12 Ways Dads Can Engage With Their Baby
Babies first bond with their mother. It’s just human nature. Sometimes, dads understand this. Other times, they get offended. After all, it’s the mom who does the nursing and immediate care at first. It’s the mom who gets skin to skin contact with the baby immediately. It’s the mom’s voice and body that has an undeniable connection to a newborn. Although dad’s are typically in there for the delivery, mom’s are still the first to connect.
If your partner is starting to feel out of the mix and disconnected, there are a number of things you can do to help him feel a part of the team. If your husband wants to engage more with his baby, here are 12 effective ways we narrowed down from some of the best mom blogs.
1. Pass the Bottle
Once your baby starts to get the hang of latching on, it’s ok to put your breast milk in a bottle and let dad take over some of the feedings. Some moms don’t nurse at all; and that’s ok. Just be sure that your husband gets an equal amount of time with the bottle schedule. Be sure to remind him to make lots of contact during the process and to cuddle and cradle the baby during each feeding as well.
2. Get Skin to Skin Contact
Who said moms just get to have immediate skin to skin contact? After you enjoy your bonding moment with your newborn, allow your husband to show a little skin and cuddle up with the baby. This is a great way to make an instant connection.
3. Take Turns Bathing
Dads are great at giving baths. At first, it can be pretty intimidating, especially since the baby’s belly button can’t get wet and their head needs lots of support. However, allowing your husband to smile and splash around with your baby is a great way to get them to form a baby and caregiver bond.
4. Read From the Beginning
A baby naturally hears their mother’s voice more than anyone, thanks to being cozied up in the womb. Let dad have a turn with some speaking. Each night, have your husband rock your baby in a rocker and read a short story to them.
5. Go for Walk
Have a lot to do around the house? Maybe you just want some rest! Send dad outside with the baby and encourage a long walk around the neighborhood. Not only will your baby benefit from the fresh air, but will enjoy spending quality time with their dada.
6. Share Diaper Changes
Dads do a great job of changing diapers-once they learn the ropes. Who better than a dad to make silly, stinky faces while a nappy is getting changed?
7. Encourage Tummy Time
Half of a baby’s tummy time should be spent on their own, exploring their surroundings. The other half can be spent with dad! Encourage your husband to roll a ball toward the baby, sing songs, and point out objects to expose your little one to all kinds of sights, sounds, and textures.
8. Pass the Spoon
Once your baby has moved on to solids, let dad take over a meal. By designating chores and baby responsibilities, your little one will learn to love and rely on both of you, rather favor one over the other.
9. Slip on a Sling
Baby wearing is not just for moms. If fact, moms love to pass baby off to dad, especially when they start to grow! Dads can be more equipped to tote around a baby or even toddler.
10. Have Some Girl Time
Just because you’re a mom doesn’t mean that you have to be chained to your house. Make time for yourself and get out with the girls now and again. With dad playing baby sitter, you’ll get a break and he’ll enjoy his dad time.
11. Play Learning Games
Babies learn from their surroundings. Encourage dad to make lots of faces and sounds in order for your baby to try to mimic him. Have him reverse roles and copy the baby too!
12. Do Baby Massage
Before your baby dozes off, let dad know baby massage will help the baby fall asleep (and stay asleep). Touch is a great way to bond. Lovingly have him rub the baby’s back, legs, arms, and hands by gently applying some pressure.
Dads are just as important as moms. However, it’s usually mom that a baby bonds with the most at first. Get dad in on the action by letting him know about 12 bonding experiences he can try today!