Often we hear Dad’s speak about how it’s hard for them to bond with their baby before they are moving around and interactive. Some feel that it’s not until they can actively play with them that they can truly bond with their little one. During pregnancy and in the early days straight after the birth, it’s easy for Dad’s to feel this way, especially as Mum has a strong connection with baby as she has carried your little one for 9 months. Below are our 3 top tips for Dad’s to help you bond with your baby.
1. Start early
A bit of pre-birth bonding can significantly increase the chance that dads will develop a strong bond with their baby when they’re born.
Babies can hear within the womb from around 18 weeks. So, however silly it might feel, take time every day to speak, sing and read to your baby in the womb.
This is your opportunity to share your day with them, or even introduce them to your top 10 best albums of all time or your football theme song.
All of this can lead to a stronger bond after birth and a new supporter for your football team.
2. Get snuggling
Make sure that you get that skin-to-skin contact as soon after birth as you can. Tell the midwife that you’d like to do this so it isn’t forgotten. And that’s just the start of skin-to-skin. It’s a great way for dads to continue to get close to their baby in the coming months.
Skin-to-skin cuddles let your baby hear your heartbeat and learn your smell, just like they do with mum if she’s breastfeeding, and feel secure and loved. Take every opportunity you can to let them snuggle up on your chest. It’s a lovely way to feel close, and can help you both relax and chill out.
3. The power of touch
A good way of carving out some dad only time, is to find a job/ task that can be just yours. One of the best for bonding is bathing and massaging your baby.
Massage releases floods of the happy hormone oxytocin in both of you, which will help reinforce your connection. It also relaxes both of you, and is a great way to improve both of your moods!
But, perhaps most importantly, is to encourage all the new dads, to tune into, and trust their fatherly instincts. You will have it in the bag!