December 24, 2020 4 min read
The bond a baby has with their father is unique. It is an entirely different bond that the baby will have with its mother.
While it might seem challenging to fully develop a bond with a newborn baby while it is so dependent on its mother, there are ways to help build that bond early on. Here are tips for dads on bonding with the baby.
The way you bond with your baby is likely to look different from the next father’s, and that’s okay. What’s important is you are focusing on what feels natural between you and your baby – that is how the bond develops ultimately.
If you are unsure exactly how to start bonding with your baby, here are a few ideas you can try to consider:
Experts emphasize the impact skin-to-skin cuddle time has on newborns. While any type of cuddling with your baby is essential, spending some skin-to-skin time with your baby can be even more soothing for both of you.
Whether you are talking, singing, or reading to your baby, make sure you are doing it all and often. In addition to having these interactions, be sure to prioritize eye contact while doing so. Eye contact creates an intimacy between you and your baby, sure to help your bonding.
Not only is it essential to keep an eye on your baby at all times for their safety, but it can also help in the bonding process. Even when your baby is resting, you want to ensure that you have a reliable baby monitor.
Check out smart baby monitors, video baby monitors, or audio baby monitors, all of which are sure to help build the bond with your baby. Depending on which monitor you choose, there are many features to help you capture moments you might have otherwise missed.
Learn More: How to Turn Your Smartphone into a Baby Monitor
Take advantage of baby slings or carriers, whichever you prefer and makes the most sense, and carry your baby around with you during the day. Even if you are completing your regular everyday tasks, your baby will be thrilled to join.
Try out mirroring your baby’s behaviors like their movements and vocalizations. While it may seem silly, it is the first step to communicating with your baby. Communication is one way to develop a lasting bond with your baby.
Make sure you play with your baby every day. Even though it may not seem like it, newborns enjoy playtime and value that it feels different between mom and dad. Sharing these fun and exciting times with your baby help to build your bond.
Entering fatherhood is an entirely new, and sometimes foreign, concept for a lot of men. Luckily, there is a lot of information available out there to help you through the transition process.
While endless questions are filling your head, don’t let questions about bonding bog you down. Take a look at some frequently asked questions about baby bonding to help you further prepare.
When referring to relationships, bonding describes the link between two individuals formed by sharing feelings and experiences. When referring specifically to bonding with babies, it has to do with the intense bond that grows between a parent and child.
Feeling bonded to your baby gives you the feeling of wanting to provide them with unconditional love, affection, and support, especially when your partner is busy with breastfeeding.
Try not to put too much pressure on yourself to establish a strong bond immediately after your child is born. Much like the most gratifying things in life, it takes time to develop. The more you try to force a bond on your child, the more detrimental it can be.
If you are making sure to care for your baby’s basic needs and showing them affection often, there is no negative impact that your baby will feel.
There are many reasons that fathers don’t feel bonded to their baby right after birth. It is not an uncommon thing, so do not take it out on yourself. This process looks different for every dad.
While doctors once believed that bonding needed to develop immediately, experts have shown this is not the case— especially for babies separated from their parents almost immediately following birth because of medical reasons.
Check out some Baby Tech Gear to help monitor your baby when you're not able to be around.
If you have exhausted your efforts to bond with your baby and feel concerned about it, it might be time to reach out to your healthcare provider for some guidance.
While it is not necessarily going to be the case for you, studies have found that postpartum depression can impact new fathers and mothers. At the very least, it is worth having a conversation with your doctor because they could have other ideas we have not listed here.
If you think that postpartum depression might potentially be something you are struggling with that is interfering with your ability to bond with your baby, reach out to a professional right away.
Always remember there is no shame in seeking out professional help, whether you are experiencing any of these symptoms or not. There is a reason there are professionals out there – they are there to help you and your family when needed. Once your baby is older, and he or she moves from the crib to toddler bed, they won't require as much monitoring.
How you choose to bond with your baby will be an experience that only you will be able to decide. While it is a natural process, at least in the beginning, it can be challenging, nonetheless.
The biggest thing to remember is that you don’t have to worry – a bond will build between you and your baby. These things take time. Be as involved as you can, try out some of our tips for dad to bond with baby, and you’ll watch that bond begin to develop in no time.
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