Dad can bond with your precious baby in so many ways
You have a brand new, squishy baby and are so happy. You have a growing family and a loving husband. There is nothing more wonderful than seeing that husband you love and cherish, holding your baby and bonding with them, am I right? I know for me, I didn’t have a dad around that was fully committed to being a dad when I was young… So, when I saw my husband so in love with our children, it made me love him even more. This is absolutely a fantastic relationship that we want to encourage!
For the husbands out there that have wives that are breastfeeding, we hear a lot of “Well how is dad going to bond with baby over feedings if you’re exclusively breastfeeding?”. This could definitely be a legitimate concern to those who are uneducated in all the wonderful ways that dad can bond with baby! The obvious way that everyone jumps to is, of course, giving the baby a bottle. Whether that is pumped milk or formula, sometimes that’s not the best option. Sometimes it isn’t an option at all! Both of my children didn’t take bottles, pacifiers or anything synthetic. Ever.
The problem, I think, is that people are focusing on the feeding aspect. But this isn’t the only way that dad can bond with baby! Just like it isn’t the only way that you bond with baby. So, how does dad practice that same type of bonding that you experience while breastfeeding?
1. Skin to Skin
This is also known as “Kangaroo Care” and is a method in which you have baby’s bare chest against your bare chest. This helps with thermal regulation, heart regulation, and it releases oxytocin or “the cuddle hormone”, which leads to more love between dad and baby. Also, because dad is helping baby regulate everything, it can help the baby save their energy so that they can focus on growing. Literally, dad cuddling baby will aid in your baby’s growth and health! How incredible!!
I cannot stress enough how beneficial babywearing is. Not only does it promote kangaroo care, but it keeps baby so close to you, that it promotes the 4th trimester transition. I mean, if dad can actually participate in one of the trimester’s of your baby’s life, why not? Babywearing (especially with a wrap) can let dad feel what it’s like to have baby with him through every movement he makes. And while that baby is being worn, dad can still help you out by bringing you water and snacks while you rest *snickers*.
3. Bathing With Baby
I know that some people are opposed to this, but it is completely normal and natural. Dad and baby being able to relax in a warm bath will help the baby feel more at “home” (being that it was in warm liquid for a few months there..) and will help the baby to feel more calm with dad. Have dad set up a relaxing bath retreat for him and baby and let them soak away their troubles together.
4. Cuddle With You And Baby
This is a big one that my husband has always done. I am still breastfeeding my 2.5 yr old and he will still occasionally come and lie with us while I nurse. This promotes your relationship (as he can see the wonder that is you), but he can also admire your child the way that you get to. Those calm moments when baby is at the breast and you get to caress their face, hair, notice their freckles, etc. He can share in these moments, as well, and you two can admire your sweet little creation together. When parents are happy and in sync together, it helps the children stay calm and happy. Share this awesome journey as a family!
In time, dad will notice how strong his relationship is with your child. They will create an unbreakable bond and it will be so fantastic for all of you.
Dads, let us know all the special ways that you bonded with your baby! We’d love to hear from you. Drop us a comment below and help us add to this list of tips!
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