Expecting our first in about 6-8 weeks. Both my wife and I work at places with strong parental leave policies. We are considering staggering our leaves (I’d take a couple weeks right when the baby is born, then go back to work until her leave runs out, then go out) to save $$ on child care. Would also have a bit of family help during the first 4-6 weeks as well. Any experienced dads think this is a bad idea?

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This is a good idea. As the Dad, definitely take the second shift as you’ll be much more useful after 3-6-9 months.

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Agree with this. Your baby isn’t mobile and will sleep mostly in the first couple of months. If you have family help that will allow your wife to get some sleep, not much help for you until the baby is a little older.

We decided not to stagger, because we a) wanted lots of time together as a young family b) didn’t think the child care savings would be big for us (we were going to rely on family) and c) a first child is ton of work. To elaborate on c): we have been so glad that there are two of us. Obviously know that people do it by themselves all the time, but it is a LOT of work for the first 12 weeks (varies with how easy your kid is) and it’s been huge being able to take turns, institute protected KPI during the day, etc...

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I took three months at the beginning and thought it was great. Lots do the stagger too but your wife needs more than two weeks of help

I did the stagger. Would recommend for first child. I’m about to have a second and don’t think staggering is realistic this time.

Agree with staggering. I took PTO for two weeks after the birth, then did months 4-7. My kid was already sleeping through the night by then which made it awesome.

Definitely recommend staggered, especially with COVID-19. Currently on leave that I staggered with my wife for our first kid. I took 2 weeks and my MIL was here for 3. My wife had 15 week's total and I am on leave for 16. I get to spend every day just focused on my daughter and enjoy watching her grow and learn. She will be 7 months old when I go back and 4 months of childcare savings in the bay area is immense.

I did this, it was a great idea (picked up months 4-5). You might want to take more than 2 weeks initially if you can, also. The whole first month can be rough, and it was way easier because my wife and I were both around.

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