When his son, Andrew, was born, Tim was afraid to hold him. After Tim's wife, Beth, and the baby came home from the hospital, Tim left all the baby care to her and busied himself with tasks around the house.
Like Tim, many new fathers think that it's a mother's place to nurture a newborn. Or they are not confident handling their babies and feel like they can't bond with them.
There is no reason for new fathers to feel left out, though. They play an important role in their babies' lives, starting from those early days at home. Dads can be involved in all aspects of baby's day-to-day care, from feedings to diaper changes to doctor appointments.
The bonding process starts in infancy, but gets stronger over time.
Feeling overwhelmed and not sure where to start? Here are some tips for connecting with your new baby:
- Take off time from work. Try to spend as much time at home as you can after the baby's birth. Those first days are an emotional time for everyone. Your partner will appreciate your support, as well as help with taking the baby for a checkup or other tasks.
- Be there for feedings. Giving baby a bottle is one way to feel involved. If mom is breast-feeding, dads can still hold baby while mom gets comfortable before a feeding and talk to the baby in a soothing voice during nursing. Dads can burp the baby afterwards, too.
- Entertain and engage. While mothers tend to soothe and comfort babies, dads can balance this by giving them excitement and stimulation. Babies love when their fathers sing, talk, and read to them.
- Make diaper time quality time. Babies will have dozens of diaper changes each day in those first few weeks. Use them as a chance to touch, snuggle, and talk to your little one.
- Give baby a bath. It might be nerve-wracking at first, but bath time is a wonderful chance to get close to your baby. You could make this special time a regular part of baby's bedtime routine.
- Use a sling or baby carrier. Many moms and dads find that wearing their newborns in a sling or other carrier helps them feel close and connected. You can "wear baby" while you work at a computer, take care of things around the house, or just go for a walk.
Moms may make dads feel insecure if they constantly hover and correct how things are done. Remind your partner that you just do things your own "daddy" way. That's part of the beauty of having two parents to share the job of caring for a newborn. Each parent has sildalis 120mg his or her own style, which helps forge a unique bond with the baby.