Class helps Airmen report for daddy duty
AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash. — When a couple is expecting for the first time, it’s hard to know exactly what to expect. That’s why Fairchild Air Force Base put on their own class for new fathers, so they’re ready when duty calls.
Airman Jordan Beckner just got the good news.
“Me and my wife just found out last week,” Beckner said.
That’s why he came to Dads: The Basics, a Department of Defense program offered at FAFB. Another Airman told him to check out the class to help get ready for the new baby.
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“He said if you were having a kid, this is a perfect place. This is a good way to kind of get your head wrapped around it,” Beckner said.
But, most guys don’t want to learn how to put on a diaper alone, so Beckner brought Michael Lanning with him to class.
“I thought it would be beneficial to come along and be prepared for the future,” Lanning said.
Airman Michael Lanning and his wife aren’t expecting right now, but he said knowing how to swaddle a baby may come in handy one day, especially when he helps with his nephew.
This class covered more than just the basics, despite its name.
“We learned what to do if a baby is crying, how to comfort them, kind of the every day process and what to expect for child delivery,” Lanning said.
Mary Puffet Cook, FAFB New Parent Support Nurse, said the curriculum covered an overview of fathering styles and challenges, how to support a partner during pregnancy, and ways to bond and attach with a new baby. The course included a hands-on experience where attendees used baby dolls to practice swaddling and changing diapers.
“We really want dads to bond and be involved with their babies. We find that babies grow and develop better, [have] high IQs, and lower cortisol levels. They’re much healthier, so we really like moms and dads to co-parent,” Puffet Cook said.
Nurse Puffet Cook said it’s important for parents to rely on each other, especially at FAFB, where they’re often away from family and friends.
Beckner said he’s grateful for the help.
“It definitely feels like a weight off your chest, like you’re not alone in it. Someone is always going to be there to reach out to you and help you,” Beckner said. “Things you learn here, they make a lifelong importance, literally, on your child.”
Dads: The Basics is one of many programs available to support families on base.
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