Dad: How to bond with your baby
It can sometimes be hard for new dads to bond with their babies. After all, caring for a baby has traditionally been left up to mum. As they get baby into a breastfeeding routine it can feel like the bond between mother and child has more opportunity to grow.
As a new dad it’s up to you to make time for bonding.
Skin to skin contact
Just like when mum is breastfeeding, skin to skin contact releases oxytocin which can help you both feel closer and more connected to one another.
Cuddle your baby against your bare skin or take over bath time duties to enjoy this closeness.
As your baby develops they’ll start to get more curious of the world around them. When you and your baby make eye contact they’re learning who you are and developing their ability to recognise you which will bring you closer together.
One on one time
Spending quality time together, just the two of you is a great way to bond.
Take them out for a stroll on a Saturday morning in a baby carrier or in the pram. You don’t need to have anywhere to go, just go a few laps around the block or to the park or to take the dog for a walk.
Play together - tummy time is a great chance to bond with your baby. Get some ideas for fun activities to do with your baby.
Taking on some of the routine tasks is another good way to spend one on one time. Getting your baby dressed, changing their nappy, bathing them or putting them to bed will give you more skin on skin contact and get them used to having you around.
When mum is breastfeeding, you can still get involved by joining them both for a cuddle. This will help to invovle you in feeds and allow you to make eye contact with your baby as they feed.
If you are combination feeding or bottle feeding, use this as an opportunity to take the reins.
There are sometimes dad groups in the local area that you can go to and meet new people. It's a great excuse to get out and about, meet new people and spend some quality time with your little one.
You'll also get bonus points with mum, giving her the chance to put her feet up!
What if I’m struggling to bond?
Try not to worry. Remember, your new addition to the family is a huge change and it will take time to get used to the new routine and family way of life. Remember, you can talk to your partner, family or other dad friends or your GP about how you’re feeling for support and advice.
Important advice for you
Breastfeeding gives your baby the best start in life. The World Health Organisation recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months of your baby’s life, followed by continued breastfeeding together with complementary foods.
Breastmilk promotes your baby’s sensory and cognitive development, it protects your baby against infectious and chronic diseases and can help your baby to recover quicker during illness.
Unlike infant milks, breastfeeding also contributes to your health and well-being, reducing the risk of ovarian cancer and breast cancer. It can also build a strong emotional bond between you and your baby.
Breastfeeding is safe for the environment. You should also consider the social and financial implications of using infant milk. It is important for you to eat a healthy, balanced diet during your pregnancy and as you breastfeed. Combining breastfeeding and bottle feeding may reduce your breast milk supply and it may be difficult to reverse the decision not to breastfeed.
Please take advice from your healthcare professional before using Baby & Me Organic. If you do choose to use our products, please follow the manufacturer’s instructions very carefully as incorrect preparation may make your baby ill.
The content provided in this article is for information purposes only and should not be regarded as medical advice. Please consult a doctor, midwife or healthcare professional if you have any questions or concerns about your or your child’s health.