Welcoming a child in a family is one of the greatest joys. As soon as you have a baby, you will suddenly notice that everything centers round the child. Between wanting to build a bond with the baby and taking care of the baby correctly, a new father might feel a little lost. Many fathers take to babies indifferently, not that there is no love, but they do not view babies as beings who need feedings and comforting, and men are just not sure how to go about it!
Why Men Find It Hard To Bond With Their Babies?
Look closely. Who feeds the baby? Who cleans the baby? Who rocks the baby to sleep? Who calms and comforts the baby? Mother, right? So new fathers often feel that they are not so much a part of the baby routine because they are not as inherent a part of ‘baby routine’ as mothers are. That being said, some fathers are just shy at the beginning – leave the baby with them and you find both of them grinning after some time. Fathers do not get enough time with the baby – and when they are available, say after work in the evenings- it is either feeding time or sleeping time. Fathers need to spend some quality time with their kids so as to develop that bond, that friendship. Fathers should try to realize that they do not need to be like their child’s mother (the baby already has a mother, right?) but just be yourself and get to know the little being you got home.
9 Tips For New Fathers To Bond With The Baby
We bring you 8 simple tips for new fathers to build a strong bond with their baby and overcome their fears:
- Get involved: You do not become a father when the baby is born, you become a father as soon as you conceive. Hence get involved right from the beginning. Going for ultrasounds, feel your baby kick through the belly and even talking to your baby through the belly are your first steps towards bonding with your baby. Studies and researches have proved that as soon as your baby hits its 30th week he is able to distinguish voices. Talk to your baby as much as you can and familiarize him or her with your voice. This will not only bring the father and child close but it will also develop a deep bond. Here is how you can be a part of your wife’s pregnancy and delivery
- Touch!: Touching will not only calm the baby but will also stabilize the baby’s heart rate and blood pressure. Infants are very responsive when it comes to skin contact. A mother is constantly touching the baby while feeding, handling and swaddling the baby. It is important that a father touches a baby often too. Don’t let the fear of hurting the baby refrain you from holding your own baby. It might be a little awkward in the beginning but you will eventually get comfortable. The baby will also gradually begin to identify your touch and feel as comfortable with you as it does with the mom
- Grab the bottle: The bottle is a priceless opportunity to feel close to the baby! If you give the bottle at night, do it without your wife’s help. Whether she pumps or you give the formula, bottle feeding your baby is a perfect way to cue into her. Cuddle, cradle, kiss, and soothe the baby. You will find the baby respond to you with little coos and aahs
- Be attentive: Do not treat your baby like a daily chore. Be constantly attentive and available to the baby’s needs. Although it may seem tiring doing one thing after another 24/7; be it cleaning, calming the baby or changing diapers etc but remember that you are the father. The baby is not only your responsibility but the baby also needs you. After the mother the baby identifies the father and being there for the baby always is only going to strengthen the bond
- Have a ‘daddy-baby routine’: Since the mother is nursing the baby she tends to spend more amount of time with the baby and as a result develops a close connection. Similarly a father also needs to have some private time with the baby. You could develop a ‘baby-daddy thing’, it doesn’t have to be grand or complicated; it could be making funny faces or singing a silly song. It could be a special something between you and you baby. Such moments leaving a lasting impact and also get embedded in the memories
- Learn the small things: They say that a woman is always equipped with motherly instincts, unfortunately a man is not. Being a new father can be very difficult, especially in the first few weeks. Don’t let it overwhelm you though. Observe the mother and others around you for a few days and then later take the initiative to handle the baby. Start small like holding the baby correctly and handling the baby’s neck and head and then slowly move on to changing diapers and other things
- Forgive yourself: Remember you are a new dad; don’t be too harsh on yourself. You are bound to make mistakes, the appropriate thing is not to let that deter you or stop you from doing something. From carrying your baby to calming you baby you are not going to get it right the first time, don’t give up or be scared. Forgive your mistakes and give yourself another chance. Your baby needs you as much as it needs the mother so make sure you are up for any challenge
- Seek help: It is understandable that you won’t know many things when it comes to caring for your baby, don’t be afraid to ask for help, repeatedly till you get it right. Being a new dad can be a bit taxing but there are certain perks that come with it too. Your baby will gain a lot of popularity, simply by being a baby, people will want to carry your baby, play with your baby from time to time. Take advantage of it and relax for a bit. This will help you to unwind for some time and return to your baby rejuvenated
- Enjoy the moment: Your baby is growing rapidly and he or she won’t be a tiny bundle of joy for long. Every phase of your child’s growth will bring its share of happiness and tiny troubles; learn to accept this fact and enjoy every bit of it. These moments won’t return and once they have passed you’ll miss them, hence make the most out of it while you can
What are the fears and apprehensions of new dads? Click here and here to know!