It’s quite easy to think that soon as baby is here everything falls under the responsibility of mum, this is especially true if she has chosen to breastfeed. However there are two parents in this relationship and it’s just as important for fathers to build up a bond with a new baby as well as the mums.
A child will benefit from the bond from both parents, but this can be difficult for a father to achieve if mum is constantly taking over, even if she doesn’t mean to.
I hope the following tips will help you create a more equal family dynamic rather than just it being everything falls on mum with dad doing little to be able to help.
1 – Dads need space
If you’re a new mum you can often feel like you’re trying to figure things out as you go, after all they dont come with a manual! Well it’s just the same for new dads too. You might mean well by correcting or running in and taking over, but this can make new dads feel like only “mum knows how to do things” and his thoughts and actions don’t count. This is a surefire way for new dad is to eventually give up in frustration and not want to do anything with the baby.
If you cant stop yourself from micro managing dad, remove yourself from the room and go had have some me time. Believe me, its so much better to have dad wanting to help than refusing to do anything because “he never dose it right”. So by giving them some space to figure things out for themselves it is going to help him bond with their baby and help take the pressure off you.
2- Baby wearing
Mums bond with the baby starts from in the womb and this is just one of the reasons babies bond with their mums so quickly. Thats really hard for a dad to compete with, especially if mum is breastfeeding too. Dads can often feel like a spare part.
By carrying baby in a sling or carrier will offer dad this close connection too. Baby will be able to hear his heartbeat and feel the vibration of his voice, this will help baby to build up a bond with dad. Go out on a nice long walk, run errands or even do chores while mum takes a bath.
3- Help with feeds
If you have chosen to bottle feed, this can be a great task to share. Just like animals, babies will bond with those that feed them. Hold baby close to your chest while feeding and make plenty of eye contact.
If mum is breastfeeding you can still help out. As babies can smell their mums milk they often wont settle as easily on mum, so after mum has fed, take baby off her, hold on your shoulder, a gently sooth baby. this is also a good position for winding too.
4- The night shift
This is a compromise me an my husband came to. He can fall back to sleep within seconds of getting into bed where as it takes me about half an hour. So he took over the night feeds.
Yes I know that dad is back at work, but you need some sleep too. Try taking turns in which days you do night feeds, which days you’ll share and which days you have completely off.
5 – Massage baby
Babies love a massage and its not only great for their health and well-being but it is is a great way for you to bond. Make it part of your bedtime routine and take turn in bathing and giving baby a massage baby.
It really is worth putting the time and energy into getting dad to bond with their baby. Yes there’s going to be some awkward moments and nappies put on wrong, but let him learn. It will all be worth it.