Experts explain bonding as an intense sense of attachment parents develop for their babies. While the spotlight is often on the strong mother-baby bond, newborn and father bonding is equally crucial for a functional, robust family. Some fathers feel that instant connection with their babies as they hold them for the very first time. For other dads, bonding with their newborn baby may take time and conscious effort. If have been feeling lost about how to join the parenting party that your partner seems to have taken to so effortlessly, here are some dad and newborn bonding tips to help you along the way:
Babies thrive on skin to skin contact and it is oddly soothing for you as a parent too. While skin to skin contact between a mother and child happens naturally during breastfeeds, dads have to create opportunities for it. Just snuggle up with your baby while you are lounging around in your sweatpants or make them rest on your chest as you catch your favourite game on TV. The warmth of your skin, the rhythm of your heartbeat, and your scent has a calming effect on your child and will serve as the foundation of a strong dad and newborn bonding.
Your baby gets hungry often and a lot, which means frequent breastfeeding sessions are the norm for the first few months. Of course, when hunger strikes, the baby needs mommy, but that doesn’t mean you have to feel left out. Once your little one is done feeding, take over to help with burping the baby. Feeding sessions are often followed by nap time for newborns, so you can rock your baby to sleep or sing a lullaby to develop some newborn and father bonding.
If there is that one activity that involves just you and your baby, it can serve as an opportunity to bond. For instance, you could take over the responsibility of changing the baby before bedtime. Not only will it be one less thing for a tired new mom to worry about (and she’ll be so thankful for it), those 10 minutes spent together every day will help you build an emotional connection with your child. While you are at it, coo or talk to your newborn, and as they grow, they’ll start looking forward to this baby-daddy ritual.
Most new dads have to go back to work sooner than they’d like. Given the hectic work pressures and the changes in lifestyle with the arrival of a newborn, life may seem a tad chaotic. Even so, do your best to spend as much time with your baby as possible and pitch in with caring for the baby whenever you can. Giving your baby a massage and bath on weekends or putting them back to sleep when they wake up in the middle of the night can help dads in bonding with their newborn baby.
Even if that leaping with insurmountable love takes longer than you’d expected, don’t lose heart. Just hang in there, with consistent effort, you'll soon build a deep-seated connection with your new baby that'll last you a lifetime.#babycare