Becoming a father can be wonderful and daunting all at the same time, whether you are a first-time dad or you are welcoming siblings into the family, bonding with your newborn is so important. Getting to know your baby can take a little time so to help you out along the way, we have five great tips below to give you a head start in creating a strong bond with your little one.
Skin to skin contact
Placing your baby on your chest soon after birth under a loose-fitting top has so many amazing benefits. One of the most important for dad is that it triggers hormones, most notably oxytocin that help you emotionally bond with your baby and spark feelings of love, and affection.
Talk to your newborn
Speaking softly and gently to your newborn can help them to recognize your voice as they grow from newborn to infant. This may not come naturally at first so in this case we would suggest starting with describing things you can see around the room or reading a baby book to them. As simple as it is, just speaking to our babies can help them to distinguish you from others when they need comfort and reassurance.
Get involved in everyday care
Playing an active role in your baby’s everyday care will bring so many benefits for your both. Changing nappies, feeding (where possible), winding and bathing your baby will help to build your confidence in handling and understanding your little one. This quality one on one time can be invaluable for forming strong connections.
Soothe your baby
It can be tempting to let mum handle an upset baby however soothing your baby will be beneficial for you both. Providing all the obvious possible upsets such as hunger, wet nappy or winding are not affecting your baby, try some of these techniques to help pacify them;
- Gently rocking
- Slow pacing around the room
- Soothing shushing
- Changing positions from cradling to upright chest position
- Gentle patting and rubbing back
As your little one grows, one of the most exciting milestones is your baby’s first smiles. Smiling usually happens with the first 6-12 weeks so look out for your cues to start encouraging those gummy grins.
Smile cues include:
- Your baby gazing at you
- Awake, more focused, wide eyes
- Cooing sounds
Encouraging smile tips
- Using all that talking practice from the newborn days to hold your baby’s attention.
- Use different noises or nursery rhymes to animate your voice.
- Smile at your baby to boost your chances of your baby copying you.