New fathers learn the ropes of parenting during “Boot Camp for New Dads”

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Parenthood brings responsibility that is unmatched. A group of dads, new and experienced, gathered at Huntsville Hospital’s Dowdle Center on Saturday morning to go over the basics.

David Rhodes and his wife, Kristen, will become a party of three this September.

“Her name is going to be Hazel Marie,” Rhodes said. “So, it’s two against one now.”

Rhodes is working on his future role as he enters the home stretch.

Just to cover all the bases, might as well take the three hour class just to get it all ready,” Rhodes said of his decision to attend Boot Camp for New Dads.

There are three things that time Rhodes’ “dad” priority list.

How to be the best dad, how to make sure [Kristen’s] okay, how to make sure the baby’s okay,” Rhodes said. “Make sure I’m doing my part as well.”

Pediatric Physical Therapist Michael Carson coaches the fear out of first time fatherhood.

“They may have never touched a baby, held a baby before so it’s just a laid back time where they can get their hands on a baby, and get their questions asked,” Carson explained.

With a 13 month old baby, he is essentially a pro. So, he called on other veteran fathers to get the “boot camp” class into formation.

“Supporting moms and being more involved with their children, it helps them bond earlier, it helps the family dynamics,” Carson said.

The class covers all areas that will move fathers from rookie to pro in no time.

The classes are offered to new fathers at the Dowdle Center one Saturday each month. The cost is $18 for Huntsville Hospital employees and $25 for non-employees. Future fathers can find out more information from the class’s page, www.hhwomenandchildren.org/classes/daddy-boot-camp.