Dads: 20 Ways to Bond with Your Baby
You’ve been looking forward to this day for the last 9 months. You’ve assembled the crib, painted the nursery, and taken the childbirth classes. Now she’s here. You’re finally holding your new baby girl in your arms. It’s everything you thought it would be, until you get home from the hospital and all of a sudden, your new baby seems to have forgotten about you. She’s constantly nursing and being soothed by Mom. How are you supposed to compete with Mom’s delicious milk? Don’t worry, you can still bond with your new baby! Here are 20 ways to get you and your baby off on the right foot to a long-lasting, loving relationship.
- One of the most important ways to bond with your baby is through skin-to-skin contact. That’s why breastfeeding moms form such a close bond with their babies. There’s no need for you to miss out though. Take off your shirt and snuggle up with baby. It’s the easiest and most effective way to start forming that bond.
- Strap on the Ergo and pop baby in. Walk around the house or outside. Not only will this close contact promote bonding, but if baby is fussy, chances are the rhythmic movement and beating of your heart will calm her nerves and settle her down. Baby wearing is an easy way to do skin-to-skin contact too.
- Learn the art of baby massage. Not only does it feel good to baby, it lessens his stress levels, helps him sleep deeper, reduces fussiness, and helps you learn to respond to his needs better.
- Grab Goodnight Moon and read to your baby. Hearing the sound of your voice is reassuring to her. Plus, it’s never too early to start establishing the habit of reading.
- Take a nap or co-sleep with your baby. Or just lay by his side while he sleeps to establish close contact and bonding. There’s nothing sweeter than watching a newborn sleep.
- Take over the bedtime routine. Read the books, change the diaper, sing the songs, and put baby down for bed. She will learn that you are also a part of her nightly schedule, not just Mom.
- Be superdad and change the diapers. Anything that you can do for your baby helps establish a bond between you and him. Besides, a little poop never hurt anyone!
- Take over an occasional overnight feeding. Once Mom has breastfeeding established, see if she can pump a few bottles. Mom can sleep, and you can snuggle up with baby while she eats. It’s a win win for everyone!
- Be an active participant in your baby’s check ups and sick visits. If your schedule allows, go along to the doctor with Mom or even take the baby by yourself.
- You can’t do the overnight nursing sessions, but you can play a part in the sleepless nights. Bring baby to Mom, change her diaper, and burp her when she’s done eating. You can take charge of overnight duty and do everything except the feeding. Mom will be especially grateful too!
- Dads are master swaddlers because they are strong, and they love burritos! Learn the technique of swaddling your baby. It makes babies feel secure, safe, and warm. Knowing you can provide that for your baby is part of the bonding process.
- Talk constantly to your baby. Every moment you are with your baby and he’s awake, talk or sing to him. This lets him recognize your voice and learn the art of language.
- If baby is upset and she’s not hungry, you can take over. You know the routine, right? The rocking, shushing, bouncing, and patting doesn’t have to always be done by Mom. When you step in, baby (and you) will realize that you are capable of calming her down too.
- Make him laugh. There’s nothing cuter and more satisfying than hearing your baby giggle, especially if you are the one who caused it. Bond with your baby by laughing together.
- Play with your baby. Bring out the toys and play mat. Encourage him through his tummy time. Spending time with your baby shows him your love which helps form a lasting bond.
- Take baby on a walk, either in a stroller or in a carrier. Babies love fresh air and being outside. The different sights, smells, and sounds are great for their development. The exercise and endorphin boost is good for you too, Dad!
- Once your baby starts eating solids, this is where you can get extra involved. Feed him the mashed bananas and pureed peas. It’s a fun new experience for both you and him. Nothing brings dads and kids closer together than a family meal!
- While Mom is nursing, get in on the action. Cuddle up with both mom and baby during this intimate time and let baby know that you are right there too. Stroke his skin and whisper to him as he eats.
- Watch baby while Mom gets out of the house for some me-time. Even if it’s for a short period of time, spending quality time with your baby will ensure a strong bond. Make sure to establish regular periods of one-on-one time with your child as she grows, too.
- If you feel comfortable, give him a bath by yourself, or take him into the tub with you. Bath time can be a special time for you and baby. The close contact and skin to skin touch is a sure way to bond with your baby.
We hope you enjoy getting to know your little bundle of joy. Dads are just as important as Mom in the development and maturation of a child, so start bonding with your baby as soon as possible, and have fun along the way!
Tags: august breastfeeding month, bond with baby, bonding, bonding with baby, breastfeeding awareness, breastfeeding awareness campaign, dads, father child bonding, father child relationship, fatherhood, fathers, national breastfeeding awareness, new dad
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Dani lives in North Carolina with her two preschoolers. She is a stay-at-home/work-at-home mom who loves to clean and organize anything and everything. Her happiness is found in Jesus, days at the spa, and combating dark chocolate peanut butter cups with everyday workouts at the gym. She owns a wedding, lifestyle, and freelance photography business, Dani Nicole Photography.