Bonding Time With Dad
By Sharon Rose
Many Dads are concerned that they won’t know how to care for their newborn baby, or be gentle enough. Some men may think they should wait until the baby gets older and bigger before they start to handle them. However, a hands-on bonding with Dad should start as soon as Baby enters the world. Research shows that men have a hormonal response to becoming a father and nature takes over to guide them. That does not mean that Dads have no need to learn parental skills that will greatly enhance parenting. There is much to learn. What it does mean is, have confidence that in time and with practice, taking care of Baby will become “natural” for Dad. The more time Dad spends holding Baby, the more comfortable and actually “good” at caring for Baby Dad will become. Everyday that Dad spends more time bonding with Baby the stronger the paternal instincts will become.
Here are some tips for Dads to bond with Baby:
1. Give Baby a bottle. If Mom is breastfeeding, Dad can give the water bottle. As Baby takes the bottle he also learns to recognize your face.
2. Diaper duty can be shared with Mom, and be a big help. Some Dads may need instructions and practice on how to change a diaper, but it will soon come easy. We all have to learn!
3. Wear your baby. Use a sling or pouch that fits in the front of you and carry Baby around as you do chores at home, etc. Baby will be comforted by that feeling of being close to you.
4. Massage Baby with lotion after a bath or soothe Baby when fussy.
5. Give Baby a bath. You’ll both enjoy this.
6. Sing a lullaby. Baby won’t be critical of the tune you carry and will be soothed by a gentle, lulling voice.
7. Read a good book to Baby. At any age, Baby will like hearing the sound of your voice, even before they can understand the content of the story.
8. Take a walk with Baby in the stroller, when weather permits. Talk to your baby as you walk along and enjoy the exercise for yourself.