For many women, bonding with their babies is an instant, organic result of all that encompasses motherhood. Whether it be your simple caress that calms your loved one in an instant or the habitual lullaby you hum during late night nursing sessions, your bond is a steadfast security that envelops your child in their ever changing world. Some dads might find this bond intimidating in situations where you are the daily caretaker, and baby seems particularly partial to you at times. The following tips can help ensure that your husband's bond with your baby becomes just as strong as yours, and baby gets a complete balance from both of you.
It doesn't matter to your baby whether Dad is home for 8 hours a day or 2; what matters is that he is a consistent part of baby's routine.
When Dad gets home from work, he can:
Read a book to baby while you cook dinner
Participate in a post-dinner walk as a family
If he doesn't get home in time for dinner, he can give baby a bath and get him ready for bed each night while you enjoy some alone time.
Your baby will look forward to and learn to rely on these daily routines with Dad just as he does with his daily routines with you.
If baby will only fall asleep while being rocked by you, have Dad give it a try one night. Stay close by, perhaps even snuggling on the couch with the two of them so that baby feels the security of your presence, while getting used to Dad's soothing embrace. This will not only give you a break, but it will provide quality family time.
Sending texts, pictures and short videos to Dad throughout the day during the work week will help him feel more connected to the intimate details of baby's day-to-day routine. If he has to go on a business trip, organize a time to Skype as a family each night he is away.
Utilize Weekend Time
Every Sunday, we have a routine in our house. My husband takes our baby to the family room and plays with and cares for him while watching football together. This gives me the entire day (sans feedings and little visits) to get things done around the house and do some writing. This is something I look forward to just as much as my husband and son. Our baby is definitely attached to me throughout the week, but he doesn't seem to miss me one bit on Sundays, from the sounds of his squeals and laughter as he spends quality time with his Dad. Setting aside one day each week for Dad and baby to spend the majority of their time alone together is a great way to strengthen their bond.
Life is hectic. It may not be easy to establish a consistent routine in the beginning. The most important thing to remember is that your baby will respond to quality over quantity. The quality of the time Dad spends with baby will reflect the quality of bond he has with him.