There is a lot of parenting advice on how mothers can bond with their baby, but don’t forget dad’s role in bonding as well. You may have carried the child for 9 months and maybe you were even the first person to hold your new little one, but that doesn’t mean your husband can’t share as close a bond with your new baby as you. Check out these tips for fathers that will allow them to get to know your child and bond in ways that form emotional connections to last a lifetime.
Hold Your Baby
Holding and cuddling your child is an important part of the bonding process. Infants need a lot of skin-to-skin contact because it’s the best way for them to get to know someone. Baby carriers are so effective because a child is calmed by their parent’s heartbeat and breathing. The familiar rhythms are soothing because they know they’re next to someone they trust. This trust is built through close snuggling and cradling, which dads should indulge in often.
Wake Up at Night
In the beginning, moms can often take over night feedings and comforting, but dads should get in on the action too. Even if you want to get up and feed or comfort your child when they cry at night, let your spouse take over at least half the time. This will allow him some alone time with your child and will let them learn that comfort and food don’t only come from her mother.
Get Up Close and Personal
Besides cuddling and holding your baby, play with her too and spend time on her level. Lay on the floor so you can be face to face without holding her up in the air. Encourage your husband to let her lay on his chest so he can make eye contact and smile. She grows older, play with her on the ground with your spouse and invite “horsey rides” and allow him to provide a willing jungle gym for her to play on.
Learn How to Soothe Their Tears
It can be a natural instinct to hand a crying child off to her mother, but you should encourage your spouse to learn how to soothe her cries and deal with it himself. Like waking up at night for feedings and comfort, your baby should learn that security can come from both parents, not just mom. This will have a lasting effect in your child’s life and will make a big difference when they’re toddlers and adolescents.
Forming a close bond in infancy paves the way for long lasting relationships to form between dads and their kids. Moms and dads that work together on these things can ensure that it won’t be just one parent’s job to provide all the necessary reassurance and comfort a child needs as they grow and develop.