Dad and Baby Bonding
As a newborn’s father, I can attest to the challenge some men will face with immediate bonding with their baby. For a mother, in most cases, it’s instinctive and the bonding comes almost instantly as soon as the baby takes her first rest on mommy’s chest.
In my case, I was fortunate in a weird way, as my wife had a C-section and got first dibs on holding our first angel. I had some serious bonding time and got a head start. Most dads won’t experience this. This is because, in reality, we play second fiddle. It is generally the mother who will, of course, feed the baby, spend more time with the baby, and get the baby to sleep. This is particularly true if the dad has to go back to work and has even less and less time as work usually will mean he will leave when the baby is awake, and get home when the baby is sleeping.
When dads are in the thick of it and have some quality time to spend with baby, here are some little tips to help break the ice!
Once you’re in a regular breastfeeding routine, you can pump a bottle’s worth of milk so dad can do a midnight (or late night) feed, and have some real one-on-one time. There will be no one around, the baby should be quite peaceful, and it can be a really beautiful time to share between them. It was for me.
I remember the first time we strapped our little one in a rear-facing baby carrier and walked around the shops with her sleeping on my chest. If she wanted to look up, she’d see my face and smile – a great way to spend some time together and still go about your day.
My father-in-law used to tell us about how the most exciting part of his day was coming home from a long day at work to bathe the children. It was his job and he loved it.
Read (Almost) Anything!
Reading to baby is great for her, even if she has no idea what you’re saying. Baby books can get pretty repetitive, so dads, don’t be afraid to pick up the sports page or the like, and get your fix all while entertaining and spending time with your little one.
“If your baby is old enough to be eating solid food, you might as well be the maitre d’. It’s entertaining — see the food go in, and watch it come right back out!” // www.babycenter.com
Change a Diaper
Get in there man and prepare to get your hands dirty! I remember saying “there is no way I can change a diaper!”, but once you get started it’s not as bad as you would think. It’s great for several reasons, not the least of which includes the contact time. You’ll feel more at ease to talk to the little one, more and more.
When the Times get Tough (or Cold)
“Nobody wants their baby to get sick, but there’s nothing like an illness to prove how much the little guy really needs you. A night spent rocking a sick child will make you painfully, preciously aware of what parenting is all about.” // www.babycenter.com
Workout with Baby
I’m not talking about working out at the local gym.
Has anyone here seen those “got a door, got a gym!” infomercials?
I’m here to tell you, you have a baby which means you’ve got a great weight that increases resistance by the day! This is within reason of course! There won’t be any baby kettlebell swings going on here! Once the baby is strong enough to hold her head up, things such as bench presses and curls are old favorites that baby will love.
Playtime can be fun and daddies always do it different than mommies!
“Studies have shown that mothers and fathers hold their babies in very different ways: Moms are more likely to cuddle. Dads tend to get a little more physical.” // www.babycenter.com
A fun way to get some playtime in is to bounce your baby on your knee or carry her around like she’s flying – the classic daddy/daughter, daddy/son games. These are always favorites!
What are some of your favorite bonding moments? Share with us and read our other articles for more ideas of things to do with your baby: