You and Your New Baby – Ways for Dad to Bond
I’ve never heard a father say, “Mom’s get to do everything; they get to carry the baby for nine months, they get to birth the baby, and they get to feed the baby.” But… regardless of the fact that men aren’t extremely envious of the discomfort that comes with pregnancy, child birth, and feeding, they are sometimes envious of the bond and singular importance of a mother in the baby’s life. Fathers don’t need to be envious; they just need to be involved. Because fathers don’t hold the same necessity of physical closeness and connection as mothers, they have to create the opportunities to connect and bond with their newborn children. Many fathers struggle to bond with their newborns because of the lack of verbal communication and interactive activities. Many fathers think the baby “just sort of lays there.” It’s true that mom could feed and nurture the baby without you, but she will never be “daddy.”
The following four simple tasks are things every father can do each day to forge an incredible bond with his newborn son or daughter.
Look at and hold your newborn
When babies are new, they are small and fragile. Fathers often feel like they are going to break them and are unsure what to do with a helpless little person. It’s true that they are small and fragile, but babies are resilient and stronger than we think. First, don’t worry, you won’t break the baby. I promise. Pick up your newborn child each day and spend some time just looking at her features. Examine her mouth, nose and little fingers. Decide what the baby got from you and what features remind you of her mom, grandma or grandpa. Listen to him breathe, or take special note of the tone of his voice when he sighs, or even when he cries. Just get acquainted with your baby in a more intimate way.