BACKGROUND Routine postnatal care normally addresses only the mother and her child. In Switzerland, counselling for all parents and their children is provided by family nurses in a community-based health care setting. We implemented a new approach to ensure father involvement within the framework of the Calgary Family Assessment (CFAM) and the Calgary Intervention Model CFIM of Wright and Leahey (2013) in the northwest of Switzerland. AIM This qualitative study explored how mothers and fathers experienced the newly developed family-centred consultation. METHOD Data collection was performed by means of participant observation and semi- structured interviews with a sample of five first-time parents with healthy neonates. Data were analysed by using content analysis according to Mayring. RESULTS Mothers and fathers experienced family-centred consultation as effective. They felt more secure and confident "to handle the new situation" and obtained trustful, concrete and professional support to take care of their baby, particularly with regard to breast feeding, crying and sleeping patterns. CONCLUSIONS Fathers felt included into postnatal care from the beginning. Family nursing offers a useful framework for family-centred postnatal health care.