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First time Dad? 9 Ways to Bond with your Baby
The moment a dad first sees his baby, cannot be simply put into words. Some cry then deny the fact afterwards. Some are left speechless while others are left gaping. It’s a beautiful moment but once they get home the dad tends to get left out. Between breastfeeding and diaper changes and baths, mothers can subconsciously keep the dads out of the picture.
Here are a few tips to help dad bond with the baby.
1. Become the Burper-in-chief
Dads may not have boobs so they can’t breastfeed, which is a major bonding moment, but they can burp the babies. They will get a lot of bonding time because babies feed a lot thus need a lot of walking around and soothing to get the burp out. The baby will begin to associate the dad with the comfort that comes with burping.
2. Become Top Chef and Feeder
Once the baby begins to wean, at around 6 months, the dad can take charge of feeding. They can also prepare the meals to get them more involved in the kitchen. Before that time comes, you can also take charge of the bottle during night-time feeds to allow mama to get some extra hours of sleep.
3. Crown Him Diaper King
Diaper-change can be a good time to bond with baby as the dad and baby will make lots of eye contact. The dad can be in charge of diaper changes as well as stocking diapers. Nowadays, with Pampers pants, ease of change has never been easier! With Pampers pants you just pull to put on and very easily tear to remove. This will make him find out how changing the baby is in the easiest of ways while immersing into the baby’s world even more. He can also get to experience first-hand, getting pee in his mouth. 🙂
4. Go Shirtless
Part of the reason mothers and babies bond most during breastfeeding is due to skin to skin contact. Fathers can get close by going shirtless which will recreate the same bonding effect. It also allows baby to get familiar with your scent and your heartbeat becomes a soothing beat for the little one.
5. Become Primary Bather.
Bath time is one of the best ways for bonding opportunities because it accounts for so much more than actual bathing. Singing and talking to your baby during bath time makes the baby associate calmness with the father’s voice. It will also give mum a chance to relax especially if she has just given birth. Fathers can be the primary bather and if they’re hesitant at first, mum can easily guide him through.
6. Be a Supportive Companion
Most dads aren’t there during the first months of the child’s life because they go to work while mum stays home. Try and ask your employer for paternity leave, yes that is a thing! The Employment Act does give a provision for fully paternity leave though a bit vague. If you can’t take leave then make the most of the time you have. When you come home, make that dad and baby time. Even if the baby needs to breastfeed, don’t leave the room, stay there and talk to your baby after. Again, they will associate your voice with the comfort that comes with night feeding.
7. Play Games
Mums and dads play with their children differently. In fact it is proven that most dads are goofier and mums are naturally gentle and caring. This is your chance to shine with peek-a-boo and using all those rattle toys that will make your baby relate with you more. Dads, get the games and funny noises you’ve been hiding under your sleeve and get bonding.
A good bedtime routine is crucial to your child’s growth. Sometimes you may not be home when your child is going to sleep but when you are, sneak-in and read a story or recite one to your baby. You could also rock your baby to sleep when they are being fussy as this is just part of forming a better bond.
9. Find a Dad Gang.
Being a new father can be an isolating experience—but it really doesn’t have to be. Find other cool hands-on dads who share a similar view, have kids the same age or just provide a listening ear. Having a supportive community by your side and knowing you’re not alone is important in being the best father for your baby.
Whether you’re a new dad or an expert in the baby game, it’s always good to learn some new tips to build your confidence and boost your bond with baby. Plus, which mum does not love seeing their husbands being a good father? Seriously, it is so sexy seeing the two together, and watching him being a good daddy.
You may also like: 15 Interesting Things a First Time Dad Should Know