How has life changed for new dad Marc Lesser? Well, for one, he hasn't slept more than two to three consecutive hours since his son, Sam, arrived a month ago. Lesser gets up with his wife for overnight feedings.
"I'm the baby passer," he told me during an interview when he could have been sleeping instead.
When the baby wakes up, Lesser passes him from the crib to his wife, Pauline, then takes a cat-nap before burping and rocking the baby to sleep when feeding time is over.
OK, moms, how many of you are jealous right now?
"I don't want to make myself sound better than I am because there are certain feedings that after I pass him off, I pass out," he joked.
Fatherhood has clearly changed from when I grew up and dads were about as likely to wake during the night as they were to actually give birth. As even Prince William demonstrated in a recent interview with CNN, his first since the birth of his son George, modern dads are more and more involved and wouldn't have it any other way.
But there's a huge learning curve for first-time dads, which can make them feel clueless even as they jump up to help with the diaper changes and bottle feedings. I asked dads to share what surprised, delighted and woke them up in a cold sweat during their first days of parenting.
In conversations with fathers across the country, a common fear -- during those earliest days -- emerged: How exactly do you handle a newborn?
Mike Little, a father of identical twin boys in Birmingham, Michigan, said he had never changed a diaper before his kids were born. "I just thought I don't know if I am going to be any good at this," he said in between yawns. (His kids are just 6 months old!)
"It comes to you pretty quick. I was changing diapers with no problem," he said.
Lesser, worried his son might stop breathing, did something I actually still do (even though my kids are 5 and 7!): He checked the baby's chest to make sure he was still breathing.
Now that he's tackled that anxiety, and considers himself a "master swaddler," he can focus on what he calls his "future fears." The founder of a video production company called Lucky Tiger Productions (we worked together previously during my time at iVillage.com), Lesser said the pressure of providing for a new family can be overwhelming and lead to lots of questions.
"Like will I remain gainfully employed and take care of this family?" he said with a laugh. "And then the other, I guess, is just I hope I don't pass on all my neuroses."
Some new fathers are a bit more freewheeling.
Peter Shankman, a successful New York entrepreneur and proud father of 13-week-old Jessa, recently spent five days alone with his daughter while his wife was overseas for work.
"I was thrilled to tell her ... that the kid has all her fingers, all her toes," he said, describing his phone conversation with his wife. "She's been in a new outfit every day."
Shankman said he wasn't worried at all about going solo, and bases his confidence on the logic that kids have been surviving for years without their parents' sterilizing bottles and everything else.
"You don't have to Purell your life away," he joked.
Go-to gadgets for dads
To keep tabs on their little ones, some of the dads I talked with have come up with some, let's say, unusual approaches.
Shankman reached out to friends in the security industry, and installed a device on his daughter's crib, which sends an alert to his phone when there is any motion above the height of the crib.
"There is something to be said for having a dad who is a complete geek," he joked.
Lesser is resorting to some more traditional devices, calling the "pee-pee teepee," which covers the boy's penis during diaper changes, his "savior."
"I've learned the hard way because definitely at 5 o'clock in the morning, there'd be a couple of times where I forget to put it on and the next thing I know I feel something warm on my shirt," he said.