11 Ways Dad Can Bond With Baby
The gift of bonding with your baby! My husband and I have 5 sweet, rambunctious, passionate and caring children. They range from 12 years old, down to a year and a half and are busy, busy, busy! No matter how quickly time goes by and how much they grow, as mother's we drift down memory lane so easily and think about when we carried them inside of us and brought them into the world using our warrior bodies.
When I was pregnant there were times I would feel a bit of sadness that my husband would never get to experience any of what I'm experiencing. He would never get the chance to feel a kick, stretch or roll from the inside. He would never feel the sensation of giving birth.
Towards the end of my pregnancies I would "joke" about me being able to take my belly off and lend it to him for a day or two so my back could get a break. Along with all the sentimental feelings that have me wanting to punch out on my pregnancy time card, there were certainly a handful or two of the more physically demanding aspects of pregnancy that I would have appreciated the relief from.
Frequent bathroom trips, Braxton hicks contractions, acid reflux, swollen feet, 87 billion night wakings to either pee, eat or both. Yeah...if only we could share those moments with them too, ha!
With everything that is happening in our bodies and then everything it does leading up to, during and after childbirth, it's understanding why our husbands or partners could feel a little apprehensive and kinda, "well, what should I do?" Especially if your baby is exclusively breastfed around the clock it can be easy for them to not have a clear understanding of where they fit in this whole bonding picture while your baby is still itty bitty.
So, we've gathered some ideas from other dads for you to filter through and provide some inspiration for your own!
1. Change diapers. Changing diapers is way more than just cleaning your baby's bum. This is a moment of some face to face eye contact and giggles and tickles when they are old enough. If you know how to work it, the changing table can be bonding central!
2. Wear Baby. Dad, find a carrier that you like too and rock that thing with baby hanging out right up against your chest as you are out and about in Wilmington or taking a stroll at Wrightsville Beach.
3. Bath time. Lead baby's bath with your expert tips from Baby's 1st Bath Home. You can also go for skin to skin in the shower and skip the baby bath tub!
4. Play guitar. This one comes from a dad who loves music and was super excited to share that passion with his little boy all while providing some soothing sounds for baby to listen to!
5. Read books. The fun thing is about the newborn stage is you can read anything you want to them, they just want to hear your voice! So grab that book you've been wanting to spend more time reading and have at it.
6. Sit outside. Go outside and find yourself a nice comfy place to enjoy your coffee, the breeze and the sounds of the birds. It can be soothing for your little one as well, so win, win!
7. Skin to skin. This activity will always be an activity pretty high up there on the bonding list. The warmth and closeness of you and your baby will produce some of that oxytocin love hormone!
8. Daddy baby time. Imagine all the things you and your baby could do together while mom takes a sleeps! You could go on a walk, dance to some music, master baby care...the options are endless!
9. Talk to your baby. There's something about sharing your thoughts and your day with someone even if they can't talk back. This is a great time to check out all the different facial expressions your creative baby can come up with!
10. Help feed your baby. When you are ready to introduce a bottle to your baby you can be the first to do so. If this is part of your feeding plan for your baby an ideal time to start is around 4 weeks. If you are bottle feeding from the start jump right in there and share in the feedings.
11. Do bedtime. No matter the age of your baby you can always implement a routine to help set them up for healthy sleep habits...even if it is only for a couple hours at a time. Change their diaper, swaddle them up and turn on some white noise before giving night night kisses just for practice.
No matter what you decide to do, your bond with your baby is real and invaluable! Sometimes it can be hard when he's fussing and as soon as he goes to his mom he calms right down. I believe that is why finding your unique bonding opportunities and making them your very own is so important.
If you need help mastering your baby whisperer skills, how to implement sleep routines or assistance with feeding your baby, give us a call. It's what we do, listen to what you want and help you make that happen!
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