In the first days and weeks after birth, mothers spend a lot of time with their babies, establishing a breastfeeding routine and recovering from childbirth together. Dads can often feel excluded during this time due to regular feeding sessions and the child’s desire to be close to their mother. However, dad’s don’t need to feel left out in the cold throughout this period. Here are the best ways for new dads to bond with their baby.
Interact with baby early on
Interacting with your baby in the first hours of their life can help to create a strong bond. Make eye contact with them, cuddle them, and play with them to build an intimate connection that will last forever. When the baby’s mum gets up to take her first shower after birth, take this opportunity to spend time with your baby.
Skin to skin
Make your first moments together skin-to-skin time if possible. Place the naked baby on your bare chest, with both of you covered by a warm blanket. Oxytocin release will occur, helping to strengthen the bond. Oxytocin is widely regarded as the ‘love hormone’. Skin to skin contact will also regulate your baby’s heart rate and breathing. This will help them to become calmer and more relaxed.
Bath your baby
Bathing your baby will help you to form a strong bond with them. Consider taking a bath with your little one in warm water, placing them on your chest as you relax and spend time together. Baby will feel secure and comforted in your presence, calming down as she feels your skin against hers. To make sure accidents don’t occur due to slips, ensure another adult is present to hand the baby to when you get in and out of the tub. Invest in a few personalised baby towels to keep them snug and warm after their bath.
Sing or read to your baby
Singing, reading, or even just talking to your baby regularly will help to establish you as a constant figure in their life. At this point, it doesn’t matter what you say to them. Whether it’s reading their favourite book, talking about the football, or singing the national anthem, the important thing is that you’re interacting and creating a bond.
Many dads find bonding with their baby challenging in first days and weeks after birth. However, as long as you’re spending quality time with your little one and interacting positively, that bond will eventually form. Use these tips to make your relationship with your baby strong and loving from the very beginning.