For nine months, pregnant mommies carry a precious, tiny human. Baby is a part of her and she is a part of them. They eat together, sleep together, and grow together. It is often effortless for moms to bond with their babies, as they have shared a life for many months, but what about Dad? It is just as important for Dads to bond with their baby, but it can be a little intimidating trying to measure up to the intimacy felt between mother and child. Although this may be the case, there are plenty of ways for a father to bond with his baby and become just as close to his little one as his female counterpart. Here are five activities to get you started!
1. Although Moms do most of the feeding in a child’s early stages of life, Dads can be a huge help in regards to midnight feedings. After a feeding, Dads can help out enormously by letting Moms go back to sleep while rocking, comforting, and calming Baby. This a great way to allow Mom some extra rest, while Dads get a little one-on-one time with their child. If it is not too difficult or inconvenient, Moms can even pump enough breast milk for an extra bottle or two, so Dad can contribute to the feeding process as well.
2. Based on studies, moms and dads hold babies differently. Moms tend to be more gentle and close, while dads hold babies in a more firm or playful manner. This absolutely does not suggest being rough with your child, but it is important for him or her to be held in different ways by different people, leading to greater comfort in various situations with a variety of people. Dads should have plenty of physical contact with their baby, allowing the two of them to bond in their own special way. Babies love to be worn close to mom or dad in a sling, satchel, or strapped into a harness. There are many types of baby gear for you to choose from and there is something perfect for every family.
3. Talking to your baby is an incredibly healthy and helpful activity. Even reading the sports page of the newspaper or an article in a car magazine. This will not only allow for fathers to be vocal while his child learns, but it is a great way to spend time together while Dad is reading about the things that interest him, allowing for baby to be a part of Dad’s enjoyable, daily activities.
4. Be a part of your baby’s routine. Young children respond to consistency, in terms of a daily or nightly schedule. Dads should play a role in their child’s routine, helping the baby find comfort in structure while enjoying time with Dad.
5. Lastly, it is so important for Dads to be able to understand and support the needs and wishes of Moms. By paying attention to subtle clues, hints, or gestures, Dads can learn to be present for their families, which will create a stronger, healthier relationship. Parents that come together, help each other, and recognize how special and unique their child is will lead to a cohesive, powerful, fulfilling bond that is one of the most rewarding parts of parenting.
Although these may seem like simple solutions for Dads and their babies to bond, they are great tips to establish a solid foundation to raise happy, healthy individuals.
Picoult, Jodi (n.d.). Top tips for dads on bonding with your baby. Retrieved July, 2013 from http://www.babycenter.com/0_top-tips-for-dads-on-bonding-with-your-baby_3692.bc?page=2
Zawilinski, Kaelin (n.d.). 12 Ways for Dad to Bond with Baby. Retrieved July 2013 from http://www.parents.com/baby/new-parent/fatherhood/bond-with-dad/#page=12
Blog written by Rebecca Eisenberg. View more of Rebecca’s work here.
- The New Dad: Ways to Bond with Baby (babyzone.com)