Establishing a bond with your baby is one of the most important things that a father can do. As your little one grows, helping them know that they can come to you and count on both their mother and father will play a huge role in their life. More and more, fathers are making themselves more present for their children, and we love to see this. Take a look at some of our favorite ways for dads to create that special bond with their baby.
Skin to Skin
We’ve all heard that mothers should come skin to skin with their baby as soon as possible after he’s born to establish a bond and keep their little one healthy and warm. As a father, this is also a great way to emotionally connect with your little one. Let your baby lay on your chest for a period of time (make sure you’re awake and alert during skin to skin time!). Skin to skin contact has been proven to work wonders for your baby’s health, so in addition to establishing a beautiful connection with one another, you can have some peace of mind in knowing that your newborn’s health will be aided as well.
Paternity Leave if Possible
While it’s not an option for every new dad, if you are able to take some paternity leave, this is a wonderful way to spend some quality time with your newborn in those first few days and weeks. This uninterrupted time with your family will not only help you create a bond with your new baby, but you’ll experience special moments and create memories together that you will cherish for years to come.
Getting your little one snuggled up in a baby carrier is one of our absolute favorite ways for dads to bond with their newborn baby. Babywearing has a slew of benefits, both for parent and baby, one being that your bond with one another is strengthened. Wear your baby and let them feel your warmth and hear your heartbeat. They will be naturally soothed and may even nap for a bit! Another major plus that comes with babywearing? Your hands are free. This means that you can bond with your newborn while taking care of that to-do list.
Are you an avid reader? Sit down with your baby and do some reading together! While baby books have their place in the world, feel free to read some of your own material with your little one. Whether it’s your favorite novel or an article on your phone, giving your baby a chance to hear your voice and feel the rhythm on your chest as you speak is a great way to help her feel closer to you.
Take a Stroll
If the weather is nice out, pull out your stroller and go take a walk. Strap your newborn into their car seat and rest them in the stroller facing you so that he can see you during your stroll. Take advantage of opportunities to lean in and smile at your baby and say hi. Whether you’re going for a quick walk around the block or wanting to take a jog and get your exercise in for the day, taking your baby out in the stroller will help your bond grow stronger.
While playing with a newborn may not be as exciting as it might be with an older child, your little one’s playtime routine is extremely important for their development. Moreover, it is a great chance for you to get some face time together. Prop her up on her arms and give her some tummy time to help strengthen her arm and leg muscles. You could also get a small book or set of flashcards featuring black, white and red shapes. Tell her about them as you rifle through the images.
Take Turns Feeding
If mom isn’t breastfeeding, taking advantage of the opportunity to feed your little one is an easy way to come closer together. Food makes everyone happy, especially your baby. Sit down and soak in that beautiful eye contact with your newborn during that time. Is mom breastfeeding? No problem. You can take on diaper duty and get him all cozy and swaddled before he gets settled in for his meal.
Special One on One Time
Establishing one on one time and special traditions are a surefire way to help your little one feel close to you. While it may not seem like much when they’re a fresh newborn, as your child grows older and you stay consistent with this one on one time, your bond will stay strong. It could be as simple as grabbing some ice cream or playing a game together, but we guarantee that this will keep your relationship tight knit.
Being intentional about the relationship and bond between dad and newborn is the best way to ensure that your little one feels close to you. Starting now in small ways is sure to make a big impact throughout your child’s life.