The bond between mothers and their babies is a special thing, but it could leave dads feeling out of the loop and inadequate – how can they get closer to their baby, how can they help their wife (besides doing late night feedings)? It might feel like a tough wall to scale, but in reality, it’s a lot easier than you think!
Hey Moms, it may be tempting to hover around your husband when they’re interacting with your baby, at the ready to swoop in and rescue both from themselves. However, doing this will demoralise him, and your baby won’t get used to being comforted by him! So it’s best if you let them work things out on their own – it’s a learning and growing process for dad AND baby.
Get your husband to read this, and it’ll help them get closer to baby. The way we parents interact with our babies are different, and dads definitely have their own delightful way of relating to babies!
Here are 8 ways that dads can bond better with their baby:
#1 Skin To Skin Contact
One of the best and easiest ways for dad and baby to bond is to allow frequent skin contact between the two of them. It allows baby to recognise and get familiar with daddy’s scent, and it’s pretty relaxing for dad himself too! All he has to do is lay around in shorts or boxers with their shirts off and let baby rest on their chests while they watch TV or read a book.
Doing this also releases the oxytocin hormone in both daddy and baby – it’s a ‘hormone of love’ that plays a huge role in bonding!
#2 Play Games/Be Silly
Babies LOVE silly faces and games, and dad can definitely be the funny one! Start out with making silly faces and sounds – you can practice in front of a mirror first (your audience is easy to please though), and the sillier you think you look and sound, the better. As baby gets older, you can play the classic ‘Peekaboo’ with them, and hopefully, you’ll will be able to get a laugh out of them (it’ll melt your heart)!
#3 Dive In Solo
As I’ve said earlier, mum and dad have their own ways in interacting with baby! Yes, mum has her way of doing things – changing the diaper, comforting, etc. – but you can create your own style of doing things. Make them uniquely yours! Take ownership!
At first, try short periods of 30 minutes with a happy and fully fed baby in the morning (as baby is usually in a good mood during this time of the day – your mileage may vary). Eventually you’ll figure out shortcuts that are known only to you and baby. Once you’ve reached that point, you’ll gain the confidence to say that you can handle baby, which is great for mum, because she’ll know that baby is in your good hands!
Continue on the next page...
#4 Diaper Duty
It’s not the most glamorous way to bond with baby, that’s for sure. But someone needs to do it, and leaving mum with diaper duty all the time isn’t really fair now, is it? Baby needs their diaper changed many times a day, and that’s where you can shine! Talk to baby, tickle them, and you’ll be able to make baby be more comfortable around you.
#5 Take Baby Out For A Walk
A simple walk around your neighbourhood will do the trick! Baby will definitely love taking in the myriad of sights and sounds, whether you’re pushing them in a stroller or using a carrier for a closer experience! Point out different objects, colours, animals, and anything that could seem interesting.
#6 Learn How To Massage Baby
Gently massaging baby will help you to get to know them better, and you’ll connect with both baby and yourself. You’ll get to express your nurturing side (which is usually suppressed due to pre-existing gender roles) and baby will learn that you can gently and lovingly touch them too, which can help baby recognise you as someone else who can meet their physical and emotional needs. Similar to the first tip, this promotes skin-to-skin contact and enhances the bonding process!
There are many classes in Singapore where you can learn how to best AND safely give baby a massage. The other benefits besides bonding include reducing muscular tension and colic discomfort!
#7 Sing And Read To Baby
Dad’s voice can soothe baby too, and the more they hear your voice, the more connected they’ll feel to it! Read them some of your favourite bedtime stories and find out which of those are their favourite stories, and they’ll associate reading those stories with sleep-time. Singing to baby is great as well, and it doesn’t matter how well (or badly) you sing – as long as you belt out those tunes, baby will be happy with them!
#8 Household Chores With Baby
Now this will make mum happy for sure – not only will you be taking care of baby, you’ll be helping out with the chores too! Which means she’ll have the time to relax and unwind, something that she WILL be looking forward to.
So, suit up, dads! Make full use of your baby carrier to clean the dishes, vacuum the rooms, mop the floor, do laundry, and whatever else that you feel confident doing while baby is strapped to you.
Subscribe to our mailing list and LIKE US on Facebook for the latest updates on all things pregnancy and parenthood!