Annette Faamausili, August 20 2017

Dads Need To Bond Too

Hold Her Close

As a Mum, you cradle your baby close when you are feeding her. She gets to snuggle in close to your chest and you share some lovely eye contact. Dads shouldn't miss out on this opportunity too.Why not hand baby over to dad after a feed so he can help with winding and settling and get to enjoy some bonding time too. If you're bottle feeding, let dad help out during the night to give you a break or try experessing one feed a day so dad gets to enjoy the closeness of a feed time.

Sometimes it can be difficult for Dads when a new baby arrives. There is a lot of focus on Mum and of course on the baby. Dads can sometimes get a little bit lost in the midst. But it is really important to give Dad the time to bond with your new baby too. Here are some great ways for Dad and Baby bonding…

Take The Night Shift

Take turns getting up to your baby in the night. It had lots of benefits:

- Baby doesn’t rely on Mum alone- Mum gets some much needed rest- Dad gets some calm and precious alone time with baby to comfort and soothe her worries 

Be Silly

Babies love peek-a-boo, silly faces and raspberries. Most Dads love to be the funny guy. So it’s a win-win situation for everyone. Dad will be greatly rewarded with gorgeous smiles, and heart-melting giggles further down the track.

Be The Tear Hero

Babies cry. That is a fact. But Mum doesn’t always have to be the one to soothe the tears. Dad is just as capable of rocking her, singing to her, cuddling her, or patting away wind. 

Get Out and About

Babies love fresh air and the outdoors. Getting out for a walk is a great way to explore new sights and for Dad to talk with baby about everything they see. Instead of taking the pushchair, Dad could even try a front-pack or sling to carry baby for extra bonding.

Special Play Time

Often Dad is the one that goes out to work everyday and by the time he gets home it is in the middle of the dinner-bath-bedtime routine. Set aside special playtime every day for Dad and baby to bond. It might be while Mum fixes dinner or takes a shower, and Dad could even read the bedtime story. Even better let dad hop in the bath with baby each night for some extra relaxing daddy bonding time.

Try Baby Massage

Baby Massage is a fantastic way of bonding as it is calm, soothing and pleasant. Babies respond well to touch, so will love the feeling of Dad’s hands gently stimulating their senses with massage.

Deal With The Poopies

Not the most pleasant job, but a necessary one! Daddy Nappy Duty is another great chance to bond, laugh and get baby feeling comfortable again.

Sick Days

The term ‘sick day’ takes on a new meaning when you have a baby. It no longer means staying in bed all day because you couldn’t find the motivation to get to work. When baby gets sick, it is time for Dad to take a nurturing role as well as Mum, to provide comfort and show baby they too can rely on Dad.

If Dad can manage it, try to get to the Plunket appointments, or wellness checks to see how baby is growing and thriving. It’s nice to be there for the good stuff as well as the bad!

There are so many opportunities for dad and baby time. These are just a few suggestions that you can use. I am sure you will come up with lots of other ideas in your household!

Written by

Annette Faamausili

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