There are so many wonderful things new dads can do to bond with their little ones while also giving new moms time to recover from labor and take care of themselves.
Here are five ways a new dad can become involved with their new baby.
Skin-to-skin Time While Napping
The need for skin-to-skin contact for a newborn is essential for bonding with a parent. The advantage of them sleeping most of the time in the first four weeks after birth is that dads can practice this as many times during the day as they like while having the sweet experience of bonding with their baby. A beating heart and warm skin is very soothing for babies and gives them a nice long nap.
Give the Baby a Massage
Baby massage is a great way for dad to bond with their baby. Introducing a short massage as part of your little one's night routine calms their nervous system and promotes better sleep. Babies love when you sing lullabies or just talk to them while massaging as they know dad’s voice.
Bottle-feed the Baby (“Share the Feed”)
Bottle-feeding is a wonderful way for dads to bond with the baby. If mom is primarily breastfeeding, they can get a break to catch up on a little sleep, shower and take care of herself. If dad implements the “paced bottle feeding” method to control the milk flow and uses the slow flow nipples, breast rejection is typically not a problem.
Make Bath Time Dad Time
Giving dad the experience of being responsible for the ritual of bath time can really help them feel more involved and empowered and have fun with the baby at the same time (moms love it because it gives them a break).
Read and Sing to Your Baby
Reading and singing to your baby is encouraged from day one as it promotes brain development and is also a good bonding experience for dad and baby. There is always time to squeeze in a story.