We all know how important breastfeeding is for baby and mother but that can leave some dad feeling left out and daddy wants to bond too.
So how can daddies feel a true part of their baby’s life and promote that loving bond between dad and baby?
I know you can’t be part of the actual breastfeeding process but you CAN be happy in the knowledge that your baby is getting the best start in life.
You can nurture your partner – a glass of water or a simple snack will be much appreciated as will support if things get a little tricky. You can prepare yourself in advance by swotting up on breastfeeding and how you can help.
Ways to Bond with Your Baby
Daddy can get close to their baby by using a sling or a baby carrier. Babies just love being held so it is wonderful way for daddies to bond with their baby. You can wear your baby around the house when you are getting on with chores. You can soothe and comfort a fractious baby. Use a sling instead of a pram when you are out and about.
Nappy change time
Yes, I know this is the horrid bit, but with a little thought you can turn this into a lovely experience for both baby and daddy.
Nappy change time will give you the chance to talk to your baby, sing to him, touch him, smile at him, pull faces and generally just be with your baby.
Babies find comfort in repetition so make this into a frequent loving time and you will both benefit.
Baby massage and touch
A newborn baby communicates via touch and a gentle massage will help you get to know each other and can calm an upset baby.
Skin to skin contact is vital and there is nothing quite so lovely as lifting your shirt up and letting your baby snuggle down to sleep in the warmth and smell of your skin. You can find a list of Exeter baby massage classes in our directory.
Talking and singing
Even though your baby can’t understand what you are saying, they will respond to their father’s voice. So sing a gentle song or just chat about what you are doing. It may feel a little strange at first but you will soon see your baby reacting to your voice.
Read a book
If you find it hard to just talk to your baby, you may find it easier with a book as a prop. Babies from even a few days old will respond to stories and books. Mine loved the simple black and white images in the Babyshapes: Books 1-4. The midwife in hospital did laugh when she first saw me ‘reading’ to my 2 day old but she was amazed by day 4 at just how my daughter was following the images.
Modern life is frantic and stressful, all the more reason to take a deep breath, relax and just be with your baby.
Sit on the sofa and talk to each other, pop on a baby sling and go for a walk in the park, cuddle up in bed and have a nap – the important thing is to just be together.
What are your top tips for daddy and baby bonding? I’d love to hear them and they may help other families too.
*This post contains affiliate links but I only recommend products that I have or would use with my own family