase here :-)

I can see a link to these posts:
Reimagining Maternity Leave Grandma vs The Doctor: Traditional and New Knowledge in Conflict 'Pregnant women and new mothers feel watched and judged'  

What would the content/delivery be like?

Bettina Fliegel - my parents (who are now grandparents) are struggling with trying to help but also not being too pushy, and trying to understand the new toys, ways of parenting etc. I think they would like this. They are incredibly sociable and when the grandchildren come over they would like to connect with other grandparents looking after grandchildren.

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Photo of Kate Rushton

Very interesting!

Gayanjith Premalal - do you think Lahiru and Sachini (in your post South Asian Way - The extended helping hand from the extended family ) would be interested in a bootcamp to help new moms maintain a work/life balance?

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Photo of Bettina Fliegel

Content/Delivery… Will need to think about this.
Off the top of my head - I wonder if the group might suggest topics that they want to know about in addition to something that is set? Maybe grandparents can each research and present on topics of interest?

Would this be run by a facilitator? In terms of this new research which shows parents feel judged by family it might be a good approach to have a facilitator present the research and provide guidance on how to be supportive in a positive way.

Could parents who have older kids contribute to content and present, report on new trends, tech, toys etc.?

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Photo of Gayanjith Premalal

Very interesting indeed :)

I was thinking about something similar but yet different. A bootcamp for parents to build trust with the people who will take care of their baby while they are away. I would attend that when I become a parent :)

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Photo of Kate Rushton

Hi Gayanjith Premalal ! I look forward to seeing that idea in the ideas phase - https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/new-life/ideas. I would recommend posting an idea early on in the challenge and building upon the idea in response to feedback.

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Photo of Balint Katona

Great, thanks for sharing Kate Rushton