“It’s challenging at times,” Pelphrey tells PEOPLE of new parenthood, before adding, “It’s the most beautiful thing ever”
Tom Pelphrey is enjoying life as a first-time dad.
In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE, the Ozark actor, 40, opened up about his and Kaley Cuoco‘s daughter, Matilda, born March 30, and how he’s adjusting to new parenthood.
“It’s amazing. It’s heaven, it’s challenging at times,” says Pelphrey. “It’s the most beautiful thing ever.”
“I’m so grateful to have a partner who I love to do it with because just two days with a baby in the house and I think of parents who are raising kids by themselves, and I don’t even understand how they do it,” he admits. “My respect for single parents has gone through the roof.”
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Asked what the most surprising thing about being a dad is, Pelphrey shares, “It really has been surprising to me that it feels intuitive. There’s just something about how to hold her and how to burp her and intuiting what she wants sometimes when she’s upset.”
“That surprises me because I’ve been around a bunch of babies and I have nieces that I love that I was pretty comfortable with. But for the most part, it was like, ‘Oh, don’t hand me that baby. I don’t want to break it.’ And it hasn’t felt that way at all with Matilda,” he continues. “So that’s been a surprise in a good way.”
Pelphrey also reveals how he came to be a self-proclaimed “king of swaddling.”
“When we were in the hospital, any nurse who came in, I would videotape them doing the swaddle because everyone has a slightly different technique. And I settled on one that works the best for me and I feel very good about my swaddling abilities.”
When it comes to the next year of being a family of three, Pelphrey is looking forward to the simple things.
“Just getting to take her in the stroller on a walk makes the whole idea of taking a walk more magical and special.”
He adds, “I really am excited for all of the holidays, eventually going to the East Coast and her getting to meet the rest of my family and my friends there. And it really does just makes everything magical again.”
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